Meher Baba



A Sadguru once set out with his disciples for begging. He approached a rich merchant, who instead of giving alms, shouted abuses and obscenities. Nevertheless, the Sadguru blessed him, saying, 'Your profits will double.'

The Sadguru then approached another wealthier merchant, who mistreated him even more badly. He, however, blessed this man, saying, 'Your profits will quadruple.'

Then the Sadguru, with his disciples, approached the shop of a poor old man, who received them with reverence, and offered whatever he could provide from his meager store. The old shopkeeper had only one son, whom he loved dearly. Before leaving, the Sadguru cursed him: 'By the power of God, I pray that your son dies soon.' The next day the son was found dead.

When the Sadguru's disciples found this out, they were bewildered by their Master's behavior. The only man who had received them with humble reverence had been cursed, not blessed.

Afterward, the Sadguru explained: 'Both merchants were immersed in the mire of worldliness, and did not want to be extricated. For that reason, I had to submerge them even more in the mire of the world by my blessings, so that one day they will cry to be pulled out. The poor shopkeeper was spiritually inclined. However his love for his son was much too binding. It was an obstruction to the old man's progress on the Path. The son was, unknowingly, a thorn in his father's side, and so I opened the door to the Path by removing his son. Now you tell me, who was blessed and who was cursed?'

April? 1922,
Poona, to his men Mandali,
LM2 p361-362

Note: The Perfect Master was a Hindu

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There was once a yogi who had the power to remove his intestines and wash them. One day he did this, and kept them in the sun to dry. A dog saw the organs and ran away with them. Terribly upset, the yogi ran after the dog.

You may think that I am exaggerating, but it is a common feat among yogis. Such powers do not count along the Path. I am not going to give you such powers - otherwise you might have to chase after dogs.

June 1928,
to his women Mandali,
LM3 p1061

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Everything is in God. But the help of the Sadguru is needed in order to know and experience God.

Once in the jungle, a tigress died after giving birth to a cub. The cub remained hungry, without food or water for days. A shepherd found it and took pity on it. He reared it among his sheep. The cub grew up thinking he was a sheep. He did not know he was a tiger.

One day a grown-up tiger saw the cub playing among the flock and was surprised. He went to the cub and did his utmost to persuade it that it was a tiger and not a sheep. But the young tiger would not believe him. So the tiger took him to a pool of water and made him look at his own reflection there. The young tiger was astonished and at last was convinced of his true identity. He forgot the notion of his being a lamb, and passed the rest of his days among tigers.

In this story the sheep represent worldly people who are ignorant of the Truth. The flock of sheep represents the general public. The tiger cub is an ignorant man. The full-grown tiger is the Sadguru. The pool of water symbolises the Path, and recognising the reflection is attaining God-realisation.

Although the tiger cub was a tiger, out of ignorance he took himself to be a sheep. And as long as the other tiger did not show him his reflection in the pool of water, this misconception continued. In the same way, though man is potentially God, being quite ignorant of his real self, he thinks himself to be only a man, and passes through cycles of births and deaths. He continues wallowing in ignorance until the Sadguru makes him see his own true image.

20 December 1928,
to the boys in his school,
LM3 p1128

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The spiritual Path is not a bed of roses. After fourteen years of fasting, the great yogi Farid Shakkar Ganje had reached the fourth plane, but only knew how to kill sparrows. Once a Sadguru was sitting in the shade of a tree observing him. Seeing the birds, Farid said, 'Let all the sparrows drop dead.' Instantly all the sparrows were dead. Then Farid, by his command, made them come alive again. The Sadguru taunted him: 'That is nothing. Learn Fakiri - control over yourself.'

Once Farid found an old woman lowering a bucket into a well, and drawing it back up again empty. This happened several times, and he expressed his surprise. The old woman, who was a saint on the fifth plane, replied, 'It is better than your commands of die and come alive.' Hearing this, Farid Ganje was awakened to the reality of his powers, and began searching for a Master. He found one, and by the Master's grace, became a Perfect Master himself.

10 December 1928,
LM3 p1126

Even those in the fifth plane find it difficult to keep away from Illumination. It is called the state of Hairat in Sufism. When the soul sees the Infinite, it has Illumination. Now, to work in the world for others, this soul must at times keep away from Illumination, but finds it very, very difficult.

One famous Wali (in the fifth plane) named Ganjay Shakkar found it very difficult to obey his Master, the Khwaja of Ajmer. Then the Master turned the key. Five thieves who had stolen a lot came to where that Wali was staying. That Wali could not close his eyes. They were always open, dazed, glassy. He would not eat. These thieves stood five paces away from the Wali. They sat down and began sharing their loot, and soon were quarreling among themselves. Then two of them killed the other three. Then these two took all the loot and were going away with it. They passed by where the Wali was sitting, and as soon as they came near he regained normal consciousness.

