Meher Baba

The realisation of the Supreme Being (Paramatma) as our own self is the realisation of Truth. The universe is the outcome of imagination. Then why try to get a superficial knowledge of the imaginative universe, rather than acquire the knowledge of self (Truth)?

What is knowledge? Knowledge means the experience of Paramatma (Dnyan) - the knowledge of the highest that our soul, which is everlasting, gets of the Supreme Being, i.e., Self-realisation.

What is the universal understanding? It is called Vishva Dnyan, or the knowledge of the universe with which one comes down after realisation of Paramatma (Dnyan), i.e. knowledge of God and the Nirvikalpa state. That is to say, knowledge equals experience plus universal understanding, or perfect knowledge of that experience. Meaning again that he who acquires knowledge must necessarily acquire experience, and then again, he must have a perfect knowledge of that experience. Otherwise, those who acquire experience and remain in that Nirvikalpa state (the state of Ananta Ananda or everlasting bliss) are called Majzoobs. Although they are all-knowing and perfect in every way, they are unable to do anything for, or give salvation to, the world.

In short, the experience of the state of the Supreme Being (God) is the real state.

Now let us see what this experience is that one gets before acquiring the real knowledge.

The Sadgurus or Realised ones take those to whom they are to give this experience through the seven planes absolutely in the dark - either with bandages around their eyes, or with their eyes closed. That is, those to whom the Sadguru gives the experience have no knowledge of these seven planes. They are quite ignorant of that knowledge, though they have already crossed all these seven planes.

It is for this reason that when the candidate for this experience is let off by the Sadguru just below the seventh plane, his state is unimaginable and indescribable. It is as if an unexpected current of millions of candlepower of electric light enters or dissolves his Subtle body. He is amazed and stupefied at this new experience.

Then, before he can properly think of his new, unimaginably wonderful experience, he suddenly acquires the Nirvikalpa state, where he himself becomes one with the Ananta Ananda or eternal bliss.

But it is useless to realise all this without personal experience. One may listen to years of explanations, or read volume after volume, but one would not get even a glimpse of an idea - a shadow of a shadow - of the real experience, without experiencing it personally.

Such a perfect state is attained by one out of millions, and that too, only by the grace of a Sadguru. To talk about this knowledge and experience without acquiring it - to realise it only through philosophy or the superficial knowledge of religion - is utter folly - humbug, pure and simple.

29 April 1926,
Aw 16:1 p3-4

Before Realisation, the veil must be torn away and the mind must die. It is due to this veil that every individual mind functions in the Gross and Subtle bodies. Removing the veil would separate the Gross from the Subtle. When that occurs, in the Subtle state you would be able to see internal things with as much clarity as you see Gross objects. While doing all physical activities, such as eating, drinking, sitting, standing - while your body is functioning - there is simultaneous progress into the Subtle world. When the Gross is separated from the Subtle, it is like killing two birds with one stone.

But the veil must be ripped off. Though this veil is thin, at the same time it is very strong. It cannot be slit easily, but it can be rent in an instant by a Perfect Master. If it is torn, the consciousness of the soul at once enters the first plane. When a parrot escapes from its cage, it flies straight into the air without looking back.

But progress comes to a halt at the first plane if the rent in the veil is made through one's own efforts, or with the help of a yogi or saint - an imperfect guru. Seekers advance on their own, but it is ultimately useless, as they inevitably become entrapped. If a Perfect Master is there to help, he would not tear the veil unless the aspirant is fully ready. Then the Master would take him straight to the goal.

Only a Sadguru can free one from the cage of illusion. But three conditions are required: longing, patience, and rock-like faith. Nothing is gained without longing. This is all that is needed, but the aspirant should remain restless. For instance, if a man is stung by a scorpion, he constantly thinks of how to overcome the burning, throbbing pain. He forgets about eating, drinking and worldly pursuits. He forgets everything, and has only one thought: how to make the pain subside.

In the same way, there should be continual longing to be one with God. There should be no other thought except this: 'I must be one with God today - immediately - this moment!' The mind and heart must be devoid of any other thought.

Even though many years of suffering may pass, patience should never be forsaken. At first the longing is intense, but gradually it lessens and cools down. This should not be the case. Patience must not be lost. It must be persistent. In the beginning there is great enthusiasm, and a person is convinced he will soon gain Realisation. But with the passing of time, his enthusiasm wanes.

A person may be purposely snared by the Master and then thrown out. I too do such things. But a wise man silently puts up with everything that comes from a Master. One who is unwise becomes impatient and starts grumbling. But Masters always coax the aspirant along, and gradually give him a push on the Path. Masters always behave like this; it is their nature.

