God In Human Form script
The Biography of
Avatar Meher Baba
GOD IN HUMAN FORM,
The Life and Work of Avatar Meher Baba
Film script by Peter Nordeen
10 July 2003
(Revised March 2005)
Every 700 to 1400 years, God descends to be born as man amongst humanity. Avatar Meher Baba proclaimed, “I am that Ancient One whose past is worshipped and remembered, whose presence is ignored and forgotten, and whose future is anticipated with great fervor and longing.”
In the 1870’s and 80’s in the area that is now Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India, a young spiritual seeker named Sheriar Mundigar wandered in search of God. After years of effort, inspired by the example of the great Persian perfect master poet, Shams U-din Hafiz, he decided to attempt the severe austerity of sitting in a circle for forty days and nights without eating, drinking, or sleeping. After thirty days he was completely exhausted and had to leave the circle, stumbling to a nearby river where he lost consciousness. He was awakened by a voice which said to him, “That which you long for you will receive only through your son.” This was puzzling to a man who had no ambition for family life, but soon after he found himself engaged to be married to the daughter of his sister’s friend. In 1892 Sheriar married Shireen, according to the ancient Zoroastrian religious customs that their families followed.
The second of seven children, their son Merwan was born in Poona, India on February 25th 1894 in Sassoon Jewish hospital. He had a normal but not average childhood. He did well in school without having to study much, which suited him since he preferred games and sports. Merwan attended a Christian high school where he was co-captain of the cricket team. A natural leader, he formed a social club for boys of all religions and castes which stressed high moral behavior. The beginning of the great change in Merwan’s life happened during his first year of college.
As he was bicycling home one day, an ancient Muslim woman beckoned him to come near her simple seat beneath a neem tree. Her name was Hazrat Babajan, and she was said to be over 120 years old. She embraced Merwan and awakened in him a deep recognition of spiritual truth. For seven months, he spent most of his time with Babajan. Then one day in January 1914, she held his face in her hands and said, “Merwan, you are my beloved son who will shake the world and do immense good for all humanity.” She kissed him between the eyes and he immediately lost consciousness of the world. Somehow he found his way back to his attic bedroom where he lay in a trance-like state for nine months without eating or sleeping. Sheriar recognized the great spiritual significance of his son’s condition, but Shireen had high worldly goals for her favorite son and was extremely concerned. None of the medicines of the best doctors in Poona had any effect on his condition.
Few people understood that Hazrat Babajan was one of the five perfect masters who are on earth at all times. Her kiss tore away the veil and revealed to Merwan his true state of God-consciousness. The five perfect masters head a spiritual hierarchy of saints and other advanced souls, controlling the spiritual destiny of their time. About this state of consciousness Meher Baba explained, ”The happiness of God-realization is the Goal of all Creation. The real happiness which comes through realizing God is worth all physical and mental sufferings in the universe. The happiness of God-realization is self-sustained, eternally fresh and unfailing, boundless and indescribable; and it is for this happiness that the whole universe has sprung into existence.”
Gradually Merwan came out of his dazed state and began to spend time with Babajan again. One day she told him, “Now you must go to Sai, my son, and take the key from him.” So Merwan traveled to Shirdi with a boyhood companion to meet one of the other perfect masters.
When Merwan prostrated himself before the great master of Shirdi, Sai Baba loudly proclaimed, “Parvardigar, ho!” - “You are the sustainer of the universe!” Merwan was then inwardly directed to go to the nearby Khandoba temple to contact the hindu sadguru, Upasni Maharaj. As Merwan approached, Maharaj threw a stone which hit him between the eyes exactly where Hazrat Babajan had kissed him. The impact from the perfect master returned much of Merwan’s worldly consciousness. Merwan spent much of the next seven years with Upasni Maharaj until he regained complete consciousness of creation, while still retaining infinite God consciousness. One day in 1922 Upasni Maharaj told some of his own disciples that Merwan was now perfect, living God, and that they should stick to him even if the whole world turned against him.
Meher Baba explained that Babajan had given him the infinite bliss, Sai Baba the infinite power, and Upasni Maharaj the infinite knowledge of God realization,1 but that he only used his infinite knowledge through infinite suffering to accomplish his work, sustaining himself through his divine sense of humor, occasionally leaning on his infinite bliss.
