Symbols of the world's religions



Meher Baba

This present state of yours is gross consciousness; the gross senses are used, and you have the gross experiences of eating, drinking, and moving about. This is the gross world; it is not the gross plane. Although the consciousness is gross, it is not the gross plane. Manzil means destination or goal; Muqam means place of stay or state. You must differentiate. You are in the gross manzil and there are innumerable muqam states.

Meherabad is a muqam where you experience with the gross senses. When you are in America, France, England, the manzil is the same — gross — but the muqam is different, and you have different experiences of the gross world in each place. If a man in Arangaon, who seldom even visits Ahmednagar, were blindfolded, put in a plane, and set down on Broadway in the night, his experiences would be fantastic to him because of the different muqam, but it would be the same manzil.

Now, even in the gross manzil, glimpses of the subtle plane are possible. There are three manzils in the subtle plane. Now what happens? The human being with gross senses experiences the first manzil of the subtle plane in a hazy way, because of the gross senses; because experiences of the subtle plane can not be fully gained except through the subtle senses. The gross experiences are hazy; one sees colors, and they disappear; circles of different kinds; wonderful perfumes never smelled before; one hears celestial music; one is inspired; but it all disappears. You must understand that all manzils, all muqams, and all these experiences are illusions. Only God is real. That is the fundamental fact.

When the soul, through its Herculean efforts or by the grace of a Guru (not a Perfect Master), gets into the first plane, it does not mean that it enters another sphere. Its consciousness is raised, and it can use its subtle senses fully. What was smelt, heard, seen temporarily, is now smelt, heard and seen continually. It is now in the first manzil of the subtle world. We call it world, because just as the gross world has innumerable muqams, so has the subtle world.

In the first manzil of the subtle world, through subtle senses, the soul sees different sights, has different smells and has different experiences (just as you have different foods in Meherabad, different smells, and different languages from what you were used to), according to the different muqams. In the subtle plane, the first manzil has innumerable muqams. You feel differently here from what you do in your homes with your family and children, though you are still in the gross world. So, in the subtle plane, in the first manzil, the soul sees wonderful things, and get enchanted, it loses its gross consciousness, and it begins to hear subtle music, and to see subtle sights and to enjoy them.

But if the soul is wise, through good fortune, or the Guru is capable, the soul leaves the first manzil and enters the second manzil of the subtle plane. In that manzil the soul sees, hears and smells through the subtle senses more intensely, and the muqams of the subtle sphere appear more agreeable. In the second manzil the soul becomes so enchanted and is so overpowered that everything is a billion times brighter than the sun, and a million times colder than the moon.

The soul gets enveloped in this light, and hears the voices and smells the scents so intensely and so overpoweringly that it enters it completely. This is called the spiritual talisman. One has no consciousness of the gross sphere.

If the Murshid (or Guru) is not capable, and if its past impressions do not allow it to proceed, the soul drops the body, takes another form, and comes back in the same state of consciousness. Yet it is pure illusion.

If the Guru is adept, he advances the soul, and the third manzil is reached. Consciousness is still subtle. The muqams are the same muqams. The subtle senses are now in their most intense phase. But the innumerable sights and sounds of the innumerable muqams do not overpower the soul. It has now full control over the senses and its experiences, not only in the gross manzil, but also in the two previous subtle manzils. It is now energy personified. All this is dealt with in GOD SPEAKS. The soul still has its gross body, and is still in the gross world, but functions simultaneously in the subtle world. It uses its gross and subtle senses simultaneously.

If Francis were in the third manzil of the subtle plane, and at the same time expressing the muqams of the third manzil, he would have gross and subtle consciousness simultaneously: he would have infinite energy under his control in the gross world. Yet our poor Francis would still be in illusion.

The day after tomorrow we will talk about the 4th, 5th and 6th planes. Until we arrive at Reality, and know that all this is tamasha — farce. Lovers of God do not care for this tamasha. Yogis of the first manzil of the subtle plane can stop their pulses or live underground, or raise their gross bodies in the air, or even live for 500 years; but it is all illusion and farce.

The seventh manzil is called maksood, the Goal, where the soul is free from illusion and becomes one with God. I will make it clear, when we come to the seventh manzil, that all is within you — all manzils, all muqams are within you, for God is within you. When you go outside this room you see the surrounding country. Why? Because you have projected it out of yourselves. Being in God you are the producers of all phenomena, and you get entangled in the phenomena. Baidul says, "We produce everything and become the slaves of that which we are the masters."

Continuing our discussion from the day before yesterday: the soul now goes to the fourth plane of consciousness. This is known as the junction between the subtle and the mental planes. It is also called Asthana, meaning "threshold." Here there is no manzil, no muqam. It is the junction where the infinite energy, the desires, emotions and feelings of the mental plane are the direct influence. The soul is now neither on the subtle nor on the mental plane, but all the powers of the subtle and all of the influences of the mental plane are continually with it. There is no manzil. The soul is now so overpowered by desires and by its ability to satisfy its desires that it is in danger of falling from the spiritual heights to the lowest depths. It can now do anything, raise the dead, create new forms, do anything it wants. Desires influence it with all their force; it is in great danger. The details are in God Speaks.

If the soul does not then succumb to the use of its infinite energy for selfish ends, it reaches the fifth plane and the fifth manzil. As I said, in the gross world there is the first manzil with its innumerable muqams. In the first plane of the subtle are the second manzil and its muqams; in the second plane of the subtle, the third manzil and its muqams; in the third plane of the subtle, the fourth manzil and its muqams; in the fourth plane no manzil and no muqam.

In the fifth plane, which is in the mental sphere, there are the fifth manzil and its muqams. What happens in this fifth state? The soul is now working directly from the mental plane. Is this clear? The soul is master of the mind: the entire mental plane is governed by it. It knows the thoughts and desires of everyone, but is safe, as the "dark night" of the fourth plane has been passed. Remember I am skipping over these matters. The soul now knows the thoughts and desires, but cannot control the desires. On this fifth plane, it cannot have that intense longing for God which lovers who do not know or care about planes have.

When it progresses to the sixth plane, which includes the second function of mind, the soul becomes feelings, desires, emotions personified; and as all infinite feelings come from God, Who is the seventh state of consciousness, the soul now directly sees God everywhere and in everything, yet feels itself aloof from the Beloved. Here there is the great abyss, beyond which the lover sees the Beloved, and feels separated from the Beloved. The Beloved says, "Come to Me." The lover says, "I cannot; You come to me!" This glorious state is described as one end of a hair in the hand of the Beloved and the other in that of the lover; there is a long tussle. If the Beloved pulls too hard, the hair will break; so the tussle goes on for years and years.

Among millions of such lovers of God who long for union with God, one will reach the Beloved. Very, very few lovers succeed. When one crosses the valley and is united with God, he finds that it was himself he was seeking. He, himself, is the Beloved. He then knows, "I am God." Of thousands of such united ones, one comes down to normal consciousness, and is called Qutub, or Christ, or Avatar, or Perfect Master.

The sixth plane has a manzil and one muqam, God, whom the soul sees everywhere. I talk of God and you go to God in sound sleep!" [A disciple had fallen asleep.]

Now let us look at the diagram. There are seven planes, seven manzils, innumerable muqams in six planes, one muqam in the gross sphere, and one muqam in the sixth manzil. In the fourth plane there is no manzil and no muqam.


THREE INCREDIBLE WEEKS, ed. Malcolm Schloss & Charles Purdom, pp. 59-62,75-77
Copyright 1979 Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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