Meher Baba

Think of me every day for five minutes only, at any time of the day. Of course the best time would be at five in the morning, when I remain almost everywhere. This little beginning of a mere five minutes will also be your first step on the spiritual Path.

Once you get interested in and attuned to the thought of God, you will have a constant urge to think of him for a certain period every day. It is sincere thought I want. No amount of prayer and chanting would be of any value if done as a ritual.

These five minutes of thought, meditation or concentration on God or the Master are a thousand times better than any prayer. God wants love, pure sincere love. He does not want to hear bombastic jaw-breaking words and shlokas from the shastras and passages from the Avesta.

The prayer books of all the religions, the Avesta of the Parsis, the Koran of the Muslims, the Bible of the Christians, the Vedas of the Hindus, and all other religious books are long treatises, and have nothing to do with the Truth.

Zarathustra taught that you must burn your heart in love of God, and the dasturs thereafter changed the meaning of it and altered it to mean burning externally with sandalwood. The religious dogmas and doctrines of the Kusti and other prayers in the Avesta all have been changed from time to time.

Take one name sincerely, lovingly, devotedly for a few minutes, without the thought of anything else, and that is worth more than hours of mechanical prayers.

Zarathustra had fourteen disciples to whom he gave God-realisation. Thereafter there was only one God-realised disciple, and from him the knowledge and experience of God enlightened the community for 700 years. This knowledge came down from father to son.

The last true dastur was Azar Kaivan. Ever since, there have been false priests among the Zoroastrians who have given their own versions of the Avesta. From that period until today there has been no Realised saint among the Zoroastrians. Whatever religious books the Zoroastrians have today are the works of those dasturs, and not of Zarathustra. However, to his special fourteen disciples he gave real knowledge and experience, and to the world he gave a way of life.

As changes were made by the dasturs in the teachings of Zarathustra, so were similar changes made by the priests in Christ's Bible and Muhammad's Koran. Sometimes these changes came about inadvertently. Members of the Avatar's Circle would go out to different parts of the world and address masses of people. These lectures would be taken down by scribes, and later attributed to the Avesta, Bible, Koran and the Vedas. As time passed, the changes became so complete that the original teachings were lost.

I therefore once again repeat that instead of wasting your time on religious discussions, reading and listening to doctrines and dogmas of different religions, love God and think of God. Meditation, concentration, and the creation of a feeling of love in the heart are the essence and substance of all religions. All else is illusion.

The alphabet is taught to the beginner with a view to making him master of the language. But if the student merely learns the alphabet, and does not make an effort to form words, he has learned nothing. Similarly, if an aspirant sticks to religious doctrines and dogmas, he will never achieve his ultimate aim, realisation of the Truth. God and Truth are far above religions.

7 February 1928,
to Abbas Ali
and two dasturs (Parsi priests),
BG p1-3

Another version of the same explanation:

Zarathustra had fourteen disciples whom he Realised. There was one whom he Realised after the fourteen. From him, the knowledge and experience of God descended from father to son for 700 years. After that, the last one, Dastur Azer Kaiwan, was false, and obtained the sacred seat and started collecting money. Those who followed him decreed as they thought.

After them, until the present, there has been no realised person among the Zoroastrians. Whatever religious books (the Avesta) the Zoroastrians have now are the books of these false dasturs, and not of Zarathustra. Zarathustra taught and gave out gems of truth, gems of Sufism, but they are not known to people. There were tremendous changes in the doctrines set down by Zarathustra made by the false dasturs.

So my best advice to you is to create love for God. Earn something in my contact. Otherwise, if you spend your time in discussions on religious doctrines and dogmas, it will take you nowhere toward Truth. It is all rigamarole, and will waste your precious time, which might better be used in thinking of God, meditating and creating love. Love is the sum and substance of all religions, and the only essential of all creeds. Leave the rigamarole alone.

For example, this alphabet board which I use may be given to a child to make him begin the ABCs. But if he merely learns the alphabet without any efforts at proceeding further, he will learn practically nothing. It is the same in religion. The shariat, doctrines and dogmas are given as a preliminary beginning, like the alphabet, to reach the ultimate aim of the realisation of the Truth. After one learns to master the fundamentals, one advances. But if a person merely sticks to religious ceremonies and rituals, and believes that religion is that alone, then he does not advance at all. God and Truth are far, far above shariat, doctrines and dogmas, ceremonies and rituals.

