DISTINCTIONS OF AVATAR MEHER BABA
Baba said that He is Avatar. He is simultaneously God and man. He eats, drinks walks and sleeps like man and also falls sick but at the same time He bears infinite Power (strength), infinite Knowledge and infinite Bliss. Baba only used His infinite knowledge to influence His lovers and humour to relax His body in undertaking universal suffering of mankind. Baba had different traits, liking for food, games and humour. He had divine strength which He displayed to His close disciples which proved His divinity like Lord Krishna displayed to Arjuna and His Mother Yashoda.
A brief description of Meher Baba’s distinctions is written below:
- Food habits
Baba was vegetarian. Normally He used to take rice and dal. He asked His school boys mandali to take vegetarian food only. Even on His relatives, Baba prevailed upon them to cook veg food. He did not allow His mother who was diabetic, to eat fish in His ashram at Satara. But He did not restrict His Muslim mandali to take non-veg food. In New Life also Baba allowed to beg food of any kind. During tours abroad, Baba permitted even Hindu mandali members to take non-veg food to bear cold climatic conditions. Sometimes, on ceremonial occasions, Baba allowed non-veg food and drinks on request of His lovers. He also allowed non-veg food on medical grounds. He ordered Sheela Kalchuri to take fish and meat for her medical treatment; but Baba for His treatment, when asked by doctors to take meat soup He did not accept. He recommended vegetarian food for His lovers and spiritual aspirants/seekers, since it does not carry animal sanskaras of lust and anger which begin to develop in animal life. Baba said that Veg or non-veg eater should never look upon themselves as superior or inferior compared to each other.
- Caution for Backbiting
Baba was averse to backbiting, slander and criticism. Baba said backbiting and slander is most disastrous. Baba allowed healthy criticism without any self interest. He did not object His criticism by His relative Col. M.S. Irani and even did not allow mandali to refute it. He forbade His lovers from criticism and not to desist others from their criticism as such persons reduce our burden of sanskaras and deceive themselves only. Backbiters indeed are friend.
Baba said, “Innocent and fair criticism does not hurt and is good, but it is quite rare. What I mean by talking ill of others is when you criticize and it hurts. It hurts when you are excited, out of anger. When you criticize with love and kindness, how can it heart? If you point out the shortcoming of others lovingly, without any feeling of hate or animosity, it is all right. Even arguing with love is permitted.”
- Sense of Humour
Baba had great sense of humour. He said after His God-realisation, He gave away everything except the sense of humour. Humour on His part with mandali and Baba lovers was not insulting or superfluous but carried spiritual messages in an interesting manner. There are many episodes are written in Lord Meher in order of chronology. Humorous episodes have also been compiled and published in two volumes titled “Divine Sense of Humour of Avatar Meher Baba” by B. Kumar on behalf of AMB centre Delhi.
- Health conscious.
Baba was health conscious for self but more for His school boys, mandali and Baba lovers. He often took soda water instead of plain water. Even His water glass has to be kept covered by mandali engaged in His service. Once He found water pitcher in school at Meherabad uncovered, Baba started beating all teachers by stick. On the other side He did not care for this aspect while accepting anything from God intoxicated masts who offered to Him out of their love. In one incident Baba ate rotten rice offered by mast out of His love like Lord Ram ate ber (a kind of fruit found in Jungle) of Shabri. (Worldly surrounding, worst to worst cannot affect a mast on subtle or mental plane since subtle plane superimposes over gross plane and mental plane over gross and subtle both) So, what to say about Meher Baba who is present on every plane of consciousness?
Baba was most compassionate true to His name (Meher) beyond our imagination. Baba’s compassion can still be felt if one is sincere in one’s love for Him. He was most generous and helped to many mandali members, Baba lovers and visitors in their personal and financial matters, even to sinners.
In one instance, Baba helped a retired police inspector who developed leprosy and helpless to solemn the marriage of his young daughter. Before coming to Baba, he had approached many charitable and social organizations and even Gandhi but failed. Baba not only helped him financially by Rs 10000/- but also attended marriage ceremony of his daughter along with few mandali members.
