Symbols of the world's religions



Meher Baba

My work is worldwide, hence I have to come into contact with all kinds of people, all religions, and all countries — in the East as well as in the West. And while working with them I have to be very careful to consider the feeling and impression created on all who come in my contact, especially of those whom I want to work for me — immediately at the moment, or later on in the future. If I don't do that, none would come in or would be induced or persuaded to do the work as I want him or her to do. And in the great scheme of a worldwide campaign I require men and women of all castes, creeds, cults and denominations in life, from the poorest peasant to the richest Rockefeller — each to fit in for a particular type of work in his or her class or community, according as I find the person willing and inclined.

Thus there would be Hindus and Mohammedans, Parsis and Christians — Easterners and Westerners, each with certain tendencies, temperaments, inclinations and fitness or fondness to do a certain type of work. Each has at the time certain weaknesses or prejudices side by side with good qualities, and it is all these things and factors I have to observe and consider, if I want a particular person to fit in anywhere for certain work of mine. So whenever a person is introduced or comes in, I overlook and, for a certain period in the beginning, even pamper his prejudices of caste, creed or religion, and tolerate his other weaknesses in nature and temperament till he is gradually trained and prepared to give these up one by one and begins to understand things in a better light and broader angle of vision, to which he is all the while trained through lectures, explanation and talks and references with others, which are really meant for him. It is a very delicate and difficult task, involving so many problems for a number of persons concerned in a particular question. Some have to tolerate and suffer unnecessarily for others who are, thus being trained.

Thus if a Hindu comes to see me, I have to look to his caste — Brahmin, untouchable, etc. — and talk and deal with him accordingly. Similarly, in the case of a Parsi, a Mohammedan or a Christian, I explain things as the person likes the best, pleasing his or her temperament, inclinations, prejudices, etc., so that he will digest what I want to impress on him and then try to learn to come over and rise above his prejudices gradually. Thus so many have been trained during all these years, so that the Hindus, Mohammedans, Parsis, Christians — all of the mandali — have learned to live as one family. Their religions and other prejudices have been practically destroyed, and they are convinced now that all their weaknesses and prejudices were false and unreal, that real religion is One — of Universal brotherhood and love for all alike, etc. This they are taught after years of training and careful tactics observed by me in handling each case separately according to the requirements of each, which I know, and tactfully bringing them all through the path of prejudices and religions ... [line missing] ... and the true spiritual aim and end of life, etc., which is my only mission. But if I were to teach these spiritual truths from the very beginning, disregarding their human weaknesses and religion or caste prejudices during the preliminary stage of training, none of you would have come in, much less been trained to the discipline and understanding of life as you are now.

And there are so many different kinds and types of persons, with hundreds of varieties of weakness and prejudice which I have to deal with and tackle tactfully and delicately during the first stages, overlooking tolerantly their many faults, even persuading them in spite of their own stupidities and deliberate wrong actions, suffering myself intensely and at times making others suffer unnecessarily, too, for which they again blame me, get annoyed and upset, etc., so that I have the additional task of explaining to them again why I do certain things at certain times.

Thus there are complications always in such a Universal work as mine, where so many questions and factors concerning hundreds or thousands at a time are involved, and there are always chances of my actions, words or explanations being misinterpreted or misunderstood, in one place or the other. In trying to please everybody, one pleases nobody — yet I have to try to please everybody, in turns or on certain occasions simultaneously, through different moves, actions, and words as required for certain persons and at certain places.

My coming here [Mysore] was for a certain object and work, and my activities here are in certain directions which none of you understand. For instance our neighbor, Shri Subraman Iyer, is a certain type of person with whom certain tactics are required to deal with him, as I want him for help in certain work of mine in future. He is a nice man, well educated, religious, of good character, honest, etc. But he has certain peculiar weaknesses which I know and must overlook at first, for my work.


HOW A MASTER WORKS, p. 476-477, Ivy Oneita Duce
1975 © Sufism Reoriented, Inc.


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