Crossing the Path is like a pulling-pushing tug of war. But a wise man does not act in this way. A smart bird who is caught in a trap does not flap its wings to free itself. It remains quiet and unflustered, waiting for an opportunity to escape. An inexperienced bird flutters and squirms, becoming flustered and injuring itself more.

Think how patient Hafez remained, to have endured the treatment of his Master for forty years. Your steadfastness and determination should be like the steady flow of castor oil when poured.

Do not be after gatekeepers or watchmen. Catch hold of the Emperor. Never be after his servants. No minister or secretary will help. A king is, after all, a king, and his servants only servants. Once you have approached the king directly, it is of no benefit to maintain a friendly attitude with his servants. Your friendship with the king might precipitate any situation, but you should stick to him. Even if you were about to die, you should never let go of his hand.

The Emperor is perfect knowledge. One should forget everyone and everything in his company. One should stop one's previous habits. One should not think of meditating or repeating God's name, or any other type of worship. The most that could happen with any of these practises is that you would enter samadhi. Such practises can never make you one with God.

Instead, one should submit oneself to the Emperor's will, having only this thought: 'O God, when will you meet me?'

This longing must be present twenty-four hours a day. If the feeling is intense enough, God will surely fulfill it.

To help people is good, but service done under the guidance and according to the instructions of a Perfect Master is the best. Service to half-baked gurus and false saints will throw you into a gutter. You will be left hanging by those hypocrites. If you are unlucky enough to find a false guru, he will accept you and take you into his service. However, he will then give you up, and that will cool down your longing! Instead of losing, you will accumulate sanskaras, and become disappointed and disgusted.

These false saints cannot give you anything, while... Walis and Pirs of the fifth and sixth plane can raise you to a higher state with just one look. But that is not the Perfect state, as these advanced souls are not Perfect. At times, even Perfect Masters cannot help those caught in these nets. Therefore, except for the Perfect Ones, do not even by beguiled by the advanced souls of the fifth and sixth planes.

Stick to the Emperor and don't leave him for any reason. I am in everyone. But if you catch hold of me, you will have the root of all creation in your hands. Then you will not need to go after the branches and leaves. If you are lucky enough to catch hold of the Emperor, you should never, never leave him.

Go on digging until you find water. Don't keep changing the spot. If you get impatient, by digging two feet here and four feet there, you will never strike water. If you only dig a shallow well, you will get impure water. Only patient, laborious digging will result in your finding crystal-pure water. And for that, you have to exert energy and dig deep.

This Path is not easy at all, and if you enter it, you will not find joy here. Therefore, I warn, think seven times before entering it. If you are after God, you will have to give up everything - your father, your mother, the whole world. You have to renounce each and every thing. Therefore, ponder well, and then take your step. If not, leave this Path and attend to your worldly duties.

Once you fall for the Path, don't be afraid of anything in the world. 'Who will look after my parents? How about my job? What will the world think of me?' All these thoughts are useless. If you had died, who would have looked after your near and dear ones? Those affected will care for themselves. God takes care of everyone. He is the true sustainer. Once you have entered the Path, you should desist from such thoughts.

Try to be a lover of God. If you find out how to love him, you may go mad. The real lover is never influenced by the world or what people think of him. He will not even care for his life. He will remain what he is - totally indifferent to the world, unashamed of anything.

All rivers flow in me. I am the ocean. Stop looking elsewhere, and look only at the ocean. By concentrating on me, you yourself will become the ocean. To look at the ocean means to carry out my wishes at all times.

6 September 1929,
to Kaikhushru Pleader,
LM4 p1213-1216

So much has been said and written about the highest consciousness and God-realisation that people are bewildered as to the right process and immediate possibility of attainment. The philosophical mind, wading laboriously through such literature, only ends by learning a few intellectual gymnastics.

The highest state of consciousness is latent in all. The Son of God is in every man, but requires to be manifested. The method of attaining this great consciousness must be very practical, and must be adapted to the existing mental and material conditions of the world...

In the evolutionary ascent from the mineral, vegetable and animal life, the latent mind gradually expands and develops till full consciousness is reached in the human form. To create this very consciousness, the universe emanated from the infinite ocean of knowledge and bliss, God the absolute.

In the human form, however, a difficulty is confronted, to remove which prophets and spiritual Masters have periodically visited this earthly plane. Besides full consciousness in the human form, as a result of previous conditions of life, the ego, the 'I' is evolved. The ego is composed of fulfilled and unfulfilled desires, and creates the illusion of feeling finite, weak and unhappy.

