Meher Baba

From the very beginning, I have a Circle consisting of a fixed number of men and women. In the near future, these individuals will gain the ultimate experience of Truth and Knowledge.

Out of millions of souls, only one becomes Perfect. Perfection entails unimaginable hardships and sufferings. The Perfect man can bestow divine consciousness, the experience of infinity, upon anyone in the twinkling of an eye. The Perfect man bestows conscious divinity, at the right moment, upon those who have an age-old connection with him.

To clarify this: suppose a man has suddenly risen to wealth. After becoming rich, however generous he may be, he will not distribute his riches to every poor person in the world. He will give it to the selected few who are closely connected with him. Further, suppose that this wealthy man is driving in his car and passes a pauper lying beside the road. He will either leave him there, or stop and hand him some money. But if he comes across a poor man and discovers him to be his long-lost brother, how will he react then? Despite the importance of his errand and the inherent nature of his position (working to gain more wealth), he will stop the car, and without the poor man's asking, he will take him in his car to his house, and keep him there in luxurious comfort.

The same is true in the spiritual Path. To acquire the gift of divine knowledge, a person must have a close connection with a Perfect Master. It was because of this spiritual relationship between myself and Babajan that she, without my asking, striving or longing for it, bestowed on me the experience of God I now have. And it is this intimate spiritual relationship which will make me, in the very near future, share the infinite treasure with twelve of my first disciples.

January 1922,
LM2 p337

Although the Circle of a Perfect Master has twelve important men members, the total is fourteen with two women, and each person has one Shadow. So the complete total of the Circle is twenty-eight - fourteen members, with fourteen other members as their Shadows. The original fourteen will be inevitably like the Perfect Master, one in God. The fourteen Shadows will see God. To see God, however, is not a trifling matter. From thousands of yogis, mahatmas and Walis who intensely long to see the light of Truth, very, very few by their own efforts, and without the help of a Perfect Master, reach the state (of sainthood) where they can actually see God. But to become one with God is impossible without the the help of a Perfect soul.

27? January 1922,
on a train from
Bombay to Poona, LM2 p338

You eat food to maintain your body, and with the body you do different acts. The food in the stomach turns into fluid from which blood is made. You know this, but you have no idea or experience as to how it happens. Similarly, those connected with me have gained spiritual advancement, but don't see it or have any idea about it. You who are with me here are completely unaware of the advancement, but it is definitely there. The closer a person is to a Perfect Master, the better it is for him, whether he is a member of the Master's Circle or not.

May? 1925,
LM2 p715

One's degree of connection with a Perfect Master in past lives makes one eligible for the Master's Circle, whether he is willing or unwilling to obey. But to ease the Master's burden, one should follow his orders. By your wrong attitude, you add to the Master's troubles.

Suppose I want two of you to journey with me. One is unwilling and does not budge an inch. The other willingly goes. Both must be taken at the same time to the same place. Whereas one can be taken easily, the other must be taken with difficulty. At times it comes to this: for my work, the one resisting has to be shouldered and taken forcibly by me.

While shaving you, the barber moves your head from side to side, which you permit because you need a good shave. Similarly, if you want God, you should surrender body and mind to the Perfect Master and act as he says.

The waters of a river are for the use of the populace. The containers the people bring to fill with water are large or small according to their needs. In the same way, the Sadgurus are there only to give. They are the storehouses of knowledge and unlimited blessings. Those who have merit can take as much as their containers can contain.

30 April 1926,
LM3 p791

It is not possible for a Sadguru or the Avatar to give up the physical body until he has completed the work of preparing his Circle.

3 June 1926,
LM3 p806-807

The number of my devotees is great, but the number of my disciples is much less. The devotee seeks the pleasure of his own devotion, while the disciple's only duty is to obey the commands of the Master, which is much more difficult. Devotees select their own Master and surrender to him. A Master selects his own disciples. Therefore, many can become devotees, but only a few can become disciples.