A group of disciples had begun to gather around Merwan, and it was then that one of them began to address him as Meher Baba, meaning ‘Compassionate Father.’ With this core group of disciples, Baba walked to Bombay and began a strict training period at a place they called Manzil-e-Meem, the home of the Master. One day while discussing their mission, Baba told them that their motto would be, “Mastery in Servitude.”
In May of 1923 while in the town of Ahmednagar to attend a wedding, Meher Baba took some of his disciples walking to a place about five miles from the city. Baba stopped and sat under a neem tree near a well, and commented on the simple, serene atmosphere. This was to become Meherabad, the main place of Baba’s life’s work and the future site of his tomb-shrine.
With intermittent stays at Meherabad, Meher Baba traveled with some disciples around India and to Iran for the first time, all the while continuing his habit of occasional periods of fasting. It was during this time that he also began to keep silence for some days at a time. Returning to Meherabad, Baba started a flurry of activities including establishing health clinics and a school. The number of followers grew, irresistibly drawn by the atmosphere of his incomparable love and beauty.
In June of 1925 Meher Baba told his disciples that he would soon be keeping silence for a longer duration, until his work was completed. They were concerned that they would miss his beautiful singing voice and discourses, and one disciple asked, “But master, who will teach us?” Baba replied, “I have come not to teach but to awaken.” Meher Baba began his long silence on July 10th, 1925. He communicated by writing for a year and a half, then began using an English alphabet board. It was during this period that Baba began writing his secret book at Meherabad which he said contained many spiritual points that had never been disclosed to humanity.
In May 1927, Meher Ashram, a free boarding school was established at Meherabad for boys of all castes and creeds. Besides a high quality basic education, various religious texts and mystical poetry were also taught. Soon many of the boys were deeply inspired, and were given daily meditation. In late 1927 Meher Baba began a five and a half month fast, drinking only one cup of coffee per day, keeping himself secluded in the room at upper Meherabad that would later become his crypt. Some of the ashram boys became more and more absorbed in the atmosphere of his divinity and would at times sob uncontrollably. Only his physical presence could pacify them.
It was during these months that Baba raised the consciousness of a few of these boys to a level where they saw God as Baba everywhere and in everything. This group of boys who had developed the greater affinity for the inner life became known as the Prem Ashram. This phase continued until early 1929, when to the dismay of some, Baba suddenly disbanded all activity at Meherabad. He explained that these external forms of service such as schools and clinics, were just scaffolding for his internal work. When that particular internal work was completed, the scaffolding was no longer necessary.
Meher Baba began to travel again around India and Iran contacting his followers, referred to as ‘lovers’, who have always come from diverse backgrounds; of all religions, castes and creeds. He once stated, ”Although I acknowledge all religions I cannot belong to any of them. My own personal religion is of my being the Ancient Infinite One, and the religion I teach to all is of love for God.”
Though many of his closest disciples were from the Zoroastrian community, some of the more orthodox members considered him to be, at best, a social embarrassment and publicly denounced him. But all through his life, Meher Baba never objected to opposition, explaining that those who were so adamantly against him played an important role in fueling the fire of his life’s mission.
In September of 1931 Meher Baba traveled to Europe and America for the first time. Mahatma Gandhi was on board the ship and was interested in meeting Baba. After some conversation in Baba’s cabin, he allowed Gandhi to read a few pages of his secret book after which Gandhi urged him to break his silence. Baba replied, “Soon.”
(Soundtrack from 1932 London film) “Shree Meher Baba has come from India with a message to the West. He does not convey this message by speaking, but by His mere presence. ‘My object in coming to the West is not with the intention of establishing new creeds or spiritual societies and organizations, but is intended to make people understand religion in it’s true sense. I see the structure of all the great religions of the world tottering. The West is more inclined toward the material side of things, which has from untold ages brought in its wake pestilences, wars, and financial crisis. I intend to bring together all religions and cults like beads on one string, and revitalize them for individual and collective needs. This is my mission to the West.’”
S t: “It is not practical to overemphasize the material at the cost of the spiritual. It is not practical to have spiritual ideals without putting them into practice, but to realize the ideal in daily life, to give a beautiful and adequate form to the living spirit.”