Henceforth the soul can only progress through the gradual suppression of this finite ego, and its transformation into the divine ego, the one infinite self, but retaining in full the consciousness of the human form. When man realises this state of divine consciousness, he finds himself in everyone, and sees all phenomena as forms of his own real self.

The best and also the easiest process of overcoming the ego and attaining the divine consciousness is to develop love and render selfless service to humanity in whatever circumstances we are placed. All ethics and religious practices ultimately lead to this. The more we live for others and less for ourselves, the more the low desires are eliminated, and this, in turn, reacts upon the ego, suppressing and transforming it proportionately.

The ego persists till the last. Not till all six out of the seven principal stages on the Path, culminating in the God-conscious state, are traversed, is the ego completely eliminated, to reappear on the seventh plane as the divine I, the state of Christ-consciousness, to which Jesus referred when he said 'I and my Father are one,' and which corresponds to the state of living in the infinite and the finite at one and the same time.

The above is the normal procedure for one who works on his own initiative without having come across a living Master. With the help of a Perfect Master, the whole affair, however, is greatly simplified. Complete surrender to the divine will of the Perfect one, and unflinching readiness to carry out his orders, rapidly achieve a result not possible even by rigidly practising all the ethics of the world for a thousand years.

The extraordinary results achieved by a Perfect Master are due to the fact that, being one with the Universal Mind, he is present in the mind of every human being, and can therefore give just the particular help needed to awaken the highest consciousness latent in every individual. Perfection, however, in order to achieve the greatest result on the material plane, must possess a human touch and a keen sense of humor...

The highest is latent in everyone, but has to be manifested.

29 May 1932,
Hollywood, California,
Me p90-93

True spirituality can be attained, not by the intellect, but by heart and feeling, by inner experience.

Av p137

It is not through intellectual exercises and such learning, or knowledge acquired by reading or hearing lectures, that spiritual truths can be understood. At the most, these can give one an intellectual understanding, which is the first preparatory stage for ushering one into the Path. What is essential is a true inner feeling, an actual experience of the Truth, which is real, lasting and convincing. When one experiences union with God, one knows by actual experience that one is in harmony with everything and everyone, that there is nothing but one infinite indivisible existence, and all else is but fleeting shadows.

26 June 1939,
LM7 p2432

There are three worlds or planes, and corresponding to them, there are three bodies, the Gross, the Subtle and the Mental. These worlds or planes should not be mixed up with the idea of place or sphere. The purpose of evolution is served with the attainment of the human form plus full consciousness. Simultaneous with the human body, the Subtle and Mental bodies make their appearance.

There is also another body, called the Astral body, which persists long after death, and belongs to the Sub-Subtle or lower of the seven regions of the Subtle plane. It is connected with both the Subtle and Gross planes or worlds. The Astral body is exactly the replica of the human body in all details. As is the Astral body, so will be the Gross body. The former is vapory or smoky in appearance, unlike the Subtle body, which has form, but no defined organs. The experience of heaven and hell, enjoyment and suffering, is undergone by this body, and no sooner are the sanskaras acquired while in the Gross body spent up, than the Astral body is destroyed, leaving faint impressions on the Subtle body.

The Subtle world represents desires, ego and energy. The Subtle bodies on this plane have forms of light (Tej or Noor) known as Angels. The light-form of these Angels or spirits can with no stretch of imagination be compared to the sun, which can be said to be the shadow of this light.

The dissolution of the Subtle plane is the phenomena which we term as Qiamat or Mahapralaya, and both the Gross and Subtle worlds recede and remain involved in the Mental plane in seed form.

The Mental or seed-body is a point of light (Causal body) on this plane. Extended or magnified, it's called the Supra-Mental body. The Sub-Mental plane is the rest-house of Walis of the sixth plane, and the Supra-Mental plane is the abode of Archangels. This plane, unlike the Subtle and the Gross, is eternal in character.

The Archangels are a creation by themselves, and are embodiments of God's qualities. In order to realise God, unlike the Angels or spirits, who are all evolved beings, the Archangels, after a cyclic period, directly take the human form and achieve the object in one lifetime.

The reason why is this. The ocean of divinity consists of drops and waves in a latent form. As soon as the surface of the ocean was ruffled with motion, the waves came into being, and these waves have all the attributes of the ocean in them. These big waves are the Archangels, the manifestations of the principle attributes of God, such as Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh.

The effort to cause the big waves, i.e., the Archangels, has resulted in producing consciousness, but of rather an impotent nature. In order to remedy this deficiency, and to develop and attain full and complete consciousness, as that of human form, the Archangels even have to incarnate as human beings at the end of every cycle - which, according to our computation or measure of time, may come to three or four hundred years.

