The Chinese edition of this can be found here: 次超者极乐
"...From the Wine of Meher, these troubles are mine" -- Bhau Kalchuri "From these troubles of Bhau, Meher's Wine is now mine." --Vishveshwar Bodhisattva
Beloveds, I am indeed just the most abject and least worthy of the many fortunate slaves of our Divine Master who have been graced by Him to throw their lives at His feet! Let us never be be tempted to even look back, or to even raise our heads and our minds, by the extent even of a flea’s fart, from the fragrance of His lotus feet, for therein lies innumerable kalpas of abyssmal suffering, of which never demeaned enough yours truly has already been thoroughly guilty.
So much for opening moves, OK? The debt of gratitude that I owe to both Beloved Meher and to His beloved John, Bhau Kalchuri, can never be written or spoken. The purpose of this post is to extend a metaphysical discussion that was being perpetrated at MPR when I was last there, from October of last year to January of this year, by a person who is not to be included among the numerous scurrilous “self-appointed Dharma cops” that I have duly excoriated in other contexts. This community elder shall remain unnamed herein, except to state that he was probably the prime mover behind the profound Dharmic effort that resulted in Infinite Intelligence. He was, quite compassionately and effectively, giving a series of informal talks about that compendium of profound and previously unpublished early Dharmic discussions by Meher Baba to his close mandali (intimate disciples).
This elder proved to be full of profound insights about that material which you might never arrive at from reading the book itself, and one of them was this: “The three primary divine attributes of God are Infinite Knowledge, Infinite Power, and Infinite Bliss, reflected in the three Paths of Dnyan Yog, Karma Yog, and Bhakti Yog respectively, and of these three, Knowledge and Power produce effects on the external world, but Bliss does not. Bliss simply is, and a blissful person does not have effects on the world. He or she is fulfilled ipso facto and per se, and has nowhere to go and nothing to do.
Now please understand me, lovers of Meher all. I would not like to propose myself as someone who would be capable of disagreeing with that community elder, whom I thoroughly respect, and who is far ahead of me in his love for our Master. Nothing, in fact, could be farther from my intention. This subject of Bliss is of the essence for us all, because Meher Baba stressed, valued, and preferred Bhakti Yog, which is, quite specifically please, the Path of Love and Bliss. Therefore, since it is so important, and based on my experience of Meher’s Bliss, from His Last Darshan in 1969 up to the present, I would like to unpack this true and accurate, but nevertheless initial, statement about the manifested qualities of Divine Bliss.
What he stated was true of me at Meher Baba’s Darshan. I was overwhelmed by the vortex of Bliss, and without Mani’s loving hand in the midst of it, I am not sure that there would have been anything resembling a normal human personality that could have survived that exalted state. I was in the traditionally ideal state of being “Like a corpse in the hands of the corpse-dresser.” Just to arrive there I had exhausted everything I had to give, and all I could do was simply be present, and it was often a challenge to do even that. I used to drag myself back to my hotel room in a state of utter exhaustion, having felt everything that could possible have been felt. But the next morning I was bright and alert and ready to be had by God, again!
At that time, I left India after 10 days, because that was the Master’s condition. On returning to Taiwan, where I had been stationed as a US Navy intelligence specialist, I was completely apart from that whole exalted state, at least with respect to my conscious mind. But then, when off duty, I would be overwhelmed by deepest feelings of grief, and all I could do was just lie on the floor of my barracks and cry, for hours on end. If anyone had found me in that state, I would have been out of the Navy forthwith. But it never happened. I was like that every afternoon for weeks, and every time I got like that, the entire barracks was completely deserted except for me. Such it is! And the only reason I recite this is to say that this was also Bliss, but I couldn’t identify it as such, because of my inexperience. I was completely passive, and that’s Bliss, is it not? It certainly is, and that’s why no one was able to find me like that. I was still free and floating in Divine Bliss, and in my deepest heart I knew that, but my conscious personality had no other way to deal with it but to cry and cry and cry. ((Shamanistic note for those who still have that kind of tail hanging out – I had to lie on the floor because it was a reinforced concrete building which conducted the ground energy of the planet, and so I could feel India like that, although I did not know that about myself at the time – vshr)).
Since then that Bliss has never left me. I have done everything humanly possible to bury it beneath the inherent negativities of my mind, and this is an attempt at which I have failed utterly. And what were my excuses for doing that? Very worthy excuses, please. Things like “taking care of worldly responsibilities.” If I had not concocted and acted on those excuses, there is absolutely no possibility that I would be where I am today, in a privileged living situation with access to India and the entire planet, for that matter. And I am not deluding myself about Whose hand was behind all that either. My Master wanted me to live for another day, and so He inspired me to concoct excuses, and let me believe that it was all my idea. Such. It. Is.!
