Symbols of the world's religions



Adi K. Irani

What is the relationship between spiritual advancement and self-effacement? The question of self-effacement came to me when I read about it in a letter which Mani (Meher Baba's sister) wrote. That word went so deeply inside me. I knew full well what great importance this word really holds, that it is more important than the spiritual path.

Meher Baba has talked so much about the path. He has explained it in the Discourses and God Speaks. The term self-effacement represents an idea which has been given much importance by Meher Baba; it has been sung by the Sufi poets in Persian and in Urdu all along. I say that self-effacement is really the substance, the crux, of spirituality. Even more than the crux, it is the beginning and end of spirituality.

One poet so beautifully says:

What have I gained, even if all the curtains of ignorance are lifted away from me?
The great delight would have been if I were not in between.
If I were removed between myself and my Beloved God.
Then the problem would be completely resolved.

The curtains of ignorance mean the curtains of the different spiritual stages. Once lifted, I am still in a state of duality — I cannot become united with God — so what have I gained? The great delight would be if I were completely self-effaced. I would not have to think about the spiritual line because traversing the path may be done through self-effacement.

There are two ways to reach God. One way is to go consciously. We are very inquisitive people and the human mind is very nosy. So we want to become conscious of everything that happens, of every step that we go forward. And in doing that we get bogged down in our own progress. To go consciously is very dangerous.

To go unconsciously, the second way, is when you are guided by your Master, Meher Baba, who takes you blindfolded. Do not think that He does not help you because He asks you to remain in the dark all the time and to sacrifice all your inquisitiveness and nosiness about perceiving the different pictures, lights, sounds, fragrances or music. He gives you a great, great strength within yourself.

How is it that we handful of mandali could have stayed with Meher Baba for fifty years with no spiritual experiences? How is it possible for us to have carried on with Meher Baba, not having had any spiritual experiences, unless He gave us an inner strength? So that is of importance in the process of self-effacement.


JUST TO LOVE HIM, pp. 66-67
1995 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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