Symbols of the world's religions

               

LOVE, OBEDIENCE AND SURRENDER

Meher Baba
and
Charles Haynes

 
Once awakened in the heart, the gift of love inspires the lover to grow ever-closer to the divine Beloved. As love deepens, it is transformed first into obedience and then, finally, into complete surrender:

Love is a gift from God to man.
Obedience is a gift from Master to man.
Surrender is a gift from man to Master.

One who loves desires the will of the Beloved.
One who obeys does the will of the Beloved.
One who surrenders knows nothing but the will of the Beloved.

Love seeks union with the Beloved.
Obedience seeks the pleasure of the Beloved.
Surrender seeks nothing.

One who loves is the lover of the Beloved.
One who obeys is the beloved of the Beloved.
One who surrenders has no existence other than the Beloved.

Greater than love is obedience.
Greater than obedience is surrender.
All three arise out of, and remain contained in, the Ocean of divine Love1.

The inner journey of the lover from love to surrender is marked by an ever-greater capacity to obey the Beloved, who is the true Self of the lover. As the Avatar, Meher Baba acts both as the inner guide and the ultimate goal of this love-journey. It is the love of the Avatar in his role as divine Beloved that awakens the aspirant to the dynamic of the spiritual life.

Throughout his life, Meher Baba constantly trained his lovers in the ways of obedience. Everything that happens, he said, is the will of God. Thus it is the work of the Master to help the aspirant become more and more in tune with God's will through obedience:

The beginning of real love is obedience, and the highest aspect of this love, which surpasses that of love itself, is that which culminates in perfect obedience to and supreme resignation to the Will and the Wish of the Beloved. In this love are embodied all the yogas known to saints and seekers2.

Obedience gradually opens the lover to the realization that the desires of the ego are totally empty and the life of the ego is ultimately false: God alone is real, and all else is illusion. As this awareness deepens, the lover begins to let go of what is unreal and hold on ever more tightly to the reality of the Beloved who is the true Self. This "letting go" through love is what Baba termed surrender.


1Meher Baba, The Everything and the Nothing, p. 5
2Meher Baba, Six Messages of Avatar Meher Baba, Ahmednagar, India: Meher Publications 1955, p. 11

 

MEHER BABA, THE AWAKENER, pp. 96-98, Charles Haynes
1989 © Charles Haynes

               

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