The next morning, February 26th, (1954) at eight o’clock, Baba informed Ramjoo he wanted to dictate something about the Sufi terms “naaz and niaz,” and asked for Kishan Singh, who was not present but doing some work where the mandali were staying. Baba complained, “Whenever I get the urge to say something important, things go wrong; either the microphone does not work, disturbances take place, the persons concerned are not present. Something always comes in my way!”
After fifteen minutes, however, Kishan Singh joined the group at Baba’s residence, whereupon Baba dictated:
Today, I want to explain naaz and niaz. In olden days, Sufis always stressed this point about naaz and niaz, shama and parvana (candle and moth). Later on, these terms became so common that every Muslim poet, big or small, started using them.
Now, naaz literally means “nakhra” – coquetry, hard to please, never satisfied – and is said to be one of the chief attributes of the Divine Beloved. Sufis refer to God and Perfect Masters as the perfect personification of naaz – always full of naaz. Why? Because they are independent and indifferent, “beparvah” – no care for anything, completely detached.
Now, you might think that God, Who is the source of everything, and the Qutubs, who are God personified, how could they be beparvah (indifferent)? It sounds absurd. It is because God is absolutely independent and indifferent.
Niaz means to dance to every naaz [whim, outrageous demand] of the Beloved, to his every mood. Niaz does not mean obedience, but surrenderance.
To carry out the “nakhra” of God and the Qutubs is a great thing. It means to dance to every tune of the Beloved, who is absolutely independent and indifferent. So also is God. And a lover of God is dependent on every whim of the Beloved. It sounds absurd that a Qutub is indifferent and independent, and his lover is totally dependent – dependent not on the Qutub, but on every independent nakhra of the Qutub. But this is so.
Now, the second aspect is most wonderful. We just now talked of God’s and the Qutub’s independent nature. That “nature” is of the Infinite Reality; but the Qutub has taken a form of illusion. In the form of a Qutub, God, with His full indifference and infinity behind Him, takes the cloak of illusion. Now, what happens is, that as soon as this illusory garb (the body) is worn, the Qutub takes upon himself all the sufferings of the whole universe, which are caused by ignorance, which is the basis of illusion.
Now I will explain the paradox of why a Qutub or the Avatar, who enjoys infinite bliss, is said to be simultaneously suffering infinitely. When I say, “Deshmukh, no one in the whole universe suffers like me,” he smiles and replies, “Baba, how can you, who are the source of bliss, ever suffer?” The Qutub has put on this cloak of illusion. Why? To make others enmeshed in illusion become infinite like him. He sees the suffering of others – the lepers, the lame, those who need money, others who want a son. He hears their cries: “Save us, save us from this suffering!”
He sees all this with the cloak of illusion he has taken upon himself; but, with the eternal infinite bliss as his background, he experiences that all that suffering is nothing. It is just ignorance. So he does not pay attention to their illusory suffering. He wants the sufferers to really suffer, and in this real suffering he wants them to burn their illusory suffering – meaning, to undergo those sufferings which will burn their false lives. Those sufferings are for God.
But how to do it? How to create in them the real suffering? So, through his cloak of illusion, the Qutub suffers the most. He wants to burn the false life of others; therefore, he burns his cloak of illusion which he has worn for others. He becomes like a candle, and as soon as the candle starts burning, moths gather around it. The candle goes on burning and burning, and thousands of moths burn in it. Thus he suffers for others and makes others suffer for him.
Baba concluded: “In this way, by wearing the cloak of illusion, the God-Man plays the dual role of suffering and making others suffer. But that suffering liberates them.”
Lord Meher, American ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 12, pp. 4323 – 4324.