7 February 1928,
to two Parsi priests,
LM3 p1020

In Dhulia, a Brahmin priest lived in a room adjoining the Mandali's. Every morning he would get up early and loudly chant Hindu shlokas (verses) from the Shastras (scriptures). The Mandali complained about him to Baba, and Baba explained:

"Everywhere in the world, in the name of prayer and worship, this sort of useless babbling is going on. Nothing is gained by it. It has no substance. Those who practice it derive nothing from it. Do they for a minute think that loud noises can bring results? For years on end it has been happening, and it will go on for years to come. For ages the Brahmins, the maulvis, the dasturs and the priests have been muttering hired prayers, and they are actually paid for such drivel. But not the slightest advantage has been gained by anyone as a result.

"The reason is that none of them does it sincerely or wholeheartedly. Their prayers are nothing more than the vocal cord's useless prattle, with no heart or feeling in it. Their mind's intellect, attention and thoughts wander here and there, and this idle mumbo jumbo goes on.

"If it is done with a clear mind and with all sincerity, one's prayers reach straight to God. God wants honesty and an open heart, not an outward show of meaningless chatter.

"From any corner of the world, heartfelt remembrance of God, even by the worst sinner, or the most worthless and lowest person, immediately reaches God's ears. I am deaf to the sound of that Brahmin priest's chanting, though it is so near. I cannot hear it because it does not touch me. It has no effect upon me. Any type of loud, insincere prayer from any quarter leaves us Masters unmoved, because it is only noise and carries no heart. Such dry, flat prayers, however loud or lengthy, or done over a long period of years, have no effect on us Masters. Instead, if anyone prays to God, to me, purely and honestly, from however far away, and however slowly or softly, I, as God, immediately hear it, and a connection is established.

"For example, take a long distance telephone station. Other telephones are connected to it, and the desired connection is given immediately upon dialing. In the same way, the Qutub is humanity's central main station; and if one remembers him sincerely and wholeheartedly, from however long a distance, one's cry is heard, and the connection is made. There is no question of distance here. The Qutub is the center, the focal point equidistant from one and all in creation. And he, as this center, serves the purpose not only for this world or universe, but for the three worlds and their various levels and planes.

"But how is it possible that all prayers are heard at one and the same time? How is it that the prayers and calls of millions of persons bring immediate connection with the Qutub? The answer is simple. What is a Qutub? The ruler of infinite and unlimited powers. To him there is no question of one or twenty-one, a thousand or a hundred thousand, or millions and billions. Everyone is equal in his eyes. But your call should be from the innermost depths of your heart. It will then reach his ears irrespective of distance or traffic on the line.

"All prayers and sounds are a mere show if they do not originate from the heart. If not, then such prayers, however loud and however long, are quite meaningless. But compared to this, offering hired prayers through Brahmins, dasturs, maulvis and priests is much worse. It is nothing short of sheer hypocrisy."

Q. If it is done with a feeling of devotion, is it bad for a person who has no time to pray himself to have it done through a medium?

Baba: This is total foolishness and completely absurd. It is an excuse and a useless pretext. It does not hold water. It is an insult to one's common sense. Can prayer, worship or entreaties to God ever be hired? It is beyond one's imagination. While still being lured by maya, it is like throwing the burden of one's actions on the shoulders of others, and paying them money to take him to God. It is a pretense for keeping oneself immersed in mayavic pleasures.

A person says, 'I have no time to pray.' Why not? Because one is unwilling to spare time for it. It is a meaningless excuse to cover up one's preoccupation with the world and lack of time due to one's desire to remain involved in mayavic pursuits. The mind is entrapped in maya, and does not want to be freed. And so, to achieve merit, a person offers hired prayers. Can this ever result in any meritorious action or virtue?

If you want to remember or offer worship to God, do it honestly and loyally with all your heart and mind. Even if you can only remember or pray to him a few minutes each day, do it sincerely. Compared to babbling for hours on end, a sincere prayer of two minutes has more effect. It immediately reaches God's ears. The reason is that God always listens to the voice of the heart.

4 July 1929,
LM4 p1174-1175

Is God deaf? Where is the necessity of shouting his name so loud? It makes one's heart skip a beat. But God does not listen to such bleating. He has an ear only for the voice of the heart, of which the world has no idea.

