COAT OF THORNS
Because of this entanglement of thorns meshed with thorns, one's progress toward the path of Truth is seriously hindered. In other words, those with unnatural sanskaras generally end up getting entangled in a heap of thorns with those who also have similar unnatural sanskaras.
The Avatar works to forgive, and his forgiveness is to show the way to the path of Truth for each one. He has to remove the heap of thorns produced by each one's unnatural actions with others. To remove the heap of thorns is his work, and while he works, he suffers, because these thorns are enmeshed in each one's consciousness. Since the thorns stick to one and the Avatar has to remove them, there is suffering, and this suffering causes yet another obstruction — resentment.
For example, Meher Baba has to rid a hypocritical guru or false saint of his hypocrisy. The hypocrite poses himself to be a real saint and spiritual teacher, and so he deceives others. He enjoys this way of life and he is unwilling to give it up at any cost. To change this false guru is a difficult task, because the false guru loves this way of life, and he wants to continue appealing to his followers. Any act of changing him is met with resentment, and this resentment, which obstructs the work of the Avatar, contributes to the suffering of the Avatar while he works to change that hypocrite.
The Avatar works to remove the heap of thorns that are produced by unnatural actions so that the path toward Truth can become clear. Whenever he is met with resentment as he works to remove the thorns of unnaturalness, he suffers.
His nature is mercy; he comes on earth to forgive all. He forgives individuals by changing them, and this is a sanskaric change, and since he is always met with resentment, he suffers. Though he suffers as a result of one's resistance and resentment, his work does not fail. Sanskaras are wiped out.
People change because of his forgiveness, for his forgiveness was in his actions that removed their thorns. To wipe out the heaps of entangled thorns in the world, to forgive the sins of mankind, the Avatar has to work infinitely, and because he is met with resentment and resistance from the whole world, he suffers infinitely and thus he is crucified. It is the world's resentment of him that is his crucifixion, and this means his work is finished. By his suffering crucifixion from the resentment of mankind, the world's resistance is wiped away in his forgiveness.
When the world's resistance is wiped out, mankind will see Meher Baba as the way to the path of Truth. The time of the world turning to him, and receiving his forgiveness, is the time of his manifestation. This means that mankind rids itself of its own unnatural tendencies. In order to forgive the sins of the world, and manifest as its Savior, the Avatar has to work and suffer crucifixion. But though he is crucified, he never punishes anyone. At last through his own crucifixion, the All-Merciful knows his work of forgiveness is finished.
AVATAR OF THE AGE; MEHER BABA MANIFESTING, p. 45-46
1985 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust