FRANCIS' FIRST MEETING WITH MEHER BABA
When he [Meher Baba] called in Brabazon, Baba said, of course via the board, "I've seen you before but you don't remember it, do you?" Francis admitted he did not remember. He perched on the edge of his chair until Baba put him at ease by saying, "Sit back, be comfortable, you must know that I am within you, so if you feel like coughing, cough, for it means that I want to cough!"
Brabazon presumed that Meher Baba's comment on past remembrance was referring to past lives, but he did not wish to ask any questions and so distract his focused attention. According to Brabazon, at this first meeting, he was instantly convinced of Meher Baba's spiritual stature:...
He looked as I had imagined a Sadguru would look a man who is nothing and everything, a man who is dead and alive, a man who has gone through everything. He is quite small, short and slight. His eyes are the most remarkable thing about Him; very large eyes, and they are constantly moving. In an ordinary person we would call it restlessness, but not Him. He did not convey that at all, but conveyed activity. He was kind enough to sign to His three disciples around Him His pleasure in me and that I had come. Then I went out. Soon afterwards Murshida and I went in again.
This time Meher Baba talked with Murshida Duce and Brabazon for three and a half hours on Sufism and its future direction; during this session Brabazon felt his mind was drawn to a razor-keenness; but firstly he obtained from them a measure of their personal commitment:
He asked us what we were prepared to do. AND THAT WAS THE REAL MOMENT. When He asked us a question the atmosphere of the room seemed to become highly charged, and even His men seemed to what you might say become more alerted. And I told Him I would do anything He ordered me to do. He said, "will you do anything I ask you?"
And I said, "yes."
He said, "even if it costs you your life?" And I said, "yes."...
Although they were spontaneously spoken, they were no less full of conviction. Brabazon was not a person to take words lightly nor to submit to any authority unless deserving....
After this commitment was made, Meher Baba declared that he wanted Murshida Duce to give the Australian Sufi work totally to Brabazon, that Brabazon would be directly under Meher Baba's supervision, and that both he and Murshida Duce would need to become spiritually illumined Murshids if they were to head a Sufi Order.
The idea of becoming an illumined Murshid left Brabazon totally perplexed, for he knew fully well that to be an illumined Murshid was nothing less than having the spiritual consciousness of a saint, something which he knew was beyond even his wildest imaginings. Following these pronouncements, Meher Baba then went on to stress the importance of honesty and stated:
[U]nless we experience what we preach and teach, we are not honest, not only to Sufism but to life itself. To be an atheist, not to believe in God, to be bad even, is better than to be a hypocrite. So we must work on that basis....
Truth is hidden; unless one has attained fana and acquired baqa, one cannot lead others to perfection, so when we ourselves do not experience that state, and when we ask others to follow us, it means we are insulting Sufism, and all over the East and West it is being done, and by God's will, I intend to change the whole affair, overhaul the whole thing, because I love Sufism with all my heart.
Listen very carefully, because for the first time, I am taking a personal interest in Sufism. I am very serious about the reoriented Sufism, and we must be so honest as to have its results appearing all over the world. There are three things that always hinder Truth. First is temptation very, very few persons can overcome temptations; temptations of money, fame, power, lust, leadership are disastrous, very binding and very few escape it. Second, vagueness about things, and third, dishonesty.
FRANCIS BRABAZON, Poet of the Silent Word, pp. 85-88
2002 © Ross Keating