Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Meditation and Prayers on 101 Names of God

Meditation and Prayers on 101 Names of God – revised second edition by Michael Kovitz, available now at: 
http://www.lulu.com/shop/michael-kovitz/meditation-and-prayers-on-101-name-of-god-revised-second-edition/paperback/product-20555051.html  Also, visit my website, eladi-publications.com, to read reviews and comments, hear selections of my music, and much, much more.

The God-man (Avatar) and the man-God (Perfect Masters) remind us again and again that only God exists and that we are that God—that we are eternal and infinite bliss—but that we are asleep in our impressions of illusion and, identifying with that illusion, take ourselves to be transitory and finite beings—man.

In the following excerpt from my book, Meditation and Prayers on 101 Names of God, I playfully pose the question to God: Since You are the One sleeping in me, why don’t You end the game of forgetting Yourself in me and awaken me as You and You as me?

Fifty-one: A-faremosh

And so, to awaken, You began to dream,
and because Your dream was so lucid,
You forgot that it was a dream.

Because it all seemed so real,
You forget Yourself,
and are now convinced that You are Me.

As me,
You live the life of the Holy Ghost,
believing in the illusion
of life and death,
pleasure and pain,
loss and gain.

Now, I am beginning to feel, perhaps it is time
to lose Your taste for oblivion,
to stop being a ghost,
and to remember Yourself?

Oh Never Forgetting,
as the Holy One in me,
isn’t it time for You to assert Your State of Never-forgetting,
and allow Yourself to awaken in me?

I’m not sure where I first heard the story of the beggar and the king, perhaps it was from Meher Baba or one of his mandali. It speaks to the state of duality, the hand-servant of Maya, the power that makes illusion appear real. Beggar and king is a pendulum which swings back and forth, life-time after life-time, until its momentum is spent. There are many pendulums; male and female, poor and rich, sane and insane, dull and witty, black and white, Christian and Jew, Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist…

Some yogis practice a kind of meditation called neti, neti–(I am) not this, not this.  

Forty-two: A-satoha

The haughty king looks out his window
with disdain at the beggar in the street below.

The self-pitying beggar looks up at the palace window
with envy and desire in his heart.

Both king and beggar, condemned by the Great Laws,
exchange their parts again and again,
for lifetimes on end,
until one day the sight of the beggar arouses the King to thoughts:

Both king and beggar I have been,
and whether my garb be royal or ragged,
in Reality,
Pure, Celestial, Soul,
I am.

And on that day also,
the beggar sees the king and thinks:

Both beggar and king I have been,
and whether my garb be ragged or royal,
in Reality,
Pure, Celestial, Soul,
I am.

Oh A-satoha,
the game of king and beggar is the Illusion
that sustains the Reality of Divine Oneness,
and in that game, You play the roles of conqueror and conquered,
while in Reality You remain —

The following excerpt has a play on the word Dadar. In the Parsi neighborhood of Mumbai there is a railway station called Dadar station. The word ‘station’ is also used to describe particular states of consciousness along the inner landscapes of mystical experience. Of course, Dadar’s Station refers to the state of God realization—the beginning and end of the wayfarer’s odyssey to Himself.

Ninety-five: Dadar
Divine Creator

Divine Creator of the three worlds
and of all beings You are —

not the mind, but That which makes the mind work;

not the powers, but That which empowers;

not the enchantments, but That which enchants;

not the gods, but That which makes them godly;

not the angels, but That which gives them wings;

not all beings, but That which gives all being life;

not the dream, but the dreamer;

not the breath, but the breather —

Oh Dadar, Divine Creator,
all trains arrive and depart Your Station.

I humbly request the following:
Please see to it
that before we are allowed to leave Your Station,
a return ticket is already safely in our hands.

In this selection from Meditation and Prayers on 101 Names of God I speak about a very powerful dream I had. The one in the dream was Meher Baba.

You know, much is made of the God-man’s suffering. What is this suffering? It’s not because we are bad; it’s not because He takes on suffering—though He does do that out of His mercy for all creation; the God-man’s suffering is the suffering of unrequited love. How many times has He told us that all He wants from us is our love? Yet His creation turns its back on Him. “Not now Baba.” I’m too busy Baba.” “Later Baba, after I’ve done this or that.” “Oh Baba, I am not worthy.” And that is His real suffering. He just wants to give us his love and we demure.

In my dream I demurred. Why? Because in the moment of that intimacy with God I felt that I was disappearing, dissolving, being consumed—and I couldn’t let go of myself—my false self. Perhaps I just wasn’t ready—yet…

Ninety-two: Khawar
Infinitely Patient

Age after age,
You stand in our midst
and give Your divine call,
“Come all unto Me.”

Age after age,
You see us approach,
only to divert our glance,
and demure Your intimacy.