9 June 1926,
LM3 p809

How lucky you are that you are the first to speak to me after my seclusion... Spiritually, a big meeting of spiritual personages took place here, the likes of which has never before been held. It is due to the greatest upheaval that is coming for the world. It will be the greatest upheaval of all times.

It was decided at this meeting that I will manifest as my original real self and speak next February. Vast changes everywhere will follow. My Circle, which is already formed, will realise me. Their duties will commence in different directions. And the changes all over will cause an upheaval in the world which has never before been experienced, as the greatest spiritual revolution of all times takes place. A member of my Circle, Gustadji, will drop his body on becoming Realised.

Masters and Avatars have their own Circles. The Circle of the Avatar is always the same type, appearing and working with him during his previous Avatarhoods. They have different roles in different periods, just as Avatars have. When I was Jesus, for example, two played the roles that Todd and Herbert fill. When I was Krishna, these two were Narad and Sudama. Certain Circle members have the same personality, face, figure and form, but their names are different during the different Avataric periods.

But the Circles of Perfect Masters are always different. While a Master's Circle consists of twelve members, the Avatar's Circle is made up of thirteen members, the extra one being his dark side. The Avatar and his dark-sided one are different personalities, but their duties and working are the same.

Besides this, among the apostles of the Avatar there are really five, but one is a pair of twins (Baba pointed to Herbert and Todd), so that the Circle is of fourteen. These twin apostles, in experience are two different, separate individuals, but in their work both are one and the same; meaning they do the same work and have the same duties.

In a Master's Circle, as also in an Avatar's, there are four apostles and eight members. Three of my apostles are now with me: Kaka and Chanji equal two, and Herbert and Todd are counted as one as they represent the twins...

In the cave, I was in a meeting with all the Perfect Masters and saints. So it is now difficult for me to come down.

7 August 1932,
Assisi, Italy,
to Chanji, Kaka, Herbert Davy and Quentin Todd,
LM5 p1690-1693

Those connected with me in past lives become Agents. Those deeply connected become members of the Circle.

A p33,
also HM p463

There are three types of disciples: those who help, those who are a burden, and those who are a hindrance.

Those who lift me up and carry me are the best helpers.

The ones who may not be able to lift me up, but who give me their companionship, assist my work well, and also render much help.

But the person who is unable to lift me up and is stubborn, refusing to allow me to lift him, is a burden and obstructs me in my work. The obstructionist is the man who does not allow me to lift him up, and who does not give me his companionship, but on the contrary, pulls my hand from behind, thus obstructing my work by fighting with me even when I try to lift him.

31 March 1932,
on the ship Conte Rosso,
en route from Bombay to Port Said, Egypt, LM5 p1547

Today I will tell you something I have not told before to anyone - how the first Circle was formed. There is one indivisible ocean of existence, and only one. All energy, space, light, power, life, lie latent in this ocean. Now when the creation comes out of the creation point, it manifests in duality, because this is quite opposite to the ocean. The ocean being one, the opposite is many.

Everything exists in duality when coming out of the creation point - good, bad, weakness, strength - all this lies beyond the creation point. So first, in the very beginning, although this cannot be said to have a beginning, two drops expressing this duality came out of the ocean, and both evolved equally up through stone form, metal, etc. Energy manifested in vegetable form, and the two drops, having the same form and the same energy, faced each other in the process of evolution.

Now in the very beginning energy was quite pure, and so a sort of tremor or irritation began. That is to say, the two energies in these drops of the same quality and quantity, facing each other, attracted each other. And the attraction of the energies toward each other drew the forms together. There was still no intellect, no feeling, no emotion, and yet union was caused. This is termed purwasunk, the sex union without the sex existing - original sexless union. Now when they went on evolving and got the animal form, the energies increased, and the impressions of the union in the vegetable form then evolved into instinct. And instinct acting on energy created the primal sexual passion.