The moment he opened his eyes, he saw sparrows. He wanted to try his powers, and said, 'O sparrows, die,' and the sparrows fell down dead. Then he said, 'O sparrows, rise up,' and they rose.

This is a very famous story in India. At Ajmer there is a very big tomb, and every year hundreds and thousands go there on pilgrimage.

The two thieves were amazed, and asked the Wali to raise the other three. The Wali said, 'Rise up,' and they wouldn't. Then he went, crying and repentant, to his Master. When he went there, he saw the three thieves massaging the feet of the Master.

The Wali went back to his original place. For ten years he did not eat or drink, and became very lean, and white ants were eating his body up. People came every day and placed sugar around his body, and the ants used to eat the sugar. From that time on, the Wali was named Ganjay Shakkar, the Treasury of Sugar, and whenever people go to his tomb, they take sugar with them.

So even in the fifth plane, one finds it difficult, and the Master has to bring it around in this way. And the fun of it all is that till one attains the seventh plane of consciousness, it is all illusion. Just as all this appears real, in the same way, up to the sixth plane it appears real, but it is not real.

26 December 1936,
Aw 16:2 p16-17
Another version: Di (7th ed.) p 198-199

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When I was a boy in Poona, one of my friends was named Kaikhushru. He was an Irani who used to make and sell ice cream. He was in the habit of taking bhang,* and once after drinking some, he went to sell ice cream.

On his way there was a small puddle, hardly half a foot wide. But to Kaikhushru that puddle was a lake. He actually ran and jumped ten fee over it in order to cross it.

Now if you had said to him, 'This is not a lake, but a tiny puddle,' do you think he would have believed you? He would have called you mad. To him it was a lake.

Similarly, to you, all this before you is matter. But to me it is nothing. Just as matter does not exist in your sound sleep, so it does not exist in my awake state. What you experience unconsiously in the sound sleep state, we God-realised persons experience in the awake state. Our awake state is real. Yours is false.

When you realise God, you will see for yourself. The existence of matter is due to the existence of the mind. When the mind disappears, matter also vanishes.

28 March 1929,
to his men Mandali,
LM3 p1148-1149
*bhang: hashish mixed in milk

Baba: Where is heaven and where is hell? Don, you explain.

Don Stevens: As I understand it, these are illusory states which exist only in the mind. They have no reality. They are part of illusion.

Baba: When I was young, about thirteen years of age, I met an Irani gentleman, a very stout, strong healthy man, and two or three other friends of his. They called to me and made me sit near them. I was just a child. One Irani was preparing the Indian bhang, a certain concoction that brings one intoxication.

The three were enjoying their drink. One Irani was clever and had known my father, Sheheriarji. So he called me over and made me sit near him. He had taken a lot to drink, and was telling the others in a lively voice, 'I am in heaven today!'

I enjoyed their talk. Then he got up, the others also, and they started walking. I knew there was a trickle of water there crossing the road ahead. And, as everyone in India knows, the reaction of Indian bhang is such that a drop of water appears to be an ocean. So that intoxicated fellow stopped, thinking that there was a big stream right across the road. He actually experienced that trickle of water as a big stream, and he wanted to jump over it. He tried his best to cross it with a long jump, but he jumped so hard he broke his leg. Then he cried, 'Now I am in hell!'

So both these heaven and hell states are there, they are experienced, but they don't exist. They are part of maya.

26 July 1956,
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
to a group of (mostly) Americans,
Aw 4:3 p37-38

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Once a mureed* was sleeping by the side of his Master, a Qutub. After a short time, the mureed awakened, and finding the Master sleeping soundly, he sat in reverence by his side. All of a sudden, the Master had a nocturnal emission and woke up. To cleanse himself, he went to the river to bathe, quietly returned to his bed, and went to sleep again.

To the utter amazement of the mureed, the Master's penis kept emitting continual discharges throughout the night - 75 - and each time he woke up, went for a bath, and again lay down and fell asleep. Seeing this, doubts assailed the disciple. How could a Qutub suffer from wet dreams? And so many times?

The next morning, the Master did not say anything, and quietly went to his circle members. There, in the presence of all, including the doubting disciple, he declared that he had had as many as 75 nocturnal emissions that night.

