*INSPIRING STORIES & SIMILES-BY MEHER BABA

WHY BABA SOMETIMES GETS ANGRY (SIMILE)

Once, when Baba was in an open mood, Sarosh asked him, "Why do you sometimes get so angry with us?"

Baba explained:

I am never violent or angry. For Me anger, pride, lust, happiness or miseries do not exist. Nothing like that exists for Me. But when I appear angry at someone, it is his anger that expresses itself through Me. I am the medium through which both your good and bad show themselves. You see your own face reflected in the mirror. Whatever you look like — this is what you see in the mirror. The image is not only there in the mirror, but in the face itself. The mirror is unchanging. If the face is not good, can it appear differently in the mirror? What you see in the mirror is your exact likeness — it is not the likeness of the mirror!

Using another analogy, Baba continued:

A ball thrown against a wall rebounds to you with the same force with which you throw it. The wall is always at a standstill — absolutely stationary. You receive whatever resulting force you use in throwing the ball against the wall.

In conclusion, however I appear to you, it is only your own reflected image. I am always still and unchangeable — like the wall or the mirror.

Gist;

Baba’s anger is the reflection of our ego.

 

THE SYMBOLISM OF THE COCONUT FRUIT (SIMILE)

The symbolism of the coconut fruit, conventionally offered to the Master in certain areas, may be explained as follows.

The outer threads on the hard cover of the coconut represent the physical body. The outer hard covering represents the subtle body with all its surging impressional desires. The inner kernel in the coconut represents the mind with seeds of impressions. And the inmost water is essentially not different from the water of the ocean, from which it is ultimately soaked up by the roots of the trees on the shore. It may therefore be likened to a portion of divinity itself.

Now, because of the sheaths of the inner kernel, the outer cover and the thick layer of threads, the inmost water remains completely hidden from view; and the identity of the inmost being of the coconut with the ocean itself is not even suspected. So the coconut, with all the covers, is symbolically offered to the Master in order that he may reveal the inmost essence of the soul as it is.

The Master takes off the threads on the exterior one by one. This is like relieving the burdened mind of ordinary men. It corresponds to taking from them all bodily attachments one by one and ultimately taking away from them the attachment to body itself. Destruction of the body through physical death does not solve any problem, because the ego-mind grows new bodies in new incarnations.

Through utter non-attachment to the physical body, the soul is relieved of the limitations of the outermost covering, symbolized by the threads of the coconuts. When the hindrance of the physical body is removed the body begins to function consciously. This is the state of the Yogis.

But the sheath of the subtle body, with all its surging desires, has also to be shed. This corresponds to the Master's breaking open the outer hard covering of the coconut. And when the obstructively of the subtle body is removed, the soul begins to function consciously through its mental ego-body. This is the stage of the advanced souls.

The ego-mind corresponds to the inner kernel of the coconut; and the Master has to break open even this inner kernel to take the soul to its own essence, which, in this analogy, corresponds to the inmost water in the coconut. Breaking the inner kernel means that the mind of the person ceases to function completely. It comes to a standstill since the seeds that activate the ego-mind are all burnt up.

When the hindrance of the ego-mind is removed, the Master, as it were, drinks the inmost sweet water and makes it unite with the ocean of life that he is. Lover and Beloved have become one consciously.

Gist:

The coconut with outer and internal kernel is symbolic to the physical body and ego mind.

(Sparks of truth, pp. 13-14, C. D. Deshmukh, 1971 © Universal Spiritual League in America, Inc.)

 

THE STORY OF PIRAN-E-PIR DASTAGIR

Baba added, "The aspirant who sees the divine hallucination can be helped by a Perfect Master, pir or wali." He ended with this tale about Piran-e-Pir Dastagir:

This is a story about the knowledge and power of the Qutub. There was once a Muslim Perfect Master named Piran-e-Pir Dastagir in Baghdad. He was a Qutub and loved a boy very much. The boy loved his father very much. At the age of seven years, the boy's father died and the boy joined the Qutub.

One day, twelve years later, the Qutub Dastagir was in an exceptionally pleasant mood and told the boy that he would grant whatever he desired. The foolish boy, instead of asking for God-realization, requested his father be risen back from the dead.

Dastagir repeated the same question three times, but the foolish boy asked only for his father. The Qutub granted his wish, and the boy found his father alive and lovingly embraced him.

Now see the power and knowledge of the Qutub. In order to make the boy's father alive, who died twelve years before; he had to make innumerable alterations in an instant, because his father must have been connected with so many relatives and friends, who in turn were connected with many others. In short, to make a seemingly small alteration, the Perfect Master has to make innumerable alterations in the universe.

