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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2401

Meher Baba’s Avataric Period

By Prof J S Rathore

Author, renowned educationist and former Vice-Chancellor, the writer is the coordinator, Meher Spiritual University, (MSU) headquartered at Meherabad, Ahmednagar, India.

Though rare in the world of Avatar Meher Baba lovers, one does come across, at times, the interesting phenomenon of self-proclaimed so-called `Sadgurus’ or `Perfect Masters’ popping up like mushrooms. One such so-called sadguru was Yogiraj Dharamdhruva Gaur. Faroukh Bastani in his book Memorable Moments with Meher Baba (Madhurangi Marketing, Pune 2014), writes - under the caption BabaThe Saviour - about one self-styled `Sri Yogi Raj’ Dharam Dhruva Gaur about whom he was informed by Sri Ram Sahai Baghel, an advocate from Jalaun district near Jhansi in U.P. In the year 1957, Baba was in seclusion at Satara. During this period one self-declared sadguru named Shri Yogi Raj Dharam Dhruva Gaur visited Hamirpur and impressing everybody there by his oration skill started his fraudulent activities in order to earn money. In one incident he had cheated a Baba lover Sri Ravi Shankar Amisht of gold and other valuables in the name of fixing his horoscope based hostile grahs or planetary constellations. None could gather courage to challenge and oppose him. Baghel gave a detailed account of Gaur’s activities in a telegram sent to Baba.

Baba replied to Baghel: “These types of people are like wolves who are roaming around to devour my lamb like lovers. You shield my lovers from such wolves.” Gathering now himself with confidence and courage Baghel told the Yogiraj to hold his activities out of Hamirpur. Dharam Dhruva Gaur tried to tempt Baghel by promising to arrange for Baghel a big house, a car and ownership of a hotel in Bombay in lieu of his opposition. Baghel expressed his inability to accept anything without the permission of Meher Baba. Irritated by Baghel’s rejection, Gaur now pulled out a loaded revolver and aimed at Baghel’s chest insisting that immediate reply be given and that too in clear `Yes’ or `No’. Baghel did not yield saying that without knowing the wish of Baba he cannot answer in `Yes’ or `No’.

On hearing this Gaur suddenly started trembling with fear. At midnight he suffered from blood dysentery. He was so distraught that he begged everybody there to pray Meher Baba to save his life. In the early morning he left to catch the bus for Kanpur. Surprisingly at Kanpur a large police force was ready to nab him. He already had thirteen cases of fraud registered against him. Faroukh Bastani observes, “Beloved Baba indeed takes care of His lovers.”

In the current scenario, spirituality has become a most profitable commercial venture that needs minimum investment but gives maximum turn-over in terms of money, power and position. Requisites are: oratorical and acting skills, and, a clout of clever accomplices. Avatar Meher Baba has warned His lovers not to fall prey to such charlatans.

Baba says: “To help people is good, but service done under the guidance and according to the instruction of a Perfect Master is the best. Service to half-baked gurus and false saints will throw you in a gutter. You will be left hanging by those hypocrites. If you are unlucky enough to find a false guru, he will accept you and take you in his service. However, he will then give you up, and that will cool down your longing! Instead of loosing, you will accumulate sanskaras, and become disappointed and disgusted.”

The present article endeavors to make Baba lovers and spiritual seekers aware of the spiritual uniqueness of the period in which we all are living – the Avataric Period of Avatar Meher Baba. Real Perfect Masters or Sadgurus are silently playing Avatar assigned roles in this Avataric period without any fanfare.

Avataric Cycle and Avataric Period

Meher Baba’s Avataric period is the most amazing and the most significant period of His Avataric cycle. The 100 years after the manifestation of the Avatar on earth is the period encompassing the direct and personal radiation of the Avatar and Meher Baba’s Samadhi or tomb -shrine is the mighty universal Powerhouse which is transmitting the direct and the personal radiation of Avatar Meher Baba. This direct living and personal radiation of Avatar Meher Baba is permeating the gross, subtle and mental spheres. It would remain available on earth as the universal ocean of Divine Grace, for almost the entire period of the 21st century. During this period nobody can stand in between Meher Baba and His lovers or devotees proclaiming himself or herself as a medium between Baba and His devotee.