Hearing this, they were all silent in thought. But a clever fellow among them said, 'Master, because you are connected with everything in the universe, you had these discharges. Likewise you answer the call of nature because you eat and drink, similar to an ordinary man. Thus you also had those emissions since you have connections with your physical body's system. It is natural because you have a body in contact - in touch - with everything.'

But the Master said, 'It is not so. These nocturnal emissions did not happen due to any physical reason, nor because my body has connection with everything. It happened for the benefit of you, my close disciples. What doubts did this unimportant event raise in your minds? You even doubted my Mastership. Had you full faith in me, you would not think such thoughts. True faith should be rock-like, unwavering. I wanted to test your faith, for I find you lacking in faith despite so many years of my contact."

7 August 1929,
Harvan, Kashmir,
LM3 p1195
*mureed = lover, follower

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One yogi in Gwalior was very greedy. He was all the time thinking of money. But yoga taught him the trick of going into samadhi.

One day he sat opposite the Raja's palace, and before going into samadhi, thought, 'I must have a thousand rupees from the Raja.' Then he went into samadhi.

For seven days he was in this state. He took no food or drink, he just sat there. People thought he was a saint.

The Raja came to know about him. He went near him, and just touched him on the back. That touch brought the yogi down from his samadhi, and as soon as he woke up, he asked for two thousand rupees.

23 April 1937,
Aw 16:2 p51
Another version: Di (7th ed.) p243-244

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One Master told a disciple that to attain to the highest, you have to be bound hand and foot on a plank, and then be thrown into a river, yet keep your garments dry all the time.

This poor man could not understand. He went round and round till he came to another saint, and asked him the meaning of this.

He said, 'It meant you have to long for union intensely, as if you could not live another moment without it, and yet have the patience of billions of years.'

23 April 1937,
Aw 16:2 p51-52

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Did I ever tell you the story of Ramdas and Kalyan? Ramdas was a spiritual Master at the time of Shivaji. He had many disciples, the favorite among whom was Kalyan. Ramdas wanted to test his devotion. He asked all his disciples to come together, and he pretended to be sick to the point of death. He had put a mango over the knee-joint to simulate swelling, and bound it up. It seemed to be swollen like cancer, which Ramdas said it was. Then he asked his disciples whether any of them would suck out the poison from the knee-joint, saying that whoever did so would die in his place, but that he would be pleased. While all the other disciples hesitated, Kalyan arose immediately and sucked the knee-joint, but instead of poison, he sucked the juice of the mango. This is love - to be ready to die for love of the beloved, for the happiness of the beloved.

19 May 1937,
Nasik, Aw 16:2 p54
Other versions: Di (7th ed.) p149-150,
LA p173, LM5 p1798

Kalyan followed every word and command of his Master, Ramdas. His religion was obedience to the Master. He knew nothing else but to obey the Master.

7 February 1928,
BG p3

The disciple Kalyan knew absolutely nothing except literal obedience to every word of his Master, Ramdas. Kalyan received his reward in due time...

21 July 1929,
LM4 p1181

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In Rama's time a yogi once did penance for one hundred years. There was another man who loved the Master. He did no penance, no fasting. He only loved Rama.

One day the Master went walking in the jungle. The yogi opened his eyes and said to him,

'O Rama, when will I see your formless face?'

Rama replied, 'In fifty years.'

The yogi was frightfully disappointed, and said 'I made penance for one hundred years, and I suffered much, and still fifty years to wait!'

The next day the Master accosted the happy devotee, and this loving one asked, 'O Rama, when will I see your formless state?'

Rama replied, 'After fifty more lives.'

The devotee said, 'So soon!' And thereupon he got into such an ecstasy that he died. And as he was dying, he saw Rama's formless state.

before February 1939,
Tr p7, also MJ Feb. 1939

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King Janak was a Videh Mukta, a Sadguru who was physically without sensation or feeling, and beyond maya. But, because he was a king, he lived like a king in royal fashion, and his palace contained all the comforts and riches befitting a king.

An aspirant of the Path came to him one day, sent to Janak by his guru. The pilgrim had undergone all sorts of severe austerities, had wandered for years and years, and had fasted long without food and even without water.

When he came to the court of Janak, seeing the pomp and grandeur of the palace, he thought, 'How could one living so regal a life give me knowledge? When the king himself is enmeshed in maya, how could he ever free others from it?'

King Janak asked the pilgrim to rest for the night, and said he would talk with him after a few days. He was given a fine room in the palace with all luxuries. A servant was placed at his disposal, and he was fed the best of food. But at night when he went to sleep, as he lay on his bed, he saw a large boulder suspended over the bed, and it seemed to be slowly descending. He was frightened, and lay awake the whole night looking up at the stone, afraid it would fall and crush him. For two days he had no sleep and suffered in health.