 Gist:

Avatar or Sadguru (God personified) has power to change the destiny but it very rare for which Avatar or Sadguru had to make numerous adjustments in sanskaras of souls connected with the souls whose destiny is altered.  

(Lord Meher-5031-1963)

THE STORY-OF NARDA AND HOUSEHOLD

Once, Narada was sauntering in a town singing the glory of Lord Vishnu on his lyre. He noted with satisfaction a house-holder performing a religious act and felt glad that the inhabitants of the earth were loving God. He stepped into the house. The house-holder was overjoyed at this windfall and received Narada with deference.

Narada was given a place of honour at the feast that followed. On hearing that the host was not blessed with children, Narada rose to his feet and refused to accept food. He went post haste to Lord Vishnu and complained of the injustice done to his devotee.

Lord Vishnu said, "I know nothing about his issues. Go to Chitra gupta, he will tell you about his future — whether he will have issues or not."

Wasting no time, Narada hurried to Chitra gupta and referred the matter to him. Chitra gupta verified the records and said, "Sorry, no issues in this life." Narada became sullen.

Now the scene changes to earth. It is midnight. A sadhu goes about the streets begging for food proclaiming that whosoever gives him bread will be granted children — one for one bread, two for two loaves of bread and so on.

This falls into the ears of the childless house-holder. He invites the sadhu into his house and bids his wife give food to the hungry sadhu. She readily consents and serves him four hot loaves of bread and also offers him delicious dishes. The sadhu is well satisfied and while departing gives his benediction, "You will have four children in fulfillment of my promise."

The pious house-holder is blessed with four children.

Once again Narada calls on the house-holder and finds to his surprise four children running and playing in the house. He questions the house-holder about the children. Pleasantly surprised at the episode Narada makes a dash to Vaikuntha to call for the Lord's explanation.

"What sort of divinity are you! I found four sons with the house-holder quite contrary to Chitragupta's account."

Lord Vishnu smiles and says, "True, there were no issues in the life of this religious man. But he obtained the blessings of a man who loved me all his life. So, if my devotee gives a certain blessing, I must carry it out because of the love of the devotee for me.

"Narada, you are My greatest devotee and an eternal lover. Had you given blessings to him, I would have certainly fulfilled your wish. So, even though there were no issues for the man, because of My love for the devotees and to keep up their words, I had to do it. I always see that the words of My devotees come true.

Gist:

God (Avatar or Sadguru) is slave of His lover. God never allows His devotee to let him down.

 (In the Company of Avatar Meher Baba, pp. 162-164, 1988, 1992 © M. R. Dhakephalkar)

THE STORY OF MOUSE

Baba illustrated following story.

There was a sanyasi. He had a mouse as his pet and would feed him every day. The mouse became fond of him and would visit him quite often.

One day the mouse informed the sanyasi that he was afraid of the cat.

"All right, I'll make you a cat," assured his master and immediately the mouse became a cat. The cat would purr and gambol at the sanyasi's feet.

One day the cat expressed his worst fears about the dog.

"All right, I'll make you a dog," the sanyasi complied with a benign smile. The cat changed into a dog. When he heard the roar of a lion from the neighbouring jungle, the dog became jittery and pleaded with his master, who turned him into a lion.

One day thick clouds gathered in the sky and the peals of thunder made the lion get panicky. He scampered to the sanyasi and told him that he was afraid of the thunder. The sanyasi reproached him.

"You were a mouse; I made you a cat, then a dog and next a lion; still you carry the heart of a mouse and fear everything under the sun. It would be nice if you go back and take your original form."

At once the lion changed into a mouse and lived with the sanyasi happily as before

Gist:

Man is always ambitious by nature but gets frustrated in non fulfillment of desires. One should resign to the will of God.

(In the Company of avatar Meher Baba, pp. 162-164 1988, 1992 © M. R. Dhakephalkar)

THE STORY OF FARIDUDDIN GANJ SHAKKAR

Dr. Bharucha told Baba of a man in his home town (Navsari) who professed to have the power to drive out evil spirits from people possessed by them. Bharucha asked Baba, "How such powers are developed, and are the people who have them really advanced souls on the path?"

