Deepen Your Practice 13 - The Grace Of The Avatar: Meher Baba: The Grace Of The Avatar: Meher Baba

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Those who dare to seek and are privileged to receive My grace are stripped of everything.

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They have no roof over their heads. Ask for something else. I give you My blessing. Chavan was married with a few children. Some months after this meeting, he found himself homeless and penniless. For some time, he and his family lived in the local Gadge Maharaj Dharamshala in Poona. After a while, they were forced to vacate, and Turekar a policeman took pity on them and allowed them to stay in a storeroom at his bungalow.

Months passed. By chance he met Eruch on a street and disclosed what had happened to him. The news reached Baba, and Chavan was called to Guruprasad. Chavan came and prostrated before Baba. You do not have that courage. Now, what do you want? The landlord evicted me and my family from our house and removed all our possessions.

I will take back My blessing and give you some monetary help. But always be honest and do not forget Me. The following year, when Baba was again in Poona, he asked K. Have you asked for or taken any money from him for the Poona Centre work? I know you are mad with your Centre project. He appears to be a big man now.

He has got the job as the Bombay agent of an industrial or mercantile company and has become quite rich. He lives behind the railway station and goes everywhere by taxi. But I have not asked him for a donation. His wife sends two rupees to the Centre every month. That is all they give. Baba warned Ramakrishnan not to take any money from Chavan. Again, some time passed. One day in Guruprasad, when Maharani Shantadevi was sitting by Baba, Chavan arrived in a very sad mood.

Baba instructed him in Gujarati to tell the truth and asked what was troubling him. Not really telling the truth, Chavan professed innocence and left. But soon afterwards, he was arrested and sentenced to prison for fraud. When God is in our midst as a man, we take Him for granted, we don't care about Him and so we neglect Him and we are indifferent to Him, but even though He has left the scene, His Compassion is so all encompassing, it can be felt all the time. Those who had not seen Him in the physical form are blessed in a special way. They can love Him more forcefully, for what has not been seen, can be longed for with greater ardour.

To love Meher Baba without His being physically present is a true blessing because it is He who gives that love, and this blessing enables us to love Him more and more. He has fashioned His love in such a way that although He is not here, we can love Him more deeply and more forcefully when we think of Him, yearn for Him and long for Him. As the Master is the affirmation of all the unity of life, allegiance with the Master brings about a gradual disassociation of the ego nucleus which affirms separateness.

One way is of keeping the company, or S ahavas , of a Master, obeying Him and serving Him. This remedy is like a special express train which carries you straight to your destination. The second way is to repeat with all love and in all sincerity any one name of God, and in the absence of a Sadguru to serve humanity selflessly. This is like a journey by passenger train which halts at almost every station. The third method takes a very long time. It means performing all the rites and ceremonies of one's religion wholeheartedly and faithfully, but not mechanically.

This method is like a freight train chugging along very slowly. The Avatars and Perfect Masters carry their special disciples with them by express trains. To those individuals who are inclined toward devotion and service, the Masters have shown the path of selfless service and repetition of God's name. And for the world at large, they have pointed to the path of observing rituals and ceremonies. But all these religious customs and rituals given by the Masters are full of deep meaning.

The Hindus' singing of bhajans and clapping, and the Namaz- prayers of the Muslims are methods that do away with sanskaras, the great hindrances on the path to God. For example, take the kusti, or sacred thread of the Zoroastrians. The three knots of this sacred thread signify the three holy principles of religion: good thoughts, good words and good deeds.

Now what is the deep significance of jerking or shaking the kusti before it is worn each day? It symbolizes the throwing off of the dirt sanskaras collected since the previous day. But the kusti must be done sincerely with full faith; otherwise, thousands of kustis done out of sheer habit with mere mechanical mutterings are of no avail. In thinking day and night of the Master, disciple nearly achieves the ultimate objectives which are the aim of diverse practices of meditation and concentration. By putting the work of a Master above his personal needs, he achieves the aim through complete renunciation.

In sincere surrender to the Master, the disciple comes very near to the stopping of the mind which is the goal of most of yogic process. In the obeying of the Master and at any cost of serving Him selflessly, he nearby arrives at the culmination of the path of understanding of an action, and in loving the Master above everything else, he becomes one with the Master as Truth and attains Godhood, the Goal of all search and endeavour through His grace.

If you try to set green grass on fire, it will not burn, but if you set a match to a haystack, it will immediately catch fire and burn to ash. The haystack symbolizes the accumulation of sanskaras. In order to green grass to dry, it has to be kept near a fire. In His contact and company, sanskaras accumulate but also dry.

Even red sanskaras of lust and anger, which are the fastest growing and most deeply rooted, are nothing to worry about if you are in contact with Avatar or a Sadguru. The aspirant can best assimilate the lessons of true service, if he has the good fortune to be in contact with the Master. The Master teaches not through preaching, but through example. And when the Master is seen his capacity of rendering service to humanity, the aspirant is quick to catch that spirit because of his love for the Master.

