*DIFFERNCES

DESTINY & FATE

Destiny is the divine law or will which guides us through our numerous existences. Every soul must experience happiness and unhappiness, virtue and vice, from the very commencement of its evolution up to that goal which is the Realization of God.

Fate is based on karma; that law of cause and effect which governs the events of our present life as well as those of our future lives. Through evolution the soul receives, by means of the spirit, the impressions or sanskaras.

The processes which create the experiences and later the elimination of these impressions can be called fate, fortune, luck or chance.

Destiny, or the goal that souls have to attain, is the Realization of God; but actually fate is different for every individual. If you can imagine, we can compare destiny to a load of 700 tons of happiness and unhappiness, vice or virtue, which every soul has to carry throughout its existence. One soul carries 700 tons of iron, another soul the same weight in steel, others lead or gold. The weight is always the same, only the kind of matter changes. The impressions of each individual vary and the acquired sanskaras form the structure and the condition of the future life of every individual. Hence, destiny is one, but fate is varied and different for each.

(Baba gave above answer to the question of Malcolm on difference between destiny and fate)

 

SADGURU AND MAN

A Sadguru is like an ocean, a limitless stretch of water. Empty your mind of all Mayavic desires and the waters of the ocean will find a way in – the waters of Knowledge, Power and Bliss.
The jivanmuktas and majzoobs and other spiritual beings on the subtle and mental planes are the pipelines for the waters of Realization. They distribute the ocean’s waters to deserving candidates who are prepared and who are being prepared.

Continuing the simile of water, Baba stated:

In gaseous form, water evaporates and forms clouds. Now you cannot use this gas or vapor in clouds for railway engines or any other steam-driven conveyance. For that you have to pump water from the ocean, river or some subsidiary; then you fill the tanks of the engine and produce steam to work it.

These clouds of condensed vapor may be compared to majzoobs, the steam being formed and used for work in the world by Sadgurus. And you the bhaktas (lovers) are the water which must be heated, boiled and transformed into steam. In other words, the essence must be prepared to change its very form. On the other hand, ice and snow are like worldly people who have no inclination toward spirituality – they are so cold!

Lord Meher, 1st. ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 3, pp. 815-816.

 

MIRACLES AND SPIRITUAL HEALING

When people suffer physically or mentally, individually or collectively, they want immediate relief from that suffering. All over the world, man's strife is subject to the opposites of pain and pleasure.

Man does all he can to avoid the former, and he does all he can to have the latter. But he cannot always avoid pain or always have pleasure. Pain and pleasure are inseparable twins, born of a multitude of cravings and desires. Where the one is, the other also invariably is as a constant companion. Consequently, man is interminably caught up in the quick interplay of these two opposites, unless and until he goes to the very root of both of them and frees himself from the self-perpetuating ignorance, which gives rise to a million cravings.

The scars left by the non-fulfillment of desires, or by the assailment of unwanted happenings, are difficult to erase so long as the mind continues to be swayed by the winds of multifarious cravings. And when the usual worldly ways of seeking redress from suffering come to an impasse, man desperately turns to the supernatural for exploring unknown possibilities of seeking amends and recompense. This is the realm of miracles.

But even miracles, in the last analysis, are illusory, even as every happening of this world is illusory. There can be no special point in producing some petty imitation illusions in the mighty Infinite Illusion already created by God. The healing of physical or mental suffering can be achieved through the exercise of supernatural powers, just as it can be achieved through ordinary natural remedies known to man. But such healing has ordinarily no special spiritual significance. It is far less important than true spiritual healing, which takes away from the mind the very seeds of all possible suffering.

Miracles are justified only when they are performed for the purpose of drawing humanity at large toward the final goal of realizing God; otherwise, they are definitely an interference with the natural evolutionary process. In fact, people should look upon physical and mental sufferings as gifts from God. They bring their own lessons of the futility of the passing, and the intrinsic worth of the Eternal. When accepted with grace and understood in their very root-cause, they chasten the soul and introduce it to the abiding happiness of Truth.

