Symbols of the world's religions


The Master's Glossary

Edition One

Frank Davis


sabha-mandap: A meetinghouse or council chamber. -Hindi. (Du)

Sacred Thread Prayers: Traditional prayers recited daily by Zoroastrians at which time they tie a symbolic "sacred thread" around their waist over a sadra (see sadhra). (I)

sadar: Chieftain or leader. (Gr)

Sadguru (also Param Mukta): A Perfect Master. -Vedanta. Sufi: Qutub. (1a) -Sanskrit. (Du)

(plural: -s.): Guide to the Truth; a Perfect Master (q.v. for full definition). -Vedanta. Sufi: Qutub; Salik-e-Mukammil. (1b)

Some God-realized souls not only possess God-consciousness, but are also conscious of creation and their own bodies. They take active interest in the souls who are in bondage, and they use their own bodies consciously to work in creation, in order to help other souls in their Godward march. Such a God realized soul is called a Salik, Sadguru, or Man-God*. (A)

A Perfect Master. A Man-God. Infinitely conscious of God and creation simultaneously. (N7)

*see also Man-God. (Ed)

sadhak (also sadhaka): One who traverses the path. -Vedanta. Sufi: rahrav. (1a)

An aspirant; one who traverses the spiritual path. See also yogi. -Vedanta. Sufi: rahrav. (1b)

One who traverses the path; an aspirant. (C)

One who practices sadhana. (N2)

sadhana: See: mujahida. -Vedanta. (1a)

(plural -s.): Practice, striving, endeavor; directing toward the goal. -Vedanta. Sufi: mujahida. (1b)

Practice, striving, endeavor. (C)(N2) -Sanskrit. (Du)

Spiritual discipline. (CJ pg.1)

A practice, discipline. (N3)

A system of discipline or spiritual practice. (N5)

sadhra (also sadra): A thin muslin shirt traditionally worn by Zoroastrians; Meher Baba adapted the sadra into an ankle-length garment which He regularly wore. (Da)(I)

A thin, ankle-length muslin shirt. (Gr)(N2) -Hindi. (Du)

sadhu: A pilgrim. An advanced soul. -Vedanta. Sufi: mutawassit. (1a)

Hindu holy man, sage, or ascetic. (A)

A spiritual seeker. (AJ)(Gr)

A Hindu seeker or pilgrim; sometimes an advanced soul. (I)

A pilgrim, seeker or wanderer; a rare one is an "advanced soul". (N1)

A pilgrim. An advanced soul. A mendicant. (N2) -Sanskrit. (Du)

sadhu-clothes: The garb of a spiritual seeker. (CJ pg. 21)

sadrat-ul-muntaha: The last limit. The point of the fourth (composite) sphere beyond which no unembodied soul (such as angel or archangel) can go to approach God. -Sufi. (1a)

saguna: With attributes, qualitied. -Vedanta. Sufi: ba sifat. (1a)

sahaj: Natural, spontaneous. (N7)

Sahaj Samadhi (also Atmapratisthapana): See: samadhi. (1a)

The spontaneous experience of the Perfect Masters and the Avatar of their effortless and continuous life of Perfection; divinity in action. -Vedanta. Sufi: Baqa-Billah. (1b)

The effortless divine state of God-consciousness with Creation-consciousness. Divinity in action. (N2)

The spontaneous experience of the Perfect Masters and the Avatar of their infinite, effortless, and continuous life in Perfection-divinity in action. (N7)

Sahajawastha: The effortless state of infinite consciousness with unlimited spontaneity and uninterupted Self-knowledge. -Vedanta. (1b)

sahavas (also sahawas; sahavasa): A gathering held by the Master so that His devotees may enjoy His company, i.e., His physical presence. -Hindi. (1a)

(singular & plural). Dwelling together; in the company of. -Vedanta. (1b)

Intimate companionship; the intimacy of give-and-take between lover and Beloved *. (A)

A gathering held by the Master so that His devotees may enjoy His company, that is, His physical presence. (C)

Literally, close companionship. An opportunity given by the Avatar to spend time with Him and to intimately feel His presence. A gathering in His honor where His lovers and followers meet to remember Him. Meher Baba said, "sahavas is the give and take of love." The keynote to a sahavas program is love, an exchange of love, the giving and receiving of love. When asked once, "What is sahavas?" Meher Baba replied, "It is companionship with God. It means I come to your level or you rise to My level. We are not on the same level. Either I come to yours or you come to Mine. Sahavas means God becomes human." Again He said, "The intimacy of sahavas - the intimacy of love, lover, and Beloved in the silence of that word, sahavas." (L)

Literally, close companionship. A gathering held by the Master so that His devotees may enjoy His company, i.e., His physical presence. (N2) -Hindi. (Du)

A gathering held by the Master (Avatar (N5)) or held in His honor where (the lovers and followers (N5)) His devotees (...intensely... (N3)) intimately feel His presence. (N4)

An opportunity given by the Avatar to spend time with Him and to intimately feel His presence. A gathering held in His honor where His lovers and followers meet to remember Him. (N7)

* term refers to the title/noun/event, I believe, rather than the state/adjective. see also darshan, 3 Incredible Weeks. (-Ed.)

Saheb-e-jamo-farq: = Azad-e-Mutlaq: The Liberated Incarnate; A Perfect One. A soul in the ninth state of God. -Sufi. Vedanta: Jivanmukta. (1a)

Saheb-e-Zaman: = Rasool, q.v. -Sufi. (1a)

See Avatar, the. (1b)

The Avatar. -Arabic. (Du)

the: The Incarnation of God, the Infinite in human form. The God-Man, Messiah, Avatar, Rasool, Christ. (N1)

The Avatar (God-Man, Messiah, Christ) of the Age. (N4)

(see also Avatar; -Ed.)

Sai Baba: A Perfect Master who recognized Meher Baba’s state and addressed Him as ‘God-Almighty-Sustainer’. He lived in Shirdi and died on October 16th, 1918. (AJ)

Sai Darbar: ("darbar" means "sacred court") A large, temporary hall-like structure which was built at Meher Baba’s request in 1926 at Lower Meherabad; it was primarily used by Meher Baba for giving darshan to large numbers of people; it was named in honor of Sai Baba of Shirdi, one of the five Perfect Masters of Baba’s time. (I)

(see also darbar. -Ed.)

saint: One eminent for piety or virtue; a spiritually advancing soul on the inner planes of consciousness. (See God Speaks for further information.). (1b)

saja: Punishment. (N4)

sakar: With form. -Vedanta. Sufi: ba surat. (1a)

Sakori: Associated with Meher Baba’s early years. Sakori was the seat of the Perfect Master Upasni Maharaj, one of Meher Baba’s five Masters. Upasni Maharaj’s tomb and the ashram of His disciples are located here. (A location within Maharashtra State. Very near Shirdi. -Ed.) (EBF)

salam ‘alekum: Peace be with you; good morning to you; farewell. (Gr) (see also Alekum Salam. -Ed.)

salb-e-wilayat: The snatching away of miraculous powers from a soul on one of the first four planes by a Perfect Master or Avatar. -Sufi. (1a)

Salik: One who consciously has divine experience of any of the six planes. Real Salik = Man as God experiencing the state of baqa-billah. -Sufi. (1a)

Some God-realized souls not only possess God-consciousness, but are also conscious of creation and their own bodies. They take active interest in the souls who are in bondage, and they use their own bodies consciously to work in creation, in order to help other souls in their Godward march. Such a god realized soul is called a Salik, Sadguru, or Man-God *. (A)

One who consciously has divine experience of any of the six planes. The term can also be applied to a Real Salik, who is man as God experiencing baqa-billah, q.v. -Arabic. (Du)

*(see also Man-God. -Ed)

Salik-e-Akmal: A Most Perfect One. -Sufi. (1a)

Salik-e-Kamil: A Perfect One. -Sufi. Vedanta: Jivanmukta. (1a)

See Jivanmuktas. (1b)

Salik-e-Mukammil (also Qutub): A Supremely Perfect One = Qutub. -Sufi. Vedanta: Sadguru. (1a)

A supremely Perfect One; a Perfect Master (q.v. for full definition). -Sufi. Vedanta: Param Mukta; Sadguru. (1b)

Salik-Majzoob: See: Paramhansa. -Sufi. (1a)

See Paramhansas. (1b)

samadhi: Trance, induced by spiritual meditation. -Vedanta. (1a) -Sanskrit. (Du)

(plural -s.). Medatative trance; absorption, union. (See also Nirvakalpa Samadhi; Sahaj Samadhi; videh samadhi. Cf. Samadhi (tomb) Glossery Part II). -Vedanta. (1b)