17 April 1930,
about the repeated calling of
'Allah' from a mosque early in the morning,
LM4 p1306

People pray to me to solve their difficulties, saying that they love me. But there is a vast difference between love and prayer.

In Persian to pray means to beg, to want, to desire something, even the blessings of God. But when a person really loves, he gives himself over to his beloved completely. This is true love. In that there is no begging, no wanting, and no room for desires. Only the longing to unite with the beloved remains.

Love means the renunciation of the self. Prayer means selfishness, no matter how high the prayer may be. So there is a vast difference between when one prays and when one loves.

July 1931,
LM4 p1374

Upon the altar of humility we must offer our prayers to God. Humility is spiritually of greater worth than devotion. It is easier to be devout than to be humble, but devotion in many instances proves to be a stepping-stone to humility.

True bhakti (worship or devotion) does not necessarily mean the observance of religious rites and the muttering of mantras or bhantras.* But it certainly means the continual repetition of any one name of God, or the continuous thinking and remembrance of God.

To pray to God for material prosperity is not a prayer, but a farce.

On the day of Jarthoshtno-diso many Parsis fervently pray, 'May the soul of Zoroaster rest in peace.' Surely these Parsis are utterly ignorant of the spiritual position of their Prophet, or are impudent to the last degree. No greater insult can be hurled at Yezdan Zoroaster than by offering such a prayer.

Worldly-minded priests, though they may mutter prayers throughout the day, and may perform this and that ceremony, can confer no spiritual benefits on anyone. Poison trees may be watered with nectar, but they will not produce edible fruits.

Intellectual disputations about God will not bring you any nearer to him, and may take you farther away. But persistent, heartfelt prayers to him will lower the veil that now envelops you in darkness.

before 1933,
Sa p11-13, 22
each paragraph is a separate quote
*A mantra is a sacred verse or formula, a prayer written in rhythmical form. A bhantra is the chanting aloud of a mantra.

Man wants God, but is given stone, in the form of churches, temples, idols and images. They are now all corrupt. Considered once as places of worship, they have turned into pitiable centers of business for their caretakers. The places of God's prayer, worship and love have changed into centers of business. Thus are the names of God and religion besmeared, bringing ultimately to humanity natural calamities such as plagues, pestilence, famines and other curses of nature with untold miseries on humanity in their wake. So, it is for this that the teaching of the Avatars and Sadgurus caution one not to give importance to such places and forms of worship. Their work is to diminish and destroy all these piles of stone which keep humanity away from God, rather than drawing it closer.

1 April 1938,
LM7 p2277

The first thing every morning is to say a sincere prayer from you to God to make you understand him and his will: 'God, make me understand you and your will.'

15 May 1943,
to 125 men devotees to be said daily for one month,
LM8 p2875

The sigh within the prayer is the same in the heart of the Christian, the Muhammadan, the Jew. They are indivisibly longing for the same God.

Gl May 1974 p7

It is better not to worship if your heart is not in it. Any prayer made mechanically in a spirit of show or ceremony is all a farce. It results in greater bindings through one's pretense to purity.

November 1955,
LH p42

There are many religions, temples, and many religious practices and prayers, which you yourself may know, and the people following them. But God appears indifferent to those prayers or does not hear them, for this reason: that they are not of the heart.

The prayer God hears is the prayer of the heart, that raising of the heart, that suffering of the heart, that is what God pays attention to. And so it does not matter, and certainly it is foolish, to rely upon the usual religious practices and ritual. What matters is your heart, the prayer that arises from your heart. That is the prayer that Baba hears, that God hears.

Jesus Christ said this exactly when he said, 'When you pray, close the door, pray in secret.' So pray from the heart, even if you are with a thousand people...

People know it all by heart, but they don't grasp it, or God would hear... Pray from the heart by giving yourselves. Just saying the words or being still, unless you are giving yourself, is useless. It is the prayer of the heart, the giving of your heart that counts. Those prayers are answered.

July 1956,
Aw 4:2 p 14-15

God forgives sins in the sense that he does not eternally damn anyone for his sins. He keeps the door of redemption eternally open.

Through repeated sincere prayers, it is possible to effect an exit from the otherwise inexorable working out of the law of karma. The forgiveness asked from God evokes from him his inscrutable grace, which alone can give new direction to the inexorable karmic determination.

