1. This Tiffin Lecture and the next (which will be referred to in this note by the titles “Types of Spiritually Advanced Persons” and “Four Short Talks,” respectively) are vexed with problems involving the dates as well as textual relations with the diary sources. On the matter of dating the problem can be described thus. The “Tiffin Lectures” manuscripts (TTL/FF pp. 99-105, TTL pp. 99-105 , TLD/FF: 17-8-26, pp. 1-2 and TLD/FF: 19-8-26, pp. 1-5) specify the dates for the two lectures as 17th and 19th August, respectively. The full text for these two lectures as given in these manuscripts (TTL/FF pp. 99-100 and 101-5 and TTL pp. 99-100 and 101-5 , TLD/FF: 17-8-26, pp. 1-2 and TLD/FF: 19-8-26, pp. 1-5) is based on two sections of ChD 57. This diary source material for “Types of Spiritually Advanced Persons” (ChD 57: pp. 162, 163, 165, 164, and 166) begins with a page (p. 162) dated “17-8-26.” Most of the diary source material for “Four Short Talks” (ChD 57: pp. 171, 170, 172, 174, 176, 178, 180, and 168) can with confidence be dated to 19th August 1926—since two of these pages bear that date; but ChD 57: p. 168 bears the date 18th August. Thus we find a total of three dates—17th, 18th, and 19th August—associated variously with these two lectures.
This already muddled picture is further complicated by the evidence from “The Combined Diary.” Here the entry for 17th August gives no indication of anything like a talk to the mandali; but the entry for 18th August (ComD 1: f. 319) closes with the following sentence: “In the evening Baba gave out some explanations on Atma-Gnyan, Paramatma-Gnyan, Jivan-Mukta, Videh-Mukta, Acharya etc.” This description corresponds well with content common to both lectures (in TTL/FF pp. 99-100 and 105 and TTL pp. 99-100 and 105!!, TLD/FF: 17-8-26, pp. 1-2 and TLD/FF: 19-8-26, p. 5, pp. 226-27 and 237-38 in this edition). Meanwhile, “The Combined Diary” entry for 19th August (ComD 1: f. 320) contains this sentence: “Today Baba gave out many interesting explanations for as many as four times in the day.” This description too seems to match the style and substance of “Four Short Talks,” which is indeed discontinuous and broken into discrete and largely unrelated sections.
In short, the evidence of “The Combined Diary” points to 18th and 19th August as the probable dates for the two lectures, whereas “Tiffin Lectures” and ChD 57 indicates 17th and 19th August (with the exception of ChD 57: p. 168, dated 18th August). No easy method of reconciling this stark contradiction between manuscript sources offers itself. In general the editors have found the dates in “The Combined Diary”—which situates talks that Baba gave within a broader continuous narrative of his life during this period—to be more reliable than those in “Tiffin Lectures”; on this principle the date of this present Tiffin Lecture has been emended from 17th August to 18th August. It is quite possible that a single erroneous date in Chanji’s Diary (on ChD 57: p. 162) might be responsible for the replication of that erroneous date throughout the various “Tiffin Lectures” manuscripts; and thus the number of manuscripts bearing the 17th August dating do not count as independent testimony. It must be acknowledged, however, that this decision in favor of the 18th August dating overrides a body of contrary textual evidence (viz., the explicit dates on TTL/FF p. 99, TTL p. 99, TLD/FF: 17-8-26, pp. 1-2 and TLD/FF: 19-8-26, pp. 1-5, and ChD 57: p. 162). Until further evidence emerges, the problem of the dating of these two lectures must be regarded as unresolved.
A further difficulty presents itself specifically with respect to ChD 57: p. 168 (dated 18th August), which describes and distinguishes Videh-Muktas, Jīvanmuktas, and Āchāryas. As already noted, both Tiffin Lectures present this information, which might lead one to suppose that the same discourse material given by Baba on a single occasion found its way into the “Tiffin Lectures” at two different points. But again this picture is complicated by the fact that ChD 57: p. 162 and 164 (p. 162 bears the date 17th August) render their own version of this same content. In fact, the text of the explanation in TTL/FF pp. 99-100, TTL pp. 99-100, and TLD/FF: 17-8-26, pp. 1-2 (pp. 226-27 in this lecture) follows the wording of ChD 57: pp. 162 and 164, while that of TTL/FF p. 105, TTL p. 105, and TLD/FF: 19-8-26, p. 5 (pp. 237-38 in the next lecture) shows a closer verbal relationship with ChD 57: p. 168. Once again, it is not inconceivable that a single explanation by Baba found its way into Chanji’s Diary at two different points—since Chanji often reproduced the same material on different pages of his diaries; and these two diary versions could then have found their way into the “Tiffin Lectures” manuscript in two different lectures. So the question still stands: did Baba give this explanation about the types of God-realized persons once or twice?