Tomb; tomb-shrine, e.g., the Tomb-Shrine of Meher Baba. (Cf. samadhi (meditative trance), Glossary Part I). -Hindi, Marathi. (1b)

Temporary stilling of the mind; trance induced by spiritual meditation or other practices. (C)

Meditative trance; absorption; union; it also refers to the tomb or tomb-shrine of a spiritual master, e.g., it specifically refers to the Tomb-Shrine of Avatar Meher Baba. (I)

As a place: a Tomb shrine of a saintly person, saint, Perfect Master or the Avatar*. (N1)

*in this context, Samadhi was capitalized. (-Ed)

As a state: trance induced by meditation, absorption in the object of meditation. (N1)

Trance, induced by spiritual meditation. Contemplation, leading to rapture. The tomb of a saint or Master. (N2) or the Avatar. (N4)

nirvikalpa samadhi: The "I am God" state of the Perfect One. Divinity in expression. -Vedanta. Sufi: fana fillah. (1a)

sahaj samadhi: The effortless and continual state of Perfection of the Perfect Master and Avatar. Divinity in action. -Vedanta. Sufi: baqa-billah. (1a)

Samarth, Swami Ramdas: See Ramdas Samarth, Swami. (1b)

sambhar: A spicy liquid dish served with rice. (N6)

samosa: Vegetable-stuffed turnover. (EBF)

sanaai: An Indian reed instrument somewhat similar to a clarinet. (N6)

Sankaracharya: Hindu Perfect Master, founder of the Advaita school of Vedanta. 686-718 A.D. (1a)

The Sankaracharya is similar in status to the Roman Catholic Pope. (Ka 2129 )

sanskaras (also samskara): (singular: samskaras) Impressions. Also impressions which are left on the soul as memories from former past lives, and which determine one’s desires and actions in the present lifetime. -Vedanta. Sufi: nuqush-e-amal. (1a)

(singular: sanskara; adjetive: sanskaric.). Impressions; accumulated imprints of past experiences, which determine one's desires and actions. (See also prarabdha sanskaras; vidnyani sanskaras; yogayoga sanskaras). -Vedanta. Sufi: nuqush-e-amal. (1b)

Mental impressions. (A)

...(Usually appears, in works other than by or about Baba, as "samskara".). (C)

Impressions (of the mind). (CJ pg. 20)

Impressions; accumulated imprints of past experiences, which determine one’s desires and actions. (Da)

Impressions left on the soul as memories from former lives and which determine ones action in the present lifetime. (-Sanskrit, plural is English. (Du)) Also in this lifetime impressions planted in the mind, like seeds, which turn into desires and then seek expression in actions. These actions then create fresh sanskaras or impressions on the mind and so the cycle continues. (Gr)

Mental impressions which exist as memories from past lives, or the present life, and which determine one’s desires and actions. (N1)

Impressions. Also impressions which are left on the soul as memories from former lives, and which determine one’s desires and actions in the present lifetime. (N2)

Impressions left by thoughts, feelings, and actions. (N7)

See also aura. –Ed.

sant (also santa): Saint. -Hindi. Sufi: abrar, wali. Vedanta: mahapurush. (1a)

See saint; wali. (1b)

A fifth plane saint, a mahapurush. -Hindi. (Du)

sanyas: The abandonment of worldly ties. Renunciation. -Hindi. (Du)

sanyasi (m) sanyasin (f): One who has renounced the world and its ways. (Da)(N5) -Hindi. (Du)

sanyasis: (singular: samnyasi) Those who have renounced the world. -Vedanta. (1a)

One who has renounced material desires and seeks oneness with God. (AJ)

saqi: Literally, a cup bearer. Symbolically often referring to the Master as the One who pours the wine of divine love. (Gr)(N5)

sardar: A chieftain, leader or commander. (N2)

sari: A garment worn chiefly by Hindu women, of some six yards’ length, draped gracefully and loosely so that one end forms a skirt and the other a head and shoulder covering. -Hindi. (Du)

A garment wrapped around the body and worn by women in India. (AJ)(Gr)

Sarnath: Sarnath is sacred to Buddhists all over the world, because it is where Gotama the Buddha’s first sermon was preached circa 530 B.C. Every form of Buddhism is represented with temples in Sarnath – Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Burmese, Ceylonese, and so forth. The central place of pilgrimage is a large elaborate temple there which treasures Gotama’s hair. (Ka 2372 )