Contact with the Master is also helpful in imbibing the spirit of cooperation, which the aspirants cultivate easily because of their common love for the Master. They serve because the Master wants it. They do the Master's work, not their own. And they do it, not of their own accord, but because they have been entrusted with that work by the Master. Therefore, they are all free from any ideas of individualistic claims, rights or privileges, being keen only about the Master's work, ready to serve His cause to the best of their ability when they are called upon to do so, and equally ready to hand over that work to another aspirant if he can do it better.

No one can realise God except through the grace and help of a God-realised Master, who is Truth incarnate. Only a God-realised Master can awaken this true love in the human heart, by consuming, through the fire of His grace, all the dross that prevents its release. Those who have got the courage and the wisdom to surrender themselves to a Perfect Master are the recipients of His grace. The grace of the Master does come to those who deserve it, and when it comes, it enkindles in the human heart a love divine, which not only enables the aspirant to become one with God, but also to be of infinite help to others, who are also struggling with their own limitations.

There is no power greater than love. To attain God-Love, at first the company of holy men is needed, which awakens shraddha faith in God. Then comes nishtha one-pointed devotion. After nishta comes bhakri love. Then dawns bhava ecstasy. Next maha-bhav. Lastly prem or Divine Love.

Of course, if the grace of an Avatar descends, love dawns in a flash. That comes to one in a million. When there are so many paths, stages and levels among devotees coming from the past, Baba agree that one cannot be king Janak all of a sudden. A Perfect Master does not make you go through each plane. You just stay where you are; just as now you get up, go out and walk about. You think you go, but you are everywhere. Your mind takes this body. You are everywhere. The advantage one derives by pilgrimage is one.

The benefits one derives by visiting a saint are four. But the benefits one derives by meeting a Sadguru are numberless. To progress on the path of spirituality-help of a Master is necessary-an episode. Deshmukh hesitatingly tied a scarf over his eyes and Baba motioned to Chanji to lead him to Adi Jr. You are blindfolded by illusion. If you want to traverse the path, you will have to seek the aid of One who knows where to find it, else you will wind up meandering here and there, probably breaking your head and both legs in the process.

You will gain nothing.

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Or is it your philosophy that is confusing you? Everything is in God, but the help of the Sadguru is needed in order to know and experience God. Once in the jungle, a tigress died after giving birth to a cub. The cub remained hungry, without food or water for days. A shepherd found it and took pity on it. He reared it among his sheep. The cub grew up thinking he was a sheep. He did not know that he was a tiger. One day, a grown-up tiger saw the cub playing among the flock and was surprised.

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  5. He went to the cub and did his utmost to persuade it that it was a tiger and not a sheep. But the young tiger would not believe him. So the tiger took him to a pool of water and made him look at his own reflection there. The young tiger was astonished and at last was convinced of his true identity.

    He forgot the notion of his being a lamb and passed the rest of his days among tigers. In this story, the sheep represent worldly people who are ignorant of the Truth. The flock of sheep represents the general public. The tiger cub is an ignorant man; the full grown tiger is the Sadguru; the pool of water symbolizes the path; and recognizing the reflection is attaining God-Realization. Although the tiger cub was a tiger, out of ignorance, it took itself to be a sheep.

    And as long as the other tiger did not show it its reflection in the pool of water, this misconception continued. In the same way, though man is potentially God, being quite ignorant of his Real Self, he thinks himself to be only a man and passes through cycles of births and deaths. He continues wallowing in ignorance until the Sadguru makes him see his own true image. Meher Baba answered questions even without being asked for and made one to experience His omniscience-an episode.

    Once, Baba was playing a checkers-like game with the mandali when an important government official came to see Him. Telling him to sit by His side, Baba continued the game. Though to you I seem to be absorbed in it, you know not what work I am now doing in the universe. My Universal work continues every moment — while I eat, drink, sleep, play — constantly.

    He watched Baba play for some time, and Baba would occasionally pat him on the back. His pats were the answers to all my questions. Sitting by Him, God knows what questions arose in my mind. But when he would pat me on the back, all my questions vanished. This has been the most memorable experience of my life. One who clearly sees the sanskaras of everyone and everything is only conscious God, Who is duty bound, works for creation.

    He is the One eternally, consciously free and eternally bound. He is eternally free in His own form and eternally bound in everyone and everything. He also has five Perfect Masters under His divine plan, who works for the universe all the time. When the progress of consciousness in every kingdom of evolution becomes unnatural, the Avatar comes down to give His universal push. Meher Baba seldom mentioned the current five Perfect Masters on earth. He noted three were Hindu and two were Muslim, and later made it clear to the mandali that the five living Perfect Masters would not be in the limelight for at least one hundred years after He, the Avatar , dropped His body.

