These five Discourses: “The New Humanity,” “Love,” “The Search for God,” “True Discipleship,” and “The Avatar,” were selected by Eruch Jessawala and Don Stevens for translation into various languages from the complete set of “Discourses” by Meher Baba.
I have come not to teach but to awaken. Understand therefore that I lay down no precepts.
Throughout eternity I have laid down principles and precepts, but mankind has ignored them. Man’s inability to live God’s words makes the Avatar’s teaching a mockery. Instead of practicing the compassion He taught, man has waged crusades in His name. Instead of living the humility, purity and truth of his words, man has given way to hatred, greed and violence.
Because man has been deaf to the principles and precepts laid down by God in the past, in this present Avataric form I observe Silence. You have asked for and been given enough words—it is now time to live them. To get nearer and nearer to God you have to get further and further away from “I”, “my”, “me”, and “mine”. You have not to renounce anything but your own self. It is as simple as that, though found to be almost impossible. It is possible for you to renounce your limited self by my Grace. I have come to release that Grace.
I repeat, I lay down no precepts. When I release the tide of Truth which I have come to give, men’s daily lives will be the living precept. The words I have not spoken will come to life in them.
I veil myself from man by his own curtain of ignorance, and manifest my Glory to a few. My present Avataric Form is the last Incarnation of this cycle of time, hence my Manifestation will be the greatest. When I break my Silence, the impact of my Love will be universal and all life in creation will know, feel and receive of it. It will help every individual to break himself free from his own bondage in his own way. I am the Divine Beloved who loves you more than you can ever love yourself. The breaking of my Silence will help you to help yourself in knowing your real Self.
All this world confusion and chaos was inevitable and no one is to blame. What had to happen has happened; and what has to happen will happen. There was and is no way out except through my coming in your midst. I had to come, and I have come. I am the Ancient One.
— Meher Baba
Highest of the High
Given by Meher Baba on 7 September 1953
Consciously or unconsciously, directly or indirectly, each and every creature, each and every human being—in one form or the other—strives to assert individuality. But when eventually man consciously experiences that he is Infinite, Eternal and Indivisible, then he is fully conscious of his individuality as God, and as such experiences Infinite Knowledge, Infinite Power and Infinite Bliss. Thus Man becomes God, and is recognized as a Perfect Master, Sadguru, or Kutub. To worship this Man is to worship God.
When God manifests on earth in the form of man and reveals His Divinity to mankind, He is recognized as the Avatar—the Messiah—the Prophet. Thus God becomes Man.
And so Infinite God, age after age, throughout all cycles, wills through His Infinite Mercy to effect His presence amidst mankind by stooping down to human level in the human form, but His physical presence amidst mankind not being apprehended, He is looked upon as an ordinary man of the world. When He asserts, however, His Divinity on earth by proclaiming Himself the Avatar of the age, He is worshiped by some who accept Him as God; and glorified by a few who know him as God on Earth. But it invariably falls to the lot of the rest of humanity to condemn Him, while He is physically in their midst.
Thus it is that God as man, proclaiming Himself as the Avatar, suffers Himself to be persecuted and tortured, to be humiliated and condemned by humanity for whose sake His Infinite Love has made him stoop so low, in order that humanity, by its very act of condemning God’s manifestation in the form of Avatar should, however, indirectly, assert the existence of God in His Infinite Eternal state.
The Avatar is always one and the same, because God is always One and the Same, the Eternal, Indivisible, Infinite One, who manifests Himself in the form of man as the Avatar, as the Messiah, as the Prophet, as the Ancient One—the Highest of the High. This Eternally One and the Same Avatar repeats His manifestation from time to time, in different cycles, adopting different human forms and different names, in different places, to reveal Truth in different garbs and different languages, in order to raise humanity from the pit of ignorance and help free it from the bondage of delusions.
