Qualities required for the conduct of Baba Centers

Also on the 11th, Eruch wrote to those in Bombay about conducting the affairs of their center:

Baba says that he always feels pleased and at home when he finds his lovers living and working for his cause in an atmosphere that is surcharged with

  • the sweetness of humility,
  • the fragrance of harmony and
  • the sheer simplicity of love for one another.

Baba says that there are bound to be differences of opinion among his lovers regarding the conducting of the work to be done and the manner in which it is to be done, but such differences are, in a way, always healthy and invigorating as long as they do not carry with them the sting of arrogance and insolence.

Baba always expects his lovers to remain prepared to face and overcome all opposition calmly and humbly. And when the differences are thrashed out pleasantly, with an attitude of one who sincerely desires to learn and benefit from the other’s point of view, the results thus achieved are beneficial to both the parties concerned…

As soon as you succumb to the dictates of your ego and permit arrogance and insolence to put their heads up, then this attitude recoils on Baba himself, as you are his dear lover[s] and your Beloved Baba’s head remains bowed down with humiliation. Thus our attitude in his cause becomes the cause of his continual suffering, and the burden of this cross is continually borne by him for the love he bears for us. He will continue to suffer such sustained humiliation as long as his lovers, who have come in his close association, do not begin to share this most burdensome cross. His lovers can learn now to share this by putting up with any humiliation caused to them by the misunderstanding/arrogance of others in his cause., p5049
Nov, 1963; Meherazad

The Atma’s Love of Play

Baba stopped at 2:45 P.M. in the town of Alamuru, where darshan was held in the newly-built Shanti movie theater. Almost 1,000 people were present and received his prasad. They heard this message from Baba titled “The Atma’s Love of Play”:

Each and every seemingly individual soul (atma) is destined to realize its One Indivisible Self. As soon as the atma begins to unfold to the first faint consciousness of its Infinite and Eternal State, it is confronted by its own shadow. The atma gets immediately lost in the consciousness of this shadow and from then on becomes involved in the interminable “play of illusion.” This hankering after play and display, show and “tamasha,” persists, in one form or another, throughout the soul’s journey to Truth. In a child, it derives pleasure in playing with toys. As a man, it demonstrates its fondness for play through the enjoyment of sport, drama and adventure. This addiction persists even when man has embarked on the spiritual path, when he still indulges in his love for play and display by exhibiting his supernatural powers in the form of ostentatious miracles.

Unless and until man stops seeking escape from his Ultimate Destination by losing himself in the childish play of illusory pleasures, he cannot grasp spirituality seriously. It is time to stop playing with the scintillating toys of illusion and yearn for the attainment of the One and Only Reality., p3515
2 March 1954; Alamuru (Andhra Darshans)

“A woman can play an important part in the development of divine grace”


When Baba was sitting for the final session with the sculptor Edward Merrett on April 13th, a newspaper reporter came to watch and asked Baba:

“It is said that a woman is a drag on man in his attainment of divine grace. All the saints …”

Baba interrupted, emphatically spelling out, “No! A woman can play an important part in the development of divine grace. She is man’s equal. So long as she is true to herself, all will be well. But once she surrenders to her surroundings, the function of marriage fails. It is then you have divorces.”

“Then what about the vow of celibacy which the saints undertook?” the reporter asked.

‘”It is unimportant. Some men marry, others remain single; but a man is not more backward spiritually because he has married. A woman can inspire him by her love to know the Truth. But she must develop love and not lust. This is the key to happiness.”, p1379
Apr, 1932; New York

“Every minute of a man’s life is a sort of minor war”

On the 24th, a 60-year-old man came to see Baba and said, “Although I have had many minor turning points in my life, I feel today that the main turning point of my life has at last arrived by meeting you.”

Baba smiled and explained to him:

“Yes, that turning point has to arrive in each one’s life.

It is like a war. Every day, every hour, every minute of a man’s life is a sort of minor war between the heart and mind, emotion and intellect, good and bad. And when these individual conflicts spread out and develop, the collective result eventually takes the shape of a big, worldwide war which can never be avoided by any number of peace conferences, unless and until the very root cause is removed.”, p1614
June, 1934; Paris

“As within, so without”

There is a very close connection between a man’s character and his circumstances, between his internal environment of thoughts and desires and his external social environment. ‘As within, so without’ is the law.

