A three-hour meeting of the mandali and thirty-two men from Bombay, Poona and Ahmednagar was held at Meherazad on Sunday, September 8th, 1957. The meeting was held, ostensibly, to discuss the upcoming sahavas and arrangements for the invited Westerners. At the start of this “half-term” meeting (meaning this period was half of his seventy-five days of special work), Baba distributed sweets, remarking: “Let me sweeten your mouths before I make you swallow some bitter pills.”
He then reminded them:
What I have to say to you is not only for those now before me, it is for all who love me and persevere in trying to obey me. At first, I had thought of inviting a representative from each and every center and group in the country for the day. But then, I took into consideration the expense and trouble of long journeys and the inconvenience to all concerned, because the facilities here are so limited, even for those who live near me all the time.
I intend to tell you things straight from my heart, and I expect you to let them reach your hearts and not just your ears. The friends of Hoshang [Bharucha] tell me that for all his good qualities he generally lets things go in one ear and out the other, but I know he loves me and will listen to me seriously. If anyone now present believes he may take what I say lightly, he had better leave this meeting at once.
I am no saint. Because I am Beyond, I am, therefore, beyond all saints. The world, once it knows who I am, will understand then what I want you to understand now that from the Beginningless Beginning I am the Ancient One, immutable and eternal. You may wholeheartedly believe me to be the Avatar, but belief, however deep, does not amount to absolute conviction.
Here, Dhake interjected, “There is no question of conviction for those of us who have accepted you once and for all, because our acceptance is absolute.”
In response, Baba commented at length:
It is all for the best if that acceptance remains unshaken under all circumstances. The world, in general, accepts the existence of God, without caring much about the reasons for believing so. It is a fact also that there are a few in the world who do see God as He is to be seen, and fewer still who do know God as He really is to be known.
I have already warned you of the dark cloud that I clearly see hovering over me. I have been referring to it in one way or another for many years. In fact, only the shape of things changes every time I come, and that is why I say the same things again and again in different ways. At the time of Jesus, I uttered many warnings, yet none of my apostles could grasp in advance about my crucifixion.
The dark cloud is very, very near to bursting, and I have to take the whole force of it upon myself. You can have no idea of what that will mean for me. It will be like hell itself bursting upon me on earth! Be resolved to hold fast to my daaman even when this cloud bursts. You will, thereby, share in my work.
Let me tell you the tale of the mast and the mullah [Muslim scholar]. The mast, his consciousness focussed upon the intimate nearness of his Beloved God, was virtually oblivious to everything else. The mullah, since he could not understand this mast’s state, would pester the mast with learned parroting, and eventually became so exasperated that one day he cursed the mast, saying that he would go to hell.
The mast happened to hear and understand exactly what had been said and retorted that the mullah’s heaven contained everything except God! But that since God was everywhere, he would be quite happy in hell, where he might share his Beloved’s sufferings.
Look at the weapons of destruction science has evolved. Nation accuses nation of preparations for war, and the world catastrophe might come without warning at any moment. World events reflect the results of my inner working. At the time of Noah and the flood, hell was let loose in the world. Scientists and statesmen now solemnly declare that if total war comes, the whole world may perish. They are just echoing me, but the whole world cannot perish because I have to come down again after seven hundred years.
During my recent short stay in Poona, I was happy to let the Poona bhajan group sing before me. I also paid visits to the homes of some of my men and allowed a few to call on me; but it was in connection with the continual pain in my injured hip joint that I went to Poona and also paid a flying visit to Bombay.
The hip joint is now said to be almost healed so that full weight-bearing and almost normal use are advised by the best available consultants. But the fact remains that I still have intense and continual pain, even while resting. Those of you who keep watch by turns throughout the night at my bedside know how I suffer, so much so that at the moment I am handicapped to the extent that I must depend upon the loving help and care of those near me. But all this is as nothing compared to what I shall have to endure when the dark cloud bursts upon me.
To fulfill all that is ordained, I work, and this work releases the tremendous force that stamps my advent. The impact of this force on groping humanity is an awakening, in general, and the realization of Self, in particular.
Work has a charm of its own when the forces of opposition are faced and eventually overcome. For the present, I face the dark cloud, and yet, I continue to do my work ceaselessly. Besides this, I have to do many things. I have, for instance, to see to the arrangements for the sahavas and shall also have to give sahavas to hundreds of my followers.
How difficult it is to overcome all hindrances and complete the work in hand when there are distractions to be reckoned with. The pain in my hip joint, for example, is just one of the many distractions that I must endure while doing my work. If this pain should vanish or even lessen to some extent, my work will be fulfilled, in spite of the onslaught of the dark cloud that threatens to jeopardize fulfillment.