    It may be wise to conclude, therefore, that if anyone claims to be a Perfect Master within this span of time through ; he should be looked upon with considerable suspicion. In , Meher Baba stated that as many as seventy-seven false Avatars or Messiahs would arise during His advent, which may imply that many will arise after He dropped the body in , which has been observed to be the tragic case in both the East and West.

    Perfect Masters or Sadgurus can help materially only after they drop their bodies. A perfect Master, during His physical lifetime, can do greatest amount of universal work for the good of the world. After He leaves the body, He enjoys eternal bliss and thought the power is with Him, He cannot use it. For this reason, at the tomb or samadhi of a Perfect master there is spiritual power.

    But it is the faith of the people in the disembodied Master which become the medium to utilize that power. There have been some rare instances of the people deriving spiritual benefit from the shrines of the past Masters or saints. But the spiritual benefit is derived only in special cases where the earthly connection of the receiver and giver has been cut short by unavoidable circumstances.

    Such instances are very rare.

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    Both are realised and enjoy perfect bliss. But outwardly there is a vast difference between these two types. The Majzoobs though God-realised, go about in rags or are completely naked. They remain in dirty surroundings, and are oblivious of the world and of people, to whom they appear to be crazed beggars. On the other hand, Saliks and Sadgurus, though fully God-realised, act just like ordinary mortals.

    They eat, drink, sleep, talk and appear to suffer like any other ordinary man. But how can you recognize them? Among a hundred thousand so-called saints, there may be only one who is real. What is the test? The best test is his company. Maintain your connection with him, stay with him. Then you can know him, and even, in your own limited way, judge him by your standards, understanding him to some degree. For example, there are two glasses full of water. One glass contains a little salt in it. But how can you know which is which? For that, you have to taste the water, and only then are you able to know the difference.

    Similarly, by keeping the close company of a so-called saint or Master, you will come to know who is real and who is false. Kabir said - When you meet a true Guru, He will awaken your heart; He will reveal you the secret of love and detachment and then you will know indeed that He transcends His universe. Sadguru and Avatar always allows the spiritual aspirant to test Himself because He is truth Himself. Nothing is impossible for Him. Those who sincerely approach to Sadguru or Avatar are definitely helped by Sadguru or Avatar to bring them in His fold.

    But to test a Sadguru or an Avatar with malice intentions or to insult Him may be very damaging for the individual. One person approached Meher Baba to find his lost son but Meher Baba refused. When father of boy insisted, Meher Baba suggested him to look for his son on a particular street and the boy was found. Another man, having three sons approached Meher Baba to prove Him wrong. He requested Meher Baba to be blessed with a son. Baba asked him to be sure but the man insisted and Baba Okayed. He blessed me a son, whereas I already have three. Meher Baba is fraud and He does not know anything.

    Just as the disciple can test the Master in respect of His capacity to guide him, the Master, in His turn, tests the disciple in respect of his integrity of purpose. The Master is unconcerned about whether the disciple doubts Him or has faith in Him. What He tests is whether the disciple is or is not sincere and wholehearted in his spiritual search and pursuit. The Master is not at all interested in giving proof of His own divinity to the disciple, except when He feels that any such proof is likely to be unfailingly useful and unavoidably necessary for the spiritual benefit of one who has surrendered himself to Him.

    Only Perfect Master knows what is best for one according to spiritual need of an individual-a story. A man renounced the world and was passing his time in meditation, solitude, repeating God's name, and so forth, and also visiting different saints and mahatmas. Years passed by like this. Once, he had the luck to encounter a Perfect Master. He prayed to Him for God-realization, and the Sadguru told him to stay with him in His ashram. The Master also had other followers who were living under His orders.

    There was no spiritual practice of any sort in the ashram and he thought all the others there were useless, as he did not observe them doing anything spiritual. Some were cooking, some were washing, and some were cleaning and thus, according to the words of the Master, keeping themselves busy. Although now living with the Perfect Master, the sanyasi had continued his spiritual practices and become a recluse.

    One day he asked the Master, "When will I see God? The Master replied, "If you act according to My orders, you will gain the sight of God very soon. The Master, picking up a small piece of stone, then told him, "Go to the market and, in exchange for this, bring five seers cup measurements of vegetables. Looking at the stone, the recluse replied, "Master, this is a stone. Who will give five sers of vegetables in exchange for it? No one will touch it.

    The Master said, "You have promised to obey Me and now you are arguing. If you do as I say, you will have God's darshan. The recluse went to the market, but no vendor was ready to agree to the bargain, and all laughed in derision. With great difficulty, one agreed to give him two sers of vegetables.

    Refusing, the recluse returned and said to the Master, "Master, I had told you from the beginning the exchange was foolhardy. Who would give five sers of vegetables for a stone? I could get nothing. The Master said, "Now go to a sweetmeat shop and bring five sers of sweets for this piece of stone. No one was willing to give five sers of sweets and the most he could argue for in one shop was three sers. So he returned, again empty handed. The Master then directed him to approach a goldsmith and bade him to bring back not less than five thousand rupees in exchange.

    Now the recluse was convinced the Master was completely crazy, but he went anyway. The goldsmith examined the rock and announced that he was ready to pay one thousand rupees. This surprised the recluse as now he was being offered a thousand rupees in exchange for a stone against which previously he could not even get five sers of vegetables.

    He then thought the Sadguru knew what He was doing and there was something more to it than met his eye. He returned to the Master and told him what had transpired. The Master next asked him to go to a jeweller and sell the stone for one hundred thousand rupees. So he went and the jeweller agreed to the sale and paid him the amount. The recluse brought the money and the Master told him, "You did not value the stone, but the jeweller knew its true value.

    He knew that it was in fact a diamond. The Master then told the recluse: "I am the jeweller and I know the capacities and capabilities of those around Me. They act according to My wish, leaving their own aside. Those who reside with the jeweller are truly spiritual. Whomsoever, you have approached in your years of wandering until now have all been like vegetable sellers, shopkeepers and goldsmiths, limited by their own limited viewpoint. So, it is better to remain with the jeweller who knows your true worth and who, in time, will make you a jeweller like Himself. One morning when they failed to get up on time, Aloba treated them roughly.

    He was overseeing the kitchen work for several months; and the boys were working under his direction. The incident was mentioned to Baba who ordered him not to treat the boys so harshly. Baba suddenly scolded him, "You'd better leave for some other ashram! India is full of ashrams, and if you go to live in one of them, you will be able to lead a virtuous life.

    With Me, no one can live what the world considers a moral life. Here, we are concerned with spirituality, not morals. A spiritual life is not ruled nor bound by any principles. The sanskaras of each one are different, and so the behaviour and temperament of everyone are different. In a virtuous life, evil is suppressed and good surfaces, but the evil is still there.

    The bad sanskaras remain and have to be worked out, if not in this life then in the next or the one after. In the spiritual life, both good and bad sanskaras express themselves, and both get nullified. A spiritual life leads one toward naturalness, whereas a virtuous life, in the guise of humility, inflates the ego and perpetuates it! A spiritual life, though, is only led under the guidance and orders of the Avatar or Perfect Master, who knows the pulse of everyone and treats everyone according to his particular malady. You do not like Aloba's behaviour, but his behaviour was quite natural and necessary for him.

    How can you understand that? People of the world act according to moral standards and socially acceptable behaviour, but the Avatar or Perfect Master deals with everyone according to his or her sanskaras. Thus spiritual life is totally different and cannot be judged on the basis of morality, ethics or any principle. The fact was that Bhau himself was under the thumb of Aloba's rough treatment. Baba had ordered him to do as Aloba instructed, and Bhau had to do much of the hard work, such as cleaning the lanterns and bicycles, sweeping, weeding the garden, draining the dirty water, besides attending to correspondence work, escorting Baba back and forth to His bungalow, writing work, et cetera.

    Aloba would always find some extra work for him and tell him to do it. That, too, with much harshness, demanding it be done immediately. But for Bhau, it was all a great lesson in forbearance, and Baba Himself was creating such situations. He would create strife between the mandali members so that none would be partial to another.

    Life with Meher Baba was like walking on the edge of a sword, walking on it even though crippled in one leg! Such a life cannot be imagined. On the one hand, the mind would hurt under the attack, but on the other, the heart would desire more punishment. Thus, because of the continuous shower of "blows to the ego," the mind was becoming powerless and the heart strong.

    Such was the spiritual life with Meher Baba. There is no democracy in spirituality-an episode narrated by Dhakephalkar disciple. Baba decided that He would leave everything and start a New Life. In the new life He would go walking and maintain Himself and His disciples on begging and in this way He would travel all over India.

    Preparations were made to leave Meherabad. When some fifty of us gathered in the hall, one of the lovers, Dr. Ghani suggested that since Baba was leaving Meherabad, He should give a parting feast to all His lovers as Jesus Chris did. Baba agreed. Then Dr. Ghani submitted that since he was a Mohammedan, the feast should be non-vegetarian.

    Baba accepted. Whereupon another lover proposed that a little wine also should be served to His lovers as in the case of the disciples of Jesus Christ. The venue of the party then came up for discussion. Ghani and others maintained that the party should be had in the very hall where Baba used to sit. Baba asked all to express their opinion on the venue.

    Everyone except myself spoke in one voice that it should be arranged in the hall. When it was my turn, Baba asked me to air my views on the subject. I am not against the feast at all. But, your Hindu followers take the place where you sit as a temple. Even when you are not there, they consider it sacred.

