The Perfect Master’s Circle

The following is quoted from Lord Meher, p. 985-87.

A Perfect Master forms a circle of twelve men and two women who have the necessary minimum amount of spiritual sanskaras to their credit. And at the same time their respective positions are also alloted in conformity with their spiritual sanskaras, with one of them (the chargeman) becoming a Master himself at the appointed time. Once the circle is formed, the real striving of the individual souls is put to a stop. No new material sanskaras are contracted thereafter.

For a few centuries through a few lives, the balance of the material sanskaras is spent while the spiritual sanskaras remain intact. This is called prarabdha Divine destiny. During these three or four lives, the progress in spending away the prarabdha is gone through as a group by the whole circle. However, it is without their common knowledge of having been collected in a joint and common bond, since their very formation is made without their being aware of it. Their unconciousness of their great spiritual progress remains until the end. Even the circle’s formation and working are carried on automatically until the chargeman’s Realization.

In spite of collosal preparation, Gotama the Buddha was perfectly unaware of his condition, during the spending of his last prarabdha in his early years when he led the life of a royal prince in Nepal. But when the moment arrived, Gotama discarded all the regal tinsel and worldly grandeur about him and soon attained his Realization and became Buddha.

When, after God-Realizaiton the Master returns to the gross plane, he finds his companions still entangled in their respective prarabdha spending. It is then that his great work begins. In a secret manner, the Master arranges affairs and undergoes various sufferings and strivings so that the different prarabdhas are spent. Once their sanskaras are spent, all the members of his circle attain God-Realization at one and the same moment, though their prarabdhas differ widely in quantity and quality. This phase of a Master’s working is the greatest and the most difficult, in comparison to which even the giving of a huge push to the whole universe towards Truth is effortless.

Besides his spiritual work, the physical hardships he has to undergo in connection with finishing the prarabda of the circle are no less strenuous. He personally undergoes such physical actions necessary in bringing about a joint and clear balance sheet of material sanskaras of the circle. Hence, although he is a Perfect Being (free) and requires no binding or actions, he seemingly has karma and does karmic acts, but they are deeds withoug binding. He may observe fasts, penances or silence, according to the respective necessities of the individual prarabdas of the circle.

During this period of the Perfect Master’s preparation of his circle members, those who are in the circle remain perfectly in the dark about their divine advancements until the very end when the light is suddenly switched on. In the twinkling of an eye, the indescribable, unimaginable and unthinkable internal change takes place with a seemingly insignificant external gesture from the Master — perhaps by a word or deed. Exactly how the Master manages to dispose of the differing individual prarabdas collectively cannot be divulged, since those who are not in the circle, but think themselves to be so, would be misled into committing such actions as would make them suffer terribly.

This much is certain: those people who are in the circle do not acquire new material sanskaras whatever they do, even if they commit the worst actions, for which the Master has to suffer. The connections are so formed that all the new material sanskaras of the connected ones automatically pass to the Master, who does away with them. Hence, even if those of the connected ones commit the worst possible crimes, there would be no change regarding their divine upliftment at the right moment.

But the real beauty lies in obeying and following the Perfect Master to the letter in spite of knowing oneself to be in his circle, as it considerably helps him in the great task which he does of all the circle members’ sake. The Master’s orders and instructions should be held as the very gospel and law even in matters of everyday life — to eat with a will when he orders or remain without food to the last. In fact, to exercise a complete submission ot his super-will should be the only goal one should have. It saves a great disappointment after the Experience, when the greatest services done for the Master fade into insignificance at the gigantic favor he has done for the one concerned.

The Avatar has no sanskaras of his own. He exists in the world of duality on the strength of universal sanskaras, which are the result of his taking on the limitations of all beings. In taking them on, he mitigates them, more or less. Those who benefit the most are His Circle. In their case, he literally but gradually removes all of their sanskaras, giving them the same unlimited consciousness of God which he experiences. The Avatar has a circle of 120, and we are still in the Avataric Cycle, when spiritual direction of the world is from the Avatar. Since Meher Baba is no longer in the body, this direction comes from his Circle. Most of its members are unknown, some even to themselves.