Let it be understood here that the Subtle and Mental planes also are within the orbit governed by time, place and causation. Since the three worlds, the Gross, Subtle and Mental, are the projections of, and exist in, imagination, there is no such thing as length of time, beginning, or end. In reality, all time is now, all space is here. The measure or idea of time has a relative existence in our mind, and with all that it differs considerably on the different planes. For instance, a unit of time - say one year on the Gross plane - may mean one minute on the Mental plane. And one minute on the Gross plane - to one on the Mental plane - may look like one year.

The experiences of Narada and the Jew in the time of Pirane Pir of Baghdad, are proof positive of the Archangelic experience imparted to these personages on the Gross plane. This explains the apparent illusion in years of time which they experienced in the short span of a minute on the Gross plane.

Aw 15: 3&4 p62-64

On the spiritual Path there are six stations, the seventh station being the terminus or the goal. Each intermediate station is, in its own way, a kind of an imaginative anticipation of the goal.

The veil which separates man from God consists of false imagination. And this veil of false imagination has, as it were, many folds. Before entering the Path, the man is shrouded in this veil of manifold imagination, with the result that he cannot even entertain the thought of his being other than a separate and enclosed finite individual.

The ego-consciousness has crystallised out of the working of the manifold false imagination, and the conscious longing for union with God is the first shaking of the entire structure of the ego, which has come to be built through the period of the false working of imagination.

The traversing of the spiritual Path consists in the undoing of the results of the false working of imagination, or the dropping of the several folds of the veil, which has created the sense of unassailable separateness and unredeemable isolation.

1940? Di v2 p30-31

Each definite stage of advancement represents a state of consciousness. And the advancement from one state of consciousness to another proceeds side by side with the crossing of the inner planes. Thus there are six intermediate planes and states of consciousness which have to be experienced before getting established in the seventh plane, which is the end of the journey, and where there is a final realisaton of the God-state.

1940? Di v2 p33

When the time is ripe, the advancement of a person towards self-knowledge comes about as naturally as the physical body of the child grows into the full-fledged form. The growth of the physical body is worked out by the operation of natural laws, whereas the progress of the aspirant toward self-knowledge is worked out by the operation of the spiritual laws pertaining to the transformation and emancipation of consciousness.

The physical body of the child grows very gradually and almost imperceptibly, and the same is true of the spiritual progress of the person who has once entered the Path. The child does not know how its physical body grows. The aspirant also is, in the same way, often oblivious of the law according to which he makes headway towards the destination of his spiritual progress. The aspirant is generally conscious only of the manner in which he has been responding to the diverse situations in life. But he is rarely conscious of the manner in which he makes progress towards self-knowledge.

But without consciously knowing it, the aspirant is gradually arriving at self-knowledge by traversing the inner Path through his joys and sorrows, his happiness and suffering, his successes and failures, his efforts and rest, and through his moments of clear perception and harmonised will, as well as through the moments of confusion and conflict.

1940? Di v2 p37

The spiritual Path is like climbing up to the mountain-top through hills and dales and thorny woods, and along steep and dangerous precipices. But on this Path there can be no going back or halting. Everyone must get to the top, which is the direct realisation of the supreme Godhead. All hesitation or sidetracking or resting in the halfway houses is but postponement of the day of true and final fulfillment.

You cannot be too alert on this Path. Even the slightest of lingering in the false world of shadows is necessarily an invitation to some suffering which could have been avoided if the eyes had been steadily fixed on the supreme goal of life.

If there is one thing which is most necessary for safe and sure arrival at the top, it is love. All other qualifications which are essential for the aspirants of the highest can and must come to them if they faithfully follow the whispers of the unerring guide of love, who speaks from within their own hearts and sheds light on the Path.

If you lose hold of the mantle of this guide, there is only despair in store for you. The heart without love is entombed in unending darkness and suffering. But the heart which is restless with love is on the way to realisation of the unfading light and the unfathomable sweetness of life divine.

Human love should not be despised, even when it is fraught with limitations. It is bound to break through all these limitations and initiate the aspirant into the eternal life in the Truth, so that the lover loses his separate and false self, and gets united with God, who is the one matchless and indivisible ocean of unsurpassable love.

The gateway to this highest state of being one with God is firmly closed for all who do not have the courage to lose their separate existence in the restless fire of divine love. I give my blessings to all who are thirsting for the full realisation of divinity, for they shall be the pillars of the coming era of Truth and love.

12 November 1944,
Me p69-70

In an important sense, all walks of life and all paths ultimately lead but to one goal, God. All rivers enter into the ocean, in spite of the diverse directions in which they flow, and in spite of the many meanderings which characterise their paths. However, there are certain high roads which take the pilgrim directly to his divine destination. They are important because they avoid prolonged wanderings in the wilderness of complicated byways in which the pilgrim is often unnecessarily caught up.