The soul has no connection with this. The soul remains quite aloof, and this is all the outcome of energy and instinct moving together. The animals do not feel as human beings do, they do not love each other a bit, but passion is in full force. Even attachment to their offspring is not love, as some eat their children, some neglect them, and so forth. This is not love or feeling, but only attachment due to passion existing.

Now when the two drops got the highest animal form, just prior to the human form, full consciousness came, and the consciousness overpowered the energy. And what happened was that the two energies became one, and the two forms became one. So the two drops existed in one form. That first human being having two selves in one form and one energy was Baba - the beginning of the Avataric period. In that Avataric period begins that first human being who had full consciousness, but no Self-consciousness, because impressions of his previous lives were in his mind.

Now full consciousness acting on that energy created emotion - to such an extent that it could not control itself. All desires for sex were in full sway as the two were united. So this double energy got divided again. The first human being had to undergo seventy-seven forms. And in the seventy-seventh form the two-in-one life split, and the link broke, and the drops became separated. And as they divided, they got quite the opposite form, and feeling and sex now really appeared...

As these two drops have only the impressions, emotions, etc., of previous times, and nothing more, they quickly began to reincarnate. And as they incarnated they got 120 connections, or forms, some closely connected and others not so close. And then they united and child came. As only these previous impressions - and nothing more - were there, the first human form went up by itself, being pure, and the 120 were drawn up with it. Thus the Circle of 120 realised itself. So whenever this - Baba - comes down, the 120 come down with him.

Feeling and emotion are only the creation of mind and energy. Love is the creation of the soul.

(Baba explained later:)

The process of evolution up to the reincarnation point is natural. It goes on systematically like a spiral. All forms are in a circle, and when the two drops united in the (first) human form, that was the end of the process of evolution. So it stopped, and the momentum diminished at the seventy-seventh form. And when the momentum finished, then began reincarnation. There was no leaving the world before.

After my having become Realised many times, I came down as Avatar with you all innumerable times. Only in the last cycle, 5,329 times. And once more after 450 years. The end will be the 5,330th time, although the universe is never finished. So I am both personal in impersonal, and in the impersonal, too, I am conscious. The unconscious ocean is Baba, in the conscious drop is me, and also in everyone I experience myself consciously.

20 April 1933,
HM p451-453

Members of my Mandali are of three types. The first group is like milk mixed with salt. The second is like milk mixed with dirt. The third is like milk and sugar. Milk is comparable to love, service, devotion, obedience, et cetera, attributes which every one of the Mandali has for me. But alongside these qualities there is contrariness in their behavior. I look around at each one and find that all are not equal. When I seem to be sad and suffering, some feel deeply for me, some take it lightly or indifferently, thinking that I am the Perfect Master and can withstand all that, and some are of the opinion that I purposely create all these complications and difficulties that cause me so much strain and suffering. I know well that you all have love, devotion and faith in me, but I behave differently with you because of your varying behaviors.

You who are of my Circle should only pay attention to your duties. By creating different circumstances, I afford you the opportunity to serve me. But you spoil the milk by mixing salt or dirt in it when you disobey my instructions. Continue putting sugar in the milk to make me happy - always keeping me happy is to mix sugar in the milk.

17 June 1935,
Mount Abu,
LM6 p1964

Public figures, who in spite of all their loud cries and sermons of service on public platforms, at eulogies, and at tributes paid to them by the press and public, all or most of them have their weaknesses and vices, which are buried underneath their public name and image. Compared to these loud speakers, my Mandali are jewels, many of them suffering not only physically but mentally all the time. And mental torture is worse. They are human after all. They have a mind, and with it, so long as they are human and imperfect, all its weaknesses. They too have many thoughts of lust, for these always react with vengeance when checked. And not being independently free to act as they please, being under orders not to put these into action, it is a regular torture. Yet they all try to do so, to obey me, even during the prime of life, when these are at full force, and when life is truly to be enjoyed.