On the third day Janak sent for him and inquired about him. The man recounted his sleepless nights, and the king said,

'Despite all the conveniences and comforts, you could not sleep and were restless. Compared to the hardships you have suffered in your past penance, this experience seems to have been much more tormenting, as your mind was all the time concentrated on the stone. Outwardly, though you found all splendor and glory, your life is just the same as that which you have led for years. Although you see me surrounded by the comforts of the palace, inwardly I am all the time rooted in God. I am beyond all this, and take others beyond it.'

The pilgrim then understood King Janak's state and surrendered to him.

27 July 1939,
Meherabad, to Sarosh and Viloo Irani,
LM7 p2440-2441

Emperor Janak, Sita's father, was also known to be a Perfect Master. During his reign, there was a youth from outside his empire who longed desperately to see God. 'I must see him,' he said, 'as clearly as I see these external things.' And he decided to see Janak and ask his help.

For two months he walked through sun and rain without food. This was about 7000 years ago. There were no automobiles and airplanes then. Finally he arrived at the courtyard of Janak's palace. The guards accosted and stopped him. He stood outside the wall, crying aloud for Janak, shouting his name, his glory and his fame. At last Janak heard him, and asked his ministers to inquire who he was.

'I am a lover of God,' he replied. 'I want to see God. Janak must show me God.'

Janak had him brought in, and said to his ministers, 'Throw him in prison.'

After a few days, during which the youth had no food nor drink, Janak ordered him to be brought to audience. Janak saluted him with folded hands, and ordered his ministers to give him a bath, to feed him, and to treat him like a prince. He was brought to the palace and seated on Janak's throne. 'Let him enjoy this state for three days,' said Janak.

The youth did not grasp what Janak had in mind, and of course, he did not know how to manage the affairs of state. Poor people came begging, ministers came for advice. He didn't know what to do, so he kept quiet. Finally he appealed to the ministers to ask Janak to free him from this uncomfortable position.

Janak came, ordered him to get down from the throne, and asked him what he preferred, life in prison, or life on the throne. The boy said, 'They are both prisons, but of different kinds.' Janak then directed him to go, and to return after twelve years.

The youth left the palace, roamed about India, became a rich man, and took the name of Kalyan, which means 'happy in every respect.'

After twelve years, he returned to Janak, this time rich and prosperous. The guards again checked him, asking who he was. 'I am the rich Kalyan,' he said. Janak, on hearing this, sent word for him to go away for a few more years. So Kalyan returned home, and in the course of time lost everything he possessed.

After twelve years he returned to Janak, who again asked who he was. 'I am the miserable Kalyan,' he replied. Janak then sent him away again for twelve more months.

During this time, Kalyan started pondering. 'What is this? When I first went to Janak, I had nothing, but I wanted to see God. Then I was thrown into prison. Then I was placed on the throne. Then I became rich. Then I became poor. What does all this mean?'

When he returned to Janak's palace after twelve months, one of the guards took pity on him and said, 'You fool, this time, when Janak asks who you are, say 'I don't know.'

Kalyan followed this advice. Janak then turned his gaze upon him, and he lost consciousness of all bodies, of the whole world, and became conscious of his own self as the infinite God.

The meaning of this tale is, unless you lose the I, you cannot see and become God. Because where you are, God is not.

17 September 1954,
GM p242-244

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Prophet Muhammad once told his chief apostle, Ali, 'If you want to know me, try your utmost to control your anger and transform it into love.

The very next day someone challenged Ali to a fight. Ali fought him and won. He brought the man down and sat on his chest.

The man spat right in Ali's face (the worst insult to a Muslim), and Ali got so angry he raised his dagger to kill him. But then Ali remembered what Muhammad had said, and so instead he kissed him, and let him go.

Now if he had not gotten angry, he would not have had the opportunity to control himself.

That does not mean that you should go on kissing each other when you are angry.

5 September 1940,
LM7 p2607

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Once a man who never had a headache went to a hakim (doctor) and asked him, 'What is a headache?'

The hakim knew what it was, for he had experienced it. He explained for hours in words and actions, but the man could not imagine what a headache could be like.

At last, in exasperation, the hakim picked up a stone and struck the man squarely on the head. The man knew at once what a headache was, and with his question answered in this realistic manner, he left.