Meher Baba has said that his doctrine with respect to sanskaras has never been given before. This is what he has added new to revealed spiritual truth. Sanskaras are impressions in the mind which are the result of karma. Sanskaras are discussed at length in Meher Baba’s Discourses, but this is the first thing I have seen about how sanskaras are handled by the Perfect Master with respect to his Circle, and the particular circumstances and methods by which the Perfect Master will, and in fact is obligated to, wipe out sanskaras.

Sanskaras, which can be good or bad, and which have an infinite range of qualities, create a tendency to repeat the action which caused them. They bind consciousness, and what we can see and do is limited by our sanskaras. Just as a brief simplified overview of a vast subject, there are three ways in which sanskaras can be wiped out:

1. They are spent in desire-based and karmically binding action, which creates further sanskaras, not only of the type which are spent, but others as well, due to the contingencies of action in the world,

2. Renunciation – when the desires and tendencies resulting from sanskaras arise in the mind, they are not acted on, or they are sublimated in other directions. In this case, the sanskaras gradually are burned out of the mind. This is what is called variously “Spiritual Practice,” “The Path,” “Spiritual Aspiration,” and so forth. All of these processes do not actually annihilate sanskaras. What they do is replace grosser sanskaras with finer or more spiritual ones. In fruition this produces the Saint or Bodhisattva, and the teachings of Saints and Bodhisattvas do not finally transcend this kind of process and the spiritual sanskaras thereof.

3. The Perfect Master wipes them off the mind. When the Master wipes out sanskaras, no new sanskaras are created, i.e., there is nothing left in the mind. The karmic binding is simply gone. The discourse above, and Bhau Kalchuri’s chronicle of this early stage of Meher Baba’s life and work, is a prolonged discussion of how this is done by a Perfect Master with respect to his circle, and the signs and symptoms thereof.

It is probably the Sufis who really understand this best from within their own tradition. The Sufis are very familar with the disappearance of sanskaras, and they call it “fana,” which simply means “disappearance” (duh!). And what happens to the person in fana? To one extent or another, the person simply goes mad, because part of what they were used to recognizing as their mind is simply no longer there. And this is what is recorded, in lengthy and thorough detail, in Bhau’s chronicle. There are all these people periodically flying off God knows what invisible wall, for God knows what reason, and there is Meher Baba in the middle of it, both actively creating and resolving these very bizarre and distressing scenarios which tended to always go off in some unforeseen direction.

Oh, and hey, what the Sufis call final fana, “Fana-Filah” is exactly what the Buddha meant by Nirvana. The Buddha never discussed the general case of fana because he didn’t want us to get hung up in that process. He wanted us to practice to Nirvana, or Highest Final Enlightenment in this very life, and he gave a method sufficient for doing that, in the exceedingly rare case that there is a human being who actually practices what He taught, instead of pissing around and farting around, for ages on end, in every perfectly stupid heaven and hell that has been invented by Asians, simply to demonstrate their capacity to perpetually do exactly what they want, and what they would have done on their own without Him, and then to attempt to absolve themselves from the karmic results of their actions, by attributing every single stroke of their very conscious and deliberate dharmic deception and betrayal to the Buddha.

The implications of the above discourse, with respect to causality, are profound. It means that there are people in our midst who, while not being necessarily spiritually advanced, enlightened, or in any way detectably spiritual, are simply not playing the game by karmic rules. They are playing by God’s rules. Having been accepted by God, what they do is in relation to Him, and not in relation to karmic causal chains. If God orders them to do something karmically ruinous, or they believe that, their tendency will be to do it, and not to suffer the ordinary karmic results of their actions.

Furthermore, in the absence of God in form, which can go on for lifetimes, such people are going to approach God by exhausting their existing tendencies by action in the world., i.e., the more they act in the world, the clearer they see God, because they are spending existing sanskaras without creating new ones, and this includes gross sanskaras such as sex and greed. Such people will simply not persist in worldly directions, because there is no generation of the new sanskaras by which such persistence would be motivated. But neither will they definitively withdraw from action in the world, because by doing that they lose the increased mental clarity and intuitive perception of God that they experience in spending their sanskaras. Rather, their action will be like that demonstrated by Meher Baba throughout his life, “scaffolding” – stagey visible action pointed at invisible ends. But in the case of these individuals, they typically won’t know those invisible ends. What they will know is that they are no longer motivated to do that. This can be very distressing for their associates whose minds may be nurtured by normal karmic predictability.

Jagat Guru Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai!
Vishveshwar, 25 Apr 10


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