Symbols of the world's religions

               

REMEMBRANCE

Charles Haynes

 
Remembrance of the Beloved is offered by Meher Baba as an avenue for ending the seemingly endless cycle of accumulating fresh impressions (sanskaras) in lifetime after lifetime. The central predicament of the aspirant is that every action creates new bindings:

"It is, therefore, most necessary for the aspirant to keep free from the idea 'I do this, and I do that.' This does not mean to keep clear of all activity through fear of developing this form of the ego. He may have to take to the life of action to wear out the ego that he has developed. So he is caught up in the dilemma that if he keeps inactive he does nothing toward breaking through the prison of his ego-life, and if he takes to a life of action, he is faced with the possibility of his ego being transferred to these new acts.(1)

The way out of this ego-bind, according to Baba, is for the lover to remember the Beloved constantly, thereby "replacing" the ego with the Beloved as the center of consciousness. Such remembrance creates what Baba called the "provisional ego":

"Before beginning anything, the aspirant thinks it is not he who is doing it but the Master who is getting it done through him; and after doing it he does not claim the results of action or enjoy them, but offers them to the Master. By so training his mind he creates a new ego which, though provisional, is able to become a source of confidence, enthusiasm and energy. This new ego is spiritually harmless, since it derives its life from the Master and since, when the time comes, it can be thrown away.(2)

With the Beloved as the provisional ego, the lover accumulates fewer new impressions and becomes more and more centered in the Beloved, who is the true Self. In this way, remembrance of the Beloved is a gradual ego death:

"The less you think of yourself and the more you think of Baba, the sooner the ego goes and Baba remains. When you — "ego" — go away entirely, I am one with you. So bit by bit, you have to go. . . So better think of me when you eat, sleep, see or hear. Enjoy all, don't discard anything, but think it is Baba — Baba who enjoys, Baba who is eating. It is Baba sleeping soundly and when you wake up, remember it is Baba getting up! Keep this one thought constantly with you.(3)

Meher Baba made it clear that to remember the Beloved leads to a gradual awakening of the true Self. Though such an awakening results in forgetfulness of the ego-self, it is in no way an avoidance of the ego conflicts experienced in daily life. On the contrary, by focusing on the Beloved, the lover is opened to the Master's work of ego-elimination.


(1) Meher Baba, God to Man and Man to God, p. 145     BACK
(2) Ibid, p. 146      BACK
(3) Kitty Davy, Love Alone Prevails, pp. 242-243      BACK

 

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

               

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