Symbols of the world's religions

               

BECOME LIKE DUST IN HIS PRESENCE

Ross Keating

 
On the morning of the second day when Brabazon was carrying breakfast for the guests, he was suddenly struck by a powerful insight. He momentarily became aware of the vast majesty of Meher Baba's being and the state of his own inadequacy.

This realisation came with such a shock that it caused Brabazon to cry out spontaneously, "Oh fool, you fool!" Immediately he began trembling and weeping and nearly spilt everything he was carrying.

Fortunately Meher Baba came to his rescue and helped him to remain calm. In his comforting of Brabazon, Meher Baba, who had just heard him denounce himself as a "fool", told him to now "become like dust in his presence."

The phrase "to become like dust" or "to become the dust at the feet of the Master" is commonly found in Sufi poetry. It refers to the condition of self-effacement through absolute obedience to the Masterís wishes....

To Brabazon's understanding, Meher Baba's request for him to "become like dust" was an offer to become his disciple; it was a gift of obedience from his Master which Brabazon freely accepted. Later in his own ghazals Brabazon frequently used the image of dust to refer to his relationship with his Master and even called the title of his first book of ghazals, In Dust I Sing.

Throughout the rest of the day in Melbourne, Meher Baba gave Brabazon various statements which could be seen as explaining what he meant by the phrase to "become like dust":

Deny your false self and your real Self asserts Itself.

Ask for nothing; you get everything.

Renounce everything to such an extent that you eventually renounce even renunciation.

Die in Baba. Die for Baba. Die with Baba. Then you will Live as Baba.

To love me is to forget yourself completely.

To know me as I really am, become like a child (in heart) and be as wise as a Man of Wisdom.


FRANCIS BRABAZON, Poet of the Silent Word, pp. 149-151
2002 © Ross Keating

               

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