 

MAST AND MAD

Meher Baba explained

Masts are sincerely and wholeheartedly devoted to Truth. They are divinely mad in search of eternal values. Such persons are not mad in the ordinary sense; they are desperately in love with God, and are known as Masts. Masts are totally different from ordinary mad persons. Although to the casual observer they might seem to be like each other, they are utterly dissimilar in their intrinsic nature and significance. Though both are far from perfection, and need correctives or healing, there is a vast difference in the nature of their inner mental states, and in the spiritual value of the results that are achieved by the application of correctives.

The average person is not familiar with masts or their spiritual condition of God-intoxication. The following description by Meher Baba elucidates what constitutes the mind of a mast:

All masts are intoxicated with God; they are intoxicated by divine love. When a normal person is intoxicated by alcohol or drugs he enjoys this sensation so long as the intoxicant is in sufficient concentration in his physical tissues: a drunkard feels happy, cares not for anyone or anything, and has one dominant sensation of drunkenness, in which the past, present or future has practically no meaning. But as soon as the ordinary intoxication passes away, the drunkard suffers the reverse – the hangover. Stimulated physical intoxication is inescapably temporary, because it is limited by the very stimulant itself, the conditions of the environment, and the cost of the stimulant and the resilience of one's condition.

Now a person who is God-intoxicated experiences the same sensation that a drunkard enjoys, and cares for no one and nothing, in proportion to the extent of his inner intoxication; the vast difference is the mast's intoxication is continual, that it may increase but can never decrease, and that it has no harmful physical or mental reaction. It is an inner state of permanent and unalloyed intoxication, independent of anything external.

The principal sensation of a mast is this permanent enjoyment of divine intoxication. The creation is full of bliss and the mast enjoys this bliss and thereby becomes intoxicated to an almost unlimited extent, virtually consuming him and absorbing him and thereby making the world around him vanish.  Absorbed in God, such a person is continually absorbed in thinking about God, and with that comes like a bolt of pure love consuming him further in a state of divine intoxication.

Mast do not suffer from what may be called a disease. They are in a state of mental disorder because their minds are overcome by such intense spiritual energies that are far too much for them, forcing them to lose contact with the world, shed normal human habits and customs, and civilized society and live in a state of spiritual splendor but physical squalor.   There are those who have become masts whose minds have become unbalanced through unceasing dwelling upon thoughts of God, so that they neglect all normal human requirements.

No ordinary man can tell whether one man is a mast and another man is mad without the divine authority of a Perfect Master. However, the unmistakable quality that masts possess is their ability to make one happy in their company. Whereas in the company of a mad person one feels depression and sadness. (Lord Meher, 1st. ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 6, pp. 2031 – 2035)

In feeble-minded or mad persons, aberrations from the average pattern of responses and actions are the results of their mental incapacity to adhere to the ordinary ways of the world. Through inherent psychic weakness, their directive effort has come to an impasse, or has fizzled out. The cases of breakdown of the mind in ordinary madness are often due to aimlessness in life, as they are due to insufficiency, or to an inadequacy of the available "will-power” or mental strength. There are usually many other contributory factors in such cases. Persons who find shelter in mental hospitals are generally those who have been subjected to unusual mental shock or strain. They lose their balance of mind due either to insufficient mental development, or to the operation of physiological or psychic forces of disruption. Though these physiological or psychological forces that have caused mental disruption are irresistible, they are of the ordinary kind. In ordinary madness, the collapse of the normal functioning of the mind has come about by unmanageable conflicts or disintegrating factors; and the best that can be hoped for by removing the causes of disturbance, is the restoration of the previous state of normality of the mind.