Sarosh Manzil: The residence in Ahmednagar of Rustom and Adi K. Irani’s parents, Kaikhushru and Gulmai Irani (who also owned Khushru Quarters), where Meher Baba stayed during the time of the marriage of His disciple Rustom to Mehera’s sister, Freni. (I)

sarvabhaumic manas: The Universal Mind. -Vedanta. Sufi: aql-e-kull. (1a)

Sarvoham: "I am All". -Vedanta. Sufi: hama man am. (1a)

Sassoon Hospital: This hospital, on Sassoon and Dr. Ambedkar Roads, is where Meher Baba was born on February 25, 1894. A new hospital building now stands on the site of the original wing where Meher Baba was born. Nearby you may still be able to find a plaque commemorating Meher Baba’s birth. (EBF) ("Dead House" is around the corner. (-from a written-in Baba lover notation.) -Ed.)

sat: Divine Power. -Vedanta. Sufi: qudrat. (1a)

Sat-Chit-Anand: Divine Truth-Knowledge-Bliss. -Sanskrit. (Du)

Infinite power, knowledge, bliss. (N5)

Satara: The city 106 km (66 miles) south of Pune where Meher Baba spent a great deal of time. Satara is the site of Meher Baba’s automobile accident of December 2, 1956. (A location within Maharashtra State. -Ed.) (EBF)

satpurush: A sixth plane saint. -Vedanta. Sufi: pir, afrad. (1a) -Sanskrit. (Du)

satyanubhuti: The Gnosis of Reality. -Vedanta. Sufi: marefat-e-haqiqat. (1a)

Schloss, Malcolm: Born in the USA. Ran a metaphysical bookstore in New York with his wife, Jean Adriel. In 1930 he published a book of verse entitled Songs to Celebrate the Sun. In 1931 the couple met Meher Baba at Harmon-on-the-Hudson, New York, and surrendered to Him. After this meeting Malcolm published two more books of verse, The Infinite Glory and Processional of Joy. He and Jean both stayed with Baba in 1936. Subsequently they were divorced. In 1947 Jean Adreil’s book Avatar was published. When Baba came to the Myrtle Beach Center in 1952, he asked all who met with Him there to read certain of His pithy statements about spiritual life and singled out Malcolm to translate these prose statements into verse; the combination resulted in a book entitled Ways to Attain the Supreme Reality. Malcolm Schloss dropped his body* in 1954, en route to his home in California after a three week sahavas given by Baba in Meherabad, India. Jean Adriel is still** (** at this authors writing. -Ed.) alive and writing and lecturing. (Du)

(*"dropped his body" is a term usually ascribed to people on the planes upon their physical death. -Ed.)

Seclusion Hill: This hill was formerly known as Lower Tembi Hill. At one time two cabins stood at its peak for Meher Baba’s work in seclusion, but today only traces of their foundation remain. The top of the hill belongs to the Trust, but the slopes are public property. The path to the top was blazed by Dr. Donkin, and Meher Baba Himself led groups of followers to the top. (Part of Meherazad, Ahmednagar, India. -Ed.)(EBF)

A small hill adjacent to the Meherazad estate about nine miles outside of Ahmednagar; Meher Baba used the hill on various occasions for His work; at one point during the "New Life" he had two huts constructed on top of it for His work in seclusion. (I)

seer (also ser): A unit of weight of a little over two pounds. (N2)

Self-realization: See Realization. (1b)

semisubtle world: A stage between the gross and subtle spheres in which the dismembered soul experiences the heaven and hell states through the astral body (q.v.). (1b)

seraglio: The seraglio is the portion of a maharajah’s or mogul king’s palace reserved for his wives or harem. (Ka 2339 )

ses: A big silver tray holding a soparo (a cone-shaped object filled with sugar), a gulabas (a decanter holding rose water) and a pighani (a small container of red paste, called kunku). These three pieces are arranged on the tray along with a flower garland, a coconut, and a few grains of raw rice. (Da)

seth: A businessman, a man of wealth or property. (N5)

sev-gathia: A salty Gujarati dish. (N5)

sexuality: In 1967 – 68, Meher Baba revealed to the author about the sanskaric state of homosexuality. The soul is eternally and absolutely sexless; however, during the process of reincarnation with the counterbalancing of opposite impressions ("eunuch" – "man" – "woman"), the embodied soul’s human consiousness accumulates and, therefore, contains sanskaras of both opposite sexes. Both male and female sex sanskaras exist in the human mind and the human form; however, the state of human consciousness is that "the homosexual is in male form but is working out or spending his female sanskaras, whereas he is meant to be spending his male sanskaras", since the soul has reincarnated as a man. A lesbian is "working out or spending her male sanskaras, whereas she is meant to be spending her female sanskaras", since the soul has reincarnated as a woman.