Just as I am now quite incapable of doing many physical things unaided, in spite of an otherwise healthy body, I may, at the time of the impending crisis, become even mentally helpless, but without being mentally deranged in the least. You may then not be able to continue to hold on to my daaman because circumstances will seemingly justify your letting it go. I am infinitely merciful, and so repeat the same theme again and again, so that you may remember my words and try your best to cling to me. For example, in a sudden and terrifying earthquake any man, in the blind hope of saving his life, is likely to run, forgetting in an instant his family and all his possessions, and thus forsake them before he realizes what he has done.
Whatever is to happen will happen. This is the principle, or as I call it, the Law of Must, the law on which universal illusion thrives. It is as if the ready and complete film of illusion, from the beginningless beginning to the endless end, is being projected continually. If it is destined that my daaman should slip from your hands, it will. But it is for me to warn, and for you to remain alert. In illusion, you may die at any moment. The illusory life has no guarantee because no one can know for certain what will happen the very next moment. Except God, everything is illusion. This world and all its affairs are so insubstantial that it is meaningless even to say that they have no substance!
It is no joke to realize me! Those who develop inner sight and even those who are established saints fail to fathom me. This is because fana (total annihilation) stands between all illusion, from the lowest to the highest, and the One Reality. The practice of shariat, that is, living in strict compliance with the laws and precepts of one’s religion, may lead one to tariqat, the Path of Gnosis, which has six stages. But tariqat has its end in fana.
Imagine, for example, that your body is your shell and that your body must be totally consumed by you in the course of the six stages of Gnosis. You will have to do this with your own mouth, piece by piece, at every stage. Ultimately, in the last stage, your own mouth must eat itself! (1) This is what I mean by the final fana, and this is why I tell you that it is impossible to realize me without my help.
Although I appear to be quite different in every Avataric period, I always am and always remain the same from beginning to end. I live the worldly life that is lived by the people, in order to help them live the divine life that I live simultaneously. To be established in the hearts of the people, I need no religious organizations. On the contrary, religious organizations need me in order to be established after me. Those who do not love me fail to understand me, and those who do not realize my divinity fail to understand it.
I am often touched by the outpourings of love, faith, sacrifice and service on the part of the growing number of those who believe in me here and in the West, and I do not mind the attitude of those who remain unconcerned about me, or even of those who oppose me. But I am constantly eyeing your obedience to me, because it is futile to have love from the whole world in the absence of the required degree of obedience from you.
I do not mean that you intend to disobey me or that you disobey me deliberately, when I insist so often on obedience. On the contrary, I do not forget your sense of duty.
Recently, for example, Pophali and Kutumb Sastri, and also their family circles, have given ample proof of their sense of duty to me. Pophali’s son, a brilliant M.Sc. [Master’s degree in Science], died in the prime of life after a short illness. In order to fulfill what he considered his duty to my cause, Pophali reached his dying son too late. In spite of this, Pophali’s younger sons write to me that while they are still waiting to have my sahavas, their elder brother has come to me already.
Kutumb left his home for my work immediately after his young brother had died in the house. Kutumb, as the elder brother, did not even wait to perform the funeral rites demanded by custom. When questioned by visitors, the family replied by repeating what Kutumb had told them: that the man loved Baba and had merely dropped the coat of his gross body. Kutumb had felt certain that his young brother would have wanted him to go ahead with Baba’s urgent work, at once, because he had always looked upon the service to Baba as infinitely more important and rewarding than any ritual.
The point I wish to drive home is that it is never too late to obey me; that you should obey me to the end; that you should obey me with a courage undaunted by any disaster. And that, above all else, you should obey me when I stand face to face with the dark cloud.
For six months, you take care of what I say to you, and after that, I shall take care of you. I say again, do not leave me and live to repent later, when there will be no remedy for your loss. For six months, do not give up obeying me at any cost come what may remember me and do as I say. Make all other thoughts subordinate to your resolve to please me with all your heart.
Although to let go of your hold on my daaman is always easy, it is never easy to hold on to it, and it may, during the next six months, be more difficult than ever before. But if you try with all your heart to do so, I shall surely help you. Once you let go, remember that it will be very difficult to grasp my daaman again.
Bayazid, who is known as the Sardar [Chief] of Sufi Masters, realized God at a very advanced age and also became one of the five Perfect Masters of his time. Once, he asked the two disciples who loved him most what was their greatest desire. One said: “I want the Master.” The other said: “I want the Master’s state of Perfection.” Both wanted the same thing, yet, there was a world of difference in their approach. The first desired, above all, the pleasure of his Master, because he did not want to let go of his hold on the Master’s daaman to the end.
(1) Refer to the story of The Mischievous Chicken, who ate himself in the Beginning, pages 912 in The Nothing and the Everything.
Lord Meher, 1st. ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 15, pp. 5220 – 5225.
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