45-PETER AND JUDAS
(Disciples of Lord Christ)
Once, in the evening, Baba said, to Adele Wolkin, “I want a joke or a religious story.”
He didn't know of any joke, so he said, "Well, why did Peter betray Jesus three times? And it was predicted. Jesus said, "Before the cock crows three times, you will have denied me three times.” That was what happened.
Baba said, "Peter loved Me the most." Baba makes everything into something wonderfully positive. He always says that I want you to be happy. And He makes anything that has the slightest negativity converted. Baba said, "Peter loved Me the most. And what he did, he had to do.”
And then Delia (DeLeon) said, "But Baba, what about Judas?" Baba had already, in India, given them a lot of information about the story of the Christ, but she did bring that up. She may not have been clear about it.
Baba said, "Judas served Me the best. What he did no one else could do, so he served Me the best. He was one of the God-realised disciples.”
At that point, everyone started wondering about this and that, and about the suicide of Judas. Baba said Judas did what he did under a veil - he couldn't have done it otherwise -whereas Peter did it consciously.
46-MURSHIDA RABIA ADA MARTIN
(Successor & of Sufi order in America founded by Inayat Khan &
Head of Sufi Group in America and Australia)
Born : 1871 - San Francisco, California, USA
Married : 1890
Died : 31st August 1947 - San Francisco, California, USA
Children : 1 daughter ; Etta
Hazarat Inayat Khan established a Sufi order in western world in 1910. It had branches in Europe America and Australia. Inayat Khan died in 1927 and succeeded in America by Murshida Rabia Martin. She died in 1947, and named Ivy Duce about Meher Baba as being God-realized.
It was back in 1942 that Rabia Martin first heard of Meher Baba from Norina Matchabelli and Elizabeth Patterson. For the next three years, she gathered as much information as she could about his life and work and she studied it deeply. In the spring of 1945 she traveled from San Francisco to spend several months with Norina and Elizabeth in New York City and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. During this period, her conviction that Meher Baba was the Avatar deepened and she felt it was critically important to share this conviction with Ivy Duce. So in the summer of 1945, Rabia Martin revealed to Ivy Duce her knowledge about Meher Baba's presence on earth and her conviction that he was a divine being – the living Avatar. Through Rabia's loving influence Ivy, too, became associated with and friends with Norina and Elizabeth. Urged by Rabia, she began to read Meher Baba's books, messages and discourses. Ivy opened herself to Baba's internal guidance and began to experience his spiritual presence and His divine love. (Lord Meher Volume 9, Page 3102)
Rabia Martin directed Sufi groups in the United States, South America and Australia. During 1946, at the age of seventy-five, Rabia Martin made plans to travel to India to meet Meher Baba and Baba work out the details of setting up a new organization for Sufism in America and Australia by the leader of the Sufis in Australia, Baron Von Frankenburg to California to accompany her to India. Soon, however, it became clear that she was too ill to travel, and she was forced to give up her plan
to meet Baba in India. The doctors had diagnosed that she was dying of cancer.
In 1947, a few days before July 23rd, Rabia Martin's birthday, Meher Baba sent a message of blessing to her. Her daughter, Etta was with her then and recalled: "I do remember one night when she lay very ill in my home, that a cablegram came from Baba in which he blessed her. I also think it was around her birthday time too. This message was wonderful for Murshida. The light that came into her eyes and her happiness was beyond word.
Meher Baba's message was a great consolation to Rabia Martin before her death. She passed away peacefully on August 31st, a little more than a month after her 76th birthday. Rabia Martin was not destined to meet Meher Baba in person this life. But she achieved her deepest wish by bringing Sufism in America and the Western world under the guidance of the Avatar. She entrusted her work to the successor she named a
month before her death, Ivy Oneita Duce Hollywood, California
Letter written to Meher Baba
August 24th, 1945
Divine and Beloved Master,
At your request, I briefly state the journey of the past five months has opened – and opened my consciousness of greater vistas of Love, Light and Truth – than I experienced when I came first to New York and said in simple words to you, "I come to learn and serve." What you have awakened in my heart, my intuition, is without discrimination, analysis, and you cleared the deck of my mind through your Divine Light so fast, I could honestly, earnestly say, "I know:" until my heart painted by the water brooks of your God-Realized experience – and never was there room for doubt, never.