When Meher Baba used the term "innocent" it referred to a boy if he were a virgin or not. If a boy was not a virgin then Baba would not attempt to do His inner work through him. (Ka 2213 )

seyr-e-ma Allah: Literally, excursion with God. The Third Divine Journey. -Sufi. (1a)

Shabash: Shabash also means the exclaimation "Bravo!" (Ka 2492 )

Shabistari, Maulana Mahmud: The thirteenth century Sufi author of Gulshan-e-Raz. (1a)

Shah Pahlavi, Reza: (1877-1944) Reza Shah Pahlavi was Shah of Iran from 1925 to 1941. An army officer, he led a coup in 1921 and became premier in 1923. During 1925, he deposed the last of the Kajar dynasty, proclaimed himself shah and proceeded to modernize Iran. In 1941 he was deposed by the british and Russian forces because of his German sympathies during World War II. (Ka 1965 )

shahanshah: Literally, King of kings, emperor. (N4)

shakti: Power. -Vedanta. (1a)

shama: A flame. (N6)

shamiana: Awning with decorative or colored cloth. (N4)

Shamsi Tabriz (also Shams ad-Din; Shams-e-Tabriz): Perfect Master, wandering dervish and spiritual Master of Jalaluddin Rumi. Died 1246 A.D. (1a)(Du)

(died 1247): Sufi Perfect Master and Master of Jalaluddin Rumi. (1b)

Shankar, Uday and Ravi: See: Nijinsky, Vaslav. –Ed.

Shankara: See Minor Advents. –Ed.

Shapur Hall: A private residence for which entry is strictly prohibited. (A location within Maharashtra State. -Ed.) (EBF)

sharbat: A sweet cold drink. (N2)

sharia: See shariar. –Ed.

shariat (also sharia): The exoteric path; orthodoxy. -Sufi. Vedanta: dharma shastra, karma kanda. (1a)

External conformity to religious injunctions and traditions; orthodoxy. -Sufi. Vedanta: karma-kanda. (1b)

The exoteric path; orthodoxy, religion. (Gr) -Arabic. (Du)

"Everything is shariat", was the mast’s way of saying, "Everything is the will of God". In Islam, shariat means religious conduct. Sharia is an Arabic word meaning "path", and is the name of the sacred law of Islam. Regulating their duties to God and their relations with man, its decrees apply to Muslim divisions. Unlike Christianity, Islam through the sharia emphasizes orthopraxis, or proper conduct, more strongly than orthodoxy, or proper belief. In theory sharia is the immutable and infallible expression of the divine will as revealed in the Koran and the sunna – sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad. (Ka 2503 )

sharir (also sharira; sthul sharir): Literally, body. The gross body. -Vedanta. (1a)

Literally, body; the physical form or gross body. See also karan sharir; sukshma sharir. -Vedanta. Sufi: jism-e-kasif. (1b)

shastipurti: The celebration of the 60th birthday. (N6)

shastras: The four classes of Hindu scriptures known as sruti, smriti, purana, and tantra; technical treatises on religious or other subjects such as law, medicine, architecture, etc. -Sanskrit. (Du)

shastri: One who is well-versed in the Hindu scriptures or shastras. (N2)

shauq: Longing. The sixth of the ten ahwal (states of the Path). -Arabic. (Du)

Sheriar (properly: Shahr-Yar) Moondegar Irani: Baba’s biological father. In the course of his travels throughout India, Shahr-yar came across different types of yogis, ascetics and penitents. Once he encountered a man in Ratlam who had been sitting for years in one position -- supported only by his thumbs. But this form of asceticism was not for Shahr-yar; his suffering was a thirst for the wine of love.

Shortly thereafter, in the same district of Ratlam he encountered an old woman seated near a lake on the outskirts of the town. She made signs for him to go into the village, which he did. Everything there was spotlessly clean, but not a single living person was around. Amazed, Shahr-yar instantly realized that the village was an apparition -- an illusion -- to be taken as this metaphor: "Though the house of the heart is pure, it takes ages for God to enter."