19 September 1940,
LM7 p2612-2613

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Once when Buddha was not yet unveiled, God-conscious - after he had renounced his kingdom, wife and child, and had gone into the forest, where he remained doing penance and fasting - he encountered an old woman who was advanced on the Path. She told him that he was bound more than ever before. Before they were fetters of iron, now they were of gold. But both were binding all the same. Then she told him the secret. Good and bad are mere terms...

Good and bad are just man-made expressions. Real freedom can only be obtained when you give up all desires. You have to renounce them all to attain freedom.

13 October 1940,
LM7 p2623

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There was a man who was a great murderer. In his life he murdered 99 people. One day he felt very depressed and sick of it all. So he went to the Buddha and frankly and openly confessed before him all his crimes, adding that he was feeling most dejected and wanted to end it all.

The Buddha told him to go and sit by the side of a certain road and think of him. The murderer did so. Years passed.

One day, while he was sitting there thinking of the Buddha, a rider came by, stopped before him, and told him to move aside. The man refused, and the rider started lashing him with his whip. Instantly reverting back to his old ways, the man pulled the rider from his horse and stabbed him. He killed him. However, at that very moment, the man realised God.

The rider was carrying on his person a message from one king to another ordering the death of one hundred spies. By saving the exact number of lives that he had murdered, his good and bad sanskaras balanced. The man, of course, did not know all this, and was only thus saved by the Buddha because the Master knew.

Therefore, if you obey implicitly and unquestioningly, you win, because, whereas your conception is limited, the Master knows all, and gives you just what is best for you.

13 October 1940,
LM7 p2623

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Baidul was the doctor of his village in Persia. He would boil garlic in oil and put a few drops of the mixture in the patients' ears. Taking my name, it cured all sorts of diseases. Thus he made some patients well, and his fame spread so much that he even gave a dying cow some drops of the tonic, extending her life too. But the fact is that the patients did not get well by his remedy, but by his full and supreme faith in me.

Every evening he sits with me and I tell him to talk, and he tells me of Persia and other facts and stories. He says, 'Baba, only you made them well.' He never took money from any of the patients either. It is Baidul's firm faith that my name would cure the patients, and that made the tonic work. Had he the slightest doubt, the faintest speck of wavering about it, it would not have worked, and no one would have recovered.

17 October 1940,
LM7 p2625*

*During this period the women who lived in Baba's ashram were forbidden to mention the name of any man while Mehera was present. When Baba told this story to the women, he substituted 'Soltoon's sister' for Baidul's name. Soltoon was Baidul's sister.

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A disciple used to always ask his Master why he could not realise God, in view of the fact that he had served him so faithfully for so long. The Sadguru continued telling him to have patience, and the disciple, in his eagerness, kept pestering him.

One day a fair was held in a nearby village. The Sadguru told his disciple, 'Go to the fair with a cup of milk in your hand, and return with the cup still full. Then you will be one with God.'

So the disciple, thinking it an easy thing, did as he was told. But when he reached the fair, he was so engrossed with the alluring sights around him, he forgot about God-realisation. He pushed through the crowds so as not to miss seeing anything, all the while spilling the milk. When he came back to his Master's residence, no milk was left in the cup.

Seeing him approach, the Master said, 'Now according to my promise, I will give you God-realisation. But let me first see the cup.'

The disciple was ashamed, and confessed that all the milk was lost amidst the wonderful carnival.

The Sadguru said, 'What can I do now? You were attracted by worldly allurements and forgot my order. Had you real desire for attaining God, you would not have been caught napping, and tried your best to save the milk. But you were ensnared by filthy things of the world which bind you, so how could you long for God?'

The disciple then realised that despite years of service to the Master, as long as worldy attractions last, there is no hope.

October? 1941,
LM8 p2733

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Once, while roaming about and frolicking among hills and dales, the Kasturi-mriga was suddenly aware of an exquisitely beautiful scent, the like of which it had never known. The scent stirred the inner depths of its soul so profoundly that it determined to find the source.

So keen was its longing that, notwithstanding the severity of cold or the intensity of scorching heat, by day as well as by night, it carried on its desperate search for the source of the sweet scent. It knew no fear or hesitation, but undaunted went on its elusive search, until at last, happening to lose its foothold on a cliff, it had a precipitious fall, resulting in a fatal injury.

While breathing its last, the deer found that the scent which had ravished its heart and inspired all these efforts came from its own navel. This last moment of the deer's life was the happiest, and there was on its face inexpressible peace.

Di v5 p44

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What is good and what is bad? There was a thief who used to steal, and therefore he was pointed out as being bad. One day the thief went to a house to rob it, but there he found a woman in great pain, just about to give birth to a child. She was all alone, so instead of robbing her house, the thief helped her to deliver the baby, and made her comfortable. Then he went out to steal food and clothing for the woman. He stayed with her until he knew that she was all right. He then went on his way, and continued to steal from others.