In reply, Baba stated:

It is possible to derive such powers if you gain tantric knowledge –mystical formulas for attainment of supernatural or magical powers. These powers may then be utilized for good or bad purposes – good when they are used for removing evil spirits from people and ghosts, bad when they are used for selfish ends and self-aggrandizement. These tantric powers have nothing to do with the Spiritual Path and the divine powers of the planes. Miracles performed by people possessing such powers are very childish. Even Vivekananda got himself in a terribly bad predicament when he began to crave such powers. His Guru, Ramakrishna, saved him in the nick of time. (1)

Baba then further explained:

A person wanting to possess such powers makes a small circle (chilla-nashini) (2) around himself and sits within its limits for forty days and nights repeating a particular mantra. If he succeeds in sitting there for the full forty days without a break, he gains certain powers. But it is not easy to go through such an ordeal and do such penance, as the person often sees weird and terrifying sights and is practically forced to leave the boundary of the circle due to fright. If he leaves the circle, he gains no occult powers and would have to start the process again.

Regarding miracles, Baba narrated the tale of Baba Fariduddin Ganj-Shakkar:

Farid did a lot of penance in order to gain powers. He did not eat for days on end and developed a severe gripping pain in his abdomen. As a last resort, he hung himself upside down deep inside a well. After several days, he was miraculously brought out of the well and found to his utter astonishment that he had derived some great powers. He at once began using them. Some birds on a nearby tree were sitting. He uttered: "Let the birds fall dead," and all the birds fell to the ground dead! He then said: "Let the birds come to life and fly away," and immediately the whole flock was alive and flew away!

He went from village to village, showing off his powers and thus feeding his ego. At a particular village, he saw an old woman drawing water from a well and splashing it just outside the well. The woman continued this monotonous procedure for a long time. Farid, desperately disgusted with the seeming madness of the woman, confronted her and asked her why she did such a foolish, time and energy-consuming action. She cryptically replied: "Son, by splashing water here, I am trying to put out a fire raging in a village ten miles from here! This action is not as easy as making dead birds fly away again!"

Farid realized at once that the woman was not an ordinary person and asked for forgiveness for his past deeds. She directed him to a Perfect Master sitting underneath a tree some distance away. Farid approached him and found that the tree he was sitting under was totally dry, and the hot sun was beating fiercely upon him. At once, he made use of his powers, turning the tree's branches full with green leaves. The Master just looked up at the tree and the branches became barren again. Farid again made the tree green, but a glance from the Master denuded it again. This happened five times. At last Farid realized that his powers were nothing compared to the Master's, and he surrendered himself to him. The Master advised Farid to become a real fakir, and not to play like a child with such powers. He said that miracles are not the criterion of fakiri (fakir-hood).

Baba Fariduddin Ganj-Shakkar eventually became a Perfect Master. Baba then narrated another story of a Mohammedan who had gained certain powers through tantric knowledge:

This man even had powers to give sight to the blind (3) and so had a very big following. He stayed in a huge building that had several floors. One day while he was standing on the terrace of his house, he saw a cow fall in a well. He instantly stretched out his hand toward the well and pulled out the cow.

Very close to his house was a river and on the other bank lived a Perfect Master. Since the Master did not perform any miracles, his following was very limited. The Master, on learning of the cow incident, sent one of his men to ask the Mohammedan to stop all that nonsense. The Mohammedan flew into a rage and swore that he would revenge himself on the Master, and made his plans.

One night, he sent for a very beautiful prostitute and, for a fee, asked her to go to the Master with wine and pork. She was instructed to entice the Master to eat the pork and drink the wine. So she went. The Master appeared very happy to see her and thoroughly enjoyed her company, and also the food and wine she had brought for him.

The next morning, the prostitute returned to the Mohammedan very happy with the news of her success. The Mohammedan was also very happy now that he had the proof to denounce the Master and his spirituality, as he had gone against the tenets of the Muslim religion (by eating pork and drinking wine).

The Mohammedan, with a band of his ardent followers, decided to go to the Master to denounce him. He rode on a horse and soon began crossing the river, while his followers waded after him. When the horse was in midstream, the horse stopped and began to urinate in the river. Observing this, the Master shouted out and reprimanded the Mohammedan for allowing his horse to pollute the river.

The Mohammedan scoffed at this and thought the Master was completely insane, for he could not imagine how a little urine could pollute the whole river. He shouted back at the Master: "How can this urine pollute a river?"

The Master replied: "How then can a little wine and pork pollute the Ocean that I am?" The Mohammedan understood the depth of these words and went to the Master and surrendered himself to him.

Baba concluded, "Powers have no importance. Only love counts on the path. This requires the daring to annihilate oneself. Miracles are childish things."

Gist:

Power to perform miracles by tantrik is no sign of spiritual advancement, but it degenerate the spiritual progress. Perfect Masters are like unlimited ocean and no amount of filth can pollute it. Only love for God counts on the path of spirituality.