He understood what he had seen and returned to the old woman, who gave him a loaf of bread as prasad. After eating, he left without having exchanged a word with her.

While journeying through the hills near Jaora, Shahr-yar encountered an old man seated on a hill deeply immersed in meditation. After some time, the man opened his eyes and asked, "What do you want?"

Shahr-yar replied, "I do not want anything."

Hearing this, the old man was deeply pleased and said, "You are blessed."

In the midst of his travels during the past ten years(1) although Shahr-yar encountered many sadhus, yogis, ascetics and saints in India, none of them could satisfy his inner quest, nor quiet his restlessness. He was destined to find peace in a different way.

During 1884, at the age of thirty-one, the ascetic Shahr-yar became increasingly despondent with his austere ways. Despair and desperation tore at his heart and mind. For the first time he began to doubt if his aim would ever really be achieved. He felt hopeless, as never before. He knew that with his formidable determination he could venture anywhere, yet he could not accomplish what he wanted -- to realize God. Mentally, he was breaking down; his perseverance was turning into bitter frustration.

As a last resort, Shahr-yar wandered to an isolated forest in Gujarat where he decided to perform what is known as the chilla -- the forty-day-and-night-fast within a secluded circle. The spiritual practice is also called chilla-nashini (nashini is the person who does the forty-day fast and remains seated in the circle of seclusion). Those who try it but do not succeed usually die or suffer madness.

Chilla-nashini is a severe penance.(2) A circle is drawn on the ground by the penitent's own hand; for forty days and nights he must not step out of the circle, he must forego food, water and sleep. He must face whatever comes.

There appeared to be no other solution or choice in Shahr-yar's mind. Altogether he had spent over eighteen years wandering in search of Truth. He had been chaste, he had lived on alms, he had always been honest and he had been brave, but everything he had done seemed in vain, for he had not found union with God. To return to the world and live in conformity with society was abhorrent to him. He had reached the point where it had to be either Realization of God or death!

Sure of his decision, he drew the circle around himself on the ground -- his heart imploring God to be united with him. Slowly time passed; he could not differentiate what day it was. Horrible screams were heard, then terrible noises roared louder and louder. Suddenly in front of him a lion roared, ready to devour him. He did not move -- the lion disappeared. Later a ferocious tiger appeared which stalked around the circle for hours. He did not move -- the tiger disappeared. Suddenly flames rose out of the ground on all sides of the circle. The flames moved closer to him, he was convinced he would be burned alive. Still he did not move -- the flames died. Wild screaming giants appeared; they had painted faces like masks of death with blood in their eyes and spears held menacingly. He did not move -- they, too, eventually disappeared. Many, many other dreadful visions came and vanished. All possessed the faces of horror! And they all came to torture him! The visions became continual. His mind suffered much.

Courageously, Shahr-yar held on and did not move from inside the circle for thirty days. Although only ten more days were left for the completion of the chilla, it became too difficult for him to continue. A moment longer in the circle was more torture than he could endure. It was not possible for him to continue; he stepped out. He wept -- all his years of penance and austerities had resulted in apparent defeat. Disheartened, bewildered and near dead, Shahr-yar dragged himself away, collapsed near a river and fell unconscious into a deep slumber.

Alas, how pitiful! Over eighteen years of asceticism had ended in bitter disappointment. Could not God have mercy on this pilgrim? Was this man to meet with such disappointment the rest of his life? What was to become of him? He wanted to die; why wouldn't God let him? Was there anything in his destiny besides his unfulfilled ideals? Yes, assuredly there was. The divine voice spoke and Shahr-yar listened:

"He whom you seek, He whom you wish to see, His attainment is not destined for you. Your son, it is your son who will attain it, And through your son -- you."

Shahr-yar awakened with the words echoing, "Your son . . . through your son."

He looked around; no one was there. Dazed, he heard its echo fading, "Your son . . . Your son . . . through your son."

He was puzzled and questioned, "Was this the voice of God? Was God commanding me? . . . I have no son, no wife. How can I have a family?"

After a while he thought: "But what is wrong in living a family life if it is God's command? His command means everything, so there is no question of right or wrong."

With these thoughts, Shahr-yar again fell asleep and slept soundly for three days. When he awakened he remembered the words he had heard and, not knowing how to fulfill the divine injunction, began walking southward toward Poona. His face showed indifference; some power was guiding him to follow its force. He walked more than four hundred miles without feeling any pain.