    They would never stand the idea of non-vegetarian food served there, let alone Baba lovers enjoying it there. Their sentiments will get wounded. Ours is an over-whelming majority. Ghani and others maintained. When she was released after defeat of Ravana, she was brought to Auyodhya and Ramchandra wanted to know whether His subject took her as pure woman about His kingdom and for that purpose, Rama sent His men about His kingdom to ascertain the public opinion in this regard. All of them returned with report that she was held in high esteem as a paragon of high virtue by everyone.

    But one messenger approached Ramchandra to inform that a washer man in Auyodhya doubted her. Here, in My case, when Dhake says that the feast in hall would heart the sentiments of some of My Hindu followers it appealed to Me and the feast will not be held in the hall. The feast was held in one of the corners of the compound. Myself and Kale Mama, another disciple were asked to remain in the hall and enjoy vegetarian meals and sweet meats, which Baba Himself served us.

    This is how Baba applies spirituality in worldly affairs. Make Me your constant companion. Think of Me more than you think of your own self. The more you think of Me, the more you will realize My love for you. Your duty is to keep Me constantly with you throughout your thoughts, speech and actions. They do their duty who, sincere in their faith and love, surrender to Me — guided by the implicit belief in My divinity as Baba. The hypocrites who, not knowing their own minds, constantly doubt. They are at times, through false emotions, inclined to believe in Me and at other times, to indulge in slanderous gossip against me.

    No amount of slander can ever affect or change Me nor any amount of admiration and praise enhance or glorify My divinity. Master is the only true and constant companion-narrated by Pratap Ahir disciple -an episode. I had the first blessed good fortune to meet Meher Baba in , during the one day He stepped out of the New Life on October 16, in Mahabaleshwar. But the incident I would like to relate now, occurred seven years after that.

    I was living in Poona and was an active member of Poona bhajan group. Baba came to Poona that summer and was staying at Shrikhind Botanical Gardens. This was before Baba started staying regularly at Guruprasad. Baba decided that He wanted to have a meeting with Poona bhajan group and He asked one of its members to draw up a list of those who were involved in this group so that they could be invited to attend the meeting. As the time passed, I began to become quite restless. I had discovered that the meeting was to be held that afternoon and I waited with much hope and anticipation until the last moment for my invitation to arrive.

    To my surprise, no one ever showed up to inform me about the meeting. As I was quite active in the group, there had never been any doubt in my mind as to my being invited. It was quite painful shock for me and I felt deeply hurt at this omission. At first I just cycled aimlessly but eventually I came to the Sangam Bridge at the junction of the Mula and Mutha rivers. I got down from my cycle and sat under a tree for an hour or so and then cycled home, hot, dejected and tired.

    To my surprise, before I could enter the house, my mother started shouting at me, scolding me for not telling her exactly where I was going when I left. I was stunned at this news. I cursed myself now for ever having left the house, but it was too late now to worry about that. I jumped on my cycle and began to pedal at fast as I could, wish all the while that I could go even faster. When I reached the garden and the house where Baba was staying, I just threw my cycle down and ran forward. As I entered the room, Baba looked at me so lovingly that I could not contain myself and I burst into tears.

    Baba looked very surprised to hear this and then He gestured for me to come and sit near Him. I went forward and sat facing Baba, with my back to all others who were there. Baba turned to me and gestured, you say that you are close friends. But what kind of friendship is this? You were together in school, in college and both of you have come to Me and love Me, but still he forgot to include your name, your own friend! Baba continued to tease me in this vein for some time. All your relations in the world —your father, mother, brothers, sisters, and friends are only your companion for the time being.

    They remain with you for a certain period but I am the only companion who is with you from the very beginning and will remain with you till the very end. After the meeting, I was told by others that as soon as the meeting had begun, Baba has asked about me and sent a car to bring me. My friend may have forgotten me but Baba had not and in later life, I experienced many disappointments, people I trusted and felt close too, let me down time and again.

    But not only Baba never abandoned me. He is the only companion; I have ever had whose love for me is unfailing and unconditional. Spiritual benefits can be drawn directly or indirectly by visiting saints according to the spiritual status of the Master. All beings are limited except the Avatar. Meher Baba also explained that there are two types of spiritual benefit — indirect which is determined by the efforts of the seeker, and direct which is given consciously with full force.

    There is no direct spiritual benefit given by those on the first four planes; all benefit is only indirect. Avatar or Sadguru is most generous toward help to His disciples. God listens the language of heart only. Any sincere prayer reaches to Him instantly and help is delivered immediately. Consider a cashier in a bank as Avatar or Sadguru and an account holder as a disciple.

    An individual account holder approaches cashier and requests to withdraw Rs. Cashier checks from record and says you have only Rs. Now his son having no bank account approaches his cashier father and asks for Rs. Cashier-father, being most generous toward his son, gives Rs. After death, the soul remains in astral world for another 12 to 14 days in all before entering the hell and heaven state of subtle world. Those who are closely connected with Avatar or Sadguru do not enter in heaven or hell state but take birth immediately.

    August Many bitter experiences of the past often open new vistas that help one to understand things better, as they really are not as they appear. Your hard trials in life have been instrumental in making you what you are now, a changed being with a different outlook on life, and ushering you into the spiritual reality where you alone will find peace, bliss and love. To Nadine Tolstoy, on November 22nd , Baba wrote:.

    Trials and hardships are stepping stones to spirituality. They lead you on to your ultimate aim and desire — to realize the Truth — and now that you have surrendered yourself to me, they bring you closer to me, in love and devotion. Sufferings in selflessly serving others also bring a better understanding of things in life. So carry on, dearest, as you are, always keeping me in mind and at heart, as you do.

    You will thereby be a pure channel and a vehicle for me to work through for the welfare of humanity, and thus participate in my great work. December After two days, the group went to stay at a bungalow in Bhandardara where the climate was cooler and more comfortable. From Nasik , Baba came to stay at Bhandardar a for five days on December 14th , accompanied by Bhagirath. She was a wealthy lady who had become a freelance journalist and had corresponded with Baba. However, after meeting Baba, she decided not to stay as she became uneasy about what living conditions would be like in Nasik.

    She was afraid that life in an ashram would mean a loss of her privacy and individuality. Because she was wealthy and had been exploited, the Duchess suspected Baba of being like Rasputin when he advised her to abandon her plans to travel in India and come instead to Nasik for a rest, inviting her to help with the magazine he intended starting.

    The Duchess mistrusted Baba's intention and mistook this as his attempt to launch a project using her name. Failing to see the great opportunity before her, the Duchess stayed at Bhandardara for only four days and traveled on in India , never to be in Baba's contact again. Nadine Tolstoy asked what it is like for Baba to feel himself to be God.

    Baba replied, using her given Russian name Nadia:. Heaven and hell, God and man all are here. You are now God, plus Nadia. When Nadia disappears, God remains.

    Avatar Meher Baba: Highlights of His Life, Work and Message

    So, Nadia must go. Let Nadia go, and then God remains. Nadia has to make Nadia go. If you merge in me, Nadia goes. The easiest way for Nadia to go is to forget herself — to forget herself as Nadia. Think less of Nadia by thinking more of Baba. When Nadia merges in Baba, Nadia is finished. Baba remains.

    But if you go on thinking how to do it and how to merge, then this thought keeps you back. Don't think of how and when — think of Baba. But better even than this, and safer too, is to merge in my orders — to do as I say. That is, all should obey instantly! Baba smiled, spelling out, "Love Baba! That is all you need to do. The fun of it all is you are already united. It is funny. But you have to go through it — you have to, everybody has to.

    You have to know, 'I am already one with the Infinite, I have always been infinite. Malcolm Schloss asked Baba, "How can we go beyond becoming and get to pure being? Baba replied, "You want to know how to realize the Self. Very cute. He asks the only thing that matters! Unless one is imprisoned, one cannot appreciate freedom. A fish born in water lives in water. It cannot realize water. When it comes out of water it goes back into water and knows the water. Nadine Tolstoy said, "Then we should bless everything, even our difficulties, shouldn't we?

    June On June 26th , there was a Trust meeting at Meherabad. Norina and Elizabeth drove there from Nasik with Ramjoo and Kaka and returned the same evening. Baba directed Nadine Tolstoy to go to Venice, Italy , for the purpose of some work and she left on July 8th. Baba went to Bombay to see her off. Thereafter, all the necessary preparations for travelling to Cannes began. Mansari was not the only new addition to the woman mandali in June. Irene contracted jaundice shortly after she arrived, so by Baba's orders, Rano began nursing her.

    Baba supervised her treatment and she gradually recovered. Lord Meher Volume 7, Page Pointing out Nadine Tolstoy, Baba concluded:. Nadine is most fortunate — she wants to lean but has no one to lean on! Her nature does not agree with anyone's! She is most loving and wants to do everything for me. She would speak for me even on the top of Mount Everest with only the snow to hear her! October ,. Nadine Tolstoy was the matron of the maternity home. On one occasion, Baba explained to her, "There are thousands of hospitals in the world.

    I could have thousands of nurses to work here. At one point, Nadine wrote:. To the hospital came mostly the poorest elements of the country, wrapped in their rags and worn-out saris — the real destitute. When the medicines and injections given by the professional doctors could not bring its due relief, Baba's appearance and loving embrace acted as the "holy wine," reviving their hopes and giving them the lasting impetus of recovery.