The rituals and ceremonies of organised religions can lead the seeker only to the threshold of the true inner journey, which proceeds along certain high roads. These remain distinct from each other for a very considerable distance, though towards the end they all get merged in each other. In the earlier phases they remain distinct, owing to the diversity of sanskaric contexts of individuals and the differences of their temperaments. In any case, it should be clear from the very beginning that though the roads may be many, the goal is and always will be only one, attainment of union with God.

The quickest of these high roads lies through the God-man, who is consciously one with the Truth. In the God-man, God reveals himself in all his glory with his infinite power, unfathomable knowledge, inexpressible bliss and eternal existence. The path through the God-man is available only to those fortunate ones who approach him in complete surrenderance and unswerving faith. Complete surrenderance to the God-man is, however, possible only to very advanced aspirants. But when this is not possible, the other high roads which can eventually win the grace of God are:

1. Love for God, and intense longing to see him and to be united with him.

2. Being in constant company with the saints and lovers of God, and rendering them wholehearted service.

3. Avoiding lust, greed, anger, hatred and the temptations for power, fame and fault- finding.

4. Leaving everyone and everything in complete external renunciation, and in solitude, devoting oneself to fasting, prayer and meditation.

5. Carrying on all worldly duties with equal acceptance of success or failure, with a pure heart and clean mind, and remaining unattached in the midst of intense activity.

6. Selfless service of humanity, without any thought of gain or reward.

1952? PL p76-77

This present state is Gross-conscious state, and Gross senses are used to experience all the Gross experiences of seeing, smelling, etc. This is the Gross world. The consciousness you have now is Gross.

Manzil means destination. Mukam means place of stay. These terms must be distinguished. Now you are in the Gross manzil, and in the Gross manzil there are innumerable places of stay. For example, with all of you here in Meherabad, your manzil is one and the same. You experience in Meherabad with the Gross senses all the Gross things. When you are in America or Australia, manzil is the same, Gross, but mukam is different, and according to mukam you have different experiences of the Gross world itself. A man in Arangaon village, one who seldom goes even to Ahmednagar, if he were to be blindfolded, made to sit in an airplane, and put on Broadway, eyes open, at night, his experiences would be wonderful, yet it is of the same Gross world. Therefore the innumerable experiences of the different mukams in different circumstances are due to one and the same manzil.

Now, even in the Gross manzil, i.e. the Gross-conscious state, glimpses of the first manzil of the Subtle plane are possible. Just try to grasp now, even in the Gross manzil it is possible to get glimpses of the Subtle. The Subtle plane has three manzils. Now what happens: this human being with Gross senses experiences the first manzil of the Subtle in his own way, because the senses are Gross. But experience of the Subtle cannot be fully gained except through the Subtle senses. So this human being sees color, circles of all kinds, smells, hears music, becomes inspired, but all vanish, disappear. Now we must understand that all manzils, mukams are illusory, and only God is real.

When one, through his herculean efforts and by the grace of his guru, gets into the first plane, it does not mean that he enters another world or sphere. No, that is not the thing. His consciousness is raised, and he can use his Subtle senses directly, fully, so what he smelled, heard, etc., temporarily before, now he sees, smells, hears continuously. He is now in the first manzil of the Subtle world. And just as the Gross world has innumerable mukams, the Subtle world has also mukams. The first manzil has mukams where through Subtle senses one sees, smells, hears music, etc., just as in the Gross world one hears music, etc. So in the Subtle world the first manzil has innumerable mukams where one sees different things and one feels different. For example, you see and feel differently at Meherabad than at your home. So in Subtle manzil, one sees wonderful sights, and if one gets entranced, then one loses Gross consciousness.

But if one is wise through fortune and past sanskaras, and if the guru is capable, then one leaves the first and enters the second manzil in the Subtle world. This manzil is more intense, and one sees, hears all through the Subtle senses, but more intensely. The same mukams of the Subtle world now appear more real. The second manzil is a talisman, and one becomes overpowered by what one sees. But all this rebounds upon him, and he cannot get free of it.

The light that he sees is a billion times more brilliant than the sun, and a million times cooler than the moon. He gets enveloped in this light, and so he feels he is light. But it is delusion. In the same way, he feels a voice so intensely it overpowers him, and he gets into it from head to foot. He has no Gross consciousness, and if the body is not capable, and if past impressions do not allow, he remains in that state and drops his body. When he is reborn, he returns to that same state.