Here again, no easy way of resolving this dilemma stands forth. To add to the difficulties, the text of TTL/FF p. 105 and TTL p. 105 is seriously garbled, though happily, a far superior version can be found in TLD/FF_19-8-26 p.5, reproducing the substantive content of the diary sources. (For a detailed discussion of this editorial crux, see endnote 13 in the next lecture.) In view of these complexities, the editors have thought it best to follow the “Tiffin Lectures” manuscript sources in presenting this same material twice (once in each lecture). In fact, it is not in the least unlikely that on the second day Baba did indeed revert to and explain again what he had explained the day before, as is suggested by the two different dates in Chanji’s Diary.
2. While in God Speaks Meher Baba characterized a mahāyogī as an advanced soul of the fourth plane, in Infinite Intelligence the term usually refers to a person on the fourth, fifth, or sixth plane (on rare occasions the seventh). Though the present lecture does not pin down the meaning of the term unambiguously, from the fact that a mahāyogī is more advanced than a yogi and less than a pīr, we might infer that he belongs to the fourth or fifth plane. ChD 57: p. 162 and TLD/FF: 17-8-26, p. 1 associate the mahāyogī with the Gujarati expression jīvan bhūmikā (that is, “life plane” or “sphere”). While Meher Baba does not go on to gloss either of these terms in detail and perhaps had not settled on their use, they seem to indicate the upper reaches of the subtle sphere.
3. This last phrase has been inserted by the editors to make explicit what is presumed in the diagram, that is, that the “Sun” and its “rays” are equivalent to the “Ocean” and its “drops”; the two metaphors are being mixed.
4. The meaning of the original text of TTL/FF p. 99, TTL p. 99, and TLD/FF: 17-8-26, p. 1 is not altogether clear; TTL/FF p. 99 reads: “The ‘Ananta’ Sat-Chit-Ananda (Sat-Chit-Ānand) state is comp[a]red with that of the SUN, so, the Jivatma, that is ONE WITH the ‘Sat-Chit-Ananda’ is similarized with the state of the SUN.” Now this sentence could be read to mean that “the Jivatma,” which is to say any jīvātmā, the typical jīvātmā, is one with the Sun and its Sat-Chit-Ānand state. Yet the word “similarized” suggests that Baba is explaining the terms of his “Sun-and-rays” analogy, in which, by the most obvious and sensible reading, the Sun represents Paramātmā and the rays represent the multitudinous jīvātmās. It seems more likely, therefore, that the phrase “the Jivatma, that is ONE WITH the ‘Sat-Chit-Ananda’” refers not to the typical jīvātmā but to that exceptional, God-Realized Ātmā; in other words, the clause “that is one with Sat-Chit-Ananda” is used restrictively, not non-restrictively. We have edited the prose of this passage accordingly. (The text of the diary source—ChD 57: p. 163—offers no special illumination at this juncture.)
5. These English words (in TTL/FF p. 99, TTL p. 99, and TLD/FF: 17-8-26, p. 1) translate the Gujarati phrase “Anant Shakti, Jñān, ane Ānand,” that is, “Infinite Power, Knowledge, and Bliss” (ChD 57: p. 162; TTL/FF p. 99 and TLD/FF: 17-8-26, p. 1 read similarly). Elsewhere in the lecture, however, “Satchitānand” carries this same meaning.
6. These same three types of God-realized persons are discussed again in the next lecture, pp. 237-38 below. These two versions of the same material in these two Tiffin Lectures are probably based on two different versions in Chanji’s diary: the account here has as its evident source ChD 57: pp. 162 and 164, while the version in the next lecture (of 19th August) is probably based on ChD 57: p. 168. On problems of dating, source, and textual relations, see endnote 1 above.
7. The text of TTL/FF p. 100 and TTL p. 100 reads: “There are very very few, who remain IN the Sun, and from there, see their own ‘rays’” (TLD/FF: 17-8-26, p. 2 reads similarly). This wording does not unambiguously identify the “very few” with the “Āchāryas or Jñān Muktas” (i.e., Perfect Masters) of the preceding line. Yet the way that this “very few” is described in the following paragraph makes it clear that they can be no one other than Perfect Masters. For the sake of clarity the passage has been emended accordingly.
8. The text of ChD 57: p. 166, which is the source for this passage, implies that this preparation that the Chargeman carries out is directed specifically towards his own successor (bījāne, from bījũ, “another, a second one”): that is, the Chargeman who is to follow him.