But the case of masts is altogether different in origin, as well as in potentiality. There is no doubt that masts often exhibit incapacity to deal with the ordinary situations of life; and they are, in this respect, comparable to those who are deranged in mind. But the departure of masts from normal behaviour and responses is not due to lack of sufficient mental development, nor is it due to any chaotic forces of disruption; it is due to a suspension of interest in the ordinary pursuits of life, and to an absorption in the spiritual realities encountered on the path towards Truth-realization.

Like cases of ordinary mental derangement, the cases of many masts may show signs of mental conflict, when considered from the purely theoretical point of view. However from the point of view of their intrinsic nature, the two mental conflicts are poles apart. Ordinary mental derangement is due to an acute and insoluble conflict between incompatible sanskaric inclinations in connection with the world.  But the unusual psychic states of the divine madness of masts are due to the dispersion of sanskaric inclinations by the powerful urge to realize the God state. In the divine madness of masts, the advancing urge to realize the Highest brings about a complete shattering of the mental structure, and of all its normal tendencies and capacities. This condition of the mind ultimately leads to a total inhibition of the mind, which is the gateway to the unmani state. The successful termination of the steady impulsion to Truth initiates the mast into the supra-mental state of integral understanding and direct realization of the Supreme Self. But this drive for the Truth, in its process, entails far-reaching ravages in the psychic field. It involves a complete break-up and a reconstitution of the mental structure, and of existing tendencies.

There is no wonder that the inevitable, intermediate mental states are, in their expression,

found to be as much removed from average states as are the abnormal states of mad persons. Confusion between the abnormal and the supernormal states of consciousness arises due to mixing up two ways of interpreting and measuring madness and its degrees. According to one way of interpretation, madness is a deviation from the average mode of consciousness and behaviour; and its degree is to be measured by the amount of its departure from the average pattern. But according to another way of interpretation, madness is the incapacity of consciousness to understand or express truth; and its degree is to be measured by the extent to which it deviates from truth. If these two distinct standards are mixed up with each other and applied simultaneously, they inevitably lead to confusion between the abnormal mad states and the supernormal mast states.

When the mast states are measured by the standard of the average pattern of responses and actions, they will inevitably be interpreted as having an even greater degree of madness than ordinary madness. But if we change the standard, they will be interpreted differently. When the mast states are measured by the standard of realization and expression of truth, they will inevitably be interpreted as having increasing degrees of sanity. When viewed in the light of the Truth, the average pattern of responses and behaviour, which is the most common standard for measuring degrees of madness, would itself appear as a veritable form of madness; and ordinary forms of madness, which have failed to reach even the average pattern, would present themselves as deeper levels of madness. However, all these different phases of unfolding human consciousness are better understood when they are viewed in their continuity, and in relation to the ultimate objective of realizing and expressing the Truth. When viewed in this way, ordinary madness is seen to be the most dim reflection of the Truth, and the average mode of consciousness, and the mast states, are both seen to be increasing degrees of sanity and approximations to the Truth that becomes completely manifest in its unqualified reality and fullness only when the domain of the mind is crossed.

 

AURA AND HALO.

Meher Baba's discourse explaining the difference between an aura and a halo:

The aura and the halo are two different things and people are unable to distinguish between the two. Few people know that an aura and a halo are quite different in their respective natures, despite their close interconnection. No man can ever possess both aura and halo completely developed at one and the same time.

Like their respective shadows, every man, woman, child and baby has an aura, but only a very few individuals have a halo in any of the varying phases of its development, and still fewer possess a full halo. An aura is the reflection of the emotions of an individual mind, just as any physical thing possesses its shadow on the physical plane. The halo begins to appear when the aura begins to disappear.

The difference between a mental reflection (aura) and a physical shadow is tremendous. Shadows depend upon their physical forms, but an individual aura remains unaffected, even when the person concerned drops his physical body. This is because, in spite of physical death, the individual continues to possess the mind and the impressions in it, as well as a subtle body which has a direct connection with the aura.

