Book Two

The spiritual Path runs from the physical world to the Beyond state of God. It traverses the Subtle and Mental worlds, and ends in the realisation of divinity. Those who take this path are called Rahrav (pilgrims of the Path). The Path begins in the Gross or physical world, goes through six planes of higher consciousness, and ends in the seventh plane, the plane of God-realisation. These planes are not outside us or above us, but are within us. Ordinarily it takes many lives of effort to reach the goal, the permanent, conscious realisation of divinity.

Besides human beings, the inner planes are home to Angels and Archangels. Angels and Archangels are unembodied souls. Unlike human beings, they have not gone through evolution of consciousness. They never took the forms of stone, metal, plant, insect, reptile, fish, bird or animal. They do eventually take human form, only once, in order to realise God. To attain conscious union with God, the soul must incarnate in human form.

The first three planes of higher consciousness are in the Subtle World. The fourth plane is at the juncture of the Subtle and Mental Worlds. The fifth and sixth planes are in the Mental World. The seventh plane is the plane of union with God. Those on the seventh plane are called God-realised souls or Perfect Ones. The seventh plane is the only plane that is eternal and permanent. When a person becomes one with God, and everyone eventually does, he or she enjoys infinite bliss forever. One's individuality does not disappear, but becomes infinite.

In the very beginning, the soul descends without consciousness from the undifferentiated being of God. The soul is actually God. But in its descent it takes on apparent separateness, and begins to imagine itself as something other than God. The soul comes down through the Mental and Subtle Worlds in the state of sound sleep. Those souls who become conscious in the Mental world become Archangels. Those who become conscious in the Subtle world become Angels.

Most souls continue to descend until the physical plane. They find themselves impelled to identify with physical forms. This is the process of evolution of consciousness. The soul, which is actually God, imagines itself to be embodied and separate from other souls. The soul experiences itself as gas, stone, metal, plant, insect, reptile, fish, bird, animal, and eventually, human. It is a long-drawn out dream that takes millions of years to complete itself. On attaining the first human form, the process of reincarnation begins. The soul imagines that it lives again and again as a human being, experiencing every possible kind of human life.

Driven by disillusionment with worldly life and intense love for God or Truth, the soul enters the spiritual Path. The soul, still imagining, ascends through the higher planes of consciousness (which run through the Subtle and Mental Worlds), and in the end becomes one with God. The God-realised soul has achieved the goal of life and fulfilled the entire purpose of creation. He or she has awakened from the dream of separate individuality, and realises the divinity that has always pervaded everything.

A few of the souls who realise God are brought back to consciousness of the creation. They are called Paramhansas and Jivanmuktas. They experience both the state of conscious divinity and the illusion of creation. From among them, a very few become Perfect Masters. The Perfect Masters (also known as Sadgurus or Qutubs) help free other souls still in bondage. They are responsible for the government of the creation.

Meher Baba explained that there are 18,000 planets with human beings. But it is only on Earth that the Perfect Masters take birth. Earth is unique among planets in that it is necessary to incarnate here to begin the spiritual Path and to realise God. At any one time there are five Perfect Masters alive in human form on Earth. Each Perfect Master has a circle of 14 disciples whom he or she prepares for God-realisation.

The first person ever to realise God became the first Perfect Master. He is known as the Avatar (Buddha, Christ, Rasool), and is the master of all masters. The Avatar is the fusion of the eternal Avataric consciousness, which pre-existed the creation, and the first God-realised soul. Having taken on the responsibilty for every individual soul in creation, the Avatar incarnates again and again on earth. Every incarnation of the Avatar is brought about by the five Perfect Masters of the time. Perfect Masters, unlike the Avatar, ordinarily do not incarnate again.

The first incarnation of the Avatar is represented symbolically in Hinduism by Shiva and Ganesh: Shiva as the first soul to realise God, and Ganesh as the same soul when he came down for the first time as Avatar. In Judaism, Christianity and Islam the first human being, who became the first Avatar, is known as Adam. The better known incarnations of the Avatar are called major advents, and the less known ones minor advents. Meher Baba said, apparently referring to minor advents, "I often incarnate as an unknown Master." The Avatar has a circle of 122 disciples he prepares for God-realisation.

There are three types of Perfect Master: kwaja, qalandar and ghaus. The khwaja tends to stay in one place. The qalandar generally goes naked, and wanders from one place to another. The ghaus separates his arms and legs from the the trunk of his physical body, later putting the body back together again. Perfect Masters have either jamali or jalali temperament, or a combination of the two. Jamali Perfect Masters are mild or sweet-tempered. Jalali Perfect Masters are fiery-tempered, and sometimes beat their devotees. Though they may appear to be angry or violent, they are actually in an egoless state, and whatever they do benefits others spiritually.

Most people who realise God do not retain their physical bodies. They are Liberated, which means they realise God soon after physical death. These Liberated souls are called Muktas. Souls who realise God and keep their physical bodies are called Perfect Ones. The Perfect Ones are of four types: Majzoob, Paramhansa, Jivanmukta and Sadguru

The Majzoob (also called Brahmi Bhoot) has no consciousness of the three worlds or of his or her Gross, Subtle or Mental bodies. He or she experiences the infinite power, knowledge and bliss of God-realisation. Those who come into contact with a Majzoob are benefitted spiritually.