Of the most recognized and much worshipped manifestations of God as Avatar, that of Zoroaster is the earliest—having been before Ram, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed. Thousands of years ago, he gave to the world the essence of Truth in the form of three fundamental precepts—Good Thoughts, Good Words, and Good Deeds. These precepts were and are constantly unfolded to humanity in one form or another, directly or indirectly in every cycle, by the Avatar of the Age, as he leads humanity imperceptibly towards the Truth. To put these precepts of Good Thoughts, Good Words, and Good Deeds into practice is not as easily done as it would appear, though it is not impossible. But to live up to these precepts honestly and literally is as apparently impossible as it is to practice a living death in the midst of life.
In the world,there are countless Sadhus, Mahatmas, Mahapurushas, Saints, Yogis and Walis, though the number of genuine ones is very, very limited. The few genuine ones are, according to their spiritual status, in a category of their own which is neither on a level with the ordinary human being nor on a level with the state of the Highest of the High.
I am neither a Mahatma nor a Mahapurush, neither a Sadhu nor a Saint, neither a Yogi [n]or a Wali. Those who approach me with the desire to gain wealth or to retain their possessions, those who seek through me relief from distress and suffering, those who ask my help to fulfill and satisfy mundane desires, to them I once again declare that, as I am not a Sadhu, a Saint or a Mahatma, Mahapurush or Yogi, to seek these things through me is but to court utter disappointment, though only apparently; for eventually this disappointment is itself invariably instrumental in bringing about the complete transformation of mundane wants and desires. The Sadhus, Saints, Yogis, Walis and such others who are on the via media*, can and do perform miracles and satisfy the transient material needs of individuals who approach them for help and relief.
The question, therefore, arises that if I am not a Sadhu, not a Saint, not a Yogi, not a Mabapurusha nor a Wali, then what am I? The natural assumption would be that I am either just an ordinary human being, or I am the Highest of the High. But one thing I say definitely, and that is that I can never be included amongst those having the intermediary status of the real Sadhus, Saints, Yogis, and such others.
Now, if I am just an ordinary man, my capabilities and powers are limited—I am no better or different from an ordinary human being. If people take me as such then they should not expect any supernatural help from me in the form of miracles or spiritual guidance; and to approach me to fulfill their desires would also be absolutely futile.
On the other hand, if I am beyond the level of an ordinary human being, and much beyond the level of Saints and Yogis, then I must be the Highest of the High. In which case, to judge me with your human intellect and limited mind and to approach me with mundane desires would not only be the height of folly but sheer ignorance as well; because no amount of intellectual gymnastics could ever understand my ways or judge my Infinite State.
If I am the Highest of the High my Will is Law, my Wish governs the Law, and my Love sustains the Universe. Whatever your apparent calamities and transient sufferings, they are but the outcome of my Love for the ultimate good. Therefore, to approach me for deliverance from your predicaments, to expect me to satisfy your worldly desires, would be asking me to do the impossible—to undo what I have already ordained.
If you truly and in all faith accept your Baba as the Highest of the High, it behooves you to lay down your life at His feet, rather than to crave the fulfillment of your desires. Not your one life but your millions of lives would be but a small sacrifice to place at the feet of One such as Baba, who is the Highest of the High; for Baba’s unbounded love is the only sure and unfailing guide to lead you safely through the innumerable blind alleys of your transient life.
They cannot obligate me, who, surrendering their all—(body, mind, possessions)—which perforce they must discard one day—surrender with a motive; surrender because they understand that to gain the everlasting treasure of Bliss they must relinquish ephemeral possessions. This desire for greater gain is still clinging behind their surrender, and as such the surrender cannot be complete.
Know you all that if I am the Highest of the High, my role demands that I strip you of all your possessions and wants, consume all your desires and make you desireless rather than satisfy your desires. Sadhus, Saints, Yogis and Walis can give you what you want; but I take away your wants and free you from attachments and liberate you from the bondage of ignorance. I am the One to take, not the One to give, what you want or as you want.