Every action, significant or insignificant, intentional or unintentional on the part of any person, creates relative impressions (sanskaras) which get imprinted on the mind of the individual, just as sound is preserved on a phonograph record and images of light and shade are caught on photographic film. As thought is the first direct medium of expression of an impression (sanskara), a deep connection is established between the thoughts and the impressions of an individual.

An aura, therefore, is the mental reflection of the aggregate impressions of thoughts and actions gathered by and stored in an individual mind. As long as the impressions are there an aura is always there, as an envelope of very fine atmosphere comprised of seven colors which remain more or less prominent according to the nature of each individual's impressions.

No two men are alike in all respects and yet all have common physical features. Similarly, the aggregate of individual impressions differ from one another, both quantitatively and qualitatively, yet every aura is comprised of seven colors common to all. These seven colors of an individual's aura represent the seven principle categories, corresponding to the aggregate impressions of each.

Thus, every individual aura is the image of a circle of seven colors and each aura differs from the other in proportion to the amount of each of the seven colors, according to the individual's prominent mental impressions. For example, red would be the most prominent color in the aura of a man whose impressions are predominantly made up of lustful actions. Likewise, each aura also differs in the color formation on the borders between every two prominent colors in it.

The halo begins to develop and an aura begins to disappear only after an individual starts advancing on the path to God-Realization. When the aura begins to get more and more faint, the halo commences to shine more and more, getting brighter in proportion to the progress of the individual's consciousness on the path. The halo becomes very bright only after an individual aura is on the point of disappearing. This happens in the case of one who wakes up fully conscious in the sixth plane of complete mental illumination.

In the Seventh Plane of Reality, the God-Realized Being is, once and for all, entirely free from each and every impression because the very storehouse of impressions itself, the individual mind,  is then annihilated and there remains neither aura nor halo. The Reality of God alone reigns supreme in Self-Consciousness of infinite power, infinite knowledge and infinite bliss, with all illusion ceasing to remain as illusion.

When One who is God-Realized is able to return with his God-Consciousness simultaneously to all the planes of illusion as a Perfect Master (Sadguru or Qutub), his halo is the most bright and infinitely brighter than all the suns of the universe put together. It is out the question for anyone, other than those who have attained the consciousness of the sixth plane, to behold the divine effulgence of the Perfect Master's halo.

In all other cases, the halo is an expression of individual advancement of the path (subtle and mental planes) and a sign of the dwindling of the individual's sanskaras or impressions. In such cases, the halo is like a growing bright circle of the mental atmosphere of illumination: colorless throughout and yet, in every phase of its manifestation, far, far richer in spiritual splendor than any combination of colors can ever be.

If, due to love for his Master, a man happens to see what appears to him as the halo of the Master, it is not actually the halo but a part of his own aura as is temporarily reflected by the effulgence of the halo of an illumined one or of a Perfect Master.

Without necessarily being consciously advanced on the path, and merely as a result of deep and sublime emotions, the aspirant may from time to time have glimpses of the reflections of inner sights, reverberations of the echoes of inner sounds, redolences of the inner fragrance and distant shades of the inner ecstasies. All of these are but trivialities connected with the higher illusions of the path [planes]. There are also many techniques and natural causes for the manifestations of such phenomena, which are beyond the faculties of an ordinary man's mind. A book could be written, especially regarding their potentialities and repercussions, both high and low.

All illusory phenomena – gross, subtle and mental are not only dream-stuff, but everything termed as "false illusion" is made up of dream-into-dream stuff, which has no value at all unless it helps a man to awaken to Reality.

God is the only Reality and all is illusion. The whole of the gross universe is but a part of the huge cosmic illusion containing higher illusions of the spiritual planes of man's consciousness.

Lord Meher, 1st. ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 15, pp. 5202 - 5204.