S t: “Q: What is your mission?
A: To help people realize the truth in every phase of life, and to make brotherhood a practical fact.
Q: Why have you especially come to America?
A: Because there is greater energy in America than elsewhere, but most of this energy is misdirected. I intend to direct it into suitable creative and spiritual channels.
Q: What will happen when you break your silence?
A: Those to whom I speak will be instantaneously convinced of the Truth.”
For the next six years Meher Baba traveled around the world and to the West nine more times, to lay His ‘cables’ as He put it. Contacting His close disciples who had deep past life connections with Him was most important to Him then. But many were left enchanted in His wake, including people in the motion picture industry. He reminded them of their opportunity and responsibility to bring entertainment to the world, which expressed pure love, selfless service, and truth realized in every day life. When asked once whether he had ever fallen in love, he responded, “Oh yes, I’ve been in love with humanity for ages.”
Between these trips Baba returned to India, often fasting in seclusion or spending time with his closest followers. Meher Baba’s disciples practiced a strictly moral lifestyle. Some of the women remained sequestered during these years. Most important of all his disciples was Mehera. For years she happily obeyed Baba’s order, and did not touch, speak to, or even see or hear a man. Baba said that Mehera was the purest soul in the universe. “Mehera loves me as I should be loved.” Meher Baba’s own life was one of natural abstinence. “For me sex does not exist because I experience myself in everyone.”
In conjunction with his birthday celebration in 1937, before breaking a forty day fast, Baba gave darshan-his personal contact - to over ten thousand people by bowing down to them and giving them bundles of cloth filled with grain. He explained that this work was to elevate the material condition of the world, so that humanity could be better prepared to receive the spiritual push he had to give.
Although Meher Baba usually preferred to travel incognito, many thousands sought his darshan, some out of curiosity, many to gain blessings and a few for the sake of love. Baba repeatedly told these masses that he would not perform miracles, and that they should not come to him expecting spiritual or material rewards. He emphasized that they should come for real love since he was the ocean of love. And although miraculous experiences occurred in the lives of people who had contact with him, Meher Baba insisted that these things were only due to their faith in him. . . “I perform no miracles, and will perform none until I manifest on breaking my Silence, when I will speak the original word. Then I will perform the one miracle whose greatness and glory you cannot even imagine and which will benefit not only those around me, but the whole world; each and every being in consciousness.”
One of the most important phases of Meher Baba’s life was his work with the spiritually advanced and God-intoxicated whom he referred to as ‘masts’. These are persons who have lost consciousness of the physical world due to becoming enthralled with their experiences of higher planes of consciousness. They would often live in filthy conditions, which would be intolerable to normal persons. Baba began strenuous tours around India in the late 30’s, contacting these great lovers of God in their own places, gathering some of them in special mast ashrams in various places around India. He would work long and arduous hours personally feeding, shaving and bathing them, and even cleaning their latrines.
Of his relationship with the masts Meher Baba simply explained, “I love them and they love me. I knowingly work for them, and they knowingly or unknowingly work for me.” Though these great souls were never informed of his identity, upon seeing Baba for the first time they often recognized him and spontaneously glorified him. When Baba contacted him, Azim Khan Baba of Muttra said, “You are Allah; you have brought forth the creation, and once in a thousand years you come down to see the play of what you have created.” Nanga Baba of Jasgiran pointed to Baba and said, “He is my elder brother. He adjusts and protects the whole world.” Meher Baba’s work with masts would continue as an integral part of his mission for over twenty years. After a mast tour in 1948,Baba indicated that he would soon have to suffer a personal disaster.
In June and July of 1949, Meher Baba underwent another period of fasting and seclusion at Meherazad, his new residence near Ahmednagar. He invited his lovers from around the world to take part in this work by keeping silence or fasting. His focus this time was on universal thoughts and thought-forms.
In August Baba announced the great life change that he had been alluding to for some time. He called it the New Life. From October 16th, 1949 he would leave behind his old life of multifarious activities, and with a few companions begin his New Life of complete renunciation and absolute helplessness. He disbanded the Meherabad and Meherazad ashrams and wandered with a few companions throughout India. They often begged for their food. He turned away from many aspects of his Godhood, perfectly assuming the role of seeker on behalf of the whole world.