The Paramhansa continually experiences infinite power, knowledge and bliss, like the Majzoob, but in addition sometimes has consciousness of his or her bodies and of the three worlds. The Paramhansa is also called Majzoob-Salik or Salik-Majzoob. The Jivanmukta (also called Azad-e-Mutlaq) experiences infinite power, knowledge and bliss, and simultaneously experiences his or her Gross, Subtle and Mental bodies and the Gross, Subtle and Mental worlds. A Jivanmukta, towards the end of his or her life, makes one soul spiritually perfect. Anyone who comes into contact with a Paramhansa or Jivanmukta is automatically benefitted spiritually.

There are 56 Perfect Ones living on earth at any one time. Five of them are Sadgurus (Perfect Masters). The rest are Majzoobs, Paramhansas or Jivanmuktas. The last three types are not Masters and have no spiritual duty (except, in the case of the Jivanmukta, to make one soul Perfect). When the Avatar is incarnate, there are 57 Perfect Ones alive on earth (he is the 57th). During Avataric periods there may be several more Perfect Ones (in addition to the 57) made Perfect by the Avatar, who are given special spiritual responsibilities.

The seventh plane is the plane of God-realisation. The Avatar, Perfect Masters, Perfect Ones and other God-realised souls have seventh-plane consciousness. Men and women on the spiritual Path are on the first six planes. They are either Salik-like pilgrims, yogis or masts. Salik-like pilgrims (also called saliks) are guided by a Perfect Master or the Avatar, and appear balanced rather than intoxicated. Yogis try to advance by their own efforts. Sometimes they are guided by Perfect Masters or the Avatar. Masts are intoxicated or overpowered by the bliss they experience on the inner planes. Saliks on the first two planes are called initiate pilgrims. Those on the third and fourth planes are called advanced pilgrims. Those on the fifth and sixth planes are known as adept pilgrims.

Adept pilgrims can act as spiritual masters or guides. They themselves have not realised God, but they can help others in their journey through the planes. They are conscious of the plane that they have reached (the fifth or sixth plane) and of all planes beneath, including the Gross plane. Fifth plane masters are called Walis; sixth plane masters are called Pirs. Adept pilgrims should not be confused with those called saints by the organised religions. A saint, as defined by Meher Baba, must be on the sixth plane of consciousness, and may or may not be identified with any religion. A person on the sixth plane is made to realise God at death by a Perfect Master or the Avatar.

A mast has become intoxicated or dazed by his love for God. He generally appears mentally unbalanced, but is actually spiritually advanced. Masts can be on any plane from the first through the sixth. A person who enters the spiritual Path without the guidance or help of a Master may become a mast. A female mast is called a mastani.

Masts often have some of the qualities of ghaus, khwaja or qalandar Perfect Masters, and are therefore called ghaus-like, etc. They also have the jalali or jamali temperaments, or a combination of the two. An ittefaqi is a mast who, without any love or longing, becomes suddenly and accidentally intoxicated by divine love. Ittefaqi masts often wear iron rings on their arms and legs, and wander about late at night. A madarzad is a person who was born a mast, generally goes naked, and wanders continually day or night, rarely resting. A majzoob-like mast is more or less merged in God, depending on the level of his advancement. Masts occasionally serve as spiritual chargemen. The chargeman of a place is responsible for the spiritual well-being of its inhabitants. Meher Baba identified certain masts and salik-like pilgrims as being spiritual chargemen of the city or area where they lived.

Those who traverse the spiritual Path by their own unaided efforts can take many lives to reach the goal. For those who have the good fortune to be guided by a Perfect Master, the process is much shorter. The followers of a Perfect Master or the Avatar are usually more or less veiled from the wonders of the higher planes. This protects them from the many enchantments and intoxications that slow down their progress or prevent it altogether. It also keeps them from misusing the occult powers of the planes, which can be very binding, and even bring about a fall back to Gross consciousness.


"There is a craving in every individual, no matter how unaware, to experience other states of consciousness, to understand the truth about God, the cosmos, the universe. In some people this craving finds no rest. It becomes the driving force, unequalled in other areas, to pursue the spiritual Path."

Swami Sivananda Radha,
Radha: Diary of a Woman's Search, p69

"Imagine a palace with an infinite number of doors. In front of every door the visitor finds a treasure. Satisfied, he feels no urge to continue. Yet at the end of the hallways, the king is waiting to receive those among his subjects who think of him, rather than of the treasure."

Baal Shem Tov
Souls on Fire, by Elie Wiesel, p30

"... Baba has used the following simile to describe the progress of an aspirant on the Path:

"He likens the Path to a house with three steps up to the front door, and these three steps are the first three planes.

"Thereafter, there is a fourth step up to the threshold at the front door. This threshold is the fourth plane, an awkward and dangerous place, where the pilgrim may lose his balance, and fall back down the first three steps if he is not careful.

"If, however, he crosses the threshold successfully, he enters the safe and level floor inside the house, which is the fifth plane. He walks along this until he reaches the other end of the house, where there is a closed door.

