FEBRUARY 8, 1923 – BABA EXPLAINS TRANSFER OF SPIRITUAL CHARGE.
During the night of February 8th. (1923) , Ghani was reading to the Master from the book The life of Ghouse Ali – a Mohammedan Qutub who was a ghouse type Perfect Master like Sai Baba, and separated his physical body as an aspect of his spiritual working. Ghani asked, “Why did Ghouse Ali Shah have to contact nineteen different Masters – eleven Mohammedans and eight Hindus – prior to God-Realization? Why was it necessary for him to contact so many spiritual Masters?”
Meher Baba replied:
In actuality, God-Realization is always given by only one Master. But to gain normal consciousness and Knowledge, it is sometimes necessary to contact other Masters. It is also very often the case that the Perfect Master who realizes a person also brings him back to gross consciousness.
In my case, Hazrat Babajan gave me God-Realization in a moment by kissing me on the forehead, but for worldly consciousness and Knowledge I had to spend seven years with Sadguru Upasni Maharaj. During this period of my return to normal consciousness, I had connection with other Perfect Masters, and I contacted Narayan Maharaj, Tajuddin Baba and Sai Baba. Thus, if a Master realizes or advances one, he is then entitled to be called one’s Murshid or Guru; although, as far as Realization is concerned there is only one Master.
Ghani then asked why an authorization in writing – known as sanad-e-vilayat – is required prior to a saint’s being put in charge of a spiritual jurisdiction. He cited the incident of the Mohammedan saint, Ali Ahmed Sabir, who was ordered by his Master to obtain the authority of his sainthood signed and endorsed by another Master, Hazrat Jamal Hansvi, prior to assuming his duty as the chargeman of the town of Kalyan.
Meher Baba gave this explanation:
A signed letter or document is one of the ways of transferring the spiritual charge externally. During my last four months in Sakori, I myself had to take the charge from Upasni Maharaj in writing. The stamped paper and other agreements I have dictated and had executed from the mandali, although not as important as the sanad-e-vilayat, still are not without deep meaning and spiritual significance.
The spiritual transfer of power and authority that takes place between a Master and disciple must always be symbolized by giving it a concrete external form. Among Mohammedans walis and pirs, such saints invariably give their chosen chargemen the robe of chargemanship in the form of some wearing apparel, like a cap. a turban, an apron, or some other such tangible token.
An example of the robe of chargemanship is the case of Sai Baba, who received his initial spiritual charge from the Hindu saint Gopal Rao; he received his Master’s dhoti skirt and sewed it into a kafni shirt and turban.Lord Meher, Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 2, pp. 475 -476. 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.