In a message sent to his lovers around the world Meher Baba said, “This New Life is endless, and even after my physical death it will be kept alive by those who live the life of complete renunciation of falsehood, lies, hatred, anger, greed and lust; and who, to accomplish this, do no lustful actions, do no harm to anyone, do no backbiting, do not seek material possessions or power, who accept no homage, neither covet honour or shun disgrace, and fear no one and nothing; by those who rely wholly and solely on God, and who love God purely for the sake of loving; who believe in the lovers of God and the reality of Manifestation, and yet do not expect any spiritual or material reward; who do not let go of the hand of Truth and who, without being upset by calamities, bravely and wholeheartedly face all hardships with one hundred per cent cheerfulness and give no importance to caste, creed and religious ceremonies. This New Life will live by itself eternally, even if there is no one to live it.”
The final phase of the New Life was manonash; annihilation of the mind which would last for four months beginning October 16th, 1951. This period was marked by intense seclusion and fasting, culminating in a sacred dhuni fire at Meherazad. Burned in the dhuni was a piece of paper that Baba had been carrying with him stating, “All rites, rituals and ceremonies of all religions of the world are hereby consumed in the flames.”
In May of 1952, Meher Baba visited the west again after many years, going especially to see the new Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, established by his western disciples according to his instructions. On May 24th, while driving from the east to the west coast of America, Baba’s car was involved in a collision in rural Oklahoma. Baba and three of his women disciples were severely injured. Baba and his beloved Mehera were thrown from the car and bled onto the damp earth. After a short period of recovery in America and Europe, Baba and his group returned to India.
Except for occasional small programs in the 40’s, Meher Baba had stopped giving darshan and allowing people to bow down to him. But in the last part of 1952 a unique phase began which Baba called the Fiery Free Life. He traveled to different parts of India to give mass darshan programs and over a million people had the opportunity to have his contact. For these masses Baba emphasized that receptions for him, or even messages from him were not important, but rather that they should personally receive his prasad, usually bananas or sweets. “Receive my prasad with love and eat it, allowing the seed of my love to be sown deep in your hearts.”
During Baba’s fiery free life he explained: “The role which God has willed for me has had several phases. The pre-realization ordinary state, the old life state of realized divinity, the new life state of perfect humility and intensive seeking of God as Truth through the achievement of manonash, and the tri-partite free life, have all happened by God’s will.
In the first part of the free life, bindings dominated freedom. It was in this part that the personal disaster, for some years foretold by me, took place in the form of an automobile accident while crossing the American continent causing me much mental and physical suffering. It was necessary that it should happen in America. God willed it so.
In the second part of this free life, freedom had dominated bindings. And in the third part of this free life, both freedom and bindings are consumed in the fire of divine love, which destroys the vary basis of the illusion of duality and all its paraphernalia.
I am not concerned with individual reactions to me as an individual. They will be as various as there are individual temperaments. My sole concern in the fiery free life will be with the divine truth of my realization, which I would like to share with those who seek it: I am equally approachable to one and all, big and small, to saints who rise and sinners who fall, thru 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 thru Sufism, Vedanta, Christianity, or Zoroastrianism and Buddhism and other ‘isms’ of any kind, and also directly, thru no medium of ‘isms’ at all.
Side by side with other activities of the fiery free life, there will invariably be one constant feature of that life, wherever it takes me. I will bow down to the saints whom I adore, the masts whom I worship, and the poor to whom I am wholeheartedly devoted. Nothing makes me more happy than the opportunities to bow down to God in all these forms. I like bowing down to the people rather than being bowed down to. To serve and worship God all around me is closest to my heart.
In the fiery free life, all the frailties of the ego-life are completely consumed, and the result will make the world understand that Meher Baba and everyone is one with God.”
In 1953 Baba began to dictate more points for a book of comprehensive explanations of the spiritual fabric of the universe which came to be known as God Speaks. Painted by a close disciple under Baba’s supervision, this chart, included in God Speaks, depicts the journey of individual souls through creation, evolution, reincarnation, involution, and realization. God in the Beyond-beyond state represents God as pure essence, infinite, original, and eternal, unaware of anything. God is. God in the Beyond state represents the oversoul, where the whim to know Himself surged forth, and He became conscious of infinite power, knowledge, and bliss, and simultaneously conscious of illusion which manifested as creation. The first forms taken by souls emanating from the creation point are gaseous. As consciousness gradually evolves, souls take innumerable forms, experiencing increasing impressions, or ‘sanskaras’. Arriving at the human state, the soul has achieved complete consciousness, but is burdened with the inertia of the past sanskaras, and is compelled to experience innumerable opposites through millions of births and deaths, until it is ready to experience ‘involution’. While getting free of sanskaras, the ascending soul gradually becomes aware of the higher planes of consciousness, first through the subtle world of energies and then through the mental world of thoughts and most sublime feeling. Finally the soul is liberated from the last binding sanskaras, and consciously becomes one with God.
He also began to give a number of published messages during this time which eloquently state the conditions of his divinely human experience. Thru the years Meher Baba revealed to his disciples that he had been Mohammed, Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Ram,Zoroaster, and others down thru ancient history. The perfect masters, saints, and masts had all testified to his divinity, but many of his followers considered him to be another perfect master; man as God. On February 10th 1954 in an isolated place in Hamirpur district in northern India, Meher Baba finally publicly declared that he was in fact the Avatar of this age, God descended into human form, the one who comes again and again to bear the unique responsibility for all creation.
In September 1954, Meher Baba held a men’s meeting at Meherabad. This sahavas or ’companionship with the Master’ came to be known as the Three Incredible Weeks. Along with the cherished personal time with Baba, some beautiful messages were given. The program ended with Baba delivering what he called his final declaration, in which he revealed some shocking points concerning world destruction, his humiliation, and the breaking of his silence. The effect of all this was to create another emotional pitch in the community of his lovers which he utilized for his own inner work until he clarified his final declaration some weeks later.
Through the years his lovers realized that it was not the message but the messenger that they should cling to. Time and again after repeated statements that he would break his silence, he seemed to be only breaking his word. But Meher Baba did not care about the reaction of the world, and his close ones tolerated the humiliation of public misunderstanding. His work was beyond intellectual perception. Instead of breaking his silence, he intensified his silence by dropping the use of his alphabet board on October 7th, 1954. He then developed his own unique system of hand gestures, which he would use for the rest of his life.
After another Sahavas program in 1955, and more periods of fasting and seclusion, Meher Baba traveled again to America and to Australia for the first time in 1956. For many who had the opportunity of his personal contact, that loving touch or glance would be the most profound experience of their lives. “I work through, and suffer in and for each one of you. My bliss and my infinite sense of humor sustain me in my suffering. The amusing incidents that arise at the expense of no one lighten my burden. Think of me; remain cheerful in all your trials and I am with you helping you.”
In July of 1956 Baba issued a circular from his seclusion part of which read: “As declared in the past, I am free from promises and am not bound by time and space. Though all happenings are in the realm of illusion, a great so-called tragedy is facing me and my lovers. This may happen any day of this year or next year. I want my lovers to rest assured that my humiliation and tragedy though necessary are but passing phases which are bound to have a glorious end as is destined.”
On December 2nd 1956, after a period of unusually strenuous travel with a few men disciples, Baba had another car accident near Satara in India. One of his disciples was killed while Baba and a few others were severely injured. Many years before Meher Baba had stated that he would have to shed his blood in both the east and the west as part of his work. Due to the severe injury of his right hip many doctors said that he would never be able to walk again. But he was determined, and through much painful physical therapy he did walk, though with a severe limp for the rest of his life.
After another period of seclusion work, Meher Baba held another Sahavas at Meherabad in 1958, and also traveled to America and Australia for the last time. He then gave what he called his Universal Message, some of which reads, ”I have not come to teach but to awaken. Understand therefore that I lay down no precepts. Because man has been deaf to the principles and precepts laid down by God in the past, in this present Avataric Form I observe Silence. You have asked for and been given enough words – it is now time to live them. I veil Myself from man by his own curtain of ignorance and manifest My Glory to a few. When I break my silence, the impact of my love will be universal and all life in creation will know, feel and receive of it. It will help every individual to break himself free from his own bondage in his own way. I am the divine beloved who loves you more than you can ever love yourself. The breaking of my silence will help you to help yourself in knowing your real self. All this world confusion and chaos was inevitable and no one is to blame. What had to happen has happened; and what has to happen will happen. There was and is no way out except through My coming in your midst. I had to come, and I have come. I am the Ancient One.”
Throughout his life Meher Baba did special work with groups of people who were afflicted in particular ways, such as lepers, the poor, people affected by disasters, and families who had lost everything. Typically he would have his disciples round up a number of a specified group, then one by one he would wash their feet, bow down to them, and give them a gift usually in the form of clothing and or money. The only time Meher Baba ever touched money was when he was handing it to these persons or to a mast. Meher Baba stressed that this work benefited not only these individuals, but entire groups of society which they represented. When asked why he did not heal these people he replied, “Real healing is spiritual healing, whereby the soul becoming free from desires, doubts, and hallucinations, enjoys the eternal bliss of God. Untimely physical healing can retard the spiritual healing. If borne willingly, physical and mental suffering can make one worthy of receiving spiritual healing. Consider mental and physical suffering as gifts from God, which if accepted gracefully, lead to everlasting happiness.”
In 1959, Meher Baba established a trust designed to fulfill charitable objectives and maintain Meherabad after his physical demise. In that year, he began to spend the summer months at Guruprasad palace in Poona. Here his close lovers had the chance to enjoy his company with music, jokes and games. But often at the height of the enjoyment, Baba would remind everyone, “Don’t forget, I am God.”
In November 1962, Baba held the East-West Gathering at Guruprasad for his lovers from around the world. His health had become compromised due to the accidents and his intense seclusion work. He commented, “Sometimes I am so tired I feel like going to sleep for seven hundred years, but I have to give my Word to the world. The heart of the world has to feel the impact of my Word.” His close disciples tried to dissuade him from more exertion but he would keep cheerful and summon up his energy before the crowds of his lovers who experienced his radiant divinity as usual.
As Meher Baba increased his seclusion in the ‘60’s a growing interest in spirituality was aroused in the western world. At the same time, experimentation with hallucinogenic drugs was becoming popular, with the notion that they might be used as an easy doorway to deeper perceptions. But to the few young Americans who had the opportunity to meet him in the mid ‘60’s, Baba let them know that these drug experiences were nothing but an illusion within the illusion. He urged them to return to the west to inform young people of his message that all these drugs were harmful: physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Between his summer months at Guruprasad, Baba often continued his work of seclusion and fasting at Meherazad. In May 1965 he gave what was to be his last major public darshan in Poona. Meher Baba said, “Believe that I am the Ancient One. Do not doubt that for a moment. There is no possibility of My being anyone else. I am not this body that you see. It is only a coat I put on when I visit you. I am Infinite Consciousness. I sit with you, play and laugh with you; but simultaneously, I am working on all planes of existence.”
Despite his frail health, Baba continued to live his naturally cheerful life with his close companions and family, usually enjoying music programs on Sundays. He reminded the few people who had the opportunity to meet him then, “I have only one Message to give; and I repeat it, age after age, to one and all: LOVE GOD.”
In 1967 he reiterated, “The aim of life is to love God. . . the goal of life is to become one with God. To accomplish this you have to renounce the world. I do not mean that you should leave your home and family. What is required is renunciation of the mind; detachment. When I break my silence, it will help everyone to make progress towards the goal. For years I have been promising to break my silence, but now I say that the time is very near.”
By now he had spent most of his life maintaining his silence, often fasting during periods of intense external or internal activity. Why? Meher Baba repeatedly asserted that he had nothing more to gain for himself, but as Avatar He experiences himself in everyone and everything, and as everyone and everything. To accomplish his work he knowingly suffers for everyone and everything. His silence and other austerities and efforts are the tools for that work in this advent. Meher Baba said, “I have come to do the work that only I can do. Maya – the force of illusion – cannot stop my work. My work is more important than my very being.”