And having spent previous years of life in my service and sahavas under strict orders of abstinence and austerities, they still have nothing but a blank wall to face for their future, which they have left entirely in the Master's hands for years, and know nothing except his word and assurance that it is all for their good. And there is nothing but abject disappointment as far as material or worldly gains are concerned. Yet they still hold on to the bargain and promise made by me since the beginning, for some great spiritual benefit, of which they at the moment have not the slightest glimpse.

29 March 1938,
to his Western devotees,
LM8 p3036-3037

There is a difference in the Avatar's or Sadguru's attitude toward their Circles, and toward the general public. The members of the Circle are like the sons of the Master, and the general public are like non-family members. For example, if a newsboy turns into a millionaire, he would teach others the ways by which he became so, and tell them that if they followed him, they too would become millionaires. But to his sons he will give the riches, not descriptions of how he acquired the riches.

In the same way, the Avatar and Sadgurus never explain to members of their Circles the ways and means of the Path. They just place them right on the Path to God-realisation itself; while to ordinary people they explain the ways and means to achieve it. The Circle members do not need these explanations, because they are the inheritors of the divine wealth, the heirs. When the wealth itself is in hand, what is the necessity for explaining the ways to obtain it?

There are special rules for my Circle members. I put up with and forgive their serious faults...

13 February 1940,
LM7 p2519

Apart from the Circle, who are taken to God blindfolded, there are very few who receive the grace of a Master and who are pushed to even the sixth plane. All this depends mostly on past sanskaras. It is very little of this present life which brings one in contact with a Perfect Master.

24 March 1940,
LM7 p2539

After several lives of search, purification, service and self-sacrifice, a soul has the good fortune to meet and get connected with a God-realised Master. And after several lives of close connection with the Master, and love and service for the Master, he enters into his Circle.

When the Master takes an incarnation for work, he always invariably brings with him all who are in his Circle. Those who have entered into the Circle of a Master are the souls who have, through their efforts, acquired the right (adhikar) of having God-realisation. And when the exact moment for Realisation arrives, they attain the Realisation through the grace of the Master.

c.1941, Di v4 p35

... It is the greatness of lovers and devotees that they love and adore God and the Guru. Even if you, the Mandali, don't feel anything such as this boy* or other devotees have experienced, the very fact that you have given up all and now stay with me, and render service solely out of love, although you do not know me, is enough to prove your greatness, which I alone see, know and appreciate.

11 March 1942,
Dehra Dun,
LM8 p2769
*Suloo Meshram, who Baba said loved him deeply

What are the members of my Mandali doing? They are neither doing japa (repeating God's name) nor tapa (penance), nor practising any type of yoga. They have dedicated their lives to me, and have been holding firmly to me for a long time. Even yogis cannot do a part of this. The important point in this connection is that they are not only helping me in my cause by obeying my instructions, but they are rendering personal and private help to me. And I am sure, before Self-realisation, I would not have been able to serve my Master as they are serving me.

Buddhi, or the intellect, is the greatest obstacle in knowledge of the Self. If there is the slightest criticising attitude, it is an obstacle. That which is beyond the intellect cannot be grasped intellectually. It would be like trying to trap the wind in an ordinary trap. All my Mandali are not without brains, though there may be one or two who are not intelligent. If they had no spiritual help, it would be difficult to understand how they have been sticking to me for the last twenty-five years. I tell you, it would not have been possible for me to do so before Realisation. In the case of the Avatar, before the Avataric knowledge dawns, there is infinite restlessness, and on account of this restlessness he cannot stick to anything.

The work and services of my devotees are magnificent... Those who are lecturing for me and impressing people about my work are like my tongue. They are in fact my mouthpiece. Others who work for me are like my other limbs.

24 May 1945,
LM8 p3031-3036

The giving up of life in an emotional outburst of the moment is quite cheap compared with the day-to-day carrying out of the Master's instructions through the thick and thin of one's life. Sometimes soldiers of very ordinary calibre can also perform acts of sacrifice and heroism under particular circumstances and impulses of the moment.