Led safely to the city of Poona, he found the house of his sister Piroja. As he entered the threshold of her home he was so emaciated and tired, he sought only to erase the exhaustion of the many years of wandering. Tears of joy welled in Piroja's eyes as she opened the door and saw her brother. Both fell into each other's embrace, and with deep love and affection she welcomed him into her home, where he stayed for some time.

Shahr-yar's heart, however, was still crying out for something else. Austerities had not fulfilled his longing, yet he did not wish to give up the life of a dervish. How could he reveal this inner spiritual pain to his kindly sister?

(1) In the course of Shahr-yar's travels in India, he wandered through Arangaon village by the army post near what is now Meherabad (the ashram and tomb of Meher Baba) on his way to the city of Ahmednagar. It is not recorded what his contacts or activies in Ahmednagar were.

(2) Chilla-nashini is known to both Sufi and Vedantic ascetics, but few ever dare to attempt it, since failure in the penance has grave dangers. Refer to page 78 of THE NOTHING AND THE EVERYTHING for an explanation. Mystics refer to the forty days and nights of Jesus' fast outside Jerusalem when he encountered Satan or faced the powers of temptation. (Ka 128 & 131)

Sheitlin, Alice: Two other women from Switzerland, named Alice Sheitlin and Freida Oberholzer, had been invited to India by Meher Baba but they were unable to come. However, there is no recorded account of their personal contact with Baba in Europe. (Ka 2294 )

Sheroo: Baba’s brother Beheram’s daughter, Gulnar, was three years old and his son, Sheroo, was four. Sheroo was named after his grandfather, Sheriar. (Ka 2403 )

Shibli, Abu Bakr: A disciple of Junayd of Baghdad. Died 946 A.D. (1a)(Du)

Shirdi: Shirdi is associated with Sai Baba, another of Meher Baba’s Masters. Sai Baba’s tomb in Shirdi is still maintained for pilgrims and visitors. (A location within Maharashtra State. Very near Sakori. -Ed.) (EBF)

Shiva: = Mahesh: the Destroyer. Also, God. -Vedanta. Sufi: Fanakar. (1a)

The Destroyer, in the Hindu trinity Creator-Preserver-Destroyer. (N2) -Sanskrit. (Du)

Shivaji (also Sivaji): (1630-1680). Founder of the Maratha kingdom in India; social reformer, military leader, and champion of religious tolerance. (1b)

Shiv-Atma: A perfect, God-realized soul. -Vedanta. Sufi: Insan-e-Kamil. (1a)

See Perfect One. (1b)

Meher Baba first visited the Ahmednagar area in 1923, staying at Khushru Quarters, the present site of the Avatar Meher Baba Trust. Throughout the years, He made Ahmednagar a center for His work, first at Meherabad near the village of Arangaon, 10 km (6 miles) to the south, and later at Meherazad near the village of Pimpalgaon-Malvi, 14 km (9 miles) to the north. (EBF)

Shivoham: "I am God". Aham Brahmasmi. -Vedanta. Sufi: Anal Haqq. (1a)

shloka: A Marathi couplet. (N7)

shmashan vairagya (also smashan vairagya): Literally: burial- or cremation-ground detachment; sudden but temporary detachment. -Vedanta. (1b)

shobada: A display of powers by those on the first through the third planes. -Sufi. (1a)

Shri: An honorific, a term of respect. (N4)

Shuhudiyyah: The Apparentist school of Sufism. The corresponding Vedantic school is Vishistadvaita. -Sufi. (1a)

Siddha (also Realization): One who has realized God and attained Perfection. -Vedanta. (1b)

siddhis: (singular: siddhi) Divine Powers, also occult powers. -Vedanta. Sufi: tajalliyat. (1a)

(singular: siddhi). Divine or mystic powers; also occult powers. See also occult experiences / powers. -Vedanta. Sufi: tajalliyat (singular: tajalli). (1b)

A divine power; also an occult power. (C)

Occult or psychic powers. (N2)

sifat: The attributes of God, as contrasted to His divine essence (zat). -Sufi. Vedanta: guna. (1a)

sijda: Stooping so as to touch the ground with the forehead in adoration of God. (N7)

Sikh: Literally, disciple. An adherent of the teachings of Guru Nanak, who flourished in the Punjab ca. 1500 A.D. -Hindi. (Du)