But if he has sense - spiritual talisman - or if the guru is adept in this spiritual line, he advances from this state, and the third manzil is reached. Consciousness is still Subtle, and again there are innumerable mukams. The Subtle senses are used in this manzil to the maximum. Now what he sees are the innumerable sights of the innumerable mukams, but what he sees does not overpower him. He now controls the senses, and experiences all this with full control, not only over the senses, but also with full control in the Gross manzil and the two previous Subtle manzils. He is now energy personified.

He still has Gross body, is still in the Gross world, but also simultaneously in the Subtle world - i.e. he uses his Gross and Subtle senses simultaneously. If Francis were in the third manzil of the Subtle world, you would see him sitting, but at the same time he would be experiencing the third manzil of the Subtle world. He now has infinite energy in his hands, and he can use this energy for the Gross world. But this is still illusion, it is not the Truth.

Now the pilgrim goes to the fourth plane of consciousness. This plane is known as the junction between the Subtle and Mental planes. It is also called astana, meaning threshold, and there is no manzil and no mukams. It is just a junction where all the infinite energy and the desires, emotions and feelings of the Mental plane influence directly.

The soul is now neither in the Subtle nor in the Mental planes, but all powers of the Subtle and all influences of the Mental are continually with him in this fourth plane. Remember, this plane has no manzil and no mukams. Here one is overpowered with desires, and one is so powerful that one can accomplish whatever he desires. And so in this plane the soul is said to be in the greatest danger of falling down. If the desires control him, he falls down. He can do anything: raise the dead, create new forms, etc. Desires are influencing him, and if he succumbs, he falls down. If he does not succumb to desires to use his infinite energy for selfish ends, then he is pushed to the fifth plane, the fifth manzil.

Summary: In the Gross world, there is the first manzil and innumerable mukams. In the first plane of the Subtle world, there is the second manzil and innumerable mukams. In the second plane of the Subtle world, there is the third manzil and innumerable mukams. In the third plane of the Subtle world, there is the fourth manzil and innumerable mukams. In the fourth plane of the Subtle world, there is no manzil or mukams. In the fifth plane, there is the fifth manzil and mukams.

In the fifth state of Mental consciousness (fifth plane, which is in the Mental sphere) the soul is working directly from the Mental plane. So now he is master of mind. The whole mental plane is now governed by him. He knows the thoughts of all, and knows the desires. And yet he is now said to be safe, to have passed the dark spiritual night of the fourth plane, and he cannot now fall. But with what section of the mind does he control? He knows thoughts and desires, but he cannot control desires. In this fifth plane, when he controls thoughts and knows thoughts, he cannot have that intense longing for God that lovers who do not care for the planes have.

When he is pushed on to the sixth plane, meaning the second section of the mind, he is now feelings and desires personified. And as all infinite feelings come out of God, who is in the seventh state, this man of the sixth directly sees God in everything and everyone. Yet he feels himself aloof from the world.

Now there is the great abyss where the lover sees the beloved, but in between there is a great valley. The beloved says, 'Come to me,' and the lover replies, 'I cannot. You come to me.' This glorious state is described as a length of hair between the beloved and the lover, one end in the lover's hand and the other in the hand of the beloved, with each pulling. This tussle goes on and on for years and years. If millions of such lovers were to long for union, one out of these can reach the beloved. And on the sixth plane, very, very few lovers are found.

When one crosses the valley and unites with God, he finds that it was himself that he loved and was seeking. He now declares, 'I am God.' It is said that out of thousands united with God, only one comes down to normal consciousness. Such a one is called Qutub. So the seventh plane has manzil but no mukam, while the sixth plane has manzil and one mukam, God.

Summary: There are seven manzils in all, and there are mukams in six of the manzils.

September 1954,
TK p337-341

Although the unfurling realisation of divine knowledge is often figuratively described as 'traversing the Path,' this analogy should not be taken too literally. There is no ready-made road in the spiritual realm. Spiritual progress is not a matter of moving along a line already laid down and unalterably defined. Rather it is a creative process of spiritual involution of consciousness, and this process is better described as a spiritual journey than as the traversing of a path.

The journey is comparable, in fact, to a flight through the air, and not to a journey upon the Earth, because it is truly a pathless journey. It is a dynamic movement within the consciousness of the aspirant that creates its own path, and leaves no trace behind it.

The metaphor of 'the Path' is helpful to the aspirant in the early stages of his development, because it gives him the sense of new phases of consciousness to be experienced. This anticipation is stimulated further by accounts of others who have completed the spiritual journey. This makes the pilgrim's ascent easier than if it depended solely upon his own unguided efforts to visualise the probable Path.

