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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 81

A 'spiritual spin' to Big Bang theory, Darwinism to explain journey of soul….

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune, Delhi

Meher Baba Speaks - 6

New Delhi, 10 February ( The jacket proudly proclaims, 'No other work has yet been published which takes the reader so deeply into the fundamental mechanics of life and the universe'. And goes on to say that on concluding the volume, one will be left with the conviction, 'the voice of God has been heard'. No less profound is the book's title - God Speaks. Meher Baba speaksMeher Baba speaks

What is it so great about the book, I asked a learned professor, who had seen Meher Baba in the early sixties, rather reluctantly, and stayed with him in Pune for a week after the first 'encounter'.

Prof Bhatnagar did not go into a monologue like most egg-heads. He heads the Centre for Indian Cultural Renaissance at Ajmer, Rajasthan. 'It (the book) distills the essence of all religions and tells us that all religions are the same and all paths lead to the same God', he said.

I was not impressed. Because, I have met several Meher Baba lovers (as his followers like to be known), who said, they had purchased the book but did not read it. "Oh! Dear! It is a book by Baba. But it is very difficult to understand", most of them told me.

Some added 'Baba asked us to read whether we understand it or not but, you see, even the first page goes above our head'.

'I didn't understand the book and I don't think anyone else would,' remarked American writer Dorothy Thompson when she was give a copy shortly after God Speaks was published five decades ago.

On a visit to Meherabad recently, I heard a woman member of Baba Mandali (circle of close disciples, who stayed with Baba)) also voice an identical view.

The disinclination to read the book could be because Meher Baba's explanation of the knowledge is beyond the scope of the ordinary intellect to grasp and understand, Prof J S Rathore, who heads Meher Spiritual University, opines.

Interestingly, a statement (1955) attributed to Meher Baba said that he wanted every one to read the book. "I want you all to take particular note that I would feel happy if each one of you not only possessed but read and digested God Speaks from the first to the last page, as the last book of its kind by me".

"You will find God Speaks a very unique book. Never before have such things been disclosed by me. You will understand through your mind the why and wherefore of your being", Bhau Kalchuri quotes Meher Baba as saying in his 'Lord Meher'

Why was it (God Speaks) the last book of its kind? Meher Baba did not explain the remark directly, according to various sources though he did explain its uniqueness once in 1927, some 28 years before its publication.

'My explanations', Meher Baba said, 'are quite different from the scriptures of any religion, and they have nothing to do with the shariat aspects of religions. None of the great Masters in the past has given such explanations as I have. …'.

Elaborating further, he stated that the very foundation of all his explanations is sanskaras, 'which no religion has explained'. And asserted, 'I have so clearly and logically put it. Nowhere are sansakaras explained so elaborately or so eloquently'.

No surprise, noted American scholar W.Y. Evans-Wentaz, views God Speaks as an 'enlightening' treatise that adds much to the 'sum total' of learning and contributes to 'enrichment' of mankind with the 'Right Knowledge'.

For students of philosophy and religion, according to him, there is much material, which is entirely new or which had previously been advanced only in fragments.

Says Prof Bhatnagar, 'Believe me, there is terrific precision and lucidity in what Meher Baba says in God Speaks. It is all about the very purpose of creation and the goal of life".

Significantly, almost all the key people who were associated with God Speaks were Sufis.

Abdul Ghani Munsif, who took down the 'first' dictation (as he was observing silence, Meher Baba dictated the whole book with the help of an alphabet board), was a Sufi and wrote many article on Sufi gnosis (internal knowledge). Ivy Duce, a co-editor of God Speaks with Don Stevens, was Murshida of Sufism in America. Don also is steeped in Sufism. And the publisher is Sufism Reoriented, who holds the copyright.

Ira Deitrick, President of Sufism Reoriented, doesn't want to worry whether God Speaks is the last book of its kind or not. For him, 'it is the first book to minutely detail the journey of the individual soul from its time of creation until it has completed its function in the evolution and involution of consciousness, and has reached the goal'.

The goal of man is to realize the 'reality' and attain the 'I am God' state in human form. The reality can never be understood; it is to be realised by conscious experience, according to the God Speaks. This prompts scholars like Prof J S Rathore and Richard Blum to argue that Meher Baba did not resist Charles Darwin's theory evolution which strikes at the foundations of major western religions.

Evolution, argues, The Economist in its latest issue (Feb 7-13, 2009), is an unfinished business even as the world celebrates Darwin's 200th birth day. It also finds the process of evolution difficult to accept because 'it implies everything living is largely accidental'.

Sums up Stephen Jay Gould, an American evolutionary biologist, the reasons for our problems with Darwinism thus: 'The misunderstandings about Darwinism are rife not because the theory (of evolution) is difficult to understand but because people actively avoid trying to understand it'.

The same may be said of God Speaks because 'evolution became Meher Baba's cosmology' that describes the soul's journey through evolution, reincarnation and involution. All this goes above most people's head not because it is difficult to understand but because people actively avoid trying to understand it.

The evolution described by Meher Baba, according to Richard Blum, is not the biological evolution of forms bur rather the evolution of consciousness. Put differently, he extended Darwin's theory of biological evolution to the spiritual realm. Because, in the words of Meher Baba, the usual theories advanced by scientists, based as they are on intellectual data, 'never do justice to God's hand' in the game of evolution.

According to God Speaks, the evolution of gross forms is but a by-product in the universal factory of evolution of consciousness from unconscious divinity to conscious divinity. And the purpose is gradual development. The driving force of evolution is not mechanical (nor accidental as science tends to believe) but purposive. The new species is the result of random mutations says science but Baba points out that a new species emerges as a result of impressions of experiences (sanskaras) of last species (birth).

'It is a mistake to look upon science as anti-spiritual', says Meher Baba as he gives a new orientation even to the 'Big Bang' theory and provides insights into issues on which it remains silent.

Frankly, God Speaks does not use the term Big Bang as such but explains the beginning of creation in an almost identical manner. On what caused the universe to come into existence, the Big Bang theory is silent. Not the Silent Master. He explains it is as the 'Whim' with a divine purpose and that is for God to know himself. The original whim or the first word uttered by God was 'Who Am I?

What is a whim?

Says God Speaks, 'whim is a whim and by its very nature it is such that why, wherefore, when can find no place in its nature. A whim may come at any moment…it may not come at all. Similarly, the original infinite whim, after all, is a whim….. it is the whim of God in the state of infinitude!. This whim may not surge in God at all; and, if it surges, either at any moment or after thousands of years or after a million cycles or after a million cycles, it need not be surprising'.

God Speaks goes to great lengths to explain in detail with help of charts the journey of the soul from the time of its creation until it has completed its functions in the evolution and involution of consciousness and returns to the 'Over-Soul' from which it originated.

So, God Speaks should be a hit with the 'seekers'. No, it was not. Even after Meher Baba obliged his market savvy disciples and put his autograph on the unsold copies.

Published for the first time in 1955, the book has seen just two prints so far - in 1973 as a revised and enlarged edition and in 2001 as the first Indian edition. The book is moderately priced, at least the Indian edition.

-Asian Tribune -

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