In my dream You tossed the ball to me and I caught it.
You tossed it again harder, and I returned it to You.

Again and again You tossed the ball,
harder and harder still.

In wonder I watched it ricochet off of ceiling, walls and floor.

I leapt and dove, and caught it every time,
and returned it to You with joy and pride.

When You stopped throwing,
we were standing very close,
and in Your silent smile,
I experienced an intimacy
I had never known —
and I was very afraid.

Unable to bear the intimacy I meekly said ,
“I guess we should return to the others who await You?”
and You looked at me
and I looked into Your eyes
and in them I saw Your disappointment.

I knew my words had wounded You deeply.

“I want nothing more than your love,” I heard You say
before You disappeared and I awoke,
my face wet with tears of sadness and regret. 

Seventy: Gail-adar-gar
Transmuter of Dust
into Fire

There is no life in the real dust;
it nourishes nothing,
sustains nothing,
and has no interest in anything.

All hopes and aspirations end in dust,
and by being useless in every way,
dust wins the heart of the Beloved,
Who turns it into Fire.

“Like waves upon my head the circling curls,
So in the sacred dance weave ye and whirl.
Dance then, oh heart, a whirling circle be.

Burn in that flame—is not the candle He?” – This couplet attributed to Jalal al Din Rumi

The series of Names beginning with Name 62 (Adar – nam – gar) and going to Name 71 (Gail – vad – gar) felt to me to be the most mystical of all the 101 Names of God. They all speak about transmutation of subtle elements—fire into dew, dust into water, etc. A diversity of teachings includes earth, water, fire, air, and ether, but dust is something different. What is dust? Meher Baba said, perhaps quoting Hafez and others, “Become like dust at the feet of the Master.” What is dust? Gail-adar-gar was my meditation on this question.

Years ago, when I was president of the Meher Baba Center in Chicago I was walking the short block from my house to the Center and I felt Meher Baba’s voice asking me a question. “Do you remember when as Jesus I said to my disciples, ‘Ye are the salt of the earth, but what good is the salt if it loses its salt-ness..?’ What do you think I meant?” I responded, “Baba I don’t know. I have no idea.” I felt Baba’s voice inside me again. He said, “Salt flavors and preserves life, but nothing grows and lives in salt. I was telling my disciples to be like salt and they would preserve and flavor life—for others—while they would remain barren to life, without desires and cravings. I was saying that if they lost their salt-ness—became lost in desires they would become worthless to life and to My work.”


Meher Baba once made a line drawing of a chicken—He called it the mischievous chicken and said that it was Himself. He told the story of the mother hen and her chicks and how one of the chicks was very mischievous indeed. The mischievous chick would wander out from under the mother hen’s protective wing which frightened his mother. She would retrieve the chick only for him to sneak away again. Each time he went further and further away until the one time the mother gave up trying to find him.

The story that Meher Baba told, which can be read in its entirety in the book, The Nothing and the Everything – by Bhau Kalchuri, is about the journey of the first soul to gain consciousness of itself in the beginningless beginning. It is the story of the Avatar—the Ancient One—the One who comes again and again as the Messiah, the Christ, the Buddha…

   What I found most poignant about the story was that after the mischievous chick completed his journey to realize himself as God, he looked around and noticed that all the other chicks had followed him out from under their mothers’ wing. Bhau tells us that at that moment the mischievous one “did what he had never done before: He pitied. He took pity on creation, and took on the responsibility for all time for each creature in creation…Oh what mischief! Oh what compassion! Oh what love! He has come again and again to look after His creation and to help each proceed to God, and He has come again in the form of Meher Baba.”

In my meditation on the 59th Name of God I was inspired to tell this same story in a different way:

Fifty-nine: A-minogar
Creator of the
Profoundly Spiritual

From Your Deep Sleep You began to dream,
and You dreamt more and more,
and You became absorbed more and more,
until You went to the limit,
and then You turned back.

The Whim became conscious,
Your dream, Divine,
and You began to awaken.

Passing through numberless experiences
of sights, and sounds, and powers,
You became the mind,
master of thought,
and master of feeling.

Then You awoke and You were Nothing.

Nothing underwent the transformation to Everything,
and You took Your rightful seat on the Divine Throne.

But when You looked out upon the Kingdom of Yourself,
You noticed that You were still not free,
that the dreams from which You awoke continued to be,
and all the creatures and beings You had created,
were still mired in their illusory stories.

Creator of the Profoundly Spiritual,
You took mercy upon Yourself,
and rejoined the dream to awaken Your reflection,
in all Your shapes and forms.

Oh A-minogar, You became the Savior,
eternally bound in Your own Divine Responsibility.
Oh Parvardigar, You are,
Preserver and Protector of All.