~Meher Baba / Discourses Volume I / Website Meher Baba
CONSCIOUSLY or unconsciously, every living creature
seeks one thing. In the lower forms of life and in less
advanced human beings, the quest is unconscious; in
advanced human beings, it is conscious. The object of the
quest is called by many names—happiness, peace,
freedom, truth, love, perfection, Self-realization, Godrealization, union with God. Essentially, it is a search for all
of these, but in a special way. Everyone has moments of
happiness, glimpses of truth, fleeting experiences of union
with God; what they want is to make them permanent. They
want to establish an abiding reality in the midst of constant
It is a natural desire, based fundamentally on a
memory, dim or clear as the individual's evolution may be
low or high, of his essential unity with God; for, every living
thing is a partial manifestation of God, conditioned only by
its lack of knowledge of its own true nature. The whole of
evolution, in fact, is an evolution from unconscious divinity
to conscious divinity, in which God Himself, essentially
eternal and unchangeable, assumes an infinite variety of
forms, enjoys an infinite variety of experience and
transcends an infinite variety of self-imposed
limitations. Evolution from the standpoint of the Creator is
a divine sport, in which the Unconditioned tests the
infinitude of His absolute knowledge, power and bliss in
the midst of all conditions. But evolution from the
standpoint of the creature, with his limited knowledge,
limited power, limited capacity for enjoying bliss, is an epic
of alternating rest and struggle, joy and sorrow, love and
hate, until in the perfected man, God balances the pairs of
opposites and transcends duality. Then creature and
Creator recognize themselves as one; changelessness is
established in the midst of change, eternity is experienced
in the midst of time. God knows Himself as God,
unchangeable in essence, infinite in manifestation, ever
experiencing the supreme bliss of Self-realization in
continually fresh awareness of Himself by Himself.
This realization must and does take place only in
the midst of life, for it is only in the midst of life that
limitation can be experienced and transcended, and that
subsequent freedom from limitation can be enjoyed. This
freedom from limitation assumes three forms.
Most God-realized souls leave the body at once
and forever, and remain eternally merged in the
unmanifest aspect of God. They are conscious only of the
bliss of union. Creation no longer exists for them. Their
constant round of births and deaths is ended. This is
known as mukti or liberation.
Some God-realized souls retain the body for a time,
but their consciousness is merged completely in the
unmanifest aspect of God, and they are, therefore, not
conscious either of their bodies or of creation. They
experience constantly the infinite bliss, power and
knowledge of God, but they cannot consciously use them in
creation or help others to attain to liberation. Nevertheless,
their presence on earth is like a focal point for the
concentration and radiation of the infinite power,
knowledge and bliss of God; and those who approach
them, serve them, and worship them are spiritually
benefitted by contact with them. These souls are called
Majzubs, and this particular type of liberation is called
videh-mukti or liberation with the body.
A few God-realized souls keep the body, yet are
conscious of themselves as God in both His unmanifest
and His manifest aspects. They know themselves both as
the unchangeable divine essence and as the infinitely
varied manifestation. They experience themselves as God
apart from creation, as God the Creator, Preserver and
Destroyer of the whole of creation, and as God who has
accepted and transcended the limitations of creation. They
experience constantly the absolute peace, the infinite
knowledge, power and bliss of God. They enjoy to the full
the divine sport of creation. They know themselves as God
in everything, and are, therefore, able to help everything
spiritually, and to make other souls realize God, either as
Muktas, Majzubs or Sadgurus as they themselves are
There are fifty-six Sadgurus or Perfect Masters in
the world at all times.
They are always one in
consciousness. They are always different in function. For
the most part, they live and work apart from and unknown
to the general public, but five, who act in a sense as a
directing body, always work in public and attain to public
prominence and importance. In Avataric periods, the
Avatar, as a supreme Sadguru, takes his place as the head
of this body and of the spiritual hierarchy as a whole.
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.