Mere intellectuals can never understand me through their intellect. If I am the Highest of the High, it becomes impossible for the intellect to gauge me nor is it possible for my ways to be fathomed by the limited human mind.
I am not to be attained by those who, loving me, stand reverentially by in rapt admiration. I am not for those who ridicule me and point at me with contempt. To have a crowd of tens of millions flocking around me is not what I am for. I am for the selected few, who scattered amongst the crowd, silently and unostentatiously surrender their all—body, mind and possessions—to me. I am still more for those who, after surrendering their all, never give another thought to their surrender. They are all mine who are prepared to renounce even the very thought of their renunciation and who, keeping constant vigil in the midst of intense activity, await their turn to lay down their lives for the cause of Truth at a glance or sign from me. Those who have indomitable courage to face willingly and cheerfully the worst calamities, who have unshakable faith in me, eager to fulfill my slightest wish at the cost of their happiness and comfort, they indeed, truly love me.
From my point of view, far more blessed is the atheist who confidently discharges his worldly responsibilities, accepting them as his honorable duty, than the man who presumes he is a devout believer in God, yet shirks the responsibilities apportioned to him through Divine law and runs after Sadhus, Saints and Yogis, seeking relief from the suffering which ultimately would have pronounced his eternal Liberation.
To have one eye glued on the enchanting pleasures of the flesh and with the other expect to see a spark of Eternal Bliss is not only impossible but the height of hypocrisy.
I cannot expect you to understand all at once what I want you to know. it is for me to awaken you from time to time throughout the ages, sowing the seed in your limited minds, which must in due course and with proper heed and care on your part, germinate, flourish and bear the fruit of that True Knowledge which is inherently yours to gain.
If on the other hand, led by your ignorance, you persist in going your own way, none can stop you in your choice of progress; for that too is progress which, however slow and painful, eventually and after innumerable incarnations, is bound to make you realize that which I want you to know now. To save yourself from further entanglement in the maze of delusion and self-created suffering which owes its magnitude to the extent of your ignorance of the true Goal, awake now. Pay heed and strive for Freedom by experiencing ignorance in its true perspective. Be honest with yourself and God. One may fool the world and one’s neighbors, but one can never escape from the knowledge of the Omniscient—such is the Divine Law.
I declare to all of you who approach me, and to those of you who desire to approach me, accepting me as the Highest of the High, that you must never come with the desire in your heart which craves for wealth and worldly gain, but only with the fervent longing to give your all—body, mind and possessions—with all their attachments. Seek me not in order to extricate you from your predicaments, but find me in order to surrender yourself wholeheartedly to my Will. Cling to me not for worldly happiness and short-lived comforts, but adhere to me, through thick and thin, sacrificing your own happiness and comforts at my feet. Let my happiness be your cheer and my comforts your rest. Do not ask me to bless you with a good job, but desire to serve me more diligently and honestly without expectation of reward. Never beg of me to save your life or the lives of your dear ones, but beg of me to accept you and permit you to lay down your lives for me. Never expect me to cure you of your bodily afflictions but beseech me to cure you of your Ignorance. Never stretch out your hands to receive anything from me, but hold them high in praise of me whom you have approached as the Highest of the High.
If I am the Highest of the High, nothing is then impossible to me; and though I do not perform miracles to satisfy individual needs—the satisfaction of which would result in entangling the individual more and more into the net of ephemeral existence—yet time and again at certain periods I manifest the Infinite Power in the form of miracles, but only for the spiritual upliftment and benefit of humanity and all creatures.
However, miraculous experiences have often been experienced by individuals who love me and have unswerving faith in me, and these have been attributed to my nazar or Grace on them. But I want all to know that it does not befit my lovers to attribute such individual miraculous experiences to my state of the Highest of the High. If I am the Highest of the High I am above these illusory plays of Maya in the course of the Divine Law. Therefore, whatever miraculous experiences are experienced by my lovers who recognize me as such, or by those who love me unknowingly through other channels, they are but the outcome of their own firm faith in me. Their unshakable faith often superseding the course of the play of Maya gives them those experiences which they call Miracles. Such experiences derived through firm Faith eventually do good and do not entangle the individuals who experience them into further and greater bindings of Illusion.