    The joy of seeing Baba and the faith that he alone can really help acted within their hearts as a sure remedy. The question of establishing an ashram was being further discussed during this period. After accepting Chowdhary's offer of land in Mandla , a plan had been drawn up. Some people in Mandla knew about Baba, but to make the general public more aware of who he was, a public lecture was arranged on May 12th , in which Dr.

    Norina was most interested in setting up the new ashram and would gather information and seek support by contacting influential citizens. Baba, however, did not participate actively in this as he was too occupied with his mast work, which he indicated was more important above all other matters. A second meeting was held on the evening of November 6th , in the Bangalore Town Hall. Again Dr. Deshmukh, Dr. Ghani and Norina, along with Nadine Tolstoy, gave lectures. Before the meeting Baba remarked to Deshmukh, "I won't let it be a total success.

    However, I'll make certain it is just fifty-fifty — fifty percent opposition and fifty percent sympathy. The Nobel Prize winning Indian physicist Dr. Norina, Nadine and Deshmukh each spoke about their experiences of being with Baba. Soonafter, Nargis Kotwal fell ill, and Nadine Tolstoy was assigned the duty of nursing her.

    When she recovered, Baba asked her, "What do you think now? Savak has left his job; he is unemployed. You have sold all your property and now have no money. Aren't you worried? Baba smiled, spelling out, "From today your responsibility is mine. I will look after you all till the end! Baba left Meherabad for Ranchi on July 3rd, , by train, at P. Baba said ; If Nadia's [Nadine Tolstoy's] cat eats the bird, Nadia will not get annoyed with the cat.

    But if Elizabeth sees the cat eating the bird, she will punish the cat and Nadia will be upset with Elizabeth.

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    Nadine Tolstoy could not grasp it and asked, "Does the shadow of the Voice of God gradually get fainter in every plane? Baba replied:. You cannot say that God is infinite and gets more and more finite on every plane. Infinite cannot be finite. If you say God's Voice becomes weaker, it is not right.

    God's Voice cannot become weaker. It is like the example of the bells. Let us say, the first bell is of gold, and that its first shadow is an iron bell; the second shadow is an earthen bell; the third shadow is a paper bell, and so forth. All have the same shape, but the gold bell and the paper bell are quite different.

    So, in the case of the paper bell you cannot say the gold bell has become weaker. Nadine Tolstoy was observing silence according to Baba's instructions, and now communicating through hand signs. When mentioning some recent quarrel between her and Norina, Baba commented, "You must observe silence, not only of the tongue, but of desires, of hatred, of bitterness, of greed, et cetera, too. Baba said, "Then, we leave Jaipur for the place where all of you might get kidnapped, buried or bombed by the Russians! Baba then asked, "If someone asked you who is Meher Baba, what would you say?

    Nadine Tolstoy answered, "God! Norina Matchabelli said, "The God-Man! Baba concurred, "Not God, but God-Man. God-Man is more than God! God is absolute. One who manifests the absolute is the God-Man. Jivatma means man; mahatma means pilgrim on the path; Paramatma means God. When Jivatma becomes one with Paramatma, man is called Shivatma. Paramatma cannot be called Shivatma. By the end of April, this declaration will be announced universally, and my disciples will personally deliver the final continuation message in places allotted by me. Baba stated:. You must come back from the West, if alive, before I speak.

    Spirituality says, "Life and body are zero.

    avatar dawn Manual

    Yet, they are dying for their country. You all must die too — or you ought to have died long ago. So, you all must really die soon. Margaret and Irene will have plenty of opportunities to die, if they do as I instruct, but with no hesitation. So, be ready to go and be prepared to stay! Nadine Tolstoy was staying with them, but had developed sclerosis and was not well.

    Norina had invited them, indicating she intuited — through her "spiritual thought transmission" — that it was basically Baba's invitation, as he sought to draw them closer. Lord Meher Volume 8, Page Baba received the news on April 16th , in a telegram from Norina, and immediately cabled back: "Tell Elizabeth Nadia lives in me, with me and for me more than ever before. Lord Meher Volume 9, Page The next morning, he left for Meherabad , where he stayed for five days, sleeping at night on the Hill and coming down during the daytime for work.

    At this time, Baba instructed Pendu to raise a headstone over the dog Kippy's grave, and also to have a gravestone made for Countess Nadine Tolstoy. After meeting with all the men and women living under his order at Meherabad and in Ahmednagar , Baba returned to Mahabaleshwar on March 20th , and resumed his work with men and women mandali near him. He was anxious that Pendu finish the work of Nadine Tolstoy's tomb before Norina and Elizabeth arrived. After her worldly departure, Nadine was still remembered by her Beloved. On June 13th , Baba sent a letter to Pendu to have these words carved on her headstone:.