 

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HELL & HEAVEN

In the heaven state the fulfillment of desires is not, as in the gross sphere, dependent upon having the object of desire. Fulfillment of desire comes merely through thinking of the object desired. For example, if a person wishes to hear exquisite music, he experiences this pleasure merely by thinking about it. The imaginative idea of exquisite music becomes, in this state, a substitute for the physical sound vibrations in the gross sphere. The pleasure he derives from the thought of exquisite music is much greater than the pleasure he derived in his earthly career from the actual hearing of physical sounds. In the heaven state there are no obstacles between desires and their fulfillment; the pleasure of self-fulfillment through thought or feeling is always at hand.

In fact, even in the earthly sphere of existence some individuals develop this capacity of making their pleasure independent of possession of a gross object. Beethoven, for example, was completely deaf; and yet through the exercise of imagination alone, he was able to enjoy intensely his own compositions of music. In a sense, even on earth he might figuratively be said to have been in the heaven state.

In the same way, a person who meditates on the Beloved with love derives happiness merely through the thought of the Beloved, without requiring His physical presence. After death, in the heaven state, the enjoyment of such imaginative fulfillment is infinitely greater since consciousness is then unburdened of the outermost veil of the gross body.

DISCOURSES, 7th Ed. pp. 308-309

 

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DISCRIMINATION AND INTUITION

Realization of God comes to the aspirant who uses discrimination as well as his intuition about true and lasting values.

Infinite knowledge is latent in everyone, but it has to be unveiled. The way to increase knowledge is to put into practice that bit of spiritual wisdom a person may already happen to have. The teachings that have come to humanity through the Masters of wisdom and the inborn sense of values that the aspirant brings with him shed sufficient light upon the NEXT step the aspirant has to take. The difficult thing is to act upon the knowledge he has.

One of the best methods of adding to one's own spiritual wisdom is to make use of the knowledge one already has. If the sadhana of knowledge is to be fruitful, it must be implemented at every step by due emphasis on action.

Everyday life must be guided by discrimination and inspired by the highest intuitions.

DISCOURSES, 7th ed. p. 261-262
 

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LOVE AND INTELLIGENCE

According to Hafiz, there is as much difference between the earth and sky as between love and intelligence. Love cannot be understood through the intellect. Love is obtained through uprooting the intellect, and to do so you have to wear your heart on your sleeve. One may be very intelligent, another be absolutely nil. Both can love God if they wear their hearts on their sleeves.

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LOVE AND INTELECT

The difference between love and intellect is something like that between night and day; they exist in relation to one another and yet as two different things. Love is real intelligence capable of realising Truth. Intellect is best suited to know all about duality, which is born of ignorance and is entirely ignorance. When the sun rises, night is transformed into day. Just so, when love manifests, not-knowing (ignorance) is turned into conscious knowing (knowledge).

In spite of the difference between a keenly intelligent person and a very unintelligent person, each is equally capable of experiencing love. The quality which determines one's capacity for love is not one's wit or wisdom, but one's readiness to lay down life itself for the beloved, and yet remain alive. One must, so to speak, slough off body, energy, mind and all else, and become dust under the feet of the beloved. This dust of a lover who cannot remain alive without God - just as an ordinary man cannot live without breath - is then transformed into the beloved. Thus man becomes God.

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LOVE & LUST

"Love is different from lust. In lust there is dependence upon the physical object, and thus spiritual subordination of the soul to it. Love puts the soul into direct, coordinate relation with the reality which lies behind the form. Therefore lust is experienced as being heavy, but love is experienced as being light. In lust there is narrowing down of life, while in love there is an expansion of being. To have loved one soul is like adding it's life to your own. Your life is multiplied and you live virtually in two centers. If you love the whole world, you live vicariously in the world. But in lust there is an ebbing of life and generation of sense of hopeless dependence upon a form which is regarded as another. Thus in lust there is accentuation of separateness and suffering, but in love there is a feeling of unity and joy. Lust is dissipation, love is recreation. Lust is a craving of the senses; love is the expression of spirit. Lust seeks fulfillment, but love experiences fulfillment. In lust there is excitement, in love there is tranquility."