Baba explained fana – annihilation of the false mind:
Fana is of three types – fana-fillah, fana-fi-Sheikh and fana-fi-Rasool. In the first, a person becomes One with God. There are always fifty-six persons existing in this state.
In fana-fi-Sheikh, a person becomes One with the consciousness of a Qutub. He is One with the Infinite Consciousness of the Perfect Master, but he is not One with the office of the Qutub. In this state he does sometimes use, to a very limited extent, his infinite power-knowledge-bliss. The person in this state drops his body immediately after the Qutub, who had brought him to that state of fana-fi-Sheikh.
There are always five Perfect Masters existing on Earth. In fana-fi-Rasool, which is a very rare state and also occurs very rarely, a person becomes One with the Avatar (Rasool). When it does happen, it is during the Avatar’s physical presence in the world and just before the unique worldwide manifestation of the Avatar. It is a rare occurrence. It has happened in the past. (1)
No one from the state of fana-fillah can attain the fana-fi-Rasool. Only an ordinary man who is gross conscious is chosen by the Avatar himself and is bestowed with the state of fana-fi-Rasool. In this state, the person chosen becomes like the Avatar, but does not hold the Avatar’s office. He drops his body immediately after the Avatar drops his body.
Baba continued to explain:
The fourth plane is called the threshold of the Abode of God. If a pilgrim on the fourth plane tries to harass a pilgrim on the fifth plane with his powers, then the wali on the fifth plane seeks the help of the Avatar, but not of a Qutub. Thus the wali is protected directly by the Avatar from the pranks of the fourth-plane pilgrim, whose powers are curbed. Very rarely, one of the fourth plane acts arrogantly before a Qutub. If there is any mischief at all or arrogance displayed, the Qutub sternly deals with such a person, who eventually surrenders to the Qutub. The Qutub then raises him to the fifth plane of consciousness at once.
In the fana-fillah state, there are fifty-six souls living on Earth. The state of baqa means “to be established” in God and being able to use infinite power, knowledge and bliss. A Qutub is the one who leads the life of God and uses infinite power, infinite knowledge and infinite bliss. Some Sufis believe that fana-fillah is the highest state. Other Sufis believe that a Qutub’s state is the highest, while still others believe that the state of the Rasool is the highest.
(1) It is said that Laxman, the step-brother of Ram, was in this rare state. He followed Ram wherever he went, even into jungle exile, and was known as Ram’s “shadow.”
Lord Meher, 1st. ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 18, pp. 6190 – 9191.