Literally, a disciple. An adherent of the teachings of Guru Nanak, who was born into the warrior class of Hindus in the Punjab, India, in 1469. (L)

silence: about Baba’s: Meher Baba started his silence (July 10th -Ed.) in 1925 and maintained it until He dropped His body in 1969. He communicated at first with an alphabet board and later with an eloquent system of hand gestures. (G) (Please also see: )

Silence Day: The anniversary of the day Avatar Meher Baba began His forty-four year silence, July 10, 1925; Baba’s lovers keep silence on this day each year. (Da)

Sindhi: A person from Sindh, previously a region of northwestern India, now in Pakistan. (I)

Sita - Ram: Sita was the consort and beloved of Lord Rama (q.v.). (1b)

The beloved of Lord Rama. (Da)

Sitaful (also Ramful): Custard apples. (EBF)

sitar: An Indian stringed instrument of the lute family derived from the more ancient vina. (I)

Spanish Revolution: See: Franco, General Francisco. –Ed.

Spirit Dance, The: The Spirit Dance refers to a play or movie that was being planned, and I painted an ethereal scene with dancers floating up through space. (G)

sthan: A station. -Vedanta. Sufi: muqam. (1a)

See under muqam-e-afsan. (1b)

sthul bhuvan: See gross sphere. (1b)

sthul sharir (also sthula sharira; sharir): The physical form or gross body. -Vedanta. Sufi: jism-e-kasif. (1b)The gross body. -Vedanta. Sufi: jism-e-kasif. (1a)

Stokes, Graham Phelps: Graham Phelps Stokes later drifted away from Baba. He was more interested in meditation and inner experiences than following Babas’ teachings of service to a Perfect Master. (Ka 1931 )

subtle: Pertaining to the body of energy (subtle body), the world of energy (subtle world), or the experience of the world of energy (subtle consciousness). (C)(Gr)

subtle body / form: The vital energy force (pran), which functions in the subtle sphere; the vehicle of desires and vital forces. Sufi: jism-e-latif. Vedanta: pran; sukshma sharir. (1b)

subtle sphere / world: The sphere consisting of the first four planes of consciousness as experienced by the subtle body through one's subtle impressions, which are less dense than the gross impressions. The fourth plane serves as the threshold to the mental sphere but is neither fully subtle nor mental. See also semisubtle world. Sufi: alam-e-malakut. Vedanta: pran bhuvan. (1b)

Sufism (also Sufi, plural Sufis): (singular: Sufi) The mystics whose origins lie in the Middle East. Their beginnings are lost in antiquity. They existed at the time of Zoroaster and were revitalized by Muhammad. They exist today in all parts of the world. -Sufi. (1a)

Mystisism in which the goal is to purge the heart of everything but God, through spiritual contemplation and ecstacy, and to eventually achieve total absoption in God. Such mystisism, whose beginnings are lost in antiquity, is an expression of the way of life recurring after every advent of the Avatar (q.v.) by those who adhere to the very kernel of His teachings. Adherents of the esoteric teachings of Muhammad, the Prophet, came to be known as Sufis. (1b)

The mystic discipline which has its roots in the Middle East. Its origins are lost in antiquity. It is known to have existed at the time of Zoroaster and was revitalized by Mohammed. It exists today in all parts of the world. (N2) tasawwuf. -Arabic. (Du)

Suhrawardi, Sheikh Shahabuddin: 1145-1234 A.D. Author of Awarif-ul-Maarif. Exponent of Apparentism (wahdat-ul-shuhud). (1a)

suicide: For a more detailed explaination of the tragic consequences of suicide read The Nothing and The Everything, 74 – 76. (Ka 2139 )

sukshma sharir: The subtle body. -Vedanta. Sufi: jism-e-latif. (1a)

The subtle body, which is the vehicle of desires and vital forces. See also pran. -Vedanta. Sufi: jism-e-latif. (1b)

suluk: As opposed to masti. The return to normal (Creation-) consciousness after God-realization, truly experienced by the Real Saliks in baqa-billah. -Sufi. (1a)

sulukiyat: The final sulukiyat is the state of the Real Salik in baqa-billah. -Sufi. (1a)

The state of the Salik, i.e., the state of a Perfect One in baqa-billah. This state is attained by a few rare ones after the majzoobiyat (q.v.) of God-realization. -Arabic. (Du)

sunna: See shariar. –Ed.

swami: A term of respect used for a person following a particular spiritual path. (N5)

sweet limes: Oranges. (EBF)


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