This is how Meher Baba willed it to be.

There was some confusion regarding the Avatar’s circle, Avataric period and Avataric cycle. All this emerged out of the book – Civilization and Chaos – written by Irene Conybeare, a Baba lover. It was not clear, whether the Avataric period and Avataric cycle are the same or different from one another. This was clarified by Baba through a letter written by Mani, one of the women mandali or circle and Baba’s sister.

The letter stated:

“All the fourteen members of the Avatar’s Inner Circle realize God by the grace of the Avatar during the Avataric period, which is of one hundred years’ duration after the Manifestation of the Avatar on the earth. The Avataric period has nothing to do with the cycle. Please have that clear. The 100 years after the Manifestation of the Avatar is the period encompassing the direct living and personal radiation of the Avatar (Ref: The Samadhi, Star of Infinity. The Tomb-Shrine of Meher Baba by Bal Natu. Myrtle Beach, SC, U.S.A: Sheriar Press 1997)”. In this Avataric Period of Beloved Baba individuals have important but relatively limited roles to play. For the coming 100 years there is no place for any person coming in between Beloved Baba and His lovers. Spiritual institutions built on the solid foundation of Beloved Baba’s message of Love and Truth and free from personal glorification will now be the real spiritual power houses releasing enormous quantum of life transforming energy in the world.

One may ask when did the precise period of the Manifestation of Avatar Meher Baba begin on the earth? Was it from the day when Qutub-e-Irshad Sai Baba addressed Merwan as Parvardigar or the day (16 October 1949) when Baba started His New Life? Bal Natu believes that 10th February 1954 was that great day. From 3rd of February 1954 Meher Baba began His second mass darshan program of Hamirpur District, India. On 10th February, at about 1 A.M., at Meherastana in Hamirpur, Baba, for the first time spelled out the words “Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai” meaning “Victory to Meher Baba, the Avatar” on His alphabet board. He hailed Himself as the Avatar by raising His right hand up. All that makes this day as most special.

In the expression used to describe this radiation, three words – direct, living and personal – are of great significance. Direct means direct access and living means that it is a conscious-consciousness force of Infinite Sat-Chit-Ananda Consciousness and personal means that this force is consciously created by Beloved Meher Baba as the Avatar of the Age. For 100 years, this Divine Being – the direct living and personal radiation of Beloved Baba with his Samadhi as His abode – would directly light the heart-candles of His lovers or devotees. In simple words it means that during this period a real direct contact with Meher Baba is possible and Meher Baba would unfailingly respond in His own spiritual ways. In Avataric periods, one does not necessarily have to make the inward journey by stages. If you are blessed by the Grace of the Avatar, He just takes you from where you are to where you should be and where God wants you to be.

In the Age of the Avataric period, the then existing and functioning five Perfect Masters, at the appropriate time, individually and conjointly bring about the advent of the Avatar and use their infinite power and grace to precipitate His advent and make manifest the Infinite Reality onto this earth into Illusion. Meher Baba says: “During the Avataric period, the one from amongst the then living five Perfect Masters, who used to function as Qutub-e-Irshad, ceases to hold this divine office and delivers his duty and charge of the sole responsibility for the affairs of the universe into the hands of the God-Man as soon as He is able to assume His office as the Christ – the Avatar of the Age – and remains himself, as long as he is in a gross body, holding the same office of Qutub as the other four held (God Speaks p.153).”

Thus, during the Avataric Period the living five Perfect Masters play incognito only a subsidiary role. Meher Baba says: “One of the most difficult things to learn is to render service without bossing, without making a fuss about it, and without any consciousness of high and low. In the world of spirituality, humility counts at least as much as utility (Discourses (1987) p. 364).” And: “Sadgurus and Masters never reveal their way of working. If they do so, it entails more work for them. The Sufis say: ‘One who has found the Truth hides it eternally. And it is so. This means that one who is God-Realized never reveals the Truth in ordinary words (Lord Meher 7: 2817).”

Meher Baba revealed: “Avataric periods are like the spring-tide of creation. They bring a new release of power, a new awakening of consciousness, a new experience of life – not merely for a few, but for all. Qualities of energy and awareness which had been used and enjoyed by only a few advanced souls are made available for all humanity. Life, as a whole, is stepped up to a higher level of consciousness, is geared to a new rate of energy. The transition from sensation to reason was one such step; the transition from reason to intuition will be another.”

A New Humanity would emerge as a consequence of Avataric Manifestation of Meher Baba.

Avatar Meher Baba’s Tomb-Shrine Meherabad hill is the supreme, universal Power-House incessantly emanating His Love and Grace. About His Tomb-Shrine Baba had said: “The major portion of my Universal work was done on this hill. I have selected this spot for my last-resting place, when I drop the body, it shall rest here in my Tomb. I have fasted here for six-months. I used to lie down here in the crypt taking only water and coffee… After I drop my body the physical remains will rest here, and this hill will become an important pilgrimage for the world. After seventy years … a big township will grow around here.” In 1954, Meher Baba led a large group up the Meherabad hill and instructed them to bow at the threshold of the crypt of His future Samadhi. In 1955 during another spiritual get-together or `sahvas’, as Baba used to call it, Baba allowed His lovers to come inside and go around the crypt, while He Himself stood silently inside the structure for some time in a corner.

Bal Natu writes in his book `The Samadhi, Star of Infinity: The Tomb-Shrine of Meher Baba’:

“Thinking about Meher Baba’s presence in the Samadhi and the various events connected with His life gradually slows down the mind and gears life into a different rhythm. Then the heart begins to sing the song of the Avatar’s glorious love, and joy unknown and inexpressible begins to enliven one’s journey to the Source, the Eternal Bliss of God.

“These analogies might strike some as far-fetched, but technology reflects the effects of the Avatar’s universal working on the inner realms of consciousness. Science is reaching great heights, not in spite of the Avatar’s advent, but because of it. During the Avataric period, all aspects of life are being diversely quickened to new levels. I have no doubt that the Samadhi is the center of Avatar’s work of creating a new surge in the arts and sciences, and awakening the heart of humanity to the love of God.”

Science and technology’s growing confluence with the spiritual truths and its benign impact on humanity is the outcome of Avatar’s working. To Paul Brunton, a free lance British journalist who had interviewed Meher Baba during His Panchvati cave seclusion in Meherabad in the year 1930, Beloved Baba said:

“I shall change the history of the whole world. As Jesus came to impart spirituality to a materialistic age, so I have come to impart spiritual push to present day mankind. There is always a fixed time for such divine workings, and when the hour is ripe, I shall reveal my true nature to the world.

“At present, the whole world is enmeshed in sensual desires, in racial prejudice, selfishness and money-worship. God is forsaken! Religion is abused. Man seeks life and the priests give him stones! God, therefore, must send His true Prophet among men once again to establish true worship and to awaken people out of their materialistic stupor. I but follow in the line of these earlier prophets. This is my mission.

“Have you not noticed how all nations have been brought into instant communication with each other during this modern epoch? Do you not see how the railways, steam-ships, telephones, telegraph, radio, and newspapers have caused the whole world to become a closely woven unit? An important event happening in one country is made known within a day to the people of another country ten-thousand miles away. … There is special reason why all these developments have taken place. The time is soon coming to give mankind a universal belief, which will serve all races of people in every country. In other words, the way is being prepared to enable me to deliver a world- wide message to humanity.” By emphasizing “instant communication”, Baba specially pushed the communication technology to His desired climax in order to serve as a mighty instrument in spreading His message of Love and Truth to every nook and corner of the world. Baba in 1930s talked about `instant communication’. Today male and female, young and old - that way the entire world is enjoying this `instant communication’ through cell phones and computers. Never before the world was such a closely woven unit.