Baba was most compassionate to poor, mad and Mast. He washed, bathed, fed and gave rupee and clothing’s in his ashram, when contacted them in remote places of their stay, Bestowing His love, grace Baba gave spiritual push to the advance souls out of His compassion which was important phase of His Avataric activities.
Out of His compassion Baba, transformed dreaded criminal of Maharashtra, Satyamang compared to Balmiki of Ram era. He said, saints are My assets and sinners My liabilities. He also said that He is the supreme Judge who bring out to convicts but instead to punish He forgive them.
On the other side He was very hard to foul player. He said that He is like fire; fire dispels cold, and cooks your food but if you try play with it, it will burn you to ashes. He was most cruel to few mandali out of His compassion to lead them spiritually toward liberation and to few Baba gave liberation at the time of death or after that.
Few of mandali members, at one point of time were so disheartened by treatment of Meher Baba that they tried to commit suicide but out of His compassion every time Baba saved them miraculously.
Baba was punctual also. Some time He came to mandali hall before appointed time. He always laid emphasis on punctuality to His mandali and others to be punctual and severely reprimanded late comers. It is time only that matters. You cannot repay back anything when you are helped by someone because it is the time that counts and that time cannot be rolled back.
One of episode reveals its importance attached to it by Meher Baba. Pratap was continually late in performances with the Poona bhajan group, but when he was late yet again, Baba expressed his disapproval, remarking, “You should be cut to pieces with a blunt knife! Why a blunt knife? If the knife were sharp it would cut easily and you would not suffer much. But if the knife were blunt, it would cause great pain. ((Lord Meher-new volume-p-5566)
- Fulfillment of Promise
Baba always kept His promise. Baba said I will never let you down. Promise is a kind of self obedience to oneself.
Baba said, “A person should always act as per his promise. Don’t make false promises. First, think twice before give a promise but once you make it, keep it up at any price. If a promise made is not kept up. It is the height of hypocrisy. Never break a promise.”
In rare example of fulfillment of His promise and control over was displayed by Baba When Baba did not beat His disciple Dhakephalkar while beating all other school teachers in rage because Baba had promised Dhakephalkar not to beat him any time before appointing Him teacher in His school in Meherabad. Baba went into fit of anger when he found the water pitcher uncovered meant to contain drinking water for school children.
Baba was very particular and strict in obedience of His order. He expected implicit obedience from His mandali. He cautioned His mandali to beware of ego. To remove the ego impression of few of His mandali anyone who reflected his ego or boasted before Him, Baba brought them down to earth and made them to realize their folly and apologize. There are many real life time episodes of mandali who were made to obey Baba under very unfavorable circumstances created by Baba.
- No importance to money
Baba gave no importance to money. He did not handle money and touched only while distributing as prasad to poor and destitute or on His mast work. Once during 40’s Baba got burnt the currency notes of Rs.5000 (worth 1000 dollars at that time) brought by one of His mandali from Bombay who did not obey His order to come back by certain date. Baba also said money should not be a consideration for My work. If someone feels that money is hindrance in carrying work for Baba, he should better stop the work.
Baba said on spending of money, “It entirely depends upon the way in which we use money, whether it is good or bad. Money earned and utilized as means of livelihood for oneself and those who depend on one is good. Given as charity for the benefit of humanity, it is better. But to give anonymously and yet carefully for intelligent service and spiritual upliftment of humanity, without dictating as to how it shall be administered or spent is the best use of money. But very, very few selfless souls can do it.
When money, gained by fair means or foul, is spent in order to gratify one’s desire for pleasure and enjoyment, it makes the spender pleasure-loving and selfish. And if the same person suddenly looses that money, he naturally feels miserable and curses life and his fate. Worst still is it when he wastes money earned or inherited, in speculation and gambling, or wine and women.
- Law abiding
Baba was law abiding though His will (destiny) is law and His wish (directives) governs the universe. Once three persons riding on a bicycle caught by traffic police but let out and reached Guruprasad. Baba reprimanded them for not following the law of land. In another episode Eruch, driving car with Baba caused a fatal accident. Eruch was released by court but his driving licence was cancelled. Later, Baba never allowed Eruch to drive His car.