(1)  Refer to a most remarkable and revealing biography of any modern Guru, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna about the life of the Sadguru of Calcutta, Ramakrishna Kathamrita, translated by Swami Nikilananda in 1942.

(2)   Regarding chilla-nashini (forty days of austerities), also called a penance, refer to The Nothing and the Everything, page 78.

(3)   Refer to God Speaks, page 47, regarding the miraculous occult powers attained in the third plane of the subtle world.

THE STORY OF BAHLUL

The great mystic Bahlul wanted to contact certain notables of Persia for reasons of his own. The only way of doing so was to the Prince’s party attended by those notables.  Unfortunately Bahlul was bald-headed, and those days no one without hair was allowed to attend any party given by the Prince, for the Prince had lost his own hair and to see others without hair prevented him from enjoying the party. And so when Bahlul went to the party he was thrown out. As the party lasted for three days Bahlul borrowed cloths and a wig and distinguished himself and went again on the following day. No one recognized him in his fine clothes. He made great impression, and was liked so much that the Prince asked him to sit next to him. No sooner Bahlul seated, and then he winked at the Prince. This the Prince did not understand but vaguely felt that such a gesture from the illustrious man must mean something important. Thinking that it merited a suitable response, he winked back. Those were near saw this exchange of winking and were impelled to imitate it. Soon the winking spread throught the company.

Then Bahlul cried, “Stop! O you wise men, why do you wink?” And the notable replied, “We are winking because you great man were winking. We only imitate you”. Then Bahlul took off his wig and said, “We two are both bald. Imitate us.” Then notables went away and on the third day returned with shaved heads. Bahlul turned to the Prince and said,” We are permanently bald; these men will have to shave their heads daily to remain bald.” Thus through his sense of humour, Bahlul secured access to those who he wanted to help.

Gist:

No one should copy Master’s action, rather do everything as asked by his Master without any question of why and what.

THE STORY OF AN ASS

In the spiritual life it is not necessary to have a complete map of the path in order to begin travelling. On the contrary, insistence upon having such complete knowledge may actually hinder rather than help the onward march. The deeper secrets of spiritual life are unraveled to those who take risks and who make bold experiments with it. They are not meant for the idler who seeks guarantees for every step. Those who speculate from the shore about the ocean shall know only its surface, but those who would know the depths of the ocean must be willing to plunge into it.

It can better be understood by a well-known story of an ass. An ass, who was plodding along a road for a long time and was very hungry, happened to see two heaps of grass—one at some distance on the right side of the road and the other at some distance on the left side of the road. Now the ass thought that it was of utmost importance to be absolutely certain which of the two heaps was clearly the better before he could intelligently decide to go to one heap rather than the other. If he decided without thorough thinking and without having sufficient grounds for his preference, that would be impulsive action and not intelligent action.

Therefore he first considered the distance at which the two heaps were respectively placed from the road he was treading. Unfortunately for him, after elaborate consideration, he concluded that the heaps were equally distant from the road. So he wondered if there were some other considerations that might enable him to make the "right" choice and speculated upon the respective sizes of the heaps. Even with this second attempt to be theoretically sure before acting, his efforts were not crowned with success because he concluded that both heaps were of equal size. Then, with the tenacity and patience of an ass, he considered other things, such as the quality of the grass. But as fate would have it, in all the points of comparison he could think of, the two heaps turned out to be equally desirable.

Ultimately it happened that since the ass could not discover any deciding factor that would make his preference appear theoretically sound, he did not go to either of the two heaps but went straight ahead — hungry and tired as before and not a whit better off for having come upon two heaps of grass. If the ass had gone to one heap, without insisting upon the theoretical certainty of having chosen wisely, he might perhaps have gone to the heap that was not as good as the other. And despite any mistakes in his intellectual judgment, he would have been infinitely better off from a practical point of view.

 Gist:

One cannot have complete road map of spiritual path before stepping. It is like diving into river of fire or entering into a tunnel. To one who takes risk and plunges, the secrets of the path are revealed step by step automatically. 

THE STORY OF MAHBOOBI PERFECT MASTER

The tales of Sadgurus and Qutub, and power of their words and blessings, make the most marvelous of spoken and written thoughts. There is a wonderful and mysterious story stated by Meher Baba of a Perfect Master who lived in Lucknow, India. In medieval times, between the 13 th and 14 th century. The exact centaury was not revealed and Baba did not reveal the name or his whereabouts of his tomb. This Perfect Master is not recorded in any book and he is not included in any spiritual lineage. He is known as “the Mahboobi,” he was unique because he was physically a hermaphrodite. Speaking in symbols, that human being born free of sex, sexless, by being born with both male and female organs.

