Symbols of the world's religions



Dr. Abdul Ghani, Munsiff

Let us for a moment discuss the difference in the attitude of East and West towards miracles. The East, which possesses a long record of familiarity with Perfect Masters and advanced souls, has come to accept that God, because He is infinite, cannot be comprehended by the finite mind. The East knows that human intellect, which is limited in scope, has its use only up to a certain stage in tackling metaphysical problems. As sung by the philosopher Dr. Iqbal:

'Aql go astan se dur nahin
Uski taqdir main huzur nahin

"Intellect, though not far away from the threshold (of the
Beloved) is not destined to enjoy the Divine Presence."

The East thus knows that at the point where intellect gives up its efforts in grappling with that which is transcendental, love must take up the link. The West sets great store by the intellectual approach, and that which refuses to come within the orbit of intellect is apt to be either denied or scoffed at.

As a by-product of this occidental attitude we may cite the utter misuse of the word "mystic" in current American idiom. The ardent religious enthusiasm of medieval Europe has been almost replaced by great enthusiasm for culture and science.

The doctrines of science are, however, fluid to a certain extent, and the genuine scientist does look facts in the face, but Meher Baba has often declared that in spite of its great progress science is yet far from the core of material things, and further from the outermost fringe of spiritual things. The heart must cooperate with the head.

It may be that some of the purely physical feats of yogis, which pass for miracles with the multitude, can be explained away by medical science. But real miracles, particularly the miracles of Perfect Masters, do not admit of scientific explanation. Many of the miracles wrought by Saviours, Perfect Masters and saints, are recorded in the spiritual legends and classics of all peoples and all religions, and the ever-functioning spiritual hierarchy is daily adding to these miracles.

The facts are there; Jesus and other Perfect Ones have raised the dead to life, and have healed diseases. But even if one were to see a miracle take place before one's very eyes, and even if one were convinced that it was a miracle and not trickery, one would never be able to formulate a rational explanation of it, for miracles are utterly beyond the reach of intellectual explanation. They are a mystery as deep as life itself.

Perhaps, however, the fault is not entirely without reason, for the world at large seldom get an insight into the workings of Perfect Masters, and, in truth, most of these workings lie treasured in the breasts of a few intimate associates and deserving initiates, and are safely hidden from curiosity.

In the words of the famous Sufi Abdul Hasan Kharqani, "If a few drops of that which is under the skin of a Perfect Master should come forth between his lips, all the creatures of heaven and earth would fall into panic."

In spite of the mass appeal of miracles and of the claims of spiritual masters, the East, like the West, is also very circumspect in its attitude towards them. It may be said to its credit, however, that the East has learned by long experience not to deny the actions of the spiritual hierarchy, even if it cannot see its way to accept or believe in them.

One of the earliest Sufis has declared, "Miracles are only one of the thousand stages on the way to God"; and the Avatar of this cycle, Meher Baba, affirms that the greatest miracle a Perfect Master can perform is to make another man spiritually perfect like himself.


GOD SPEAKS, pp. 227-229, Meher Baba
1973 © Sufism Reoriented, Inc.


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