HOW DOES AN AVATAR WORK?
Avatar is the same personality who first realized Himself on His own without help of any one; appears at times to relieve the mankind from suffering out of His love and help the deserving souls to attain their goal of God realisation.
Avatar is supreme administrator during His Avataric life time. All five perfect Masters who cause the descent of Avatar on the earth when time is ripe, they themselves come under control of Avatar and play their role for humanity as willed by Avatar. Avatar has on His disposal the advance souls of third, fourth planes called spiritual agents to assist in affairs of the world
Avatar is conscious of God as well as man. He possesses infinite knowledge, Power and Bliss but does not use His infinite power and Bliss except His infinite knowledge. Through Infinite knowledge He reaches mankind and makes them aware of their real goal of God realisation and through His humour sustains the strain of universal suffering of the mankind. If Avatar has to use his infinite power He can make every soul God realized or destroy His creation but He does not in order to keep His creation to go on.
Lord Rama was God personified but he wept like an ordinary man on demise of His father, kidnapping of wife and unconsciousness of brother Laxman even being all powerful. He took help of His friends and devotees like Sugreev, Hanuman and Vibhishana to kill Ravana, He exiled Sita though faultless on comment of a washer-man and displayed that He was like a common man and for the common man
Krishna was also Avatar. He also did not make use of His infinite power which could have killed Kansa without any effort but He fought the Kurushetra battle without using weapon through His disciples and killed Kansa. He established the rule of dharma though His infinite knowledge which impressed many of His lovers and all His strategies worked as He willed.
Buddha being king led an ascetic life in young age; preached eight fold paths for God seekers. He was killed by poisonous food by one of devotees but He did not blame and accepted an act owned by Him
Christ was betrayed by His close disciples Peter and Judas. He was hanged on cross. Jesus accepted it willingly. He knew everything still He blessed His disciples. Later, these apostles of Jesus spread Lord Jesus’s message of “Love Thy neighbor” near and far in the world.
Mohammad also accepted and did not react for breaking of His teeth by His followers which displayed His love for His disciples and common man.
All Avatars accepted the atrocities and injuries inflicted by even their disciples as His own willing act to bring the awareness of God impress and convey the message of brother hood among them.
Meher Baba also used His infinite knowledge to awaken humanity speaking in hearts in silence which is amazing and unparallel. Through His Humour, He sustained suffering on His body to unburden the suffering of human kind. He used to answer the questions of visitors some time before it cropped in their mind. Many intellectuals came to Baba with list of questions, but when they came before Baba either they forgot questions or said to have get answers of all their questions and have nothing to ask. There is one interesting episode which will make understand as how Meher Baba used to reach the mind and heart of His lovers.
Once, in sahwas program, many devotees wanted to put questions before Baba but time was short, so Baba asked Parmeshwari Dayal Pukar (a disciple from Hamirpur) to collect question slips from the lovers which Baba said to reply in next meeting. Pukar collected approx. 200 question slips. But before the next meeting with Baba, all the question slips were withdrawn by lovers on ground that their questions have already been answered by Baba and they have nothing to ask.
Avatar’s capability is limitless. There are many roles which are performed by Avatar for the benefit of His disciples and common man. These are elaborated in Baba’s words as below.
Avatar burns sanskaras like a hay stack:
“If you try to set green grass on fire, it will not burn. But if you set a match to a haystack it will immediately catch fire and burn to ash. The haystack symbolizes the accumulation of sanskaras. In order for green grass to dry, it has to be kept near a fire. This means that in order to destroy one's sanskaras, a person should stay with a Sadguru in whom the divine knowledge is always burning. In his contact and company, accumulated sanskaras dry. Finally, with the flame of his grace, he sets fire and uproots all one's sanskaras. Even red sanskaras of lust and anger which are the fastest growing and most deeply rooted, are nothing to worry about if you are in contact of a Sadguru or Avatar.” (www.lordmeher.org, Pp-818)
“In company of Sadguru or Avatar, a person’s worldly sanskaras get burnt up through Master’s spiritual heat. That is why those near to a Sadguru derive great spiritual benefit, and those who serve the master, the benefit is indeed immense. Once you surrender to a Sadguru or Avatar He takes upon the responsibility of eradicating your sanskaras and emancipating you. It becomes his duty to lead you toward knowledge and God realisation”.
“Let not the dirt of the sanskaras of your thoughts and deeds touch you by surrendering every thought and act at the feet of your Sadguru or Avatar. As a laundryman washes and cleanses clothes, in the same way, I remove all the dirt which has stuck to you through your thoughts and actions. Just continue doing as I say. If you put in your best efforts, there is no cause to worry”.
“Avatar’s action on gross plane is like the throwing of a main switch in an electric power house, which immediately and simultaneously releases the immense force through many circuits, putting into action various branches services such as factories and fans, trains and trolleys and lights for cities and villages”.
“An ordinary physical action of the Avatar releases immense forces in the inner planes and so becomes the starting point for a chain of working, the repercussions and overtones of which are manifested at all levels and are universal in the range and effect”.