1956? Be p37-38

The Masters have sometimes followed external disciplines, including prayers, and have set an example of humility and readiness to learn from others... No teachers have been content with merely external disciplines. Through their teachings as well as example, they have often set forth prayer as the inner approach to God and divinity.

What constitutes the essence of prayer? Many prayers to God are current among the lovers of God, arising as they do from diverse cultural contexts. Some of the prayers invariably contain an element of asking something from God, either material or spiritual. In fact, God is so merciful and bountiful that even without their asking, he always gives much more than his lovers can receive. He knows their real needs more deeply than they do. Therefore the element of asking something from God is superfluous. It often mars the inner love and worship which a prayer tries to express.

The ideal prayer to the Lord is nothing more than spontaneous praise of his being. You praise him, not in the spirit of bargain, but in the spirit of self-forgetful appreciation of what he really is. You praise him because he is praiseworthy. Your praise is a spontaneous appreciative response to his true being as infinite light, infinite power and infinite bliss.

It is futile to attempt a standard prayer, and hold it up as an ideal for all people of all times. The glory of the Almighty transcends all human understanding and defies all verbal descriptions. Eternally fresh and self-renewing in its unlimited amplitude, it never fades. Nor is it ever confined within the limits of the best of hymns. All hymns and prayers reach out towards the eternal truth of Godhead, only to merge those who utter them in silent and unending adoration.

If by ideal prayer to the Lord is meant a set formula, any search for it is a wild goose chase. All prayers ultimately initiate the soul into an ever-deepening silence of sweet adoration. And all formulae are dissolved and assimilated into the integral and direct appreciative perception of divine truth. That which seeks to reach towards the immeasurable, itself becomes incapable of being measured by any set standards. The ritualistic and repetitive expressions of prayer do not and cannot do justice to the innermost essence of prayer, which is adoring love for the eternal beloved. To attempt to standardise prayer is to mar its intrinsic beauty.

If you pray with a motive to do good to someone, your prayer may actually bring about good both to him and to yourself. Some people pray for the spiritual benefit of those who have done them some wrong. There also, they are helping others spiritually. But all prayers with a motive fall short of the ideal prayer, which is without motive. In the entire spiritual panorama of the universe, nothing is more sublime than a spontaneous prayer. It gushes out of the human heart filled with appreciative joy. It is self-expression of the freed spirit, without any actuation of a motive. In its highest form, prayer leaves no room for the illusory diarchy of the lover and the beloved. It is a return to one's own being.

1956? Be p73-76

God does not listen to the language of the tongue and its japa, mantras, devotional songs and so on. He does not listen to the language of the mind and its routine meditations, concentrations and thoughts about God. He listens to the language of the heart and its message of love, which needs no ceremony or show, only silent devotion for the beloved.

IS p109

God is not fooled by any outward show. He is completely deaf to ceremonial prayers and ringing of church bells and chanting of mantras. He is never taken in by such superficial veneer, never ensnared by such blandishments. Love alone can move him, love alone can conquer him. Without that, nothing is to any avail.

1963? India, IS p79



... Stay at home, do the nam-smaren, feel happy, free-minded and jolly, and be devoid of anxiety and disappointment throughout. Have full faith in me, and be sure in the future you will one day come to know all.

letter to Adi, signed Merwan,
1920s, Aw ?
(special photo issue) p34

... Repeat in low voice for half an hour daily one of the following six lines of names of God:

   Parabrahma Paramatma
   Ya Yezdan Ahuramazda
   Nirkar Parvardigar
   Allah Ho Akbar Allah Hu
   Hari Narayan Bhagwan
   God Almighty Omnipotent

Immediately after this half an hour of meditation, repeat the name of your Master for five minutes.

23 October 1941,
Panchgani, circular to Baba's
devotees, to be done for 45 days,
LM8 p2733


I actually advised my own mother this morning to take my name one thousand times daily. It will be good if she does. Otherwise the family may suffer for her not heeding my advice. Thinking of material things will never satisfy her or those akin to me.

16 February 1928,
LM3 p1022

One young fireman came with a gift of fruit, and asked Baba, 'How can I open my heart more, love more.' Baba gave him a midnight meditation of saying Baba's name 100 times. The fireman said he was very grateful. He said that in the crescendo of the fire siren he felt the exaltation of God.

Sunday, 5 August 1956,
San Francisco,
Aw 6:1 p24

Prayer Book Two

Index - Book One

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