Symbols of the world's religions



Eruch Jessawala

God's compassion is not what our conception of it is. His Compassion is always represented by what He has to do to get us closer to Him in order to lift us out of the rut of constant reincarnations. God's compassion therefore is always directed towards getting people out of the maze of illusion and the best way to free them from illusion is paradoxically, to bestow upon them not relief from, but immersion in suffering.

That God's Compassion should be so expressed seems preposterous at first sight, but that indeed is the one sure means He can and does utilize to make us turn towards Him and face Him.

All the other little trinkets that are bestowed by others who possess powers resulting from their advanced status on the spiritual path, like sight to the blind or the raising of the dead to life, do not express real compassion for they only result in further tightening of the noose of illusion around the neck of the seeker of Truth. The one real remedy for getting free of entanglement in the maze of illusion is to call out to God for assistance in the firm faith that He knows best what our real need is.

But when do people generally call out to God? It is when their fingers are burnt and physical suffering must be endured that they cry out to Him from deep within the heart.

This must not be misunderstood to mean that one must invite and embrace suffering for suffering's sake because there is a limit anyhow to suffering and no one can suffer more than the body will endure. But when suffering falls to our lot, we must learn to accept it as an attendant condition to our unfoldment and this means that we see in it the opportunity He has given us to live in Him.

It is true that the body does suffer but when we suffer in Him as indicated, somehow we do not suffer as others do. They may view our suffering on the surface, but inwardly we are living in Him and the experience is not the same that others think they are watching. Therefore, when we suffer but live in Him, we bear witness to God's true Compassion.

Sometimes when suffering is properly understood, one can get addicted to it, wanting to be with Him all the time, for once its true taste is felt, suffering is turned into bliss because God's Compassion is so strongly felt. This is the moment when the soul turns to face Him directly and complete surrender to Him comes most readily.

Of course nobody can suffer in the way Meher Baba suffered because His suffering was not an individual suffering. His suffering was a universal suffering through His Universal form for all of humanity and therefore it cannot be equated with individual suffering. As our Comforter, He drew this suffering upon Himself to lighten our burden by sharing our suffering, and yet in His sacrifice He seemed totally indifferent to suffering, even appearing to be cheerful. In a way, this was an example He left us on how to bear cheerfully and patiently whatever suffering becomes our lot.

Although we do not feel or see Him, Baba is always at our side when we suffer. He also experiences our suffering and although we may be suffering, the major part of that suffering is transferred to Him.

Whenever God appears in our midst as a man, He puts aside His Infinite Bliss and embraces suffering so that He may alleviate humanity's suffering. Thus He gets maltreated, humiliated, involved in bad accidents and crucified. He even goes through wars and battles and suffers physically.

Sometimes we may wonder whether there is really any need for God to incarnate as man when His Compassion is already so fully accessible to us from His discarnate state. Well, Meher Baba told us that the only reason He comes again and again into our midst is because He feels so close to His creation. How much better it is to dispense comfort through another human being! Baba's physical form was therefore an expression of His Compassion, but even though He has left that body, He is still looking after us and His Compassion flows to us with even greater force.

Being the Father of all and having permitted suffering in life, God nevertheless comes to relieve the suffering of His children. When for example, a house catches fire, a father does not run away from the fire but actively sets about saving all the family members. And even when the fire department arrives on the scene, the father is still willing to risk his life for the sake of the family.

Similarly, it is the Fatherly feeling, this very special relationship between the creator and His creation which makes God get so involved in His creation, and in spite of being able to love and serve us from His impersonal aspect, His Compassion leads Him into taking a human form that He might stay among us for a while.

Having lived with Meher Baba for so many years, I saw and felt at first hand what a great Friend to all He was, the weight of the burden He carried, the depth of the suffering He endured and the Kindness, Mercy and Compassion He expressed in His all encompassing way that gave new and deeper meaning to these qualities.

Often if a family or group who were far away from Him, needed His help, He went and provided that assistance usually in the nick of time, for His Compassion knew no distinctions and recognized no boundaries.

One day in His Compassion, Baba advised us: "As long as you run after things in the world, you will have to continue to run after them. No sooner you relinquish them and turn your back on them, the things of the world will run after you."

Even Meher Baba's 'work' was a dispensation of His Compassion which He explained thus: "I have not come to give sight to the blind or limbs to the maimed, nor even to raise the dead to life. Rather I have come to make people blind to illusion. I have come to make you dead to your lower self. I have come to redeem you from the round of births and deaths."

That indeed was Baba's 'work' — to get us closer and closer to Him, who is the Reality, by emptying us out and not by filling us in, by removing our stains and not by adding to them. His words then were a reminder to us of what our aim should be: "You are in pursuit of Me. Pursue Me but do not expect to find Me, for only when you get lost while pursuing Me, will you find Me."

Therefore we must get in tune with Meher Baba and when we do that, we will discover His act of Compassion in every breath we take and in anything and everything we undertake because our very life is sustained by His Compassion.

When God is in our midst as a man, we take Him for granted, we don't care about Him and so we neglect Him and are indifferent to Him, but even though He has left the scene, His Compassion is so all encompassing, it can be felt all the time.

Those who had not seen Him in the physical form, are blessed in a special way. They can love Him more forcefully, for what has not been seen, can be longed for with greater ardour.

To love Meher Baba without His being physically present is a true blessing because it is He who gives that love, and this blessing enables us to love Him more and more. He has fashioned His love in such a way that although He is not here, we can love Him more deeply and more forcefully when we think of Him, yearn for Him and long for Him.

THE ANCIENT ONE, pp. 209-212
1985 © Naosherwan Anzar


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