So much for passive Bliss. This is where I would like to start to “unpack” the further implications of Divine Bliss. And I’m not claiming to be an expert at this, please. What I’m about to get into is some basics of a stage that I know from recent personal experience to be real.
So after Last Darshan, I tried to be a Sufism Reoriented Sufi, to the utter despair of Ivy. God I loved that woman! We had been intimate in China, and I’m sorry, but I never forget an affair with someone that refined, I don’t care what whole repertoire of attitudes she comes up with in the present. As per her usual Karma Yogin bent, she had taken me off my Buddhist path in China, and so in this life she had this karma of interference with me. I was there, by Meher Baba’s grace, so that she could teach me how to survive in the world, and in fact, she did that. But she did it unconsciously by indirection. I picked it up from her manner and example, the whole time she was trying to teach me something else. I couldn’t help myself. If Ivy lifted her little finger, my whole aura trembled, because you see, my love was still there. So I inhaled a lot of her worldly competence, which was huge, simply by induction. But meantime, Ivy had a whole other agenda. She wanted me to make money, make babies, and worship Ivy as per her whole Karma Yog agenda, and I just couldn’t do it. That attempt simply had nothing to do with my Path. She had done it to me in China, but I WOULD NOT accept it again in America. I made that clear by periodically escaping to Meherabad, an activity for which I was eventually thrown out by her successor.
I have wandered from the whole point. It happens. After various adventures, and occasional pilgrimages to Meherabad after Sufism, I wound up bonded to a very unique and special place called Hawaii. I believe, from a variety of signs that have appeared before and since my arrival here, that like my birth itself, this is something predestined for me by God. And pursuant to that, in 2010, I suddenly had the financial means to return to India,four times in a row, and to be thoroughly had by a Bliss-bomb named Bhau Kalchuri, yea verily amen.
Bhau was beyond inconceivable. Just watching the way he dismantled Mother C’s conscious mind, in every successive moment, all day every day, for months and years on end, left me stunned. And just for the record, if Mother C ever had a wish towards me, such as that I should return to India, her wish would be my law. I regard her as a direct emanation of my Murshid, Manija S. Irani. And then he started in on me. Bhau wanted me to sing, and by the time all the shenanigans with him on that subject were over, I was a manifested Siddha who could move the entire assembled Sangha at Meherabad with my voice. It was ridiculous, it was stupid, it was terrifying, and I still can’t believe that it even happened. But it did happen, and that was only the beginning.
What Bhau transmitted to me in my interview with him close to his death, and at his wake, was exactly the same thing that I had experienced, and almost forgotten, so long ago at Meher Baba’s Last Darshan. It was the vortex of Meher Baba’s Divine Bliss, Amen. But you see, I was no longer a passive spectator. Bhau had made damned sure of that. I was into it up to my thoroughly unprepared eyebrows, for better or worse. The way I characterized it at the time was that it was “contagious.” I couldn’t contain it within myself. It was an active force that changed me and the way that I relate. I have always been an introvert, even as Bhau himself had been through most of his life, and suddenly I was acting like an extrovert, but I didn’t know how to do that. Suddenly I had no working sense of boundaries. One of the misdemeanors resulting from that got me evicted from MPR.
Please understand that I am now holding everyone blameless for that eviction, and all of the miscellaneous backbiting that preceded it and continued subsequent to it. All those people were acting from their best lights, and continue to so act, and so do I.
So I feel like that’s enough backstory. Let’s return to the Dharmic issues in this, shall we? At a certain level of involvement with it, Divine Bliss is no longer inactive or passive. Most primarily perhaps, it creates stability, because you see, there is no other meaning that can finally stand in the face of such Bliss. If you can cognize that within yourself, you do in fact have nowhere to go and nothing to do, but does that imply that you cannot or do not act? Not at all. What it implies is that you can act from your own Divine center, instead of being tossed on the dualistic dynamics of the world. That’s the action of a Salik, is it not? It certainly is. So Bliss, which from a primitive point of view is allied to mastiness or craziness, is actually, when actually realized, the origin of sane behavior.
Another feature of Divine Bliss is that when inhered in through time, either by conscious intention or God’s Grace, it becomes Radiant. People notice you, people are attracted to you. Think of Mani’s or Mother C’s smile, for example. If “a face can launch a thousand ships,” then who are we to say that Divine Bliss cannot act?
I feel that “sufficient unto the riff are the evils thereof.” If all the oceans were ink with which to write of it, one could not exhaust this subject. But you and I are limited human beings, please, and as regrettable as it may be, our attention can be exhausted, but if I have done that to you, I feel that it was done in a worthy cause, namely attention to God and His attributes, than which there can be no greater schtick.
"Every head hath its craze." --Murshid Inayat Kahn.
Therefore let our mutual craze be God, for to Him shall we all return, just as surely as the Goddess makes little green apples grow on trees. Amen.
Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai!