((The following announcement is in a supplement to Circular #17, dated 14 Sep 1950 – it is followed by a detailed account of the discussions that followed in which all parties to the New Life negotiated their status with Baba under the utterly new Conditions which He hereby established.
This announcement epitomizes the actual process of the New Life with Baba. here we find him in more thoroughly sympathetic stance than has ever been demonstrated by an Avatar of God; on the one hand speaking with Divine authority as only He could do, on the other hand freely admitting the drawbacks and failures, and as always, at every profoundly demanding step of the way, the most direct object of that criticism was Himself. And yet, like the proverbial phoenix, He rises again (and again and YET again!), from the ashes of his own self-criticism, to issue once again the new program by which all the failures, including His own, can be resolved. I am in tears. – vshr, 22 Feb 14))
“Today I have stepped back into my Old Life for a few hours. I am very happy to see you all – you who are my Old Life disciples and devotees, and I feel deeply the love you have for me. I want you all, as also those who are absent today, to know that my love for my Old Life disciples and devotees is unbounded.
“On the 16th of October 1949 I adopted my New Life. Today, exactly one year after I set out with my Companions, I have to say that the principles of my New Life could not be lived up to in the spirit that I desired. My companions have not been able to comply with the conditions of the New Life in the strict sense I had expected them to do, although in fairness to them I want to say that, each has tried his best according to his own capabilities and understanding. I feel therefore that this year has been, not a failure, but an eye-opener. I also so admit my own weakness in succumbing to anger and other temptations, and my inability to carry out, with a firmness of purpose the New Life conditions on the whole. My giving in to my feelings for the Companions has resulted in a modification of the original Oath taken by me at Meherabad, and the evolvement of Plans I, II and III – all contrary to the original Conditions.
“I now give my Companions another chance to reconsider their original decisions that they would join me in my New Life, and a free choice to rejoin me in the New Life as my Servants, or to go away and become my Old Life disciples, or to be entirely free and lead independent lives in the world. With the experience of twelve months of New Life behind us, I warn them that I have now made a definite resolve never in future to compromise my New Life conditions to suit Individual requirements, nor shall tolerate any weakness or laxity on their part in carrying out my orders and the conditions of my New Life.
“Keeping all this in mind, therefore, and making a sincere calculation of their own weaknesses and past experience (some pleasant but many otherwise) I want them to decide today. I repeat that they should not decide before they have made an unflinching survey of their experiences of one year, and of their individual capacities for carrying out their resolutions.
“If, in spite of all this, they decide to join me as Servants in the New Life, they must know that they will have to try and obey me 100%, and must do whole-heartedly whatever I want them to do.
“The Servants’ obedience to my orders must be spontaneous and devoid of any feeling of slavery or compulsion. They must carry out my wishes with a cheerful willingness, without in any way feeling it an encroachment on their freedom. Naturally, those who feel that carrying out my wishes would be an encroachment on their right of freedom, will decide not to join me in the New Life, but will choose to become Old Life disciples again or to live independent lives. In either case, I not only urge them to make one of these two choices, but will also try my best to help them make a good start.
“Just as those joining me in my New Life today are expected to serve me with 100% willingness, so I hope to be able to serve my Servants with impartial love and an unbiased attitude.
“With the reshuffling of decisions today, all plans, namely Plans I, II and III, as well as the term ‘Nowalas,’ will cease to exist. Now will remain only the Old Life disciples, the Arrangementwalas (who are also Old Life disciples), and the Servants of the New Life. (2)
“If I am the one my Old Life disciples take me to be, I would wish them to endeavour whole- heartedly to stick to their faith and love, to carry out my Old Life instructions without any feeling of enforced bondage on their part, and to live a life worthy of real love; and, irrespective of what I am, the Most Compassionate God will surely reward them spiritually, even if they do not seek reward. As to the Arrangementwalas, I ask God to give them courage to carry out their responsibilities to the very end.
“For Old Life disciples, Arrangementwalas, and Old Life women Ashramites, all instructions and responsibilities previously given to them, stand good for all time. Also, my instructions regarding their not contacting me in any way, and not having correspondence with me and those who are with me, stand good for always, unless otherwise ordered by me.
“My Old Life places me on the altar of Absolute Godhood and Divine Perfection. My New Life makes me take the stand of a humble Servant of God and His people. In my New Life, Perfect Divinity is replaced by Perfect Humility. In my New Life I am the Seeker, the Lover, and the Friend. Both these aspects – Perfect Divinity and Perfect Humility – have been by God’s Will and both are everlastingly linked with God’s Eternal Life. Any one may believe me to be whatever he likes, but none may ask for blessings, miracles, or any rewards of any kind. My New Life is eternal. Those other than my Servants in my New Life, whoever or wherever they may be, who desire to live that life, are free to do so in the spirit of it, independently.
“I shall leave Mahabaleshwar on the 21st of October for my intended tour of 2 to 3 months. Among the places I shall go to will be Kolhapur, Miraj, Hubli, Hyderabad, Madras, Bombay, Assam, Bengal, Orissa and Bihar, where I shall do my work with the Masts and the poor, as well as my New Life phases of begging, ‘langoti’ and gipsy life.”