Symbols of the world's religions



Sufism In America

Bhau Kalchuri

At her first meeting in 1948, Ivy Duce had asked for Baba's guidance, as she had been appointed to the leadership of the Sufi order after Rabia Martin died and knew that she was not a Realized soul. Baba assured her not to worry about her limitations; he would see to the welfare of the organization and restructure it with himself as its head.

After Ivy Duce and Francis Brabazon left the Lagoon Cabin, Baba asked Adi to go out and try to think of a new name for this Sufi order. Adi went into a nearby cabin. He had not been sitting long with his eyes closed in concentration, when the name "Sufism Reoriented" popped in his brain. He went back and told Baba, who liked it very much.

Ivy, Charmian and Francis met Baba again on the morning of May 11th [1952] at 8:45 A.M., and they, too, liked the new name. On this occasion, Baba informed them: "You are instruments for my work, until you get Light. Then you will know what to do automatically. The name Sufism Reoriented should be the same everywhere, but for the present, I personally think it should be separate, and once it is run as I want, then I will see to incorporating all the different branches in different countries in one. All these points must be noted down; make them precise and practical so that they may be published. All of it should be collected so I can go through it, correct it and have it published before I leave in July.

Speaking about the practice of Murshids wearing robes, Baba commented: "No robes are required until you become real Murshids. Then you can put on robes. The very basis of Sufism is a woolen garment, because it absorbs the dark sanskaras of others. When you have Light and you wear the robe, the wool will absorb sanskaras. Muhammad wore one; Krishna too; and now Baba wears a woolen garment."

Thus, Sufism Reoriented came into existence.

Sufism in Australia

Bhau Kalchuri

Ivy Duce, Francis Brabazon, Charmian Duce and her friend Sparkie Lukes saw Baba again at 10 A.M. on May 12th. To Ivy and Francis, Baba stated in private:

So again we meet. It was to be so.

Now you both listen very carefully, because for the first time I am taking personal interest in Sufism. I am very serious about the reoriented Sufism, and we must be so honest as to have its result appearing all over the world.

There are three things that always hinder Truth.

First is temptation. Very, very few persons can overcome temptation — temptation of money, fame, power, lust and leadership are disastrous, very binding, and very few escape it.

Second, vagueness about things;

And third, dishonesty.

So the first point is, you must carry out my instructions faithfully, as if your very life depended on it. Secondly, what I have chalked out you must so arrange as to make it a document. Baba will sign it and get copies printed. It will be common for all the Sufi centers all over the world.

Francis Brabazon was instructed to go straight back to Australia and inform the Sufi group there that Baba had dissolved their initiations and they were to stop all practices of breathing and chanting mantras, et cetera. He left the same day.

Sufism Reoriented

James S. B. MacKie

I love Sufism with all my heart. All aspects of every spiritual path belong to me, but Sufism is most dear to me. ~ Meher Baba

Sufism Reoriented is an American school of spiritual training created in 1952 by Meher Baba and developed under his guidance. The members of Sufism Reoriented celebrate Meher Baba as the Avatar, the human incarnation of God, the spiritual authority of this age.

Meher Baba designed Sufism Reoriented as a universal spiritual school which recognizes a central core of divine love at the heart of all spiritual systems. Meher Baba refreshed, revitalized and reorganized patterns of life and inner training associated with ancient Sufism and adapted them to the needs of spiritual students in contemporary America. He identified the central principles of Sufism Reoriented as love and service: active love for God and active service to others in God's world.

Meher Baba's Goals for Sufis

James S. B. MacKie

Meher Baba designed the work of Sufism Reoriented to embrace all aspects of a student's life. He outlined the patterns of life he wished Sufis to follow. He also selects the participants for this life. Because Meher Baba said he would select and guide individuals destined to devote their lives to him through Sufism Reoriented, Sufis do not proselytize. For those who are not led to Sufism, this way of life can appear puzzling and uninviting. However, for those Meher Baba leads to Sufism, this way of life is natural, satisfying and rewarding beyond measure.

In the Sufi Charter, Meher Baba identified the internal qualities he wished members of Sufism Reoriented to have:

In order to qualify as an eligible member of the Order, one must be ready to aspire for and willing to work towards the following achievements:

1. To be able to long for one and only one thing: Truth;

2. To be able to cherish no material ambitions;

3. To be prepared for any kind of sacrifice small or great;

4. To be prepared for complete abstinence from lustful actions in any form or manner except legitimate marriage relations based on mutual love and duty;

5. To be able to avoid greedy longings of any kind;

6. To be able to avoid every type of falsehood;

7. To be able to cope with one's feelings of anger, fear and hate, in a spirit of generosity, resignation and forbearance.

These are the central goals members of this spiritual school aspire to achieve. They approach these goals through a shared life of love and service, harmony and beauty, in total dedication to their Beloved, Meher Baba.


LORD MEHER, 1st ed, Vol. 11 & 12, pp. 3806-3808, 3814
1997 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust
1997 © Sufism Reoriented


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