You have often said to us – "You know not love," and yet the love in my heart increased for Baba, and I would cry out in my soul to Love more (which) must be to cry out for you to come and teach, and most of all awaken the great potentials hidden in the love in my heart for you, the Avatar, and be! My experience. Did not Hafiz say: "Me this heritage reached, from the dawn of the creation" – and so my Divine Master, I understand in some degree "Love" as the rightful owner of our soul which you exemplify as far as I understand and am concerned: Your utterances and activities are all Love, Light and Truth.
Feeling is living – I feel what you awaken and teach – so I must cry out and ask you to come and fill my heart and our hearts so full of love that only Love can remain.
Great exaltations cannot be written – there is nothing to this task I brought but an emptying, and a stirring to experience some of the spiritual grandeur and the simplicity bound up in One Divine Man called Baba – beyond Name and form – in Reality – but who must, to our limited state of consciousness, come down – personify and help me – help us all to realize who we are – and what we may become! You have then – in Holiness – in the Beauty of Holiness – blessed this striver with both knowledge and service. O, come and lead us consciously through the mazes of our limited existence – to the Limitless Love, Light, Truth, God!
With whatever love and light thou hast granted me – Rabia – she rededicates it to the service of her Beloved, Divine Master, for humankind.
Soon after, Meher Baba replied to Rabia Martin's letter through his secretary, Adi K. Irani:
October 1st, 1945
Baba is profoundly happy and delighted that the vistas of new and ever-growing consciousness of Love, Light and Truth were experienced and that you rejoiced in their experience. Verily you have understood and grasped the gravity of Love as the basis of all higher aims and for that Baba is pleased also.
Inexplicable as Love is, it is as easy of feeling for a person like you, as it may be difficult for one who is blind to it. Nevertheless, Baba blesses equally those who are ignorant of it and those who are enlightened.
Baba knows you. He knows how you feel. He knows how you aspire. He knows how you love. He knows what you desire.
He sends his deepest love and blessings from his Infinite Heart.
Initiated by Inayat Khan in 1911, and head or Murshida of Sufism in America since 1927, Rabia Martin was destined to come into contact with Meher Baba. In 1942, Rabia Martin met Norina Matchabelli and Elizabeth Patterson, who had come to California to investigate sites for Baba's proposed American center. After listening to their descriptions of their Master, Rabia became convinced that Meher Baba was an extraordinary spiritual figure. She was profoundly affected by her internal experience of the Master and offered her Sufi retreat center in Fairfax near San Francisco for Baba's use. Elizabeth wrote Baba in India: "Rabia's offer seemed to come from the heart and we all agree that she is the most advanced and understanding soul we met in California."
Over the next three years, Rabia Martin studied Meher Baba's writings intensely and began a correspondence with him. She also grew closer to Norina and Elizabeth. In April 1945 they invited her to come and live with them. She joined them in New York and then Myrtle Beach until July. Rabia's inner experiences during those months confirmed her intuitive understanding that Meher Baba was the living embodiment of Sufism and the divine incarnation of God- the Rasool or Avatar.
Murshida Rabia Martin in a letter to Murshida Duce (3-4-146) referred to Meher Baba’s Divine Presence on these two nights as follows
“Two of my members came to me crying and said-O Murshida, I have seen and felt God in our Sanctuary tonight-because all who were awakened felt the emanations of His Divine Light, for He was talking to the whole world and also projecting the white light to clean the world up at the same time.
Our Blessed Baba said to me in my home that at the second lecture referred to above-Rabia, stand up and speak-and I spoke of six months I was away, under Baba’s guidance and instruction, and that now He was my Master (Because in early part of the lecture He, Baba stated emphatically to all, that He was Rabia’s Master (and so I said in closing) –I have come back and brought you all the highest truths, possibilities for your highest evolution through Baba- “so come along with me, the best is yet to be,” but if you do not and not even one of you come, still I will go on and with Baba to the end of time and the world. He sent His emanations of white light all through me and room was filled with its power and rhythm and my soul was exalted many planes above this.”
These talks inspired many of residents at Fairfax to send a group dedication letter to Baba.