*Meher Baba started observing silence from 10th July 1925 and for 44 years He did not speak in spite of two serious car accidents. Initially He communicated with the help of an alphabet board and then He started communicating through hand gestures. He dropped His body on 31 January 1969. He would repeatedly assert that He will break His silence and would speak the Word -of -Words. Osho Rajneesh believed that on account of prolonged silence Meher Baba has lost His capacity to speak. On 30 January 1969, Meher Baba told Bhau Kalchuri (member of Baba’s inner most circle and author of Meher Baba’s biography `Lord Meher’) three times (10 p.m., 11 p.m. and 12 midnight) ` Yad Rakh, I am not this body’. Yad Rakh means `remember’ and Baba said it loudly in His physical voice only once and then gestured ` I am not this body’. Hearing Baba’s voice for the first time, Bhau was astounded. He doubted did he really hear Baba speaking and dared not tell about this happening to others. Much later, on Sunday 10 June 2001, when Bhau was in Pune hospital Baba Himself appeared before Bhau asking Bhau to tell otners about the `Yad Rakh’ incident of 30 January 1969. Baba said: “Now you can tell people very, very boldly that I spoke to you and said `Yad Rakh’ through my tongue. But this Yad Rakh means that if people want to hear my Word –of- Words, they should continue my Yad [ Rememberance].”

* The day was 15 July 1969, just few days after Baba had dropped His body. Mehera, Beloved’s Beloved, was standing by the east window of her room at Meherazad, looking at some newly-planted shrubs and thinking of her Beloved Baba. Suddenly her attention was drawn to the umer tree, just a few feet away from the window. She saw, to her amazement, the likeness of Baba’s face etched on the tree trunk. At first, she thought that this was due to the way the light played on the tree trunk, helped by her imagination – but no, it was BABA’S FACE – in all its beauty, serenity and compassion. Mani and the mandali shared the wonderful sight. News spread among the villagers who came from far and near to pay homage to Baba’s image on the umer tree.

* `Gypsy’ Sharma, a young man age 21, was suffering from cancer. On the 16th of February 1983, while he was asleep, his mother tried to wake him up. With eyes half opened the boy moved a little and said, `What are doing mother? Do not disturb me please. Look, Meher Baba is here in the room’. Gypsy’s parents and people around were surprised who this Meher Baba was; for they heard this name for the first time in life. Neither the boy, nor any member of the family, far and near, had ever known Avatar Meher Baba. On Sunday, the 27th of February late at night the boy was persuaded by his mother for a cup of tea. He opened his eyes slightly and said, `Mother, look; I am talking to Meher Baba. I am in great peace, do not disturb me.’ All those gathered around drew blank and asked each other who Meher Baba was, and why Gypsy is repeating his name. They thought that perhaps Gypsy is in semi-delirium. But that was not the end of the matter. Around 12 noon on Monday, 28 February ’83, his condition became serious. His sister, with tears in her eyes, asked him to get-up and eat something. He opened his eyes and muttered incoherently to himself taking Baba’s Name again. Desperately she asked, `What are you talking about Gypsy? Who is Meher Baba?’ He responded clearly and said : `Don’t you see, Meher Baba is standing here in the room in his while clohes.’ His mother anticipated that the inevitable was written on the wall. She said, `Gypsy, my son, you are not well. Now you should remember Lord’s name.’ He replied, `Why should I remember Lord’s name mother? Look Meher Baba has himself come to take me along. I am going with him.’ Then he raised his hand high, snapped his fingers and closed his eyes forever, leaving behind Meher Baba’s mystery for all to ponder.

On the first anniversary of Gypsy’s death, M. G. Sharma, Gypsy’s father, saw a dream the significance of which was revealed later when the couple visited Meherabad and Meherazad. In the dream, Sharma and his wife were taken to a place similar to a temple.

There was a person, like a priest, who led them into the temple, down some stairs into a sort of cellar. In the cellar, Sharma saw the bust of a person with a large mustache. a 28th February, Sharma and wife visited Meherazad where Eruch, one of Meher Baba’s inner-most mandali, showed them around the Mandali Hall. Eruch also took them inside the `Blue Bus’ where Sharma saw the bust of the person with a large mustache. Next day at Meherabad priest like Nana Kher, one of Baba’s mandali, took Sharma couple to the museum near Baba’s Samadhi. Nana led them down the two stairs and first thing that arrested their attention, on the left, was a replica of the bust they had seen in the `Blue Bus’. This experience revealed the full significance of the dream and filled Mr. and Mrs. Sharma with love for Meher Baba and His temple like `Samadhi’. Sharma told Eruch, “You might have casually shown me the bust, but in a profound way it has confirmed my belief that Gypsy had an intimate connection with Meher Baba. And what a coincidence, today is the second anniversary of Gypsy’s demise.”