While trying to understand the Path as described by the Masters, the aspirant must also make use of his own imaginative faculty, but within the constructive bounds defined in the Master's spiritual guidance. Actual spiritual experience is as far removed from uncontrolled imaginative expectation as reality is from chaotic dreams. Though the imagination of the pilgrim is inevitably determined by past experience, it must offer no resistance to the directional suggestions of the Master...

before 1956,
LH p157-158

It is natural for the human mind to desire to know the general structure of the universe. It is also helpful to have a sort of chart of the universe in which one finds oneself. The fabric of the universe includes the spheres and the planes, and the different bodies with which a human soul is endowed.

The Gross, Subtle and Mental spheres are interpenetrating globes, and have an existence in space. They can be regarded as places since they have an expansion in space. The planes, on the other hand, are both places and states, though the state of a particular plane cannot be experienced unless one's consciousness first gets raised to it and begins to function from there.

There are 49 steps in the ascent through the planes. The human mind delights in perceiving and creating symmetry and proportion everywhere, but this tendency should not be carried into the realm of facts. The 49 steps in the Path are not evenly distributed within the seven planes. They are distinguished from each other because of their distinguishing psychic characteristics, although they have also structural equivalents in the subdivisions of the seven planes...

Just as a change of place in the physical world is linked with changes in the mental state and gathered experiences, an ascent to a plane also brings about changes in states and experiences. An ascent to a plane means a change in the standing ground of consciousness. It is a change of place. It therefore brings with it the changes in states and experiences.

1956? Be p11-12, 84

For those on the spiritual Path, I am the sun, giving light and life to them.

There are some who blast themselves completely in the rays and the heat of this sun.

Some want only the warmth of the sun, and they are a little away from the spiritual Path.

There are others who want to be in the comfortable shade, and who also carry an umbrella when they tread on the spiritual Path.

These three types are on the spiritual Path.

23 February 1958,
Aw 7:2 p30

Do persons on the spiritual planes of consciousness take birth having consciousness of the same plane?

Yes, but the consciousness is very gradual, as when a person of gross-consciousness dies and is reborn with consciousness of the gross world. The child gradually becomes aware, as it grows older, of the same old gross world according to past experiences of the gross.

A child born with consciousness of a certain plane is not all at once conscious of the plane. The plane unfolds very gradually as the child gradually grows. Later in life, this child, grown up as a man, gets established in the life of his respective plane-consciousness, as a man of the gross world gets established in his worldly way.

Thus, a person of the gross world dies to reincarnate as of the gross world; so also a person of a particular plane of consciousness reincarnates as of that respective plane of consciousness and then gradually gets established in the plane of consciousness of his previous life.

He may or may not make further progress in the planes of higher consciousness. Progress will depend on the help of a Perfect Master, or on his own efforts in the life of that particular plane of consciousness.

PL p84

Another version of the same quote:

When one dies in a certain plane of consciousness, he takes his next birth in that same plane of consciousness. But the respective consciousness comes very gradually, the same as when a person of Gross consciousness dies, and is reborn with consciousness of the Gross world. The child gradually becomes aware as it grows older of the same Gross world.

The child born in a certain plane is not at once conscious of that plane. It becomes aware gradually. As a man, the child becomes aware of his plane of consciousness. A Gross-conscious child becomes aware of the Gross world gradually, and a person in a certain plane of consciousness gradually becomes aware of his plane of consciousness.

He may or may not go further in that life. It depends on the help of a spiritual guide, or help of one's own efforts, or help of a Perfect Master, whether or not his consciousness expands.

26 May 1958,
Myrtle Beach,
HM p311-312
Yet another version:
GM p329

... The Gross, Subtle, Mental and God are all within you in human form. Don't try to find Subtle, Mental and God in some other world. It is in you in human form. It is just the change in the vision of consciousness which gives the change of experiencing different planes and worlds.

Now in the Gross world there is human consciousness, and here on this Earth, and in the whole universe, also in the Subtle world and Mental world, there are innumerable experiences. But the experiences that you have in this Gross world, these experiences are quite different from the experiences of the Subtle world, absolutely different from the Subtle world. But it is all in you. You don't go anywhere. You do not rise to higher geographical or geometrical levels. It is all here.

But as the angle of vision changes through experiencing different things, in the end you begin to experience yourself as God. After having an infinite number of experiences, you eventually, ultimately experience yourself as God. That is the end. That one ultimate experience is the real experience. All other experiences of the Gross world, the Subtle, the Mental, all these experiences are illusory.

So all states, even hell, limbo, worlds, planes, are all in you in human form. Don't ask in other places, ask within you. But to eventually become your own self, you have to love me. No other remedy, no other solution but to love me.