Avatar does not as a rule interfere with the working out of human destiny
The Avatar does not as a rule interfere with the working out of human destinies. He will do so only in times of grave necessity—when He deems it absolutely necessary from His all-encompassing point of view. For a single alteration in the planned and imprinted pattern in which each line and dot is interdependent, means a shaking up and a re-linking of an unending chain of possibilities and events. The least divergence from the pre-drawn line of Fate not only requires infinite adjustments within the immediate orbit of the individual concerned, but involves in its interminable repercussions all those connected by the bond of past sanskaras. (Everything and nothing page-108)
Avatar can change one’s destiny;
Avatar or Sadguru has power to change destiny of an individual. According to Meher Baba only Avatar and Sadguru can alter, divert or destroy this course i.e. He can change the course of person’s destiny. This may occur once a person comes in contact with such a Master. There is no chance realization for the disciple and only Master can do it
Sadguru can alter course of experience
Sadguru can alter the course of experience to realize God .Satsang (the company) of these Perfect Ones is the best medium and path to the attainment of bliss. Someone asked, "But how can we acquire the desire for the company of saints?" Baba replied, "By killing all desires except one – longing for real bliss.
Walis, Pirs, perform duties as assigned by Avatar or Sadguru (Murshid-e-Kamil)
"Walis manage and are directly connected with the gross world; pirs manage and are directly connected with the subtle and mental worlds; and Perfect Masters are above all but work through them." (Lord Meher 1139-1930)
Baba had added: "Every big city has a wali who is in charge and manages all gross affairs under a pir, who has charge of a number of cities. A wali is therefore like a collector; a pir like a commissioner; and a Perfect Master like a king or emperor.
"There are different kinds of walis. The artad is the most powerful; abdals, can change their body in a second to suit the need."
A wali can give spiritual experiences of the Path. He has the power to open the third eye and grant divine sight, if he is in the mood. He can do so by simply looking into the eyes of the aspirant, even if the aspirant is at a distance. When the third eye is opened, all is light. The small circles of light one perceives when one's eyes are tightly shut is the seventeenth lakh shadow of the light one sees when the third eye is opened. So imagine how powerful that is. It is so powerful an experience that the recipient either goes mad or drops the body. That light shows one the Path quite clearly, where one can tread, yet it is not the Real Light.
Sadgurus won't do that. They won't show light by opening someone's third eye. They can take the aspirant directly through the Path.
One type of wali is called artad. They are very, very few, quite rare. They are very fiery, with piercing eyes that break through anything, even mountains! Their gaze is sufficient to cut an animal in two; hence they always keep their eyes on the ground. (That too is split apart.) For instance, if they look at a flying bird, it falls dead from the sky. The artad doesn't do it intentionally, it happens automatically, and the one who dies gets no particular benefit.
Abdals can change their bodies. One moment they may be seen in Bombay and the next moment in America in the same body. But they can appear only at one place at a time. Sadgurus can present themselves anywhere, at any time, at many places at the same time, either in gross or subtle form, for they have a Universal Body.
Liberation is the goal. After that some retain their body and some leave it. If the body is retained, they come down for duty after about a month.
The few (saliks and majzoobs) that keep their body (after liberation) have no care for the world. However, those who come in their contact are greatly benefited by their darshan, touch, and service, for they are God-personified though they don't even know it, being only conscious of their higher Self.
Sadgurus sometimes take the help of walis (majzoobs) in their work by bringing them down to the "resting point." They then experience the sufferings of a Sadguru and not of a majzoob. These majzoobs at times quite unconsciously abuse the Sadguru if they happen to meet him.
Meher Baba explained about spiritual agents:
As holders of distinct and different offices, agents carry out important work for the Avatar. Upon the death of an agent, his office is automatically filled by a successor; for just as there is always an Avatar, so also there are always his agents.
There are three types of agents:
(1) Direct agents, of whom there are very few. There is one in Europe, one in Asia, one in America, one in Africa – in fact, one on almost every important continent. These agents receive directions directly from the Avatar.
(2) Indirect agents, of whom there are few. They receive orders from the direct agents.
(3) Borrowed agents, of whom there are many. They receive orders from the indirect agents.
The principal agents are always on the fourth plane, and through the powers that they wield on this plane, they act for the Avatar. They may even do miracles for him, since the Avatar almost never performs miracles; but if he wished to do so, he must actually station himself on the fourth plane at the time of doing the miracle.
The agents are on the fourth plane only because of the necessity of using certain of their powers for the work of the Avatar. They are not in the position of those (mahayogis) on the spiritual path who, when they reach the fourth plane, may use their powers for good, or may misuse them and fall back to a very primitive state of evolution – stone-form. (Lord Meher, 1st. ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 5, pp. 1839 – 1840)
The Avatar takes upon Himself the universal suffering
The Avatar draws upon Himself the universal suffering, but He is sustained under the stupendous burden by His Infinite Bliss and His infinite sense of humour. The Avatar is the Axis or Pivot of the universe, the Pin of the grinding-stones of evolution, and so has a responsibility towards everyone and everything.
At each moment in time He is able to fulfill singly and together the innumerable aspects of His universal duty because His actions are in no way constrained by time and distance and the here and now of the senses. While engaged in any particular action on the gross plane He is simultaneously working on all the inner planes. Unlike the actions of ordinary men, the Avatar's every action on the gross plane brings about numberless and far-reaching results on the different planes of consciousness. His working on the inner planes is effortless and continues of itself, but because of the very nature of grossness His work on the gross plane entails great exertion.
As a rule each action of an ordinary person is motivated by a solitary aim serving a solitary purpose; it can hit only one target at a time and bring about one specific result. But with the Avatar, He being the Centre of each one, any single action of His on the gross plane brings about a network of diverse results for people and objects everywhere
The Avatar does not take upon himself the karma of the world nor does he become bound by it. But he takes upon himself the suffering of the world which is the result of its karma. His suffering for the world is vicarious. It does not entail entanglement with the karma of the world. But humanity finds its redemption from its karma through his vicarious sufferings, e.g., illness, humiliation, accidents and the like. In his own ways, the Avatar unfailingly fulfills his incarnation by giving a spiritual push to his age.
High roads of spirituality (subtle and mental world) pass through gross world to exhaust false experiences birth after birth to prepare oneself being worthy of coming into contact of a Sadguru or Avatar and to be freed from Maya (illusion of gross world). Sadguru or Avatar uses his supernatural power to destroy false ego of His disciple and gives him spiritual push. Sadguru or Avatar is always available to help an aspirant when he is ready to receive his grace. Sadguru or Avatar also uses Maya (illusion of gross world) to reach His disciple and pull him out of Maya.
The Avatar's action is like switching of a power station
The Avatar's action on the gross plane is like the throwing of a main switch in an electric power-house, which immediately and simultaneously releases an immense force through many circuits, putting into action various branches of service such as factories and fans, trains and trolleys and lighting for cities and villages.
An ordinary physical action of the Avatar releases immense forces in the inner planes and so becomes the starting point for a chain of working, the repercussions and overtones of which are manifest at all levels and are universal in range and effect.
Everything in the universe is, and from the beginning has been, a materialization of the divine Original Whim working out irrevocably without default, deflection or defeat. It is the unfolding upon the screen of consciousness of the film of creation, sequence after sequence, according to the pattern that issued from the Original Whim. However, when God as God-Man plays the role of Audience He can alter or erase at His Avataric whim anything or happening which was destined from the Original Whim. But the very arising of the Avataric whim was inherent in the Original Whim.
The Sufis distinguish between Qaza or destined occurrences, and Qadar or happenings which are impulsive or 'accidental'. The Avatar's or Qutub's actions are impulsive and arise from their infinite compassion; and the functioning of this whim relieves and gives beauty and charm to what would otherwise be a rigid determinism.
The Avatar does not as a rule interfere with the working out of human destinies. He will do so only in times of grave necessity—when He deems it absolutely necessary from His all-encompassing point of view. For a single alteration in the planned and imprinted pattern in which each line and dot is interdependent, means a shaking up and a re-linking of an unending chain of possibilities and events. The least divergence from the pre-drawn line of Fate not only requires infinite adjustments within the immediate orbit of the individual concerned, but involves in its interminable repercussions all those connected by the bond of past sanskaras.
In the working out of the Avataric whim there is not the least element of chance. The aim of the whim's action is perfect and its result is precise.
An ordinary person's whim, when expressed, may have consequences quite outside itself, as illustrated by the following story. A drunken man was passing by a wood-apple tree and had a whim to taste one of its fruits. As a rule a drunkard has a distaste for sour or tart things because they nullify the effects of drink, so this man's wanting a wood-apple was purely a whim, independent of thought or real desire. He picked up a stone and threw it at the tree. The stone missed any of the apples, killed a bird, scared away many others and fell on the head of a traveler resting beneath the tree. Thus the haphazard expression of the drunkard's whim not only failed to accomplish the whim but brought about results completely outside it. The whim was merely an unrelated fancy, and the action stemming from it had no connection with its object.
This sort of thing can never happen in the exercise of the Avatar's whim. Arising from compassion and expression of Perfection it is perfect in its aim and results.
The importance of contact with the Master
The aspirant can best assimilate the lessons of true service, if he has the good fortune to be in contact with the Master. The Master teaches not through preaching, but through example. And when the Master is seen in his capacity of rendering service to humanity, the aspirant is quick to catch that spirit because of his love for the Master. Contact with the Master is also helpful in imbibing the spirit of cooperation, which the aspirants cultivate easily because of their common love for the Master. They serve because the Master wants it. They do the Master's work, not their own. And they do it, not of their own accord, but because they have been entrusted with that work by the Master. Therefore, they are all free from any ideas of individualistic claims, rights or privileges, being keen only about the Master's work, ready to serve his cause to the best of their ability when they are called upon to do so, and equally ready to hand over that work to another aspirant if he can do it better.
Baba remarked, "A moment of one's life spent in the company of a Sadguru is more valuable than hundreds of years of tapa-japa (repeating God's name with beads). Or as Vivekananda said, 'To light a chillum (water pipe) for a Sadguru is better than millions of years of meditation.' (Lord Meher –p-707-1926)