Meher Baba (25 February 1894 – 31 January 1969), born Merwan Sheriar Irani in Pune, India, to Zoroastrian parents.
He maintained he was the Avatar, God in human form, and lived in silence from 10 July 1925 to the end of his life. He communicated by means of an alphabet board or by unique hand gestures.
Meher Baba spent long periods in seclusion, during which time he often fasted. He traveled widely, held public gatherings and engaged in works of charity with lepers, the poor and the mentally ill. In 1931, he made the first of many visits to the West, attracting many followers. Starting in 1949, along with selected mandali, he traveled incognito about India in an enigmatic and still largely unexplained period he called the “New Life.”
After being injured as a passenger in two serious automobile accidents, his ability to walk became severely limited. Despite deteriorating health, he continued what he called his “Universal Work,” which included fasting and seclusion, until he left his body.
Meher Baba gave numerous teachings on the cause and purpose of life, including teaching reincarnation and that the phenomenal world is an illusion. He taught that the Universe is imagination, that God is what really exists, and that each soul is really God passing through imagination to realize individually His own divinity. He gave practical advice for the aspirant wishing to attain self-realization and thereby escape the wheel of births and deaths and taught about the concept of Perfect Masters, the Avatar. His teachings are most importantly recorded in his principal books ‘Discourses’ and ‘God Speaks’. His influence on pop-culture artists is well established and also the introduction of common expressions such as “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”
Meher Baba is not part of history. Nobody has tried to see the great experiment that he did. He travelled all over the country to catch hold of all kinds of majzubs, madmen, because they are just very close to God. Only one thing is needed: somebody is needed who can shake them back to their sanity. Then they can become great Masters. Just a little sanity will be needed; then their madness will have a method in it. Right now they are only mad without any method; they cannot help. And to follow them may be dangerous, hazardous. To follow them, you will be only following yourself because they will never give you any clue. And whatsoever they will say, if you follow it, can lead you astray. It can throw you into deep pitfalls, because they are not in their consciousness; they have drowned themselves in God so much that they are drunk, they are drunkards. They have known God but they have no way to relate it to you. They cannot be Masters.
Each Master becomes a majzub before he becomes a Master – he goes through great madness – but all majzubs are not Masters. If a majzub dies as a majzub, he will attain to God but without helping anybody at all.
Osho, The Secret, Ch 19
The madman, if in the hands of enlightened people, can achieve enlightenment faster than your so-called sane people. In the East there has been a longstanding tradition… in this century one man revived it again – his name was Meher Baba. He went all over India seeking and searching for mad people. In all the madhouses, anywhere that he heard there was a madman, he would go. He traveled all over India his whole life, searching for mad people.
His disciples asked him, “Why are you wasting your time with mad people when sane people are available to work upon, and they want your time?”
Meher Baba said, “You don’t understand. To bring a sane person out of his sanity is very difficult. But to bring out a madman is very easy because in a way he is already out, but from the back door. He has tasted something of the outside; we have only to show him the right door and say, “Please don’t go out from the wrong door, go from the right door. Being out is perfectly right, but choose the right door.” And Meher Baba turned many mad people into enlightened people.
It is a strange world. Here, really great things are never rewarded. Nobody has bothered about Meher Baba. Mother Teresa will get a Nobel prize because she looks after poor orphan children, and nobody thought of giving a Nobel prize to Meher Baba who really did a miraculous job – and he was the only man, after centuries.
Osho, From Personality to Individuality, Ch 7, Q 1
Meher Baba is not finished with the world in the same sense as Raman Maharshi. But he is interested only in your spiritual growth – as if spiritual growth is something separate from the whole structure of society, religion, education, past, all the traditions, conventions.
So he remains interested in your spiritual growth, but spiritual growth is a complex phenomenon – it is connected with many other things. Unless your conditionings are changed, unless your belief systems are changed, unless your mind is unburdened of the past – there are so many things to be cleaned – only then can the still small voice of your being be heard.
Meher Baba takes spiritual growth out of context. Naturally nobody is against it. In fact, all the vested interests are tremendously respectful of such people, because they are continuously giving – without any intention on their part – opium to the people. They are giving the idea – which is false – that your spiritual growth is possible without going through a deep psychological revolution.
Secondly, Meher Baba remained silent his whole life; he never spoke. All that is written in the name of Meher Baba is written by his secretary. Now, there is no way to know whether the secretary is writing from his own mind.
He had come to see me, and I looked directly into his eyes when I asked, “Are you certain that whatever you have written is not from your mind? Can you give me any evidence that these messages have been telepathically given to you by Meher Baba?”
He felt a little embarrassed and he said, “I cannot say it with absolute certainty, but this is how I felt – that these were messages given by Meher Baba.”
“But your feeling…. Have you ever tried in some way to get the consent of Meher Baba, his signature? He was not speaking, that is true, but he used to give his autograph. You could have taken your book…. He was not speaking, but he could hear. You could have asked him: `I have written this book in your name, and my feeling is that this is your message. Just give it your signature so that I can tell world that Meher Baba agrees with me.’ This would have been a simple method.”
Meher Baba used to have a small board with the whole alphabet on it just for small messages and things. You would ask for his blessings, and he would put his finger on the letters, “b-l-e-s-s-i-n-g” – blessings are given.
If he could give blessings on the board, he could have said yes or no on the same board, but he was never asked. In fact, the secretary may have been afraid he might say no.
Now, who will be against this man? – who has not spoken, who is not against anything, anybody. His whole business is to help you spiritually – and that too only in silence; you can sit with him in silence.
Now, there are very few people in the world who can understand silence. A master first needs to teach you how to be silent, and unless he is satisfied that now you are capable of listening in silence, listening to that which is not being said vocally, verbally, but only telepathically….
Meher Baba had never prepared anybody for telepathic transference of ideas. And to me it seems to be absurd. What is the need? – because even in telepathy you will have to use the same language. If I want to say something to you – whether I say it aloud so that you can hear or I say it silently so that you can hear only telepathically, it makes no difference. Unless I am trying to give messages which are secret, unless there is a certain conspiracy….
But around Meher Baba, nothing has happened.
The man himself was of great importance, but he remained silent for the same reason as Raman Maharshi.
But he could not stay in one place. He did not abandon the world completely. He was still thinking that some way could be found to approach seekers. He moved around the world in search of seekers, but I don’t think he found any. He found only worshippers who sang devotional songs to him, because they had their desires.
And in the East it is believed that if the person who is enlightened blesses you, any desire is bound to be fulfilled. Existence can never say no to the enlightened consciousness. For the enlightened man, existence is always ‘yes’; there is a deep synchronicity.
So the people who gathered around Meher Baba were not seekers, they were people who wanted position, power, money, prestige – all the wrong kinds of people. And because he was engaging people in wishful dreaming and not saying anything, he was not against the vested interests. Why should any government be against him? Why should any religion be against him?
There was no question – these people were harmless people.
Osho, Sermons in Stones, Ch 1, Q 1
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