26 May 1958,
Myrtle Beach,
HM p312
Another version: GM p330

Q. What is the spiritual Path, and what is the criterion for knowing that one is on the Path?

Baba: When you begin to think of yourself as being on the Path, then you are not. The Path is not a defined direction set apart from you, for it begins and ends within yourself. It is not so much that more of the Path is traversed, as it is that more of the veil of ignorance is lifted. In short, the Path is 'I want nothing.' However, although this denotes a freedom from wanting anything, even this desire for nothing is a want and a binding that must ultimately be effaced before you can reach the goal and attain that total freedom from all wanting.

Q. However repeatedly one makes a determined beginning, enthusiasm slowly diminishes when there seems to be nothing to show for one's efforts, and this is followed by a feeling of mental depression.

Baba: Whatever efforts you make, whatever failures seem to result, and whatever discouragement follows, all have their root in the fact that you love yourself more than you love God. And in loving yourself as wholeheartedly as you should have loved God, it is but natural that failures and despair will bar your way. Therefore do not let the fact of your depression burden you.

Have you reflected on the source of this depression? It emerged unsought and unasked, and as such it must vanish. All your forced efforts to stifle it will only result in imprinting it still deeper on your mind and create further binding. So be completely indifferent to it and it will disappear. The solution is to love God as he should be loved. It is love for God alone that counts.

Guruprasad, Poona,
to local news reporters, AO p168

You have read much of spiritual literature. You are well-known for your lucid expositions. Spiritual understanding takes one nearer the Path, but remember well that the experience of the Path is quite a different matter. The higher states of consciousness can never be imagined through book-knowledge.

As one travels the spiritual Path, one comes across varied experiences, such as visions, sweet notes of sound, and delightful scents. In the more advanced stages, one can detachedly watch his body moving about. The many experiences that one has on the Path are not lasting, but the experience in which one becomes what he is in reality is perennial.

Then in whatever thoughts or actions such a one may seem to be engaged, maya cannot touch him. In that state, everything is experienced in its infinite intensity. How can spiritual understanding derived from books imagine this state? Intellect is bound to fail to fathom this experience.

Meher Baba, to an engineer,
April, May or June 1960,
Guruprasad, Poona, Da p29
maya = the principle of ignorance

If you read 'God Speaks' you will know the details about the different states and stages of consciousness. Also, you must bear in mind that mere intellectual understanding has very little value by itself. Whether one understands the details of the Path or not, it is just the same. Only love counts. To learn God is to unlearn yourself.

Meher Baba,
to a shastri (Sanskrit scholar),
April, May or June 1960,
Guruprasad, Poona, Da p52

However far man may fling himself into outer space, even if he were to succeed in reaching the furthermost object in the universe, man will not change. Wherever he goes, he will remain what he is. It is when man travels within himself that he experiences a metamorphosis of his self. It is this journeying that matters, for the infinite treasure, God, is within man, and not to be found anywhere outside of himself.

1963, HM p396

The journey between the third and the fourth planes is very difficult. At this stage the connection between the pilgrim and the Perfect Master is so very delicate that it may be said to be linked with only a hair. Thus neither of them can afford to create a strain or too great a resistance, lest the connection snap.

6 June 1963,
HM p446

The fourth plane is called the threshold of the abode of God. If a man on the fourth plane tries to harass one on the fifth plane (a wali) with his powers, then the wali on the fifth plane seeks the help of the Avatar (Rasool), but not of a Qutub (Perfect Master). Thus he is protected directly by the Avatar from the pranks of the fourth plane man, and the latter's powers are curbed. Very rarely one of the fourth plane becomes arrogant to a Qutub. If at all there is any mischief or arrogance displayed, the Qutub sternly deals with such a person, and he eventually surrenders to the Qutub. The Qutub then raises him to the fifth plane of consciousness at once....

If a man on the fourth plane misuses his powers, and if the Qutub is a jamali, he does not bring the fourth-planer to the stone consciousness, but brings him down only to a gross-conscious human being. But if the Qutub is of a jalali trait, then he will bring about his fall right to the stone-consciousness. The Avatar never contacts the man on the fourth plane, for in that case the fourth-planer will automatically lose all his powers. But if the one on the fourth plane approaches a Qutub, he accepts him and raises him to the fifth plane of consciousness.

5 June 1963,
HM p445-446

For more on the spiritual Path, see 'Discourses' and 'God Speaks.'

The Path Book Two

Index - Book One

Copyright 2005 Patra Chosnyid Skybamedpa, The Eastern School of Broad Buddhism.
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