At about 5:15 P.M., (June 1962) the card game was stopped, and Baba gave this explanation about fana, baqa and the Sadguru or Qutub’s state. He began by quoting this line of Shams-e-Tabriz:
“It needs cycles after cycles
for just one advanced soul to realize God.”
And at present, what do you find in India? The word Sadguru, which really means a man who has become God and who lives the life of God, is used very loosely. In towns and cities, you invariably find persons who are referred to as Sadgurus. Is it so cheap an experience, so common a state? The state of man becoming One with God and simultaneously One with all in creation!
The term saint, sant in vernacular, is generally used for persons whose dress and conduct differ from a common man and who lead a life of prayer and devotion. The word sat means real or, in common usage, good. Therefore, a man of good conduct and with a lifestyle different from the normal man is treated as a saint, particularly by the villagers. The funny irony is even those, who are honored with such titles, rarely realize the meaning that these words signify.
Those who have the necessary courage to tread the Spiritual Path are not many. People talk too lightly about spirituality. The Spiritual Path, in fact, is far above what they could possibly conceive. It is a matter of experiencing. To be on the path is to become gradually dead to one’s material and mental existence. This process proves very trying for the fickle and the worldly-minded people who lack fidelity of heart. The path leading to sainthood is not easy.
One who sees the Sat (Real) is a sant. The saint on the sixth plane of consciousness sees God face to face. Such an experience is the result of lives upon lives of honest search and sincere longing for union with Beloved God. This state of “seeing God” culminates in final fana and that is the end of the First Journey. In the First Journey, there are seven stations of which one is referred to as the state of a Saint – the one who sees God.
Final fana implies the merging of the drop (individual atma) in the Ocean (Paramatma) and consequently the drop becoming the Ocean. In final fana there are two stages. In the first stage, there is conscious experience of the absolute vacuum state, and in the second, there is conscious experience of the “I-Am-God” state. These two stages are, in fact, so completely one that each implies the other. This is the state of real Majzoobiyat of a perfect Majzoob [one drowned in God].
Not all God-Realized souls are destined to undertake the Second Journey. In the Second Journey there are no stations. In fana, the soul’s limited existence is entirely and permanently effaced. This is the state of unconscious consciousness, except for Self being God. In the Second Journey, baqa, one has consciousness of the Unlimited Infinite, and at the same time, individuality is retained. This is the beginning and ending of the Second Journey. This is the state of perfect Sulukiyat of a real Salik. (1)
Baba pointed to one of his lovers named Soman.
For example, you are called Soman. In the experience of final fana you are not left as Soman. Only God exists.
In the state of baqa you become Soman the Infinite; for example, you leave your limited Soman-being and get established in God. To others you appear as the same person you were before, but they are not in the least aware of the change, of the transformation within from finitehood to Infinity. Outwardly you behave as an ordinary person behaves: you eat, you drink, you work, you play. You talk and joke, but you are not understood as you really are. They take you as someone with a finite form and mind. Some may regard you as an exceptional person, but only a few can know you as Soman-the-Infinite. This is the baqa state.
The number of Perfect Masters is always restricted to five. In any age or cycle it is neither more nor less. The Avatar is an exception after the eleventh age. When one of the five Perfect Masters drops his body, one from among the baqa state – not in the fana state – takes the place as a Sadguru or Qutub. Thus goes the Divine Scheme. (2)
One day or the other, everyone has to experience final fana which is the Goal of creation. It is a long, long journey, but if my nazar [glance, grace] descends on you, you will experience the fana state in no time, for in reality there is no time, and no journeying. That nazar is entirely different from my looking at you now.
In short, first one has to experience final fana and then abide in God retaining one’s individuality. Such a one is entitled to being called Sadguru or Qutub.
What then is the surest and safest way to realize the Self? Worry not, crave not for the seven stations of the First Journey – not even the Second Journey which baqa implies. Leave it all to me. Only obey me and love me more and more. Hafiz in one of his couplets says:
“Don’t pray to God!
Pray to the Qutub!
Hold fast to his daaman.
Relinquish all rituals and ceremonies and maybe one day
the grace of the Qutub will descend on you.”
The Sadguru has the authority to liberate anyone if he so wishes. He is the “Man-become-God.”
This concluded Baba’s detailed explanation. Smiling, he motioned, “Now, it is more than enough! Without lingering here and there, leave Guruprasad quickly and quietly. I am with you – in all states!”
(1) There is no one outlined path called the Spiritual Path. The Spiritual Path is really traversing the planes. In Sufi terms, there are two ways along this path or through the planes; the way of the salik (meaning, sober or balanced stride) and the way of the mast (meaning, intoxicated or drunken stride). The saliks are actually stationed in a particular plane; the masts are stationed in semi-divine states between the planes known as “heavens.” Speaking in symbols, both the salik and the mast drink the Saki’s wine in the divine tavern, but the salik when he drinks does not become totally drunk, while the mast does get drunk and falls to the floor — meaning, he gets stuck in the heaven of the plane.
(2) Regarding the seven thousand member spiritual hierarchy, refer to God Speaks, pages 271–274.
Lord Meher, American ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 17, pp. 5911 – 5913.