- Condemned Hypocrisy
Baba was dead against Hypocrisy. Baba said hypocrisy is inexcusable. Any kind of sin can be forgiven but hypocrisy cannot. Hypocrisy is to consciously pretend which you are not. Before Baba no hypocrite could ever stand. One of false saint Mirchandani claimed to be God, Baba directed Eruch to meet Mirchandani. Eruch asked Mirchandani to utter that He is Lord of Universe. He tried but instead of his name he pronounced “Meher Baba is the Lord of Universe”.
Baba had great love for games. He played cricket in His boyhood and other games. He was team leader in His school days. Later years, after He started Avataric activities, He watched Cricket test match. He used to play cricket, cards and atya-patya (A game of tiles) with mandali to relieve Himself from the physical strain of His Universal work. Nari Contractor and Polly Omrigar, test players had blessings of Maher Baba. Nari contractor a test player was made the captain during the play and won the test match on a foreign land. A small act done by Avatar or Sadguru has the universal effect. Now, one can guess it from world wide popularity of cricket compared to any other game
Meher Baba loved devotional music particularly ghazals. He used to listen Bhajans and ghazals in darshan programs. Once Meher Baba listened one most favorite Ghazal of Seemab and was so elated that He said to have liberated him. He invited famous ghazal singer Begam Akhtar in sixties when she demanded handsome amount with overheads as remuneration. Baba rejected her demand. Later she was internally initiated by Baba; came to sing before Baba and sought blessings. She voluntarily performed in Hamirpur in the inaugural ceremony of Meherpuri in 1963.
- Divine strength
Baba had divine physical strength. Baba said that Avatar did not use His divine power in their life time except infinite knowledge to awaken mankind. He did not display His strength in public but definitely convinced His mandali of His divine physical strength. After regaining normal consciousness Baba visited house of His schoolmate friend Khodu (nickname sailor) who tried to scuffle with Meher Baba. Baba said He is not same Meherwan of his schooldays. Baba threw him far with a slight push which made him to realize the divinity of Himself.. Once a heavy weight disciple nick named Bapu displeased Baba. Baba lifted him by neck from ground floor to first floor by stairs and no one dared to stop Him. In another episode, Baba forced young Adi K. Irani to wrestle with Him with full force after 40 days fast and floored him down in no time. Forty of mandali men could budge single Meher Baba in tug of war. In His older days once coming back from mandali hall to His room carried by Eruch & Francis on their shoulders, Baba threw them on the floor with a flick of two fingers only when they doubted Baba’s as Avatar being so helpless.
- Infinite Knowledge
Meher Baba only used His infinite knowledge only to awaken His lovers. He was all knowing and past present and future of every soul was like open book for Him.
Baba had unique way of reaching to His lover’s mind and heart using His infinite knowledge. He used to answer the questions of His lovers even before asking by themselves to quiet their mind and open their heart. Many intellectuals came to Baba with the list of questions, mostly were either answered by Baba in silence. Their mind became blank in presence of Baba and they could not ask anything. Pandit Gopinath Kaviraj from Benaras came to Baba with list of questions' when he came before Baba, he was blank and sang in praise of Meher Baba.
Once in darshan program, Baba asked Pukar to collect question-slips from His lovers to be answered later. About 100 question-slips were collected. In next meeting Baba asked for it. Pukar revealed that he had no slip left with him as all questioners had withdrawn their question-slips having got the answers of their questions from Baba in silence. After this Baba asked C.D. Deshmukh to compile a book based on His discourses which would cover the answers to questions of intellectuals on spiritual aspects.
- Exceptionally Beautiful
Baba had extra ordinary beautiful and radiating personality incomparable to anyone on the earth. Many senior Baba lovers are witness to it. Visitors used to get mesmerized by Baba’s beauty. Baba said Avatar always appears in male form with beautiful personality like all previous Avatars had. Avatar selects His parents and even the place of His birth. This is one of difference between Avatar and Sadguru who as man after attaining realisation retains the same body throughout his life like five Perfect Masters of Meher Baba.
Above all, the attributes of Avatar Meher Baba is beyond imagination so beyond description also. Any description of His divine attributes in words would always fall short of His divinity.
N.B. There are many interesting and inspiring episodes which would substantiate many traits of Avatar Meher Baba are written in Lord Meher and other books by mandali members.