Well now, what do you think of this man? Is he bad or is he good? You could call him bad because he is a thief, but then he did a good turn, and you could call him good. So there is nothing like good or bad. But there are things I don't like... lust, greed and anger, and anger is the worst...

Between 1946 and 1958,
GO p234-235

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... Miracle-mongering by the average yogi is not only poles apart from the spiritual path, but is actually a hindrance to the individual's evolution towards spiritual progress. The following incident in the life of a Hindu Master shows the disregard in which it is held by Perfect Masters, who are Truth personified.

The Master was one day by the river's edge, waiting for one of the little ferry boats that take passengers across the stream for the diminutive fare of one anna. A yogi, seeing him thus waiting, came up to him, literally walked across the river and back, and said, 'That was much easier, was it not?'

The Master smilingly replied, 'Yes, and had less value than that of the boat fare - one anna."

c.1954? GS p72-73

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In India everyone knows Saint Mira, who lived some 300 years ago. She was very beautiful, the wife of a royal prince in North India. He later became king. Mira loved Krishna with all her heart. Her husband did not like the way she was going about on the streets, for she was the queen, and queens did not mix with the crowd. She would enter the huts of the poor, the name of Krishna on her lips as she sang.

She suffered many trials and threats to test her love for Krishna. She was locked in a room, her food was poisoned, a cobra was concealed in a bouquet of flowers. She accepted all as a gift of her lord Krishna, and nothing happened, he protected her. She refused to have anything to do with anyone but her lord Krishna.

Finally the king drove her away. She said, 'If the king drives me out, I have a place, but if the lord of the universe is displeased, I have no place.' The people turned against her. As years passed, she looked radiant in her rags. Then the king came and fell at her feet... because she was sincere. When she died, all revered her, and now people repeat her bhajans.

I am Krishna. I want all of you to love me as Mira loved me.

1958, IS p64
bhajan = devotional song

Mira was a princess. She gave up everything. She gave up a throne, her whole life, all her money, to spend her life wandering and telling people about her lord Krishna. She never put anyone or anything between herself and Krishna.

May 1961,
to Ann Conlon,
Aw 22:1 p61

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One day a Perfect Master told a disciple to take a job, to do some service. The next day he told him, 'Don't do any work, don't take a job.' The third day the disciple was told to arrange to get married. On the fourth day, the Master said, 'Don't marry.'

The disciple got confused and asked, 'But why do you keep wanting me to undo everything you order me to do?'

The Master explained, 'What you understand as doing is in fact undoing. Everything that you do by your own will is undoing. Everything that you do by my will is the real doing.'

IS p69

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A true aspirant is not content with such knowledge of spiritual realities as might be based on hearsay. Nor is he satisfied with pure inferential knowledge. For him the spiritual realities are not the object of idle thinking, and the acceptance or the rejection of these realities are both fraught with momentous implications for his inner life. So he naturally insists upon direct knowledge about them.

This might be illustrated from the life of a great sage. One day he was discussing spiritual topics with his friend, who was quite advanced upon the Path. While they were thus engaged upon this discussion, their attention was diverted to a dead body which was being carried by their side.

'This is the end of the body, but not of the soul,' his friend remarked.

'Have you seen the soul?' asked the sage.

'No,' was the answer of his friend.

And the sage remained skeptical about the soul, for he insisted upon personal knowledge.

But though the aspirant cannot be content with second-hand knowledge or mere guesses, he does not close his mind against the possibility of there being such spiritual realities as might not have come within his experience. In other words, he is conscious of the limitations of his own individual experience, and refrains from making it the measure of all possibilities. He has an open mind for all things which are beyond the scope of his experience. If he does not accept them on hearsay, he does not also rush to active disbelief in them.

It is true that the limitation of experience often tends to restrict the scope of the working of imagination, and a person comes to believe that there are no realities other than such as may have come within the ken of his past experience. But usually as a result of some incidents or happenings in his own life, he may come out of his dogmatic enclosure and become really open-minded.

This stage of transition may also be illustrated from a story from the life of the same sage, who happened to be a prince.

Once, some days after the incident of discussion (mentioned above), as he was riding on horseback, he came upon an ordinary pedestrian coming towards him from the opposite direction. Since the way of the horse was thus blocked by the presence of the pedestrian, the sage arrogantly ordered him to clear the way for him. The pedestrian refused to clear the way for him, and so the sage got down from his horse, and they entered upon the following conversation:

'Who are you?' asked the pedestrian.

'I am the prince,' answered the sage.

'But I do not know you to be the prince,' said the pedestrian, and continued, 'I shall admit you as being a prince only when I know you to be a prince, and not otherwise.'

This encounter awakened the sage to the fact that God may exist, even though he did not know him from personal experience, just in the same way as he was actually a prince, although the pedestrian did not know it from his own personal experience. And now that his mind was open for considering the possible existence of God, he set himself to the task of deciding that question in right earnest.

1939? India,
Di v2 p13-15
Also Di (7th ed.) p123-124

Life often presents engimas which cannot be unraveled by ordinary persons. It seems to them to be full of questions which are unanswerable. Unrestrained chaos seems to be the law of the world, and there appears to be no justice or significance in the march of its events. Even those who believe in God get puzzled, and waver in their faith.

But it is only impatience and lack of true vision that are responsible for such an outlook. We embrace ignorance, and we fail to see that whatever life brings is charged with great meaning. God's ways are always unchallengable and irresistable, thought they might be mysterious and inscrutable. The secrets of his working in the world cannot be truly understood even by advanced souls.

This may be brought out by means of an anecdote of a great saint who is very much respected up to this day in all quarters of the world.

Once upon a time this saint encountered an Angel, and requested him for being allowed to be with him in his wanderings on Earth, so that he might understand something of the secret working of God.

The Angel at once granted him permission to be with him and observe all his doings on Earth. But he laid down his strict condition in the following words. He said,

'You are only to observe my doings, without at any stage and in any way asking me the explanation for my actions. You would not be able to judge and understand God's ways. Even if you are not able to understand them, you must not ask me the why of all that you see me do, during the period that you will be allowed to be with me.'

The saint promised that he would merely observe, and that he would in no way pester him with any questions, even if such questions arose in his mind. And then he was allowed to follow the Angel in his wanderings on Earth.

Once they got into a boat for crossing the sea. The boatman offered his services to them without charging his usual fare, just because it pleased him to help them. When the boat was in the midst of the ocean, the Angel took off one side-plank from the framework of the boat and threw it away in the water.

The saint at once got worried, and exclaimed, 'Why are you damaging the boat? Shall we not all get drowned, along with the boat?'

The Angel reminded him that he had already agreed not to ask him any questions whatsoever, and asked him to remain quiet.

After landing they came upon an Arab youth. To the utter bewilderment of that saint, the Angel at once killed that youth on the very spot. Now the saint found it very difficult to remain quiet, but asked him in excitement, 'Why did you kill that growing life?'

On this, the Angel replied, 'Did I not tell you that you would not be able to understand God's working? You must keep to your promise that you will not ask any questions'

The saint realised that he had failed in fulfilling the condition which he had accepted, and he wanted to be excused.

Then they both came to a village, where they requested the people of the village to give them some food. But the villagers only treated them contemptuously, and drove them away without giving them alms.

When they came to the outskirts of the village, they saw a dilapidated wall in ruins, which was intended to protect the village from the invasions of enemies. The Angel went to the wall and repaired it, spending much of his valuable time.

This time, the saint could not contain himself and said, 'Why did you repair that wall for the villagers, who did not even give alms to us? You have done this labor of love for nothing. For so much labor in the village, we would easily have got sufficient remuneration to procure food and allay our hunger.'

At this, the Angel said, 'You have again asked a question, in spite of your having promised merely to observe and keep quiet. It is no use divulging the secrets of God's ways prematurely. It requires the greatness and patience of God to understand his working. You have tried to pry into God's secrets, which you must not divulge. It is now time for us to part. But never mind, before we part, I will explain to you the reasons for my deeds.'

The Angel then proceeded to give the explanation to the saint. He said, 'The boatman is a poor but pious man. When I took away a side-plank of the boat from a prominent place in its framework, I knew that a king of robbers was approaching in that direction. This robber-king was collecting new and efficient boats to carry on his plunders. And whenever he saw any really good boat, he was sure to snatch it away from the owners. He, however, left untouched any boats which were in a broken and dilapidated condition. I took away a huge side-plank in order that a the boat might look uninviting. Otherwise the pious and poor boatman will be relieved of the only means of his livelihood.

'Now, the Arab youth whom I killed was most notorious and vicious. If he had lived, he would not only have perpetrated heinous crimes, but would surely have brought upon his pious parents an agonising blasphemy which they in no way merited. It was the will of divine providence that I should kill this Arab youth in order to save him from further sins, and save his pious parents from the suffering of undeserved ill-fame.