In May 1945, at Myrtle Beach, Rabia Martin committed herself and her Sufi Order wholly to Meher Baba's guidance. In the following months, she began to share her understanding of Meher Baba with her closest Sufi students, including Ivy O. Duce, Don Stevens and Samuel Lewis. She also moved to formalize her commitment to Baba by giving him all the material resources and possessions of her Sufi Order, including her retreat at Fairfax. She dedicated everything she had to Baba. Her devotion and gratitude to the Master can be felt in one of her letters to Baba in 1945:)
Destined to play a significant role in the divine game, Ivy O. Duce, back in 1941, after more than a decade of searching for God and life's deeper meaning through various forms of religion, mysticism, occultism and astrology, met Rabia Martin, who was the leader (Murshida) of the Sufi Order established by Inayat Khan in America. She was born Ivy Oneita Judd on February 25th 1895, in New Jersey, the only child of an engineer who worked for the inventor Thomas Edison. Although she was a classically-trained soprano, she decided to study law. However, before she completed her legal training, America entered World War I and she went to France as a volunteer for the Red Cross. After the war, she spent two years travelling in South America as a representative for an international bank. Returning to New York, she became an editor for Century magazine. In 1923, she married James Terry Duce, an American geologist she met in South America, who later became an oil executive for the Arabian-American Oil Company. Six years later, their daughter, Charmian, was born. The Duces lived at times in New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and the Middle East. With her husband's involvement and wide influence in international business, she became a diplomatic hostess to heads of state, ambassadors and public figures in the United States and Europe. From 1941 onward, Ivy Duce became closely associated with Rabia Martin and was initiated into the Sufi Order, along with her teenage daughter, Charmian.After receiving Meher Baba's reply, in the autumn of 1945, Rabia Martin announced to all her Sufi students that her work was now dedicated to Meher Baba and that if they wished to remain in her Sufi group, their spiritual allegiance would need to be to him. Rabia declared that Baba's life, work and message were the essence of Sufism as it was to be lived now and in the future. She was totally dedicated to Meher Baba and fully accepted him as the Avatar, though she had not yet met him face to face.
Rabia Martin directed Sufi groups in the United States, South America and Australia. During 1946, at the age of seventy-five, Rabia Martin made plans to travel to India to meet Meher Baba and work out the details of setting up a new organization for Sufism in America and Australia. An Australian Sufi and writer, Francis Brabazon, was sent by the leader of the Sufis in Australia, Baron Von Frankenburg, to California to accompany her to India. Soon, however, it became clear that she was too ill to travel, and she was forced to give up her plan to meet Baba in India. The doctors had diagnosed that she was dying of cancer.
Ivy Duce was surprised when Rabia Martin named her as the next Murshida of the Sufi Order. Following Rabia's death, the weight of her new responsibility was very grave. Ivy Duce felt she did not have the spiritual illumination necessary to work as a true Murshida. Nor did she feel capable or qualified to assume the temporal responsibilities of directing the Sufi Order. In turmoil after Rabia's death, all Ivy Duce could think about was travelling to India to see Meher Baba. She decided that she had to carry out Rabia Martin's original design: to lay the future of Sufism in America at Meher Baba's feet. This she was determined to do. Ivy Duce had been in correspondence with Baba the past year and intended to ask him to appoint an authentic, illumined teacher for the Sufi Order, "perhaps someone from the East" who could come to America and put the Order on a stable basis. Baba had other plans. Therefore, in 1947, plans for a meeting were set in motion.
Meanwhile, Baba had continued to keep in touch with his Western lovers throughout 1947. Rabia Martin, who had close association with Elizabeth and Norina in New York City, had died of cancer at the end of August 1947. Since 1945 she had accepted Meher Baba as the Avatar and informed all the Sufis under her and her successor, Ivy Duce, that the Sufi Order was now under the spiritual guidance of Meher Baba. For nearly the past three years, Rabia had taught nothing but Meher Baba's words and concepts in the Sufi Order, and never wavered from her complete devotion to him. Rabia had accepted Meher Baba not only as a living Qutub but had concluded that "Meher Baba is the greatest spiritual leader of our age, “implying with certainty that he was the Rasool – the Avatar. Rabia Martin was not destined to meet Meher Baba in person, but she achieved her deepest wish by bringing Sufism in America under the guidance of the Avatar and by urging Ivy Duce to establish direct contact with him.
After Rabia Martin's passing, the group of Sufis in the San Francisco area dwindled to a small number which met regularly under Ivy Duce, consisting of Don Stevens, Daphne Macdonald, Joyce Ruggles, Louise Urico and Rosemary McFall. From Hillsborough, Fred and Carolyn Frey joined the Sufi group occasionally, and from a far distance Laura Delavigne in Michigan kept in correspondence with Ivy Duce. Gradually, from 1947 through the next several years the Sufi group was joined by Harold Stewart, Lud Dimpfl and Marvin Campen, and later became increasingly integrated with the joining of Joseph and Kari Harb. Ivy Duce was eager to meet with Meher Baba, the living Avatar and unify her Sufi group under his direction. She wrote to Baba and he granted her permission to meet with him in India at the beginning of 1948.