If we are dissatisfied with our environment, it is usually because we do not know how to adjust ourselves properly to the environment. Instead of thinking, how can I get out of this? and becoming discouraged and depressed, one should think, what is the lesson that I should learn from this experience?, p1411
May, 1932; New York

Self-control requires courage and love

I believe in self-control, not in coercion. Coercion is based on oppression, and results in fear and hatred. Self-control requires courage and may be induced by love. We will do many things for those whom we love which we would not ordinarily do — which we would not ordinarily have the strength of mind and power to do. How many habits have we been able to break through love which we would never have the strength to break without love? And when the love is universal love, all habits which are detrimental, either to the individual or to the social order, will be dissolved in its light., p1411
May, 1932; New York

On ‘Reporting to Baba’


Taking a break from a business trip to Cochin from New Delhi, Don Stevens visited Meherazad again for a day on the morning of 27 November 1965. He arrived in Meherjee’s car with Meherwan Jessawala.

Stevens’ mother had recently passed away. Though Don had mentioned it in passing in a letter to Baba, when he arrived Baba greeted him with fire in his eyes. “Don,” he demanded, “why didn’t you send me a telegram specifically about your mother’s death?”

Don Stevens later recalled this incident:

Baba was really boiling. If you have never been around the Avatar when he is mad, you have missed an experience. I was so shaken that I could only stutter for a moment. I finally thought of the right thing to say: “Baba, I did not send you a telegram because I know now that you really are God and you know everything.” The fire went out of his eyes and he beamed and smiled. I saw that I had touched the right key.

Don relaxed and Baba embraced him. He settled down on the other side of mandali hall and was waiting for things to proceed, when all of a sudden Baba’s face darkened again. Through Eruch, Baba remarked to him,

“Even so, Don, Baba wants to explain something to you. Baba is God and God does know everything. But God has come into creation with its limitations, and you are in creation and limited by it. It is your responsibility to let Baba know when something of even modest importance comes up in your life. You must call his attention to what has happened by the most appropriate, direct, physical means.

Accordingly, Don Stevens began writing letters and would often send telegrams to Baba about his personal and business affairs. (Later, after Baba had dropped his body, Stevens recalled Baba’s instructions about informing him of events occurring in his life. At first Stevens silently “thought” his report to Baba, but his instinct seemed to prompt him that this was not a sufficient manner of fulfilling Baba’s wish in the matter. Much against his own taste he closed the door of his bedroom one day and made his report to Baba out loud — speaking to Baba as if he were physically present. He recounted afterwards that events took off at once as if jet-propelled, and therefore he continued this method of “reporting to Baba.”)., p5193
Nov, 1965; Meherazad



“I put you there; now stay there.”

Don Stevens was a well-paid executive of Standard Oil. Once, thinking that he should pursue a more humanitarian line of work, such as being a doctor, teacher or counselor, he contemplated giving up the oil business. He decided that the next time he came to India, he would tell Baba of his decision. When he arrived, as soon as the greetings were over, Don said, “Baba, forgive me for plying you with this, but there is something rather important in my own personal life that I would like to discuss with you.” Baba looked interested and gestured to him to proceed. Don had only spoken a few words when Baba began communicating with Eruch about something else.

Again Don started. After only a few sentences, Baba again began communicating with Eruch. He asked Don something. Don became so involved in answering that he completely forgot about his plan to change careers. He remembered only when he was on the plane leaving India, and he felt terrible over his lapse.

Don resolved to bring up the subject with Baba the next time he saw him, which was a few months later. Immediately after arriving, he started; but the exact same thing happened. Baba began listening carefully and then changed the subject, and Stevens again forgot about it. On the plane he remembered and became even more dismayed with himself.

Don was determined to fully discuss this issue with Baba the next time, one way or another. When he came to India, he said, “Baba, there is something on my mind that is bothering me; it is bedeviling me. I have started to discuss it a couple of times, but some way or another it has always got sidetracked.” This time Baba looked him square in the eye and allowed him to continue without interruption.

Don reached the point of saying he felt it was time to do something else, when Baba cut him short. “Who do you think put you in the oil business?” he asked.

Don was taken aback. The answer at once seemed obvious. Baba continued,

I put you in the oil business because it is the environment which most satisfactorily brings up the sanskaras which you must work out in this particular life. I put you there; now stay there.”

