PRESERVING BABA’S WORDS AND ADDING NO TRADITIONS
“Words that proceed from the Source of Truth have real meaning. But when men speak these words as their own, the words become meaningless.”
Meher Baba is the Source of Truth. Meher Baba brought forth His sayings in very simple words as “I have come not to teach but to awaken”, “Real happiness lies making others happy”, “I belong to no religion, all religions belong to Me”, “You and I are not we but one”, “In order to love God love Me as I am God personified” “Try to remember Me constantly and whole-heartedly” and “I will take you to the final destination of God blind folded without risk dangers and pitfall of the path”
These words are simple but most difficult to grasp. General tendency is to doubt or undermine the things which are easy, cheap or priceless. So is the general approach of intellectuals about Meher Baba.
But when it comes to speaking or writing Baba’s philosophy; one need to be very conscious in reproducing Baba’s words. It should be said or written exactly in a manner as written in Baba’s discourses or messages. Better, if one is not confident of exact reproduction of Baba words, one should clearly say that he is trying to convey Baba’s message in his own words. It is utmost important to preserve Baba’s words and maintain its originality without any distortion otherwise its seriousness will be lost. At times, it may be misinterpreted and misleading for others and the responsibility will fall on Baba lovers. There no one now to check and correct anyone; like Meher Baba did correct Eruch, His mandali and others for any incorrect interpretation.
Baba has given clear directives for Baba lovers in His life time. Topics covers, love & devotion, remembrance, repentance, prayer, honesty, obedience, service, forbearance, detachment, backbiting, hypocrisy, hatred, jealousy, Lust, anger, visiting saints, food, fasting, intoxication, rituals, cleanliness, gambling, astrology and gemmology etc. (detailed under heading “Directives” in website www.ambprasarkendra.com). He also made clear that any kind of meditation, yoga, sacrifice, renunciation, or austerities are not desirable for Baba lovers. Such practices are meant for few God seekers who are inclined to it but not for Baba lovers. Any kind of meditation is unnecessary, useless and can create false impression of spiritual progress and therefore it is not recommended for Baba lovers. Only remembrance of His name is more than enough.
There is a guess for reason behind it which may be found logical. Almost all other sects and religious leaders impose some kind of physical or mental training in one or any other type of meditation which brings some kind of relief at physical or mental level; common man gets attracted easily who are always in search of material benefit which may come from any source. Even many get addicted in process of meditation or yoga in delusion of progressing on spiritual path or to have attained some status to train even others. Baba said it is far from reality of gaining any spiritual benefit out of it. One does only get physical or mental relief from such practices temporarily but no spiritual benefit.
Therefore as Baba lover and worker, one should not propagate or patronizes any such ideas or practices which are not directed by Meher Baba and one should not create any new tradition in Baba’s name. Lighting of Dhuni on 12th of every month at its original place in Meherabad was directed by Baba to mark burning of our sanskaras.
One should not be like Gandhi or Ambedkar who were fortunate to come in contact of Meher Baba but could not appreciate Baba’s advice. Meher Baba advised Gandhi not to impose Non violence on general public as it is God ordained and later he was assassinated.
In 1932, on request of Gandhi, Meher Baba advised Dr. Ambedkar to accept the joint electorate with a reservation of seats and other rights and details to be settled with Gandhi and other leaders. But after coming from England, in 1936, he formed a national labour party. Dr. Ambedkar oversaw the transformation of his political party into the All India Scheduled Castes Federation, although it performed poorly in the elections held in 1946 for the Constituent Assembly of India.
Meher Baba conveyed through real episodes that even morality, majority (publicized opinion) has no stand in the domain of spirituality.
As regard to hired prayer asking others to pray for one with or without consideration or praying on behalf of others is most undesirable.
In Baba’s words:
“This is total foolishness and completely absurd. It is an excuse and a useless pretext. It does not hold water. It is an insult to one’s common sense. Can prayer, worship or entreaties to God ever be hired? It is beyond one’s imagination. While still being lured by Maya, it is like throwing the burden of one’s actions on the shoulders of others and paying them money to take him to God. It is a pretense for keeping oneself immersed in Mayavic pleasures.”
A person says, “I have no time to pray.” Why not? Because, one is unwilling to spare time for it. It is a meaningless excuse to cover up one’s preoccupation with the world and lack of time due to one’s desire to remain involved in Mayavic pursuits. The mind is entrapped in Maya and does not want to be freed; and so to achieve merit, a person offers hired prayers. Can this ever result in any meritorious action or virtue?” (Refer Lord Meher-old volume page 1173-75).
Another tradition which has been put in practice is to celebrate 22 November as prayer day by Baba lovers. First invitation came to Baba lovers in November 2012, to send their request for common prayer in America on behalf of suffering Baba lovers all over the world. It is just hiring of prayer by Baba lovers and allowing others to act like priest to do prayer on behalf on their behalf. Why there should be a specific day once in a year? Why not every day, every hour, every minute or every second? Baba said to remember Him constantly and wholeheartedly. Interpreter wrote to Chairman Bhauji to not to encourage this idea as it is not as per directive of Meher Baba. He replied; it is a via media for others but not for you as you are on the road.
Making a special prayer on 22 November once every year makes all other days less important. It is apparent that a new tradition is being added by few Baba lovers which are not directed by Meher Baba but prohibited. One should not add anything new or delete anything of what Baba has said and try to preserve His words and directives in its original form.
Remembering Baba and spreading his name
According to Baba, one should try to remember Him as much as one can; then in addition to our one’s own praying, one should seek more opportunities/occasions to remember Him. Apart from anniversaries of Baba’s Birthday, Silence day and His first visit to particular city on particular day, one may find more occasions like birthdays and anniversaries of their family members, relatives and friends to remember Baba in group. One more occasion can be added to celebrate inaugural day of particular centre in particular city. Remembering name or do Japa in group/satsang is more effective that individual praying.
Meher Baba was not against spreading (Prasar) of His name. He was averse to any propaganda (exaggeration), preaching His philosophy and not to insist others of different faith to come to Baba. He directed everyone to live the life of love and so others may follow Baba lovers. He also said that you can bring my name to others. It is my responsibility to reach their hearts from their ears.
So, as Baba Lover especially as worker; one must try to preserve Baba’s words, follow His directives, not to propagate or patronize new ideas which may turn into tradition afterward in the name of Meher Baba. However, every Baba lover or worker must try to spread Baba’s name among general public without any expectation of its result with one’s limited resource, in group or through society. It does not necessarily need any stage or a platform. (A write with few suggestions are elaborated in Article No- 85, titled “Why and how to spread Baba’s name”.)