By October of 1947, several Australian Sufis had also come into Baba's contact through the influence of the Sufi leader Baron Von Frankenburg, to whom Rabia Martin had sent a copy of the Discourses. Among them were May Lundquist, Ena Lemmon, Bill Le Page, John and Joan Bruford, Stan and Clarice Adams, Oswald and Betty Hall, Denis and Joan O'Brien, and their eventual leader Francis Brabazon. In 1948, Francis wrote to Baba of his vivid dreams. Through Dr. Ghani, Baba replied to Francis: "Baba would like very much for you to look upon him as a friend, and maybe, in the course of time, you will grow to look upon him as the Beloved." Indeed, it did not take him long to "surrender to the Beloved of his heart."
The spiritual worth of Rabia Martin consists in being appointed as Murshida by Hazrat Inayat Khan personally and directly. Hence the effort on the part of Rabia Martin to obtain a written investiture from Hasan Nizami was altogether superfluous and unnecessary.
For the continuance of the work of spiritually enlightened humanity, it is never imperatively essential to contact disembodied Masters, nor is it necessary to receive messages from departed souls. It is only living Masters actually working on the physical plane that sometimes communicate or send messages of guidance through and to suitable mediums.
The sending of messages even by living Masters is a rare phenomenon and very seldom resorted to, unless the urgency of the situation warrants it. The Masters who are out to guide humanity always do so by having recourse to ordinary and natural means of communication. When Masters in flesh avoid all occult methods of teaching and guiding humanity through appointed mediums, whatever may be their intrinsic worth, you can imagine how tall and presumptuous the claim of certain individuals can be when they talk of receiving messages from Masters, and that too from those who are no more on the physical plane of existence. You are therefore enjoined by Hazrat Meher Baba to remember that nobody should succeed in impressing or overawing you by such claims as having the capability of receiving messages from Masters, living or dead.
Hazrat Meher Baba has once again taken this opportunity of reiterating the advice given to you while here in India:
"You should openly declare that you are a student of spirituality. You are not God-realized and that you are aspiring for that blessedness with the help and grace of a Master who is alive and active in the affairs of the world today. Since the responsibility – not of your seeking – of supervising the Sufi movement has devolved on you through Murshida Rabia Martin, you would do your best to shoulder the Cross, knowing fully well your shortcomings and weaknesses. While trying to help and teach others in the Sufi way, you are alive to the fact that you yourself are growing and learning. The result of your work when conducted in this spirit should be left entirely in the hands of Baba."
Francis Brabazon had been attempting to meet Baba for several years. A poet and writer, Brabazon was spiritually inclined and had studied metaphysical literature. He had become attracted to the Persian Sufis and had found out about Sufism and Meher Baba through the Australian Sufi leader Baron Von Frankenburg. He had been sent by Baron Von Frankenburg to San Francisco, California, in September 1946, to accompany Murshida Rabia Martin to India to meet Meher Baba. But Rabia Martin fell seriously ill with cancer and could not travel to India prior to her death in 1947. Brabazon could not go alone and he remained in America until the next appointed Sufi Murshida, Ivy Duce, returned from meeting Baba in India, during January 1948. Upon Ivy Duce's return she telephoned Brabazon in San Francisco and assured him that Meher Baba was indeed "the Qutub of all Sufis." Brabazon was directed to return to Australia, work hard, save his money and await Baba's call. In 1951, when Von Frankenburg died, Brabazon was appointed head of the Australian Sufis by Ivy O. Duce.
At her first meeting in 1948, Ivy Duce had asked for Baba's guidance, as she had been appointed to the leadership of the Sufi order after Rabia Martin died and knew that she was not a Realized soul. Baba assured her not to worry about her limitations; he would see to the welfare of the organization and restructure it with himself as its head.
The next day, July 19th, Carolyn Frey met Baba. Donald Eugene Stevens, age thirty-three, one of Ivy's mureeds and her chief helper, arrived in the afternoon. When Rabia Martin had told her group in San Francisco about Baba, Don had initially rebelled. He was devoted to Inayat Khan and was skeptical of another Master. He had been unable to come to Myrtle Beach for the May 17th darshan, and though he had sent a telegram asking if he could meet Baba in Prague, Oklahoma, Baba had not permitted it.