    Nearby are buried the ashes of Countess [Nadine] Tolstoy, Nonny Gayley Miss Gayley's mother and two of his favorite dogs that were important in his work. Also there is a tomb for his parents in which lie their garments, for they were buried in the Parsi fashion. She first heard of Baba through her good friend Nadine Tolstoy, who had shown Mildred's picture to Baba one day in India.

    Baba took it and spelled on the board, "A great soul," and then placed the picture in his pocket. Mildred, or "Mother Kyle" as she was known, had been waiting for Baba to come to the West coast. But after Ivy informed her of the accident, she flew to New York with a friend, afraid she would not live long enough to get a second chance to meet Baba. Lord Meher Volume 11, Page Ilya Lvovich "son of Leo" Tolstoy was the 3rd child of the world-famous Russian writer and philosopher Leo Tolstoy , from the latter's year marriage to Sonya Behrs, a marriage which produced 13 children in all.

    Although 5 of the Tolstoys' children died at birth or in infancy, the other 8 including Ilya survived to adulthood, and had careers which took them in many different directions. Ilya worked as a journalist, migrated to the USA in around the time of the Russian Revolution , and had a motley career in the States.

    He did some journalism, including writings about his famous father in Russia, and served as a consultant on a few Hollywood films with Russian themes, including "Resurrection" and "Love" In one film Ilya Tolstoy even appeared briefly playing the role of his own father Leo Tolstoy. He died in poverty in a New York hospital in Resurrection is a Hollywood adaptation of the Leo Tolstoy novel Resurrection.

    Katusha, a country girl, is seduced and abandoned by Prince Nekludov. Nekludov finds himself, years later, on a jury trying the same Katusha for a crime he now realizes his actions drove her to. He follows her to imprisonment in Siberia, intent on redeeming her and himself as well. A letter came from a friend of mine, Mr. Schloss, who had an occult bookshop in New York, asking me to come and meet a Perfect Master who had just come for the first time to America [November ] The Perfect Master! Immediately I was there at the appointed time My intuition was unquestioning and sure I dragged my broken wings though my feet had swiftly lifted me up the steps into his upper room.

    I remember chanting, "Om. Deep in the rear, stretched on the couch was that mysterious, long expected Being, the Divine Enigma — the True One! Simple, light, thin, small, sparkling and youthful, so unpretentious but strangely mysterious and clear. So different from certain scenic appearances of ascetics He reminded me of something — of somebody I knew far off, but could not catch the vision. I felt as if he were challenging my inner memory, and his whole posture and atmosphere was asking, "Can't you remember?

    Don't you remember me in the past? One of the first things he spelled out on the board as he was silent for years : "It is long since you are waiting for me. I will help you" — beamed at last the saving promise! Immediate recognition of my soul created a feeling of absolute confidence.

    Comforted, I already knew that he is the True One He was like the shining sun, that we do not question. Exalted feeling of happiness, uplift and security lifted "my wings. For, as I was then, it was not given me to enter the closest sanctuary of his being. After five or ten minutes of this, which seemed practically like a scenario that had already been written, although it was totally spontaneous, this Love just started pouring out of the photo! Meher Baba had lived in India. I knew that because an acquaintance, by seeming coincidence, had read me his obituary from the New York Times the day after his passing.

    When this Love manifested, there was nothing left to know or say! It seemed like this was it—total happiness for the rest of my life! For the past 45 years, since that day, I have been pursuing that Love. But I feel infinitely blessed to have had that concrete experience, and many others, to inspire and sustain me as I continue the pursuit. Well, the experience described above was infinitely self-validating. Only real love and truth can do that. It left me with the conviction that Meher Baba was God in human form and the Avatar—as were Zoroaster, Ram, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed, in their own times—of our particular age.

    I came to feel that he, the Divine Beloved, had been playing a sort of cat-and-mouse game with me for several years, and suddenly the game was over. I, the mouse, was joyfully, blissfully snared! Once, Baba was in a certain Indian city doing some of his work, and one morning, he grabbed several of his close mandali disciples , and had them rev up a car. There, Baba walked straight through several rooms and finally entered one, where a man happened to be, and sat down in a certain chair. I set up this special devotional room for that One, and have prayed with all my heart, for years, that He would come here.

    And I put this chair in it, and vowed that no one would ever, ever sit in it until He came. Another story involves a friend of mine who was fortunate enough to meet Meher Baba several times while the Master was still in the body. My friend and his brother were both devoted to Baba. The first time they sought to go to India, though, in , my friend was underage, and their father, who at that point was very anti-Baba, was able to prevent him from accompanying his brother. My friend had no choice but to return to his hometown, Miami, where he resumed his old habit of going to the beach every day and hanging out with friends.

    That week, he began to feel something, a certain Light, radiating from inside him. It grew stronger every day. It looks like a telegram from India. Time and distance mean nothing to me. You will benefit equally with your brother. Meher Baba. I could go on for hours.