Symbols of the world's religions



Meher Baba

An ordinary man may not be able to discriminate satisfactorily between the different stages of spiritual attainment up to the sixth plane. He may be able to know that such souls are advanced, but not the extent of their advancement. But when a sincere and patient seeker of Truth comes into contact with one who is spiritually perfect, he will observe certain outer signs that are inseparably associated with inner spiritual perfection.

The most important of these signs are three: firstly, Perfection is not only "Oneness with God," but the continual and uninterrupted experience of "Oneness in everything." A Perfect Master continually, without break, experiences and realizes his own Self as the Self in all. This inner experience objectively manifests itself in the spontaneity of love that such a one feels or expresses towards all Creation. To him nothing is attractive or repulsive. Good and bad, saint and sinner, beauty and ugliness, wisdom and idiocy, health and disease — all are modes of his own manifestation. When embodied Perfection loves, fondles or feeds any living creature, it feels and enjoys as if it were loving, fondling and feeding its own Self. In this stage no vestige of "otherness" is left.

The second sign is the atmosphere of bliss that Perfection radiates in its immediate vicinity, an atmosphere that a stranger in search of it cannot help feeling. A Perfect Master not only enjoys infinite bliss but also experiences universal suffering. The acuteness of suffering however is nullified or subdued by the overwhelming feeling of bliss. Hence Perfection can outwardly appear blissfully calm in the face of every kind of suffering and persecution.

The third sign of Perfection is its power to adapt itself to any level of humanity. It can be as nonchalant on a throne as in a gutter. It can very naturally be thrifty with the poor, extravagant with the rich, regal with kings, wise with the learned and simple with the illiterate and the ignorant. Just as a Master of Letters teaches English in different ways to beginners and graduate students, so also a Perfect Master adapts himself to the level of those whom he wants to uplift spiritually.

GOD SPEAKS, pp. 261-262
1973 © Sufism Reoriented, Inc.

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