Meher Baba


Leopold Stokowski, an orchestra conductor

Stokowski: How can unity be brought about between East and West, especially when the conditions prevailing are quite contrary?

Baba: Reconciliation is possible and can be achieved. It can and will be done. I will do it. It is the internal that matters, not the external. When the soul becomes enlightened it experiences reality. And however diverse the conditions may be, everything is seen and experienced as one.

Stokowski: I have asked many wise people the same question, but none could satisfy me as your clear-cut answer has.

Baba: It is not a matter of thought or feeling. I know and do.

Stokowski: Is outward beauty necessary for the inner?

Baba: From your standpoint as an artist, you see all that is outwardly beautiful in nature and, through it, the internal. It is good. But once the inner perception is gained, nothing remains of external beauty or ugliness - all is alike.

25 November 1931, New York,
LM4 p1488

The following seven interviews probably took place in Europe in the early 1930s:

- 1 -

(A woman)

Q. I am a painter.

Baba: I am also a painter. I paint the hearts of people with colors of spirituality. You are a good soul.

Q. I feel I have a guilty heart.

Baba: No, you are not guilty as you believe. Everyone has weaknesses, but it is the heart that counts. You need not worry. I will help you spiritually.

- 2 -

(A man, a well-known dancer)

Q. ... I am a dancer, and am very glad to see you.

Baba: Dancing is a very good art if expressed rightly. It has divine qualities, and if properly expressed, it will have a wonderful effect. If expressed wrongly, it has the opposite effect... I am happy to see you.

Q. I feel so happy, too.

Baba: Anything more?

Q. Since a certain time, I do not quite clearly understand my own individual way to do things, that is, the right way to express myself through art.

Baba: Soon you will know. I will help you spiritually. You will feel it. This contact will help you henceforth.

- 3 -

(A man, with his two sons)

Q. I am a painter.

Baba: I am also a painter. I paint with the colors of spirituality.

Q. That is what I want, the spiritual insight.

Baba: It will come. Anything more to ask?

Q. I want a better opening for the expression of art, something spiritual.

Baba: It will come. For the present, any way that you think appropriate for expressing your art is good. And when you will feel something better to express, then automatically and by itself it will open out to you.

Q. That is what I think also.

Baba: There is one painter in India. When we were both young, he came to me and showed me his paintings. They were fantastic. Though I saw and knew they were not good, I said, 'They are good. Go on.' After a year or so, he came back to me and showed me some more. They were marvelous. Yet I did not say they were marvelous. I only said, 'Go on,' and today he is one of the greatest artists of the East. So whatever you feel like doing, go on doing. It will go on developing by itself. How do you like my paintings? (Baba pointed to the beautiful scenery outside.) All this is my painting.

Q. I wish I could paint a thousandth part of it.

Baba: You will, when you will feel the proper intuition. I will help you.

- 4 -

(A man)

Baba: Happy to see you.

Q. I am an artist, and have encountered opposition always. I am trying to find a clear way in the face of it all, and I have always to go in for pure influence.

Baba: There lies the fun of the game, to meet opposition, to face and encounter it. If not, life becomes dull and monotonous. One can find spirituality only through opposition. But when you are facing it, if you are determined, it becomes enduring, just like a wall which stands erect, unaffected, against any number of balls struck at it, the balls rebounding with the same force with which they are struck against the wall. On encountering opposition, life becomes enduring, determined and unaffected, like the wall that stands erect and unaffected against the continued strokes of the ball thrown against it. And art is a divine thing. It can only be rightly expressed if opposed, to bring out its inner beauty that lies behind. I will help you spiritually.

- 5 -

(A woman, with her 16 year old son)

Baba: Feeling nervous?

Q. Yes. I am an artist.

Baba: I am also an artist. I have the whole world as my canvas. I paint souls...

Q. I am stricken with the failures I have met. I am a very sensitive soul.

Baba: I know. You have a great heart. It is the feeling that matters, and not explanations.

Q. I am suffering very much being unable to express my feelings. I never found a way to express myself in art. Creative power in art did find an outlet through people, but not through art.

Baba: But now it will open. And once it is opened, it will pour forth continually. The more it is disclosed, the more it comes out. But it must be opened at the right moment. I will help you to open it. You will feel my help, because I help through pure love. And it must open, and you will have your right ambition. You have a very good heart. I will help you.

Q. I feel very, very grateful and relieved.

- 6 -

(A woman with her son, an actor)

Q. Very glad to have met you.

Baba: Anything to ask?

Q. How can one achieve one's ambition? (she pointed to her son) He is an artist.

Baba: And art is one of the sources through which the soul expresses itself and inspires others. But to express art thoroughly, one must have the inner emotions opened thoroughly. If you feel something checks you from expressing yourself thoroughly, then you have to do one thing. That is to adjust your mental attitude thus: just before expressing, think 'I can and will express it thoroughly,' and every time you express it, you will find you are more convinced of your expression. It is the mind that keeps it closed.

There are many actors who, either through inferiority complex, or through nervousness or through dryness, feel they cannot express, and this feeling of the mind checks the expression. While acting, think you are one of the greatest actors of the world, and try to express yourself thoroughly. I will help you spiritually. Just think you are the greatest. Where's the harm in thinking like that? It is not for pride you do it, but for bringing the best out of you. There is nothing wrong.

Q. What binds me to the Almighty?

Baba: Divine love.

Q. But I do not feel I have it.

Baba: That is because you are unconscious of it. You will feel it now, and I will help you.

- 7 -

(A man)

Q. I am an artist.

Baba: I love artists, because through art one can express oneself beautifully.

Q. Up till now, through ideas, I tried to find the source. Is there any other way to find the way to the divine?

(The interpreter told Baba, 'He has painted fine paintings for a church, with deep insight to approach the subject, and not for competition.')

Baba: Yes. You have a right to understand and express. Art, when inspired with love, leads to higher realms and that art will open for you the inner life. When you paint, you forget everything except your object. When you are too much engrossed in it, you are lost in it. And when you are lost in it, your ego diminishes. And when the ego diminishes, love infinite appears. And when love is created, God is attained. So you see how art can lead one to find infinite God.

Q. I realise that I have my ego, which I must use in a selfless way to express the divine infinite.

Baba: Then that ego is not finite and limited. It is then the selfless, unlimited ego.

Q. But this I will always try to develop more and more, even through art, and then leave it to you.

Baba: Yes, and I will help you spiritually.

Q. I am sorry to have spoken too much.

Baba: No, don't worry. I am so glad. You have a very good heart. You will have and feel my help.

Seven interviews: Europe?
1930s, A p1-17, also PM p238-259
See Note on Seven Interviews in Book Two - Art

Uday Shankar, a well-known classical Indian dancer who performed in the West

Uday Shankar: I want to introduce and spread Indian classical dance to the West, but some organisations in India criticise me. They want money from me for their institutions, organisations and societies. But I have no money to give them.

Baba: Every good work has to face opposition, and the reaction of the opposition offered always helps the work. You need not worry. Continue conscientiously with your work with double zeal in the right direction.

Shankar: Baba, I would like to give a dance performance for you one day.

Baba: I would be delighted to watch you.

28 September 1933,
on board the ship M.V.
Conte Verde en route to Venice,
LM5 p1814


Love alone is the keynote, and you have that. With my love and help, all will reveal itself in time, and you will realise everything, and then will be able to help others much more through art. Meanwhile, go on with that beautiful art work that is one of the noblest and finest means of bringing out the divine within, and with my help, which will always be forthcoming, you will work wonders.

10 March 1935, Meherabad,
letter to Rano Gayley, BL p10

Painting. This must be continued. I want you to, for it keeps you thinking always of your beloved, and is one of the noblest expressions of love. With the depth of feeling and love you have for me, you will bring out something that will be marvelous, being the expression of love divine.

10 July 1935, Mount Abu,
letter to Rano Gayley, BL p11

...Art, when rightly expressed, is the expression of spirituality...

c.1939, India, Me p15

Just as the musical instrument is valuable only if it gives vent to the song of the musician, and becomes a hindrance if it does not yield complete subservience, matter is valuable if it gives free and adequate expression to the creative flow of life, and becomes an obstacle if it interferes with it.

c.1939? India, Di v.1 p79

...The Perfect man does not look down upon the things of beauty or works of art...

The things of beauty can be degraded by being made the objects of craving, or jealous and exclusive possessiveness. The works of art can often be used to augment and exploit egoism and other human frailties...

But all these can also be rightly handled and spiritualised. The things of beauty can become the source of purity, happiness and inspiration. The works of art can ennoble and raise the consciousness of people...

So the life of the spirit does not consist in turning away from the worldly spheres of existence, but it consists in reclaiming them for the divine purpose, which is to bring love, peace, happiness, beauty and spiritual perfection within the reach of everyone.

c. 1939, India, Di v.1 p82

I too am a dancer, because from the beginning of the world I set the world dancing.

to a dancer, 1960s? Aw 11:3 p2

Whatever life holds for you is an act imparted by me in my production of the universe, and you can act best if you are happy in my will. Don't worry, all will be well.

to an aspiring actor, 1960s? Aw 11:3 p2

Art Book Two

Index - Book One

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