Advaita is central theme of major religions, says Meher Baba

By Prof Jagadamba Rathore

In the thirties, Charles Purdom, the first biographer of Meher Baba, regarded the first part of God Speaks as ‘a commentary upon the Brahma Sutra, taking account of Sankara and Ramanuja’. May be because of his limited canvas, he did not elaborate. Now, Prof Rathore, who heads the Meher Spiritual University, is addressing the issue. He is the author of the first ever fiction based on Meher Baba’s teachings. Titled ‘Shore to Shoreless’ the book takes the reader on a voyage across the Ocean of Existence – Editor

The day was 19th August 1926 and a heated discussion on religion and Baba’s explanations about the path to God took place between Baba’s three mandali members – Sayyed Saheb, Ramjoo and Ghani at the school building in Meherabad. Baba happened to come by in the middle of their debate. Sayyed claimed that when he read the Koran, he found it similar to the explanations given by Baba, while Ramjoo argued that they were not similar at all. To appease them Baba intervened and explained:

“My explanations are quite, quite different from the scriptures of any religion and they have nothing to do with the Shariat aspect of religions. If we find any illumination in scriptures, it is in the Hindu shastras and Vedanta. But they too are only a shadow of my explanations.

None of the great Masters in the past has given such explanations as I have. They were great Masters, great Prophets, and they realized so many souls. However, what they gave or left to the world was only Shariat – sweet syrup. They only gave internal knowledge and rules of rituals and ceremonies, appealing to the ordinary minds of the time.

What I give is the explanation of the Knowledge that is beyond the scope of the ordinary intellect to grasp and understand. Even though these explanations are mere shadows of the Real Knowledge, they are beyond mind to follow. What I explain is a subject beyond the comprehension of the mind and that too only to those who are prepared to digest it, not to everybody. For all can neither grasp it nor tolerate it nor even bear to hear it.

For example, I say you all are God, whereas Islam and all other religions claim you are servants of God. I say Mohammad was God incarnate, but the Mohammedans say he was only sent as a messenger.

The same is the case with Zaruthustra and the Christ. I want you to know that all your clapping, bhajan, singing, tying the Parsi kusti and praying namaaz are merely drills. Only take one name of God; give up anger, lust and greed. This is all that is necessary. But the orthodox section of any religion would blow out my brains if they heard me uttering such words! And I pity them all. Why? Because, they are so narrow-minded, so shallow in their vision.

I say to you, do not be cowards like them, fearing hell and the anger of God for accepting these truths which are real Truth. The very foundation of all my explanations is sanskaras, which no religion has explained. I have so clearly and logically put it. Nowhere are sanskaras explained so elaborately or so eloquently.”

—–Lord Meher, Vol III, P 834-835

One may ask, what Baba really wanted to convey through these statements? Reflecting deeply, we can conclude:

1. Meher Baba has put Hindu Shastras and Vedanta in a different bracket. One can reach the state of Illumination through them. At the same time Baba emphasized that they too are mere shadows of what He has given as the Avatar of the Age. He points out that His elaborate explanations of sanskaras are the very foundation of all other explanations given by Him. The very word sanskara comes from Hindu scriptures and Vedanta. For delivering the Spiritual Knowledge, Meher Baba has relied mainly upon the terms of Hindu Shastras and Vedanta. No wonder that in His classic book `God Speaks’ Meher Baba has used more than 100 terms drawn from Hindu scriptures and Vedanta in order to express His thoughts effectively and comprehensively.

2. The word `Illumination’ has been used by Meher Baba in a very specific manner. In His book `Discourses’ Baba says:

“When there is exact balance and overlapping of good and bad sanskaras, they both disappear; with the result that what remains is a clean slate of mind on which nothing is written, and which, therefore, reflects the Truth as it is without perversion. Nothing is ever written on the soul. The sanskaras are deposited on the mind and not on the soul. The soul always remains untarnished, but it is only when the mind is a clean mirror that it can reflect Truth. When the impressions of good and bad both disappear, the mind sees the Soul. This is Illumination.

“The mind seeing the Soul, however, is not the same as the Soul knowing itself, for the Soul is not the mind but God, who is beyond the mind. Therefore, even after the mind has seen the Soul, it has to be merged in the Soul if the Soul is to know itself as Truth. This is Realization.” Discourses, p.66

The state of Illumination is reached only when the mind is a clean mirror without good and bad impressions. This clean mirror state of mind is possible only when `good impressions’ overlap the `bad impressions’ completely, thereby neutralizing or silencing each other.

