Monday, December 30, 2013

Meher Baba and Billy Graham

No one in this world is a perfect human being, until they are God-realized, and one ought not be surprised to learn this again and again. This, I think is why Baba said that if, instead of judging others, we look within ourselves, we are loving God. I have always loved and admired Billy Graham, the American Evangelical minister, and have been moved by many of his sermons. My father, Lyn Ott, also loved his sermons and would rush in enthusiastically to hear them. It so happens that Baba was asked his thoughts about this now very old historic figure in America's long religious legacy. But before I say what Baba said about Billy Graham, please watch this astonishing short video of what Graham recently had to say about his ecumenical views, a movement that has been spreading across all religions and denominations, no matter how hidden, since Baba's "beads on one string" message on a London Paramount newsreel in 1932.

I found this recording humbling. So many ridicule Billy Graham. Yet he has really tried to embrace the ecumenical movement around the world, something I may discuss more in a later post.

Graham ought to duly be given credit for this remarkably enlightened remark.

Of course life is never simple, something that Baba, in his infinite knowledge, clearly grasped.

While in the United States in 1956, Meher Baba was asked by a reporter if he was aware of Billy Graham. This is what Baba said to the press, containing both a compliment and whisper of caution and seeming knowledge of things to come.
Have you heard of an American evangelist by the name of Billy Graham? Have you met and spoken with him?" 
Again Baba gestured, "No."

"Have you heard of his work?"

"I know."

"Can you tell us what you think of his work?"

"Any work done in the name of God or Lord Jesus is a good work. But it must be done sincerely, honestly, without taking any pride in it, without wanting to profit through it." (LM 4992)
A wonderful and sincere man on many levels, Billy Graham for many years strictly limited his personal income from his missionary foundation, to something very reasonable. However, as if Baba were fortelling the future, this slowly degraded, harming the power of his otherwise moving message.

". . . without taking any pride in it, without wanting to profit through it." – Meher Baba


  1. I find it interesting that Meher Baba never (that I know of) made public appeals for donations the way Billy Graham's ministry most likely did.

    1. It is amazing that Baba got so much done without ever making appeals for donations. My father told me Baba never touched money, but arranged for the movement of millions of dollars. As I understand it, Baba would request a particular person to pay for something. It was never an open plea. Of course many did things without his asking, such as Elizabeth buying him two American automobiles, and shipping one to India I believe for his use.

      Baba did sell shares in his film company to select well-to-do Western lovers. Again there was no open solicitation.

      It struck me returning to the Meher Center after being away for 16 years, that Baba was able to create through his pure influence such a giant and impressive spiritual Center. It is even more remarkable when we think of such a work being orchestrated by a silent man thousands of miles away with no money of his own.

      Of course today some Foundations in his name due solicit money, but not aggressively. It is far more private and personal.

    2. Nosh Anzar has recently incurred notoriety for aggressive fundraising for his archival project, Beloved Archives, even to the remarkable point of asking for donations to support what he calls "The Beloved's Day of Prayer"- an event in which he and his team "relay" prayer requests to Meher Baba. A senior member of the Baba movement referred to this as a "page from the televangelist playbook". I have criticized this development on my blog,

    3. Considering Baba's very direct, and seemingly general reference to this problem, it does seem to be something to watch for. But I would prefer to watch for it in myself, rather than be a watchdog for others. Perhaps you should contact Naosherwan, and explain your concerns, which (if what you say is true), does sound like a legitimate concern. This gives him a chance to reply to you, so you can see how he sees it and any other details that might be relevant. Baba did tell Naosherwan to spread his message, which is a bit like an evangelist (albeit with Baba's blessing) but still he must live up to what Baba wants. So my feeling is to talk to him directly first, before the community.

    4. Hi Chris;

      I know of several people who have privately communicated to Nosh about his recent behavior on behalf of Beloved Archives, to no avail.

      Since he operates a non-profit in Baba's name, I believe it is his responsibility to answer to concerns about his behavior in that capacity to the public, not privately and conveniently out of view. This is everybody's business.

      Remember that Baba gives us the rope to hang ourselves if we are not completely honest in our attempts to spread his message of Love and Truth. Nosh is no exception. His behavior is blatant, counters Baba's express warning on several counts and, as if that wasn't enough, has insulted Mehera's intention to gift the UK Baba Lovers with a priceless gift.

      What more can I say?

  2. I might add, I have yet to hear of anyone else bringing this up in a public forum. What does this say about our community?

    1. This says that our community is very wise not to splash venom onto a public forum. It goes against the essence of spiritual chivalry, which means (among other things) not trashing one's fellow Baba-lovers in public.
      By the way, how does one qualify as a "senior member of the Baba movement"?
      The Beloved Archives mailing about the Day of Prayer, which I have in my files, concluded with a request to support the Archives with a donation--a typical request by nonprofit foundations everywhere, which may be tacked on to any message or page; the request for donations had nothing to do with supporting the day of prayer, except insofar as it is one of many programs held by BA. I find nothing offensive in it; this is how nonprofits exist.

  3. Well Kendra, you must be spiritually chivalrous not to engage the issue critically in a public forum. But thank God it takes all types. By the way, trash deserves trash, so to speak. If a Baba lover of long standing with a non-profit is raiding relics in defiance of all propriety and Mehera's wish, and operating a dial-a-prayer service for a suggested donation...........well, just figure it out privately I guess, if you don't want to discuss it.

    Not everyone is so obtuse. If our own community cannot address its own problems, who can? And really now, venom?

    As for who is a "senior member", you'll just have to guess.