Saturday, February 25, 2017
“Nanga Baba is completely naked and carries a forked stick with bits of dirty rags tied to it. He lives on a mountain facing the Amber palace and each morning he comes down to the village, takes some sweetmeats from a shopkeeper who gives them to him and then, speaking to no one, returns to his mountain. About half-way up the mountain, at a small temple where there is a spring of water, he washes and eats the sweetmeats, drinks water, and then goes up to his mountain top after making mud balls.
“I asked him what these were for and he told me that he was ordered to throw these “fire balls” on big cities in other parts of the world, and because of this he was very busy and couldn’t come with me. I then asked him what his peculiar forked stick was for and he replied that the stick and the knots of old rags on it helped him to aim and point towards the cities on which he threw the “fire balls.” — The Wayfarers – Meher Baba with the God-Intoxicated, by William Donkin, © copyright, 1948, Adi K. Irani
Imagine a pencil with points on either end. Both points are in contact with a piece of paper. One piece of paper represents the gross world—the entire material universe that gross conscious souls see and hear and smell and taste and feel. The other piece of paper represents the higher planes of consciousness in the subtle and mental worlds.
Gross conscious souls experience themselves as moving the pencil on the piece of paper representing the gross world and doing gross actions like eating, talking, and moving around. What they don’t see, what they don’t experience, is that as the pencil point moves on the paper representing the gross world it is also making marks with the other point on the paper representing the subtle and mental worlds.
The exact opposite is true of advanced souls who see themselves moving the pencil upon the paper that represents the subtle and mental worlds. What they don’t see is the other end of the pencil that reacts to the subtle and mental movements by making patterns on the paper representing the gross world.
Meher Baba was clear on this point, that all souls in illusion, whether gross, subtle, or mental conscious only experience one world at a time. Gross conscious souls do not experience the subtle or mental worlds, subtle conscious souls do not experience the gross or mental worlds, and mental conscious souls do not experience the gross or subtle worlds.
Masts experience the subtle and mental worlds, but they differ in their experience from both the ordinary human being and the other advanced souls because they do not absorb their experiences into their sense of self because their sense of self is lost in their own experiences. Consequently they do not experience themselves as the doer of their own actions and it is precisely for this reason that the behavior of masts often appears to those of gross consciousness to be quite odd, bizarre, or unbalanced.
Now, of course, all this information regarding the masts and other advanced souls comes but from the teachings of Meher Baba.
One of my favorite books of all times is called The Wayfarers — Meher Baba with the God-intoxicated. Written by Dr. William Donkin, it is still available through Sheriar Press. The book highlights a period in Meher Baba’s life (1922– 1949) when He actively sought out masts for the purposes of His work. The exact nature of this work remains unknown, because what even his closest followers saw, or what we are able to glean from the chronicles of The Wayfarers, is only the outer shell of that work and what was going on internally remains hidden. Maher Baba did give some hints, however, and from these hints we are able to conclude that His work with masts was for their spiritual benefit and the spiritual benefit of all creation also.
During this period of his mast work Meher Baba traveled with a small number of close disciples throughout India, the Kashmir, and much of what is now Pakistan. He traveled incognito, taking great pains to not be recognized. Often, in speaking about Meher Baba to others, the followers were told to refer to him as their older brother. The travel was often difficult and exhausting. Masts are often reclusive, living alone in out of the way forests or hovels, on the streets of big cities, or in the foulest sort of places like butcher shops and even brothels. Additionally, when a mast is known by individuals in a community they are revered as saints and often protected from outsiders.
While on His mast tours, Meher Baba always seemed to know where He was going and would direct his party to specific places where masts were known or suspected of being; once there, He would send out a follower or two to first contact the mast or the mast’s attendants and deliver a message that their elder brother wished to contact the mast. A consistent requirement was that the contact should private and that the mast should willingly agree to the meeting.
“He is a fifth-plane mast in a ghous-like state. He has a peculiar springing gait as he walks; that is to say, he bobs his body up and down in an agile way, and Meher Baba explained that this gait was typical of ghouls-like masts… Chambeli Shaw lives in the prostitutes’ quarter of Chapra and runs away from everyone who approaches him. There was this difficulty when Baba wished to contact him until someone mentioned that he was very fond of chewing tobacco and lime. A handful of this was brought, and when he saw it, Chambeli Shaw was tempted to approach, and so was contacted.” – Ibid.
Ghous-like masts have the qualities of a ghous.
Meher Baba explained that ghous-like masts “are able to disconnect their limbs from their bodies when in a certain state of consciousness.” He said that “ghous-like masts are found in lonely places, because with the characteristic of separating the parts of their bodies, they prefer to remain hidden from the eyes of ordinary people.”
(To be continued.)