'Now coming to the repairs of the wall. Be it known to you that one pious man has kept buried under it his valuable treasure, with a desire that it may be of use to his sons. But it is God's will that his sons must get that treasure when they grow up, and that no one else should get it. If the dilapidated wall had further fallen, the treasure was in danger of being exposed to the sight of the wicked villagers, who would surely have taken possession of that treasure for themselves.

'Rest assured that all I did in the incidents which it was your special privilege to observe, I did, not of my own accord or initiative, but by the orders of our divine father, whose real greatness even we as Angels can only partly understand. God's ways might be inscrutable to the world. But his love for the world is unbounded, and his justice is unfailing.'

With these words the Angel parted, leaving the saint in deep contemplation. And the saint decided to live in complete resignation, to accept God's will even when his limited intellect could not understand its real meaning."

from notes dictated by Meher Baba,
before 1948, ST p61-65

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One who knows the Koran by heart is called a Hafez. Such a one's heart and soul are dedicated to the service and thoughts of God alone...

Hafez was spiritually inclined from an early age, and became the disciple of a Perfect Master, Attar, who himself was a great Persian poet.

Hafez visited Attar every day for many, many years. He wrote ghazals and recited them to his Master. Attar enjoyed these ghazals and gave them to his other disciples to study and benefit by them, saying that Hafez's ghazals would be of the utmost importance to the future generations.

Hafez himself did not bother to preserve his poems, and it was only after his death that they were collected and put together as a Diwan (treasury or collection).

One day, while he was still a youth, Hafez saw a very beautiful woman who came from a wealthy family. He instantly fell in love with her - not in the lustful way, but he fell in love with her beauty, as it were. Because of the difference in their positions, he could not approach her. Yet he remained intensely in love with this woman for thirty years. He loved his Master, Attar, greatly too, and hoped that Attar would help him in attaining the companionship of the woman.

One day Attar asked Hafez, 'Tell my what you desire.' Hafez said he wanted the woman. Attar replied, 'Have patience. You will get her.'

But almost ten years more passed by, and Hafez was no nearer having his longing fulfilled. He became utterly disheartened. When alone with Attar one day, he began to weep. When the Master asked him why he was crying, Hafez in his desperation blazed out, 'What have I gained after being with you for nearly forty years?'

Attar answered, 'Have patience. You will know one day.'

Hafez retorted, 'I knew I would get this answer from you.' And exactly forty days before the end of his forty years association with Attar, Hafez entered into self-imposed Chehel-a-Nashini.

Chehel-a-Nashini means drawing a circle on the ground and sitting within it continually for forty days. (One who succeeds in going through the Chehel-a-Nashini is supposed to attain whatever he desires).

It is almost impossible to to stay for forty days within the limits of a circle without once stepping outside it. But Hafez's love was so great that it made it possible for him to go through this Chehel-a-Nashini without faltering.

On the fortieth day his Master appeared to him in the form of an Angel. On seeing such beauty, Hafez realised that the beauty of the woman he desired was as nothing in comparison with this heavenly beauty. And when the Angel asked him what it was he desired most, Hafez replied instantly that his only desire was to wait on the pleasure of his Master's wish.

Just before dawn broke on the last day, Hafez came out of his Chehel-a-Nashini and went to his Master. His Master embraced him, and Hafez became God-realised...

"Now for a Perfect Master to write poetry, what is this, when the whole world is in his hands? But as Tukaram, a Hindu Perfect Master who was also a great poet, explained, one's original nature (i.e. one's original tendencies, likes and dislikes) persist even after God-realisation. So since Hafez was a poet before he attained God-realisation, he continued writing poetry even afterwards.

'Hafez' by Adi S. Irani
'Happy Birthday' record sleeve, 1970s

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Other stories told by Meher Baba:

THE ASS   1942? India? Di v5 p41-42
WINKING   Di p156-157
THE PUMPKIN   Di p 139-140
MAJNUN AND LEILA   GM p (Also Di p147-148)
SARMAD   (retold by Eruch Jessawala) IS p65-67
AYAZ AND THE RING   (retold by Eruch Jessawala) IS p82
SELLING A STONE   LM8 p2976. Another version: Sp p17-22
BAIDUL THE DOCTOR   (another story about Baidul's healings, told by Eruch: De p79-86)
IT IS NOW A DARK NIGHT (Ramdas and Kalyan)   Aw 16:2 p21, 40.
   Another version: LM5 p1799
ZIKARIA   LM7 p2647
TWO BIRDS   LM5 p1797
A STORY OF HAFEZ   Av p130-131, LM5 p1800

Index - Book One

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