On the night of December 2nd, (1927) Meher Baba expounded about the universe and mahapralaya – cosmic dissolution:
How was the universe created? It was automatic. There are innumerable universes which are interlaced with one another; one universe creates another in a chain reaction. These universes are so numerous that even Sadgurus cannot count them. I once tried to count them while at Sakori with Upasni Maharaj. It is astonishing that, though the chains of these universes come out of the Sadguru and then merge back into him, they are still uncountable through his physical eyes.
One night at Sakori [in 1921], Upasni Maharaj and I were sitting in his hut when the topic of counting the universes arose. First Maharaj tried to count them. In order to count the universes, he first had to stop the continuous flow of (sanskaric) chains that are emerging so he could count as many universes as possible. In order to do this, both his mind and the whole force of creation had to be concentrated on stopping the universes. This is extremely difficult and dangerous. From the Oneness (of God) duality is born, and this duality may prove fatal at times. The tension created by such concentration could cause one to drop the body. So when I tried, Maharaj prevented me from stopping the chain-flow because it actually threatened my life, and I could have died.
Maharaj told me, “No Sadguru was ever successful in this counting, since the flow of direct knowledge is from the Sadguru himself. If this flow is stopped to count the universes, duality is affected. The Sadguru’s life is put in danger by duality’s reaction.”
These universes come out of the Sadguru and merge back into him after aeons. This is called the mahapralaya. When the universes disappear in Mahapralaya, they are no longer in gross form, but they remain within the universal mind. Every individual gross mind rests in the universal mind. Though this is all an illusion, still the individual souls of all beings that inhabit the universes remain within the universal mind. And after aeons the evolution starts again and every jeevatma (incarnate soul) gradually takes form in accordance with the consciousness he had before the cosmic event of Mahapralaya occurred.
For example, in deep sleep you are unconscious of both your body and the world. For you this is dissolution or pralaya. When you awaken, creation begins again for you. You come back and the world is again existent to you. This is individual dissolution, but the Mahapralaya happens universally. It is the same as individual dissolution only all universes dissolve, so it is called mahapralaya –maha meaning great. Briefly, this happens every day in an individual’s sound sleep state, and after ages and ages it happens universally. For this reason, it is said in the Koran, “On doomsday, everyone will rise up from his grave. ”
Now I will explain to you about Ishwar. Ishwar is the Creator, Preserver and Dissolver as One – Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. This Ishwar is God, but does not know Himself; He is in the state of Infinite Unconsciousness. However, He knows how to create, preserve and destroy the creation. How is this? When you blow up a balloon, your eyes are on the inflating of the balloon and so you look at that and not at yourself. In the same way, the eyes of Ishwar are fixed on His creation and not on Himself.
[On December 2, 1956, Beloved Baba, as part of His universal suffering, orchestrated and met with the second automobile accident at Udtara, near Satara, Maharashtra, India.]
Lord Meher, American ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 3, pp. 988 – 989.