How could then a study of Hindu Shastras and Vedanta lead to this `clean mirror’ state of mind when such an endeavour itself would create new impressions?

This is possible only when one makes use of spiritual knowledge so gained as a torch-light to move onward on the spiritual path and keeps the Divine Name of the Avatar as one’s constant companion.

Meher Baba has revealed that Advaita or soul’s oneness with the Supreme Self is the central theme of all major religions of the world. It is only the so-called priests, pandits and maulvis, who have indulged in presenting imaginary differences in order to strengthen their hold on the masses.

Avatar Meher Baba has emphasized that all major religions are the beads of one thread that runs through them and that thread is Advaita:

* “When the first stage of fana is immediately followed by the second stage of ‘fana-fillah’, in some cases the consciousness of the limited “I”, “self”, mind, energy, body and the worlds does not come back; but the consciousness, now as super-consciousness of the unlimited “I” only exists as identified with the universal Self, God.
The super-consciousness now experiences the “I am God,” “Aham Brahmasmi” or “Anal Haqq” state.
This is the experience of “Nirvikalp Samadhi”, meaning thereby “Undoubtedly I am God.” This is experienced because in ‘fana-fillah’ the aatma consciously merges completely in Paramatma, or in fana-fillah, the soul achieves complete union with the Over-Soul.” (God Speaks p. 128).

* “The fana-fillah is the goal where “I am God” state is experienced, for example, by those persons who are called “Majzoobs” (one being overpowered by God, or one whom God controls).
These persons are known as “Brahmi Bhoots”. In this state one constantly, continually and consciously experiences the “I am God” state together with the continued and conscious experience of the infinite trio-nature of God, sat-chit-ananda (i.e. Infinite power, Infinite knowledge and Infinite bliss), as one’s own infinite nature.” (God Speaks p. 129).

* “Distinct from this is the majzoobiyat or “being drowned or absorbed by bliss” in the state of “I am God”. Accordingly, God as man, experiencing the state of baqa, is called the real “Salik” in Sufi terminology. This baqa of Reality and Divinity is called “baqa-billah”. In Vedanta, it is known as “atma pratisthapana”. (God Speaks p. 131)

* The Alam-e-lahut Stage or Aspect of Sufis, wherein Anal Haqq gnosis is realized, Baba equates with Vidnyan Bhumica of Vedanta wherein Aham Brahmasmi is realized. (God Speaks p. 278)

* “In other words, God first goes through the becoming process in the gross, that is, in the gross, God becomes the body of anna-bhuvan (gross sphere). Then in the subtle He becomes the energy of pran bhumica (subtle sphere). Then in the mental, He becomes the mind of manobhuvan (mental sphere). Beyond this in Vidnyan, God becomes God –which he was, and is, and always will be.” (God Speaks p. 130)

* “Saviour = Perfect Man = Insan-e-Kamil = Puratan Purush = Buddha = Saheb-e- Zaman = Rasool = Living Christ = Infinite Existence + Infinite Knowledge + Infinite Bliss + Consciousness = conscious of being infinite and conscious of being finite simultaneously.” (God Speaks p. 242)

* “It was only through this divine office that God, as God-Man, in the form of Zoraster, Rama, Krishna, Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad and others, manifested Himself and proclaimed in every cycle, age after age, that He is the Saviour, the Prophet, the Messiah, the Son-of– God, the Avatar, the Rasool, the Buddha and so forth. And it is only through this divine office that the five Perfect Masters or the Qutubs or the Sadgurus function as the summum bonum of the whole cosmic creation. (God Speaks p. 187)

Vedanta is technically classified as Uttarmimansa.

Uttar means “last”, mimansa means “investigation, examination, discussion, or consideration”; therefore, the last consideration of the Vedas.

This system of thought is commonly referred to as Vedanta, composed of Veda and anta, “end”, literally the end of the Vedas.

Veda also means “Knowledge” and Vedanta is the final culmination of spiritual knowledge. The central topic in Vedanta is the Universal Spirit called Brahman in Sanskrit. Vedanta is nourished by Upanishads.

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