If I am the Highest of the High, then a wish of my Universal Will is sufficient to give, in an instant, God-Realization to one and all, and thus free every creature in creation from the shackles of Ignorance. But blessed is Knowledge that is gained through the experience of Ignorance, in accordance with the Divine Law. This Knowledge is made possible for you to attain in the midst of Ignorance by the guidance of Perfect Masters and surrenderance to the Highest of the High
*‘via media’, Latin for ‘middle way’
— Meher Baba
Meher Baba’s Call
Given by Meher Baba on 12 September 1954
Age after age, when the wick of Righteousness burns low, the Avatar comes yet once again to rekindle the torch of Love and Truth. Age after age, amidst the clamor of disruptions, wars, fear and chaos, rings the Avatar’s call: “Come all unto me.”
Although, because of the veil of illusion, this Call of the Ancient One may appear as a voice in the wilderness, its echo and re-echo nevertheless pervades through time and space to rouse at first a few, and eventually millions, from their deep slumber of ignorance. And in the midst of illusion, as the Voice behind all voices, it awakens humanity to bear witness to the Manifestation of God amidst mankind.
The time is come. I repeat the Call, and bid all come unto me.
This time-honored Call of mine thrills the hearts of those who have patiently endured all in their love for God, loving God only for love of God. There are those who fear and shudder at its reverberations and would flee or resist. And there are yet others who, baffled, fail to understand why the Highest of the High, who is all-sufficient, need necessarily give this Call to humanity.
Irrespective of doubts and convictions, and for the Infinite Love I bear for one and all, I continue to come as the Avatar, to be judged time and again by humanity in its ignorance, in order to help man distinguish the Real from the false.
Invariably muffled in the cloak of the infinitely true humility of the Ancient One, the Divine Call is at first little heeded, until, in its infinite strength, it spreads in volume to reverberate and keep on reverberating in countless hearts as the Voice of Reality.
Strength begets humility, whereas modesty bespeaks weakness. Only he who is truly great can be really humble.
When, in the firm knowledge of it, a man admits his true greatness, it is in itself an expression of humility. He accepts his greatness as most natural and is expressing merely what he is, just as a man would not hesitate to admit to himself and others the fact of his being man.
For a truly great man, who knows himself to be truly great, to deny his greatness would be to belittle what he indubitably is. For whereas modesty is the basis of guise, true greatness is free from camouflage.
On the other hand, when a man expresses a greatness he know or feels he does not possess, he is the greatest hypocrite.
Honest is the man who is not great and, knowing and feeling this, firmly and frankly states that he is not great.
There are more than a few who are not great, yet assume a humility in the genuine belief of their own worth. Through words and actions they express repeatedly their humbleness, professing to be servants of humanity. True humility is not acquired by merely donning a garb of humility. True humility spontaneously and continually emanates from the strength of the truly great. Voicing one’s humbleness does not make one humble. For all that a parrot may utter, “I am a man,” it does not make it so.
Better the absence of greatness than the establishing of a false greatness by assumed humility. Not only do these efforts at humility on man’s part not express strength, they are, on the contrary, expressions of modesty born of weakness, which springs from a lack of knowledge of the truth of Reality.
Beware of modesty. Modesty, under the cloak of humility, invariably leads one into the clutches of self-deception. Modesty breeds egoism, and man eventually succumbs to pride through assumed humility.
The greatest greatness and the greatest humility go hand in hand naturally and without effort.
