THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE CIRCLE OF A PERFECT MASTER AND THE INNER CIRCLE OF THE AVATAR
In short, whereas the Perfect Master establishes his Circle, the Avatar is directly allied with his Inner Circle, which is always the same in all his advents. With his descent on earth, the Avatar, as it were, brings along with him the association of his Inner Circle.
The connection of the Inner Circle in relation to the Avatar may be compared to that of a man who directly associates himself with the fourteen parts of his own body; two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, one mouth, two hands, two legs and the trunk of the body itself; plus the external genitals and anus that act as the appendage to the body as a whole. As soon as man is born, he directly makes use of these fourteen parts of his body, and these parts in turn respond to his dictates individually or collectively.
Similarly, with the advent of the Avatar on earth, His Inner Circle of the same twelve individualities and the appendage of the same two individualities directly begin to function, individually and collectively, according to the dictates of the Avatar himself.
With every advent of the Avatar on earth, the 12 men of the Inner Circle and its appendage of two women gather round the personality of the Avatar, as the self-same 14 types of individualities. These fourteen different individualities, in the shape of different personalities, always occupy their respective offices, whenever the Avatar manifests on earth; and during and after the life-span of the Avatar, they individually and collectively function in the same way as their predecessors, who had held, and functioned in, the same offices of the Inner Circle during the past advents of the Avatar.
Therefore it would not be wrong to say that with Christ's coming again, come Peter, Judas, and all his apostles. But this can never mean the very same Peter or the self-same Judas, reincarnates again and again. These can never reincarnate, as all of the twelve individual personalities of the Avatar's Inner Circle attain God-realization in every Avataric period, either during or soon after the life-span of the Avatar.
Once God-realization is attained, reincarnation is impossible. The only exception to this rule is the Avatar himself, who comes again and again to redeem humanity.
It is not the same individualized personalities of the Inner Circle that reincarnate; it is the individualities of their particular offices that come with every advent of the Avatar. It is because in all the Avatar's advents each of the twelve men and two women of the Inner Circle hold exactly the same office and function in exactly the same manner, that it is said the Avatar always brings with him the same Circle. It is because in all the Avatar's advents each of the twelve men and two women of the Inner Circle hold exactly the same office and function in exactly the same manner, that it is said the Avatar always brings with him the same Circle....
All fourteen members of the Avatar's Inner Circle realize god by the grace of the Avatar, during the same Avataric period, which is of one hundred years' duration after the Manifestation of the Avatar on earth.
Regarding the Outer Circles of the Avatar, none of the 108 persons in the nine circles holds any office similar to that held by those of the Inner Circle; and all of these 108 persons attain God-realization by the grace of the Avatar, but not necessarily during the Avataric period.
PATH OF LOVE, pp 23-26
1986 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust