THREE DIVINE ASPECTS OF MEHER BABA LIFE: SECLUSION. FAST AND COMPANIONSHIP
Meher Baba main three aspect of His divine life was Seclusion, Fast, and Companionship. In Hindi, these are termed as Ekantwas, Upwas and Sahwas. Meher Baba embraced these three activities time to time as tool to complete His Avataric activities in His life time in this cycle.
Eruch Jessawala said: During seclusion, Baba locks Himself in a room, the door, windows are closed. Baba sits there day and night in the closed suffocating place and says the whole world is nearer to Him when He is in seclusion.
Baba’s work in seclusion
Very often Baba went into seclusion for His universal work for the benefit of humanity. This can be compared with Lord Rama's banwas and Pandava’s exile of mythological era.
Meher Baba undertook in seclusion at different times and durations at places In Meherabad. Nasik, tiger valley Harvan,( Kashmir), Kurnool ( Andhra), Assisi (Italy), Zurich (Switzerland), Pandharpur (MS), Mahabaleshwar (MS), Meherazad (MS), Niranjanpur (UP), Poona (MS), Kullu valley (HP) Nowbat Hills (Hyderabad), Angarishi Hills ( MS), Pimpalgaon (MS) totalling more than 400 days.
In Baba’s words
“While working in seclusion, I leave My physical body that becomes dead to the feeling of touch. I draw a boundary all around at a distance of 50 yards (like Laxman Rekha drawn around Sita before leaving her alone). Anyone trying to cross this boundary will drop dead. That is why I keep a watchman to keep watch at a distance of 100 yards. Meetings with advance souls Masters, Agents are also held there.
Baba used to observe fast very often, sometimes on milk, water or tea only. It was not for health ground but for Spritual reason for the benefit of humanity.
Fasting does not increase love. No connection exists between them. All austerities, repetition of God’s name (japas), penances, et cetera, are quite apart from this fast I am telling you to do. Therefore, as long as I do not ask you to fast, why should you? If you want to fast on your own, fast in such a way that your stomach remains full while your mind starves! This is the best fast. (Lord Meher, 1st. ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 13, p. 4782)
Effect of Fasting
The body will survive for ninety-five days if one remains only on water. Just as the body feeds on food, so the mind feeds on desires and indulgence in these desires feeds the mind and the ego. So, by starving the mind of these desires, the ego becomes very thin and weak.
In a physical fast, taking only water, lust is lessened, but anger and hope are increased. During the first three days of a fast, hunger is marked, depression is strong, anger is strengthened and lust is diminished. From the third to the seventh day, there is a fluctuation in feelings: hunger, depression, anger and lust are all lessened, while hope – for everything -is still strong. On the tenth day, the feelings again swing back, and there is increased hunger and anger. This lasts until the fourteenth day, when the feelings again become calm and remain calm. Thus, after the fourteenth day, a fast has no spiritual value.
Food is a direct necessity of life, and its continued denial is bound to be disastrous to health. Therefore, external fasting should be periodical, and only for a short time.
Fasting of mind
What is fasting of the mind? It is to have no thoughts. This in itself is impossible, but remembers me as often as you can and then your mind will not be in a fumble as to what to think of. You leave your mind to me by having my constant remembrance or taking my name, and there will be no food (thoughts) worth the name for the mind to feed on. Thoughts of me will supersede all other thoughts in your mind.
There is no necessity to starve the stomach. You can do it for your health, but not for spiritual reasons. We are in the habit of eating food at regular intervals. With a few exceptions, when we feel hungry our stomach craves for food, although we may be engrossed in some other work. But when the mind is occupied in some work, the stomach feels satisfied. It is our nature to look at the clock when it is time for food. If we purposely fast, our eyes would constantly be on the clock to see if it is time to break the fast. By such fasting, the bindings become strong.
When I ask you to fast, it is something different. (Lord Meher, 1st. ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 13, pp. 4821 – 4822).
Fasting of Sadguru and Avatar
Fasting by the Perfect Master who is one of universal Mind and Infinite consciousness amounts to penance or ordeal suffered by the universe itself, resulting in spiritual betterment of humanity.
Sahwas means company of Master. After Meher Baba completed His Avataric activities of charitable works like opening dispensary, schools, shelters houses, and ashrams for mast & poors, mast tours, new life, and world tour Baba reached to Baba lovers and general masses in nearby Meherabad, Ahmednagar, Poona and by visiting other places in various states all over India.
Company of Sadguru (Perfect Master) or Avatar is most spiritually beneficial for a disciple or seeker of God.
"To be with a Perfect Master for one moment's time is equal to 100 years of sincere prayer with all one's heart and soul.
"The advantage one derives by pilgrimage is one.
The benefits one derives by visiting a saint are four.
But the benefits one derives
By meeting a Sadguru are numberless!"
He who approaches Me with heart full of love has My Sahwas. Sahwas means physical proximity and mingling of together as a member of one family and intimate companionship. It is the intimacy of give and take. Either I am the only Beloved and you all are Mt lovers or I am the only lover and you all are MY beloved. Come prepared to receive fully whatever i say and be ready to step into the intimacy of Sahwas and you will find the treasure.
If some of you cannot follow what is going on just look at Me and I will look at you. Sit still gazing on Me.
Have you any idea how fortunate you are? I am sitting with you giving My company while elsewhere there are many who want to see Me and thrust for My darshan but I do not meet them. I have called you here for Sahwas because for birth on end you underwent privations by performing austerities and penance of which you have n idea and that is why you are here with Me these 5 days. When you leave take as much of Me as and keep Me with you.
Reasons for Sahwas in Baba words
There are three reasons of the sahavas.
First: To give you my closest company in order to bring out the oneness between us.
Second: To help you understand love and obedience, and to make you imbibe these twin aspects of the nectar of the infinite existence behind all life.
Third: To show you how to do my work of spreading love.
In fact, one of the three reasons for this sahavas is to help you grasp what love and obedience really mean.
You must have such a clear picture in your minds of this sahavas as to forget completely such things as declarations, messages and discourses by me. This is not an occasion for the fulfilment or the making and breaking of past and future promises. You have got to remove from your minds any picture of me upon a dais and you sitting before me – as have been the experience of most of you present here.
I want you to be with me, near me and before me in an entirely different atmosphere, so that you can freely breathe the air of my personal presence. We must be together as intimately as if we were living under the same roof for no purpose other than that of living with each other and for each other.
Do not look forward to any functions, meetings, timetables, programs, agendas or any cut-and-dried plans. You have simply to be near Me all the time that I remain with you, playing, sitting, walking, joking, discussing serious things or listening to stories. I want you to live with Me the day-to-day life I normally lead.
You are not expected to read, study, meditate or pray, but to feel at home with Me as naturally and unreservedly as you would do at home in the midst of your own family and friends. I want you to be your natural selves, putting aside all the superficial niceties one usually assumes in social life. Being in My Company, watching Me and being watched by Me, you will automatically learn and unlearn a lot, which no amount of teaching can convey. In short, (Lord Meher, 1st. ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 13, pp. 4660 – 4661)