Symbols of the world's religions



Mani Irani

In India it is common to refer to God as "the One Upstairs" — as if God stays way up there in heaven enjoying a permanent holiday after creating the world, now and then answering a prayer to two!

Lucky for us, this isn't the way it is. Luckily God loves His creation so much that now and then He dresses up as man and comes "downstairs" to be among His children on earth. In order to be seen by us, He puts on the cloak of Perfect Man. Thus for a while He stays with us and plays with us, laughs with us and suffers with us. But He keeps it all a secret. Only a few share this great divine secret of God's appearance while He is "downstairs" as man. He is called the Avatar, because being God + Man = Avatar.

After some time with us, God drops His cloak (human form), and leaves it behind for the world to have and to worship. Yes, God leaves His cloak with us, but He does not leave us! Although we cannot see Him any more, His Love and grace flow more powerfully than ever, available to everyone.

God is One, the One and Only. But God's cloaks are many. Each time God decides to come "downstairs", He chooses a different cloak from His beautiful wardrobe.

Through endless time, God has worn many cloaks for the sake of his children on earth. As we know, the cloaks of God have different names, like Zoroaster, Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed. And now, as we know, it is Meher Baba.

Not very long ago I had a dream which illustrates what I've just been telling you. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

In my dream I was driving with a friend in a small red car. It was a sports car with no top and a back seat just big enough for one person. When the car stopped at a traffic signal, I felt a presence behind me in the dusky light. Turning, I saw a figure dressed in Arabian clothes.

Instantly I knew, without a doubt, that it was the Prophet! He silently indicated that He wanted to hitch a ride in our car. As I nodded, He got into the small back seat, and we drove on. After a while, at a sign from Him, we stopped. He got down and walked away.

Very curious to know where He was going and why, I got down from the car and quietly followed Him. Keeping some distance, I followed Him through a maze of tents of different sizes and shapes, like you see in the grounds of a large circus.

At last He stopped before a big tent with a flat top, and as He pushed open the entrance flap of the tent, I saw a long row of costumes hanging along its wall. As the Prophet walked by the row of costumes, fingering them lightly before picking one for His next Act, I woke up from my dream! I woke up and my heart cried out:

Dear God, I didn't have to see which garb You picked. I know. I know You picked the very most beautiful One named Meher Baba. I know because I have seen You in the garb of Meher Baba, loved You as naturally as a fish loves water, lived my life with You, which is all I have ever wanted to do!

Now there are many, many, many who have not seen You in Person but have received You in their hearts and follow You. Among them are those who walk the long path of surrender and dare to climb the mountain of obedience in order to reach You, some day, by Your grace.

O Beloved Avatar, Your lovers await You. No matter what costume You will wear for Your next Act, they will know You. Their hearts will recognize You and be ready to be received by You.

Yes, they will wait, sustained by their longing for You and Your promise to them:

"I will come again"!

GOD-BROTHER, pp. 143-146
1993 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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