47- RAMANA MAHARISHI
(Raman Maharshi achieved God-realisation)
Paul Brunton was most impressed with Ramana Maharshi. When Brunton asked Ramana Maharshi if he had ever heard of Meher Baba, the saint replied that he had. Brunton asked if he had anything further to add to Meher Baba's claim to be an Avatar, and Ramana Maharshi replied, "What have I to say?
This is a question that seekers after Truth need not consider. People that are in the lower rungs of the ladder waste their energies over all such questions."
"Will the world be rejuvenated?" Brunton inquired
Ramana Maharshi replied, "There is One who governs the world, and it is his look-out to look after the world. He who has given life to the world, knows how to guide it also."
Maharshi also told Brunton, "The Realized Ones send out waves of spiritual influence which draw many people towards them, even though they may be sitting silently in a cave."
On the afternoon of the 22nd, a program was held in the Janata College Maharshi Hall at 4:15 P.M. A central government minister, Dr. Punjab Rao S. Deshmukh, received Baba, as did the principal, Dr. Jawala Prasad, and other members of the faculty. After garlanding Baba, Punjab Rao delivered a speech. Bhajan singing was performed, Baba's message "Religion and Politics" was read out and the students of the college were given prasad. Sagane presented Dr. Rao with a large photograph of Baba sent by Harjiwan Lal of Delhi.
While it was being installed in the hall, Dr. Rao said, "The photograph in this hall will always remind us of your visit here." Baba also unveiled a portrait of the saint Ramana Maharshi, after whom the hall had been named, and then toured the college campus.
Bhabananda said to Baba, "Ramana Maharshi and other saints whom I have met also said so. But up to now I have no experience of these words."
Baba explained, "Ramana Maharshi was right. Ramakrishna also said the same. Vedanta says it. But it is a matter of experience. I want you to realize it. That is why I take interest in you and instruct you to do certain things.
On 2nd March 1948, another group of visitors asked about Aurobindo Ghose and Ramana Maharshi, Baba stated “I am in Aurobindo, Ramana Maharshi and beyond!:
Upasani Maharaj had once told Sudhanand Bharti, “The Beloved of your life will one day embrace you.” And a high saint of Hubli had said, “You will meet a silent Master.” Now, after meeting other spiritually illumined beings such as Ramana Maharshi and Aurobindo, at last he faced Meher Baba, and immediately recognized Him as “The Saint of saints, the Mahatma of mahatmas, the goal of my long pilgrimage.
Ramkrishna Paramhans was the Perfect Master (God-realised) and Vivekanand was His chief disciple whom He revealed glimpse of His divinity in a flash by putting His hand on Vivekananda’s head.
Swami Ramakrishna, once insulted (His close disciple) Vivekananda by telling him in a harsh, derogatory tone to go away and never come back; but, shortly afterward, He had him called back and consoled him. It is My love that has been the cause of humiliating you before the others. Baba then embraced Adi.
On 12 August 1924, inquiries were made about visiting Dakshineshwar and the temple where the Sadguru Ramakrishna Paramhansa once lived. On 12 August, they boated across the Hooghly River to visit the shrine. Near the bank of the river, they came across a blind beggar sitting in squalor. Baba and the men swept the filthy area, and then fed and comforted the destitute man.
Belur Math, the temple and headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission, is situated on the banks of the Hooghly River, not far from Dakshineshwar Village. The main temple is a beautiful structure, surrounded by twelve smaller ones. The shrine is a peaceful and quiet sanctuary, located at the edge of the teeming city's slums. Baba and the men made obeisance in the room used by Ramakrishna for his Universal work. In another room, they viewed the statue of Kali, which Ramakrishna worshiped, and the relics associated with the Perfect Master's life (such as his sandals). They also viewed the rooms used by Vivekananda and Ramakrishna's other disciples.
While returning, Baba noticed a humble Hindu temple and went inside. Here a sincere devotee had lovingly kept Ramakrishna's large photograph in perfect condition. Baba greeted him, and after an inquiry, gave the man some advice about his meditations.
The Sadguru is like an ocean. He does not give anything, but when He gives, He gives the Ocean and you become realized."
Baba quoted the instance of Ramakrishna Paramhansa of Calcutta and his disciple Swami Vivekananda. Eruch narrated some incidents from Vivekananda's life which showed how he tested his guru in many ways. Baba concluded, "Had Vivekananda come in contact with a wali (saint) instead of a Sadguru like Ramakrishna, he would have been doomed for life!"