Symbols of the world's religions



Meher Baba

Question: The astronomical phenomena, the eclipse of the moon or the sun, visibly stirs the Hindu world into great religious activity. Why is such an occurrence as an eclipse deemed opportune for a fresh flux of religious ferver, particularly in the matter of perfecting some mantas?

Answer: The eclipse is purely an astronomical phenomena and needs no explanation. There is, however, a germ of spiritual truth behind the grotesquely colourful imagery of gods and demons, their squabbles and jealousies for the nectar of immortality, all ingeniously concocted by the priest-class to flabbergast the superstitious masses and incidentally to fleece them.

The spiritual aspect of the question is this. The whole universe, known and unknown, has come out of a point in the microcosm which may be called the Creation point. Simultaneously with this emanation two processes come into play — The Evolution and the Production. The differences between the two processes is rather significant and must be clearly understood. The process of Production is dependent on the process of Evolution in sequence of causation, but not in sequence of time. Evolution depends on the 'Creation point' for cause, but Production is dependent on Evolution. Evolution connotes spiritual progress and Production signifies material growth and change, organic or inorganic.

It is scientifically acknowledged fact that the stellar regions, planets and stars, do exert an influence on the life and activity of this planet — the earth. And since this earth of ours has the highest evolved organic life, the human happens to be the nearest to the spiritual plane; the phenomenon of eclipse does indirectly affect the world spiritually.

The Rishis of old knew too well the astronomical basis and the spiritual influence of such an heavenly occurrence. Looking at the average mentality of the masses of their time, the Rishis could do no better than issue cut and dried instructions as to prayers, penance and austerities, investing the whole affair with a religious importance rather than give a rational and spiritual elucidation.

In course of time the religious 'do and don'ts' of the wise Rishis were very cleverly woven round by self-seeking priests, with a picturesque and awe-inspiring legend of the gods, demons, nectar, the moon in travail and its subsequent (Moksha) freedom for purposes too patent to thinking minds. Such legendary superstitions persist and flourish with ignorance and illiteracy, but now people are daily outgrowing such childish beliefs.

There is, however, no denying the fact that a few prayers and ordeals undergone with keen concentration, concurrently with the eclipse of the sun or moon, do result in great spiritual benefit to the individual concerned.


Originally from Meher Baba Journal,
vol. 1, no. 4, February 1939, pp. 76-77
2003 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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