When the Greatest of all says, “I am the Greatest,” it is but a spontaneous expression of an infallible Truth. The strength of his greatness lies not in raising the dead, but in his great humiliation when he allows himself to be ridiculed, persecuted, and crucified at the hands of those who are weak in flesh and spirit. Throughout the ages, humanity has failed to fathom the true depth of the Humility underlying the greatness of the Avatar, gauging his Divinity by its acquired, limited religious standards. Even real saints and sages, who have some knowledge of the Truth, have failed to understand the Avatar’s greatness when faced with his real humility.
Age after age, history repeats itself when men and women, in their ignorance, limitations and pride, sit in judgment over the God-incarnated man who declares his Godhood, and condemn him for uttering the Truths they cannot understand. He is indifferent to abuse and persecution for, in his true compassion he understands, in his continual experience of Reality he knows, and in his infinite mercy he forgives.
God is all. God knows all, and God does all. When the Avatar proclaims he is the Ancient One, it is God who proclaims His manifestation on earth. When man utters for or against the Avatarhood, it is God who speaks through him. It is God alone who declares Himself through the Avatar and mankind.
I tell you all, with my Divine Authority, that you and I are not “WE,” but “ONE.” You unconsciously feel my Avatarhood within you; I consciously feel in you what each of you feel. Thus every one of us is Avatar, in the sense that everyone and everything is everyone and everything, at the same time, and for all time.
There is nothing but God. He is the only Reality, and we all are one in the indivisible Oneness of this absolute Reality. When the One who has realized God says, “I am God. You are God, and we are all one,” and also awakens this feeling of Oneness in his illusion-bound selves, then the question of the lowly and the great, the poor and the rich, the humble and the modest, the good and the bad, simply vanishes. It is his false awareness of duality that misleads man into making illusory distinctions and filing them into separate categories.
I repeat and emphasize that, in my continual and eternal experience of Reality, no difference exists between the worldly rich and the poor. But if ever such a question of difference between opulence and poverty were to exist for me, I would deem him really poor who, possessing worldly riches, possesses not the wealth of love for God. And I would know him truly rich who, owning nothing, possesses the priceless treasure of his love for God. His is the poverty that kings could envy and that makes even the King of kings his slave.
Know, therefore, that in the eyes of God the only difference between the rich and the poor is not of wealth and poverty, but in the degrees of intensity and sincerity in the longing for God.
Love for God alone can annihilate the falsity of the limited ego, the basis of life ephemeral. It alone can make one realize the Reality of one’s Unlimited Ego, the basis of Eternal Existence. The divine Ego, as the basis of Eternal Existence, continually expresses itself; but shrouded in the veil of ignorance, man misconstrues his Indivisible Ego and experiences and expresses it as the limited, separate ego.
Pay heed when I say with my Divine Authority that the Oneness of Reality is so uncompromisingly unlimited and all-pervading that not only “We are One,” but even this collective term of “We” has no place in the Infinite Indivisible Oneness.
Awaken from your ignorance and try at least to understand that, in the uncompromisingly Indivisible Oneness, not only is the Avatar God, but also the ant and the sparrow, just as one and all of you are nothing but God. The only apparent difference is in the states of consciousness. The Avatar knows that that which is a sparrow is not a sparrow, whereas the sparrow does not realize this and, being ignorant of its ignorance, identifies itself as a sparrow.
Live not in ignorance. Do not waste your precious life-span in differentiating and judging your fellowmen, but learn to long for the love of God. Even in the midst of your worldly activities, live only to find and realize your true identity with your Beloved God.
Be pure and simple, and love all because all are one. Live a sincere life; be natural, and be honest with yourself.
Honesty will guard you against false modesty and will give you the strength of true humility. Spare no pains to help others. Seek no other reward than the gift of Divine Love. Yearn for this gift sincerely and intensely, and I promise in the name of my Divine Honesty that I will give you much more than you yearn for.
I give you all my blessing that the spark of my Divine Love may implant in your hearts the deep longing for love of God.
— Meher Baba