"When he reaches this door at the back of the house, a centre of vision opens in his forehead, which is represented by the opening of the door; and he now sees God, and is on the sixth plane. But as well as seeing God, he sees also an impossibly deep valley that separates him in his present position from the splendor of God beyond, and he does not know how to cross this great rift.

"It is here that he needs the help of a spiritually Perfect soul to take him across this last colossal obstacle, which is greater than the sum of all his previous obstacles on the Path."

William Donkin, W p114-115

For more about what it's like to traverse the planes, see TK p337-341 and LM4 p1495-1497. (Contrary to what it says in LM4, this outline for a screenplay was not written by Baba, but adapted by others from notes he gave.)

For more about the different kinds of spiritually advanced souls, see Wa p21-34.

THE FOURTH PLANE is the junction between the Subtle and Mental worlds. It is a particularly dangerous stage on the spiritual Path because egoism is at its height while one has access to incredible powers. For more about the fourth plane, see NE p84-89 and GS p76-78, 125-128.


The spiritual teacher and miracle-worker Satya Sai Baba is believed by his followers to be an Avatar, as well as the reincarnation of the Perfect Master Sai Baba of Shirdi.

"... Baba said nothing in particular about him, his claims, his so-called miracles, or about his being on the fourth plane of consciousness."

Eruch Jessawala, 23 September 1969, LF p68

"One fourth-planer claims to be a reincarnation of Sai Baba and does many miracles, such as plucking beautiful jewelry out of the air. What does jewelry have to do with spirituality? And why not stop the Vietnam war instead of making jewelry?"

Adi K. Irani, 1970, San Francisco, HM p683

"Out of a thousand million people, only 100,000 are on the Path. Out of these 100,000, only ten become Majzoobs, and out of ten, only one comes down as a Perfect Master."

Meher Baba, 15 August 1940, Meherabad, LM7 p2599

"Now after the human form reincarnates 84 lakhs* of times, how does the soul enter the Subtle world? There are always and eternally 84 lakhs of souls who experience Subtle experiences. Among them there are seven who are the chiefs, and can experience the Mental world in the same Subtle body. These seven have duty. The 84 lakhs of Subtle experiencers are existing even today. The figure is always constant. There are an equal number who experience the Mental world. But in each new unwinding, one of the seven chiefs with duty becomes less, meaning he gets no normal consciousness nor duty. How many out of the seven chiefs get duty in the Subtle? Seven. In the Mental, six have duty. In the God-state, five."

Meher Baba, 17 May 1943, Meherabad, LM8 p2884
*A lakh is 100,000, so 84 lakhs is 8,400,000

Maliya Rudhyar, the wife of astrologer Dane Rudhyar, met Meher Baba in 1931 in Boston and saw him again in Hollywood in 1932. She was traveling in India in 1937 and came to see Baba at Nasik on March 31st. Baba told her,

"Bravery and strength overcome all difficulties. Be firm, do not despair, and keep longing.

"It is there in you. You are the infinite universe, but you must discover it and find that out. I will help you, always.

"Places and physical conditions do not matter where longing and determination are deep and strong. It is not a question of patient, endless walking. It matters how and where you walk - in which direction. You may walk and walk for years, but if it is in the wrong direction, it is a waste of energy and time. If you go further away, of course you do come back when the time comes, but it is such a long process."

Baba invited Maliya to stay at Nasik in the ashram, which she did for a few weeks, and then returned to the United States.

LM6 p2142

"I have no connection with politics. All religions are equal to me. And all castes and creeds are dear to me. But though I appreciate all 'isms,' religions and political parties for the many good things that they seek to achieve, I do not and cannot belong to any of these 'isms,' religions or political parties, for the absolute Truth, while equally including them, transcends all of them, and leaves no room for separative divisions, which are all equally false.

"The unity of all life is integral and indivisible. It remains unassailable and inviolable in spite of all conceivable ideological differences.

"I am equally approachable to one and all, big and small, to saints who rise and sinners who fall, through all the various paths that give the divine call. I am approachable alike to saint, whom I adore, and to sinner whom I am for, and equally through Sufism, Vedantism, Christianity, or Zoroastrianism and Buddhism, and other 'isms' of any kind, and also directly through no medium of 'isms' at all."

Meher Baba, November? 1952, India, LA p697

"Once you open your wings to fly, you must fly straight like the swan. Do not flit from tree to tree like the sparrow, or many things will distract you on the way, and the journey is long."

Meher Baba, Aw 4:2 p39

"My abode is infinite. It is formless. But there are seven doors in my abode. Each door remains closed to all those bound in illusion. The aim of involution is to open these seven doors to experience my infinity.

"The first door is extremely difficult to open. All the kingdoms of evolution stand at this door. Humanity has its back to this door. All faces are turned toward illusion. Humanity is the nearest kingdom to this door.

"I come to open these seven doors. I work to cut a hole in the first door. That door leads to the first plane. This cutting is my work during my lifetime."

Meher Baba, 1967, India, Aw 21:2 p58-59, also AA p189

The Path Book One

Index - Book Two

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