Although his health continued to deteriorate, he entered the longest seclusion period of his life, gradually withdrawing more and more even from many of his close disciples. On July 31st 1968, Meher Baba stated that his work was completed one hundred percent to his satisfaction, yet he continued his universal work in his room at Meherazad. Often drenched in perspiration, he hammered his thighs with his fists to maintain his link to the physical world. In October during a meeting to discuss the upcoming darshan program for April and May of 1969, when one of his old disciples remarked, “Baba, this is enough now. Why don’t you close the shop?” Baba replied, “But I am just getting ready to open the shop! Soon I will be giving darshan every day.”
During this time, true to the claim in his final declaration, his body was attacked by a mysterious disease which no one could cure. His body would be wracked by spasms which would raise him off his bed. He continued to give hints about a future without his physical presence. On January 11th 1969, he stopped going to the Mandali Hall at Meherazad to be with the men disciples. In response to concerns about his health, Baba asked, “Do you think anyone would mind if I give darshan in a reclining position?” Most agreed that was acceptable.
The spasms continued to a point where it became difficult to read his gestures, but on January 30th during a medical examination, his health suddenly improved. He informed the doctor, “My time has come.” That evening he repeatedly reminded his close disciple, serving as his personal attendant, “Remember this, I am not this body.”
On January 31st at twelve noon after having three couplets by his favorite poet Hafiz recited, Meher Baba dropped his physical form. His body was taken to his tomb at Meherabad, where according to his wish, it was openly interred for seven days so that his lovers from around the world could have a chance to come and see his form one last time. His body showed no signs of decomposition. The message was sent around the world that Avatar Meher Baba would now live eternally in the hearts of his lovers.
A few days before he dropped his body, Meher Baba did audibly speak the sound to two of his men disciples. . and, to a third, during the evening of January 3oth, he uttered two words; “Yadh rukh.” “Remember this”, and then gestured, “I am not this body.” However, these events only reaffirmed their conviction that Meher Baba’s Silence was much more than a physical act. They felt that what occurred during those final days only signaled the beginning of the breaking of his silence. The dropping of his physical body is regarded as the final sacrifice, which delivered his universal work to this age. Meher Baba said that the experience of the full manifestation of his great spiritual push to creation would take about a hundred years from the time of his physical demise.
In April of 1969, the great darshan went on as scheduled and true to his word Baba gave darshan in a reclining position, and has continued to give his darshan every day. A message he gave years earlier never seemed more appropriate: “There is no reason at all for any of you to worry. Baba was, Baba is, and Baba will also be eternally existent. Severance of external relations does not mean the termination of internal links. It was only for establishing the internal connection that external contacts had been maintained until now. It is possible to establish the internal link by obeying Baba’s orders. I give you all my blessings for strengthening these internal links.
I am always with you, and I am not away from you. I was, am, and will remain eternally with you, and it is for promoting this realization that I have severed external contact. This will enable all persons to realize truth by being bound to each other with internal links.
Oh my lovers, I love you all! It is only because of my love for my creation that I have descended on earth. Let not your hearts be torn asunder by my declarations concerning the dropping of my body. On the contrary, accept my divine will cheerfully. You can never escape from me. Even if you try to escape from me, it is not possible to get rid of me. Therefore, have courage and be brave.
Come together in order to fulfill my will by taking your stand on truth, love, and honesty, and be worthy of participating in my task. I give you all my blessings for spreading my message of love.”
“When the word of my love breaks out of its silence and speaks in your hearts telling you who I really am, then you will know (that) that is the real word you have always been longing to hear.”
(Music for final credits; “Redemption” from the CD, ‘Ways to Attain the Supreme Reality’, words by Malcolm Schloss, music composed and recorded by Jim Meyer)
“Wielder of infinite power! Enjoyer of infinite bliss!
Master of infinite wisdom! Why do You come like this?
Seemingly worn and haggard; seemingly wracked with pain;
Seemingly utterly puzzled; seemingly all in vain?
”The woes of the world are heavy,
The faults of the world are great;
I have assumed its burdens; I will redeem its state.
Then shall My infinite glory, which you have known in part,
Reign for unnumbered aeons, enthroned in every heart.”
GOD IN HUMAN FORM
All rights reserved, ©10 July 2003
God In Human Form