In medieval India there was a class of hermaphrodites, who dressed as women and lived as wandering minstrels. Although they were outcaste from normal society, in order to earn a living they were hired to sing and play music at weddings. And also hired to wail and mourn at funerals. Such was their profession. This Sadguru from Lucknow was one of those and the leader of a tribe.

The following is the tale that Meher Baba related to the men mandali during the early 1960s, passed on by Eruch Jessawala. It is not recounted in any other Sufi or Vedantic book.

No one in Lucknow but his fellow hermaphrodites knew he was spiritually advanced. He was, in fact, a Sadguru. And that is how his fame spread.

One day a groups of ruffians, in a bullying mood went about to harass and do violence to the small band of hermaphrodites. One of the ruffians pointed the leader of the hermaphrodites (namely, the Sadguru). As the man pointed to the leader and caught his eyes and was about to confront him, the man suddenly stopped and could not take another step and could not lower his arm. For several minutes, no matter how he struggled, he was paralyzed in his tracks. Only when the man pleaded with the leader to release him from this spell and assured him no harm would come to the Baba of the hermaphrodites did the leader restore the ruffian’s ability to move. Soon after, this story spread and the occult power of the leader became known, and people recognized him as a Master.

Later, as the people of Lucknow began to worship this hermaphrodite, opposition naturally arose, for he was of a low and disdain class. To disprove the power of the leader of the hermaphrodites, a devilish plot was conspired. Two influential families in Lucknow plotted the wicked ruse. It was decided that two boys, the sons of two families, deceive the hermaphrodite and approach him disguised as a married couple; one boy dressed as a women. The ruse was to approach the Master and seek his blessing in form of a child; naturally, this would be impossible. For both were males and this would prove to the people of Lucknow that the hermaphrodite Master was false and be cast into exile.

One dressed in disguise, the two boys approached the Master, who asked what they sought. “We are newly married, Master, we seek your blessing for a child.”

The hermaphrodite inquired if they were sincere and if they were certain they wanted a child. They assured him that a child would prove a blessing.

“So be it.” Said the Master. “You will bear a child.”

The two boys returned to their homes with the news, and the families were convinced that this would eventually put a stop to the worship of that hermaphrodite and exposé him as a fraud.

Weeks passed and the boy who was dressed disguised as girl started to undergo subtle physical changes which he afraid and embarrassed to admit. His body was changing into a girl’s body, and to his utter horror he was indeed showing all signs of being pregnant. Finally, the boy, not knowing what to do, confessed to his family what was happening to him and exposed his body, which now had female organs. The family now knew that they had cursed themselves. They had no recourse but to confess to the leader of hermaphrodite that they had tried to deceive him and therefore begged him to lift his curse from their son.

When the family approached the hermaphrodite, he explained that he did not curse the boy and could not undo his blessing, and the child was destined to be born. Within month that buy turned into a full-breasted women who bore a child and the family became devotee to the hermaphrodite. Thus his name and fame spread, though his full story has been lost to recorded history.

Thus, Meher baba remembered this unique Perfect master, but did not name him, simply referring to him in the Sufi symbolic term “the Mahboobi.” The symbolism of the Sufi term means a human being who is interchangeable as both a man and a woman.

Gist:

To approach an Avatar or Sadguru with malice intention or to defame may be very disastrous for anyone. A blessing of a Sadguru is irreversible. 

THE BIRD

Once there was a forest, and in that forest, a bird flew and flew until it reached a palace. In front of palace there was a mirror. When the bird approached mirror, it thought that another bird was behind mirror. In fact, that second bird was the first bird’s own reflection, a shadow, its illusion. But the real bird thought that the reflection as another bird. So the bird started pecking against the mirror with its beak. The bird got tired from doing this continuously. It did not understand that there was nothing in the mirror

Gist:

This story was told by Beloved Baba and depicts different states of comciousness. In fact these states are planes-gross, subtle, mental-are nothing but illusion. I realty, subtle and mental states are “fine” illusion, while the gross state is not “fine” illusion, and Reality as Reality.

The reflection, the shadow, has no existence; it is nothing. Though it was an illusion, to think the reflection exists in delusion. And as long as you go on thinking that nothing but the world exits, you will find yourself in illusion. 

The story shows that we take the illusion as real, though it is not there. Therefore, it is necessary that we have the knowledge that illusion is illusion and has no existence. Only God exists, and whatever appears to exist beside God, is nothing but illusion.