*There is another famous case of a soul, living in a disembodied state of existence after its death in the gross world. A deep inner connection with Meher Baba brings this soul closer to Baba. Karl Umrigar, born on 4th of October 1960, was a champion jockey. The 15th of April 1979 was the last day of Bombay racing season and Karl was one of the participating jockeys. Karl’s horse stumbled and went down dislodging and trampling Karl. Karl was hospitalized and in spite of best possible medical care, died on 3rd May 1979.

Nan Umrigar, Karl’s mother, feeling totally shattered by the death of her son, started knocking the doors of some reputed occultists to learn the practice of automatic writing for contacting spirits. She succeeded in meeting one Mrs. Bhavnagiri in 1984. The first auto-writing contact with Karl was established on 11 September 1984. After daily auto-writing sessions for fourteen days a cryptic message, “WHEREVER MUM HOME,” was received. Highly touched by the word “Mum:’”, Nan burst into tears. She felt that her dear son returned home. In the words of Nan :

“The years of emptiness receded as each morning Karl diligently practiced. Each word, no matter how often repeated, brought infinite joy to my soul. Karl soon spelt out another word, `MEHER’.

“ I was puzzled, for there was no one of that name in my family or in my group of close friends. So back, I went to Mrs. Bhavnagiri with my pages filled with the words, `Meher’. Who or what was `Meher’? Mrs. Bhavnagiri suggested that I direct my inquiries through another m edium, a Mrs. Prabhavati Rishi. I had absolutely no idea of what she was talking about, but having come this far, my inner spirit seemed to have assumed an in-explicable drive. I simply had to find out more about this word – `Meher’.”

Nan could locate Mrs. Rishi, and they together succeeded in contacting Karl. Just to check that the contact is real, Nan asked, “Who are you? Please write your name.” The board did spell out the name –KARL. It also spelt out, “I fell down – brain haemorrhage.” Nan’s heat began to race furiously, for it had been a brain haemorrhage that was finally responsible for the loss of Karl”s consciousness. She now firmly believed,this had to be her dear Karl. She now asked: “Am I disturbing you Karl?” “No Mum,” he replied. Nan asked, “Do you wish me to continue, and will I ever be able to write clearly?” Karl responded,“Yes, with God’s help”. Nan persisited: “And what are you trying to tell me Karl? Who is Meher?”

“MEHER BABA”
“And who is Meher Baba?”
“He is my Guru”, spelt the board.
“What do you want me to do?”
“Go wherever He is. Go wherever He is,” repeated Karl.

The session ended abruptly leaving Nan stunned. Nan Umrigar’s search for Meher Baba, a consequence of Karl”s repeated instruction “GO WHEREVER HE IS” brought her to Meherrabad. In his subsequent messages Karl had said, “I am always in Meherabad…. I live there… I am Meher Baba’s right hand man … When I first came here Mum, I did not know what had happened. Meher Baba came to take me when I was struggling in pain and unhappiness. He looked after me. He healed my leg and my body that was badly hurt. He is my father in heaven (Sounds of Silence by Nan Umrigar, Huma Enterprises, 1996).”

These are some of the innumerable example that bear testimony to the fact that Avatar Meher Baba is active and is very much with His lovers. Meher Baba’s ‘Avataric Period’ is the spiritual high-tide period of direct, personal and living radiation of Avatar Meher Baba. It’s a period in which any sincere seeker of God can easily establish a direct personal contact with Meher Baba. For living real Sadgurus or Perfect Masters, this is the period in which they would never draw attention towards them and would keep on performing their spiritual duties silently without any fanfare.

- Asian Tribune -

Meher Baba’s Avataric Period
Meher Baba’s Avataric Period
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