23 June 1951,
Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad,
LM10 p3700

I have often said that I have not yet found one who could love me. There are about 220 men and women from East and West who have surrendered to me in such a way as to do anything I say. It is a fact. For example, Eruch. He is intelligent, has a good heart. If I order him to do anything, he will try 100%, even to cut himself to pieces. Pendu, Meherjee, Mandali who are with me since years together, they all are the same. Each of these 220 Mandali would lay down their lives. What I want to point out is, to surrender is higher than to love. And paradoxical as it may seem, to love me is impossible, and to obey me is possible, though very difficult. So to call yourself my workers and yet not to obey is hypocritical...

...If Mandali advise you, when asked by you, don't take the advice as from me. They will definitely advise you for the best, because they have been long with me, yet do not take their advice as from me... You can trust them not to mislead you purposely. But after asking them for advice and help, you should also think of it yourself. For after all, Mandali are not Baba...

Let us be very honest, absolutely honest. Adi has been with me like the few tested Mandali for a long period, and he has been doing office work for twenty years 100%. And even then, as I said, no one of my Mandali is Baba. Everyone has got weaknesses and defects. Advice you can have from Adi, but not as from Baba through Adi.

2 March 1954,
AD p116, 120-121

Eruch Jessawalla asked Baba "what constitutes the Mandali?"

Baba: Those who have been with me for many years, but ask for nothing. They are the intimate ones who all along, and even now, are prepared to sacrifice their all for me. One who gives his life to me, who listens to me, who does not ask for any kind of reward, who does not care about the result, whether he is ruined or prospers, who takes Baba's khushi (happiness) as his khushi, but at the same time whose intimacy I also feel, is in the Mandali.

Eruch: Can one call himself Baba's Mandali if he feels he is a Mandali, regardless of the number of years of connection with you, be it thirty years or only one year?

Baba: If you find me intimate with you. For example, take Elcha at Dehra Dun. I feel absolutely free with him. But if he is not prepared to sacrifice all, then he is not in the Mandali.

Eruch: Can a person declare that he is a member of the Mandali?

Baba: Those who I feel to be in the Mandali are my Mandali. And no one can assert that he is in the Mandali.

AO p99
(Elcha = Eruch D. Mistry)

Are you all not members of the Mandali? Do you not love me? Why all this talk? What is this new thing you have started now? For example, for the last four years I have been wearing this pair of sandals. The sandals go with me wherever I go. I should also describe the qualities of my sandals.

Who raised this point about the Mandali? There are so many others who are of the Mandali. What about so many who are not here, but are in the West, East and distant places? Most of them are gems. Are you not all of my Mandali? Is not your love and obedience equally great? I do not like pointed individual references to the Mandali members. There are so many amongst you who are gems. Look at Dr. D., look at his age. He goes out from place to place. Look at K.S., how he works and how he has sacrificed. Look at M. Why should I not refer to them and many others among you present here? Why particular mention of some of the Mandali? I tell you, those who love Baba and tell others of Baba's love are his Mandali. It won't make any difference whether they are near Baba or stay a thousand miles away.

LJ p58

The Mandali who have been with me through thick and thin all these years are fully prepared, for love of me, to lay down their very lives at... a sign from me. Yet even they do not love me as I love them. If they did, then they would have become one with my oneness, which in reality is the oneness of us all. It is love alone which can lift the veil between a lover and the beloved. Believe me, you and I remain divided by nothing but the veil of you yourself.

November 1955,
LH p18

Another version:

The Mandali are fully prepared to lay down their lives for me. Even they do not love me as I love them. Had they that love, they would become one with me. You and I remain divided by no other veil than you yourself, i.e. the 'I' in you.

November 1955,
LJ p63

Mandali Book Two

Index - Book One

Copyright 2005 Patra Chosnyid Skybamedpa, The Eastern School of Broad Buddhism.
All rights reserved. Email mehersthan at