Baba’s words had a great impact on Don and totally changed his attitude toward his profession. “Now instead of approaching my job as drudgery — a way to earn money so I could do other things,” he said, “it became an exciting adventure. I looked forward to discovering what situations Baba might place my way for me to best work through.”, p5082
Aug, 1964; Meherazad


Photo source:

The interplay of good and bad actions in life

Baba in Mysore

The next day, a discussion among the men mandali took place about the interplay of good and bad actions in life, whereupon Baba stated:

There is really nothing like “good” or “bad.” As good is necessary, likewise bad is also necessary — like positive and negative. Both are equally essential for action and evolution. If only good were to prevail everywhere, life would end and become extinct! Both good or bad done to the extreme would lead to Self-Realization; for instance, absolute bad with no trace of good, or absolute good with no trace of bad at all — both are equally conducive to the attainment of the goal of Self-Realization.

If this is so, naturally it can be asked, “Why is good preferable to bad?” Both good and bad are zero, being nonexistent for those who are Realized. Both are terms of duality.

But the great Masters and Avatars give preference and advocate good over bad. This is only because good is really, spiritually speaking, easy for reaching the goal; though apparently, materially speaking, it is the reverse.

For example, bad is apparently easy — difficult, really! But the underlying principle in life being spiritual progress — true existence — comes against the material progress which is only apparent and not real. Thus, the Masters advocate good, being truly easy for mankind, as the better, standardized course to follow for true progress in the march of life to the Goal.

Another reason for preferring and advocating good is that in bad, although apparently easy, while thinking about and actually committing a bad act, there is always a sort of “torture” to the mind, which inevitably happens after committing the act. For instance, illicit sex or murder.

Whereas in good, which though apparently difficult, there is nothing of the kind — no torture to the mind. On the contrary, there is a constant feeling of a sort of happiness not only in thinking but also in doing a good act, although it is always more difficult apparently to do good rather than bad.

Besides, pursuing the course of doing bad to the extreme would not succeed until the end. A man’s body however bold, indifferent, healthy and robust would not be able to withstand prolonged indulgence in bad vices — such as lust or drinking to the extreme. Therefore, bad to the extreme is not practicable physically., p1721
Apr, 1936; Mysore

Even trees respond to a lover’s request to meet his Beloved

Espandiar Vesali had been a student in the Prem Ashram in Meherabad in 1927-1928. Soon after the school closed, he returned home to Iran and had not seen Baba since 1928. Espandiar longed to have Baba’s darshan, but he wrote saying he had no money to travel to India. Through Baidul, Baba wrote back asking how much Espandiar was earning and what was the means of his livelihood. He answered in detail that he had a modest income from a cherry and apple orchard, but that most years the winter frost destroyed the blossoms on the trees. If he had a good crop, he would sell it and should there be any leftover amount from what he needed for his maintenance, he would be able to come to India. Otherwise, he would not be able to see Baba.

Baba instructed Baidul to write back saying that Espandiar should go to the trees in his orchard and speak to them: “It is 35 years since I have seen Meher Baba, and I want to go and visit him. So you, my crop, are not allowed to freeze. I beg of you trees to bear fruit in abundance so that I might be able to go to see my Lord. The frost and winter should not destroy my crop this year.” Baba instructed him to walk around the trees and utter these words, and then not to think of anything else and not to worry.

So, Espandiar “spoke” to his trees every morning.

Certain of the fact that he would not lose his crop, Espandiar borrowed money and flew to Bombay. He arrived at Guruprasad on 5 May 1963 and was extremely anxious to meet his Master after more than 30 years of separation, but Baba did not grant him darshan at once. On the contrary, he sent word for him to sit outside and read verses from the Divan-e-Hafiz. Espandiar sat on the verandah reading the book. After about half an hour, Baba called him inside. To see him meet Baba after so many years was a touching scene. Putting his head on Baba’s feet, he wept and wept. After a few minutes, Espandiar was lifted up and he embraced Baba.

…Later that year, when the orchard crop was harvested, even though surrounding orchards had been severely damaged due to a harsh winter frost, Vesali’s trees gave an unprecedented yield — much to the local farmers’ amazement.

Espandiar once had an unusual experience at his home in Tehran. One day he heard a knock, he opened the door and found an Imam (a Muslim priest) standing at the door. The Imam related that he had had a dream in which a voice told him that the eagerly awaited Imam Mehdi (Saheb-e-Zaman, the Rasool) is now on earth and he would find him at a certain house in Tehran. In his dream, he was guided to the house which he saw clearly in vivid detail. The next morning, the priest went in search of the house in the city, found it and knocked on the door. As he spoke, tears ran down Espandiar’s cheeks, for his house served as the Avatar Meher Baba Center in Tehran, where weekly meetings were held., p4981
Apr, 1963; Guruprasad