Symbols of the world's religions



Charles Haynes

Meher Baba was aided in his universal work by those he called his "agents," advanced souls with a history of past connections with the Avatar. We know little about these agents as Baba rarely indicated who they were and said little about the exact nature of their role in his work of awakening. According to Baba, these agents, although unknown and hidden, carry out the directives of the Avatar. When asked how they know that they were working for him, Baba replied:

Only those who are on the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th planes, and who are conscious of me, know under and for whom they are working physically, and this knowledge they have through the medium of their subtle and mental bodies.... For example, while I am sitting here, my agents are working in India, Persia, Africa and so on. This very moment, they see my subtle body all at the same time, in the different planes....(1)

On rare occasions, the mandali glimpsed a direct contact between Baba and one of his agents:

One day, when in Zurich ... Baba said suddenly that he must reach Marseilles before midnight the following day, since he had a spiritual appointment there. As soon as the party arrived in Marseilles Baba asked to be taken to the city park, and, when he came to a particular part of it, he began walking to and fro on a gravel path with Norina and Elizabeth on either side of him. Norina and Elizabeth (two of the women mandali) both noticed that, on the other side of a small lawn, there was a young man sitting on a park seat. Baba eventually took a loop round the lawn and walked straight past the young man who, as Baba passed, stood up and bowed his head in a reverential way to Baba. Baba then walked off, explaining that the man was one of his agents.(2)

As we discussed in the last chapter, masts also play a key role in the universal work of the Avatar. Living in filthy surroundings, and behaving in unpredictable and seemingly insane ways, the masts were, in Baba's eyes, pure and indispensable channels for his universal work. One of the mandali described the usefulness of the masts this way:

The lila of God (Divinity in full play) is primarily concerned with the spread of His purity and love for the benefit of the world as a whole. For the expression and manifestation of His infinite power, bliss, knowledge, light, and love, God needs the purest mental channels. And the purest minds are those of the masts, who, having drowned themselves in their love for God, have gone beyond lust, anger, greed, avarice, and all other weaknesses that invariably stick round the mind of every man, in greater or lesser amounts, and in one shape or another, until man is awakened to his true nature and to his real life.(3)

Baba's work with a particular mast, therefore, went far beyond aiding the mast's spiritual growth; masts assisted Baba with his work of awakening:

Because of his being stationed on the inner planes, which are free from the limitations and handicaps of the gross world, a mast can be, and often is, in contact with a far greater number of souls than is possible for an ordinary person. Mast mind is a nucleus of conscious formations, with innumerable and far-reaching links. A mast can therefore be a more effective agent for spiritual work than the most able persons of the gross world. The mast mind is also often used directly by the Master as a medium for sending his spiritual help to different parts of the world.(4)

Meher Baba spent many hours alone with the masts, allowing no one to disturb this work. In the ashram, he often washed and shaved them, going to great lengths to see that each mast was cared for meticulously. It was noted that Baba was especially happy when with the masts, some of whom he called "the gems in my crown." The masts, too, loved him very much, sometimes responding only to him.

We have only hints about the inner dynamics of Baba's work with the masts. One indication of how they helped him in his work is an incident involving Chatti Baba, a mast who lived at Meherabad with Baba in the 1940s. Although he did not read and appeared outwardly to be oblivious of the world events, Chatti Baba began one day to tell the mandali caring for him that the people of Europe were suffering greatly. One of the mandali relates what happened next:

On the night of 9th June, 1940, Chatti Baba became suddenly violent, noisy, and abusive, and emerged in a state of disorder and frenzy from his little room. He went directly to Baba's room and declared that his house had been utterly destroyed, and that he had come for shelter to Baba. If that remark were literal it made no sense at all, since his little room was as it always had been, small and bare, but neat and whole, a place where he was usually happy to sit alone for hours. Baba at once gave orders for the two to be left alone together, and Chatti Baba for some hours was heard chattering and expostulating with Baba. Eventually he became quiet and spent the rest of the night alone with Baba.(5)

The next day Baba, in a rare comment on the significance of the mast behavior, told the mandali that Chatti Baba had a spiritual connection with France and had felt very deeply the fate of the French people. It was, of course, during that period that the German armies overran France, entering Paris on June 13.

(1) Naosherwan Anzar, The Answer, Glow Publications (Bombay, India), 1972, p. 32 back
(2) William Donkin, The Wayfarers, p. 374 back
(3) Ibid., p. 15 back
(4) Ibid., p. 10 back
(5) Ibid., p. 64 back

1989 © Charles Haynes and Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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