Symbols of the world's religions



Meher Baba

The exterior way of living of the Avatar is regulated by the habits and customs of the times, and He adopts that attitude which is most suited to serve as an example to His contemporaries. But in essence all the Avatars incarnate the same ideal of life. At the epoch of Mohammed the Arabs were very sensuous and it was not considered bad or illegal to live with several wives. If, like Jesus, He had not married and had advocated celibacy, or if He had imposed absolute continency, it would have produced dangerous and inevitable reactions. Few people would have followed His teaching and fewer still would have been attracted toward such an ideal. Mohammed had nine wives but He had no physical contact with them; it was legal to have several wives.

At the time of Krishna the Hindus were fighting among themselves. Envy and greed were predominant; the real conception of spiritual life and love was unknown to them. Krishna based His teachings on the laws of love and pure and innocent merriment. Human beings were directed joyfully towards a disinterested ideal of love.

At the time of Zoroaster humanity was hesitant and lacked equilibrium. They were neither complete materialists nor really attracted towards the spiritual light. He taught them to be good householders, to marry and to abstain from desiring the wife of another, and to worship God. His own life was based on this principle: good thoughts, good words, good actions. Zoroaster was married.

At the time of Buddha, humanity was deep in materialism. In order to demonstrate that their conception of values was wrong and that they were victims of the goddess Illusion, or Maya, Buddha renounced his wife, his family, the riches of the world in order to establish His teachings on sanyas, or renouncement.

At the time of Jesus, arrogance, imperiousness, pride and cruelty were the characteristics of the people. Nevertheless they possessed a conception of justice regarding women and marriage; and it was not necessary, as it was in Arabia, to make marriage an example. Jesus lived the life of humanity, simplicity and poverty; and He endured suffering in order to direct humanity towards the purest ideal — God. All the prophets were the incarnation of God; therefore they stand beyond desire and temptations; they were the manifestation of the same Divine element.


TREASURES, pp. 174-175, ed Jane B. Haynes
1980 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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