At three in the afternoon on December 4th, Meher Baba discoursed about the different religions of the world:
Who gave all these different religions? The Avatars! Why have they done so? To establish principles for people and to bring people to the point where their faces are turned toward God. Muhammad and Buddha both gave different precepts, but each according to the circumstances and mentality of the people of the time.
Baba then drew a diagram of the spiritual path through the planes and described the various Sufi stages leading to union with God: Haqiqat Realization;marefat inner knowledge; tariqat inner sight; shariat outwardly following religious customs. (1) He elaborated with the following analogies:
Take the example of water, for instance: to think that there is water without ever having seen or tasted it is shariat. To begin digging a well to strike and see water is tariqat. After going sufficiently underground and finding water this seeing is marefat. Actually drinking water is haqiqat.
Shariat can also be compared to the knowledge of a city, such as Bombay, from a map; the various activities and troubles one undergoes in reaching Bombay, procuring the money for the railway fare, reaching the station and then travelling in the train, can be taken as tariqat. Then when one nears Bombay and sees the city from a distance, this is marefat; the arrival in the city itself is haqiqat.
To give one more example, let us take the seeing of a cow in a picture as equal to shariat. The trouble and hardships in earning money to purchase an actual cow and the purchase itself is tariqat. Then milking the cow is marefat, and actually drinking the milk is haqiqat.
The religion of those in the contact of a Sadguru or Avatar is to obey him. This is the highest type of religion. I have been telling you daily that the time is near, so be cautious and prepared. I can guide five persons, fifty or half the world to the path if it pleases me; but all this depends on one’s preparation.
(1) For further explanation of the Sufi description of the stages of the path, refer to the book God Speaks, pages 249251.
The Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust, Ahmednagar, India are the copyright holders of all of Meher Baba’s messages, discourses and photographs, unless otherwise stated.