“Tear away the curtain of set ceremonies and rituals” – Part 2

Meherstan, Kovvur

When the messages were received in Kovvur, there was much discussion as to what exactly Baba meant in regards to observing rituals in the newly-built center. One person who took the view that Vedic rites should be allowed was P. Ramalingeshwara Rao, an attorney in Kovvur. His letter to Adi on 19 January 1963, and Eruch’s subsequent reply are reproduced in full [here below we see the gist of the letters. The full letters are available at these links – letter to Adi and Eruch’s reply]. They contain important guidelines about these type of questions for future generations to reflect upon.

[The gist of Eruch’s reply:]

(1) Your first query is: Whether rituals are to be totally avoided?

In reply to this query I must tell you, dear brother, that Meher Baba as the Avatar of the Age wants you to believe that he does not want the true worship of his lovers to be entwined by rites and ceremonies of yagna and homa-havan [sacred fire rituals] or any other forms of ritual. Baba does not want his lovers to ever offer their prayer to him padded by any sort of formal practice or set customs. Any ceremony on which the rust of past ages offormal observance has long since set in, should never be entertained in his House of Worship.

Baba often stressed that he has come again as the Avatar of this Age to cut clean through the thongs which restrict the voice of true worship to God to the point of strangulation.

Beloved Baba further clarifies that when love for God is expressed spontaneously, then it is worshiping Him indeed, and such outbursts of true worship can be seen sometimes in the form of an offering of flowers and garlands, in singing hymns and bhajans and arti, in ecstatic dancing or rolling in the dust, et cetera. When such expressions are spontaneous — not formal — and are in praise of the Highest of the High, they constitute true worship of God, for this reaches Him and is acceptable to Him.

But when the mind expresses itself in patterns of formal rites and rigid ceremonies, it is nothing more than an empty echo of the habit of countless generations, performed automatically without “heart.”

(2) Your second query is: Whether at the opening of Mehersthan Baba does or does not concur with you that Vedic hymns be sung in praise of the Highest in the installation ceremony, as was done in the past during the incarnation of Shri Rama when he installed Sri Ramalingeshwara at Rameshwaram.

Before replying to this query, I must first draw your attention to the fact that a statue of beloved Baba is not to be installed, BUT that beloved Baba’s dear Person embodied in bronze is to be unveiled.

After the unveiling, not only Vedic hymns may be freely sung in praise of the Highest, but also full freedom should then be given to Muslims to recite the Koran in praise of the Highest, to the Christians to sing their hymns in praise of the Highest, to the Zoroastrians to sing their monajats in praise of the Highest, and to the Harijans to sing their bhajans in praise of the same Highest of the High!

(3) Your third query is: That Baba should prescribe the procedure in laying the Idol; his wish as to how you should all conduct yourselves.

This very question arises from the misleading idea that you will be installing an idol of Baba! Baba says that his living Person is by itself the Real Idol of God and no other idol can replace it — it will be replaced only with his next advent after 700 years! No amount of ceremonies for pran-pratishta can ever breathe the life of Baba into an idol! The moment you think of an idol of Baba in Mehersthan, you wash away the very foundation of your own faith in Baba, your own love for Baba and your own obedience to Baba’s dictates! Only those who fail to feel his presence anywhere else than in the bronze image of Baba, will find beloved Baba as a mere statue or idol in Mehersthan.

Lovers of Baba should make Mehersthan the House of True Worship by expression of their pure love for him, and they should believe that in it is housed the very presence of Beloved Avatar Meher Baba, and not his idol or statue.

The answer in a nutshell to your third query is that you should believe in the very presence of beloved Baba at Mehersthan, and drive away all thoughts of replacing Baba’s presence with installation of an idol of Baba “sanctified” by Vedic rites.

-www.lordmeher.org, p4913
Dec, 1962; Meherazad

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