This new influx of the creative impulse takes,
through the medium of a divine personality, an incarnation
of God in a special sense—an Avatar. This Avatar was the
first individual soul to emerge from the evolutionary process
as a Sadguru, and he is the only Avatar who has ever
manifested or will ever manifest. Through him, God first
completed the journey from unconscious divinity to
conscious divinity, first unconsciously became man in order
consciously to become God. Through him, periodically,
God consciously becomes man for the liberation of
The Avatar appears in different forms, under
different names, at different times, in different parts of the
world. As his appearance always coincides with the
spiritual birth of man, so the period immediately preceding
his manifestation is always one in which humanity suffers
from the pangs of the approaching birth. Man seems more
than ever enslaved by desire, more than ever driven by
greed, held by fear, swept by anger. The strong dominate
the weak; the rich oppress the poor; large masses of
people are exploited for the benefit of the few who are in
power. The individual, who finds no peace or rest, seeks to
forget himself in excitement. Immorality increases, crime
flourishes, religion is ridiculed. Corruption spreads
throughout the social order. Class and national hatreds are
aroused and fostered. Wars break out. Humanity grows
desperate. There seems to be no possibility of stemming
the tide of destruction.
At this moment the Avatar appears. Being the total
manifestation of God in human form, he is like a gauge
which man can measure what he is and what he may
become. He trues the standard of human values by
interpreting them in terms of divinely human life.
He is interested in everything, but not concerned
about anything. The slightest mishap may command his
sympathy; the greatest tragedy will not upset him. He is
beyond the alternations of pain and pleasure, desire and
satisfaction, rest and struggle, life and death. To him, they
are equally illusions which he has transcended, but by
which others are bound, and from which he has come to
free them. He uses every circumstance as a means to lead
others towards Realization.
He knows that men do not cease to exist when they
die, and, therefore, is not concerned over death.
that destruction must precede construction; that out of
suffering is born peace and bliss; that out of struggle
comes liberation from the bonds of action. He is only
concerned about concern.
In those who contact him, he awakens a love that
consumes all selfish desires in the flame of the one desire
to serve him. Those who consecrate their lives to him,
gradually become identified with him in consciousness.
Little by little, their humanity is absorbed into his divinity
and they become free.
Those who are closest to him are known as his
circle. Every Sadguru has an intimate circle of twelve
disciples, who, in point of realization, are made equal to the
Sadguru himself, though they differ from him in function
and authority. In Avataric periods, the Avatar has a circle of
one hundred and twenty disciples, all of whom experience
realization, and work for the liberation of others.
Their work is not only for contemporary humanity,
but for posterity as well. The unfoldment of life and
consciousness for the whole Avataric cycle, which has
been mapped out in the creative world before the Avatar
took form, is endorsed and fixed in the formative and
material worlds during the Avatar's life on earth.
The Avatar awakens contemporary humanity to a
realization of its true spiritual nature, gives liberation to
those who are ready, and quickens the life of the spirit in
his time. For posterity is left the stimulating power of his
divinely human example, the nobility of a life supremely
lived, of a love unmixed with desire, of a power unused
except for others, of a peace untroubled by ambition, of a
knowledge undimmed by illusion. He has demonstrated the
possibility of a divine life for all humanity, of a heavenly life
on earth. Those who have the necessary courage and
integrity can follow when they will.
Those who are spiritually awake have been aware
for some time that the world is at present in the midst of a
period such as always precedes Avataric manifestations.
Even unawakened men and women are becoming aware of
it now. From their darkness they are reaching out for light;
in their sorrow they are longing for comfort; from the midst
of the strife into which they have found themselves
plunged, they are praying for peace and deliverance.
For the moment, they must; be patient. The wave of
destruction must rise still higher, must spread still further.
But when, from the depths of his heart, man desires
something more lasting than wealth, something more real
than material power, the wave will recede. Then peace will
come, joy will come, light will come.
The breaking of my silence—the signal for my public
manifestation—is not far off. I bring the greatest treasure
which it is possible for man to receive—a treasure which
includes all other treasures, which will endure for ever,
which increases when shared with others. Be ready to