Symbols of the world's religions



Meher Baba


Allan Y. Cohen

Another dimension of the Avataric path involves surrender. In one sense surrender is the culmination of loving and obeying the Master:

Love is a gift from God to man, obedience is a gift from master to man, and surrender is a gift from man to master. The one who loves, desires to do the will of the beloved, and seeks union with the beloved. Obedience performs the will of the beloved and seeks the pleasure of the beloved. Surrender resigns to the will of the beloved and seeks nothing. (33)

The easiest and safest way to lose one's finite ego is by completely surrendering to the Perfect Master.... Such complete surrenderance to the Perfect Master is, in itself, Freedom. (34)

A unique surrender to the Master occurs when

the lover surrenders completely to Christ, to the Avatar, to the God-Man. He lives, not for himself, but for the Master. This is the highest type of lover. (35)

The notion of surrender may be disturbing to seekers who value their independence. However, when an aspirant realizes that true liberation is

surrenderance of the false and the inheritance of the Truth,

surrender becomes consistent with independence and real freedom of choice. "To be a disciple of a Perfect One never involves the surrender of the right to think and feel and act by oneself. It does not mean ceasing to be true to the inner voice of the Highest Self within. On the contrary, discipleship of a Perfect One facilitates the pursuit of that Higher Self." (36)

Understandably, Meher Baba invited his lovers to try to surrender to him:

If you seek to live perpetually, then crave for the death of your "deceptive self" at the hands of "Complete Surrender" to me. This Yoga is the Essence of all yogas in one. . . . To realize this Truth of Unchangeable, indivisible, All-pervading Existence, the simplest way is to surrender to Me completely; so completely that you are not even conscious of your surrender.... (37)

Completely surrender yourselves to me so that my wish becomes your law and my love sustains your being.... He who succeeds, ultimately not only finds me, but becomes me and realises the aim of life. (38)

To his lovers, Baba suggested ways of practicing surrender:

I want you all to listen very carefully to what I say. It appears so simple, yet it is so very important for My lovers. To love Me is to lose yourself in Me and to find Me as your own Self is to leave all your pleasures and pains to Me. (39) Be resigned completely to my Will and my Will will be yours. (40) If you do wrong, think Baba is doing wrong. If you get a pain, think it is Baba having a pain. If you do all this sincerely, you will know something and forget yourself and do all for Baba. (41)

There are three interrelated elements in the aspirant's attempted surrender to Meher Baba. The first includes a resignation to everything as Baba's will. Such resignation does not imply passivity or apathy — Baba usually encouraged enthusiastic energy in worldly duties. It means being able to leave the results of one's best efforts to Baba, trying not to get ego-involved in success or failure. It also includes trust in Baba, a confidence that all events, positive or negative, can be helpful for spiritual growth:

I want you to remain undisturbed and unshaken by the force of life's currents, for whatever the circumstances, they too will be of my own creation. If you endure your lot with patience and contentment, accepting it as His will, you are loving God. (42)

A second facet of the process of surrender involves making Baba the nucleus of one's activities, creating a "provisional ego" — adopting the attitude of doing things for Baba, not for oneself. The objective is not to enhance the ego, but to give it up:

Seek me not to extricate you from your predicaments, but find me to surrender yourself wholeheartedly to my Will.... Do not ask me to bless you with a good job, but desire to serve me more diligently and honestly without expectation of reward. Never beg of me to save your life or the lives of your dear ones, but beg of me to accept you and permit you to lay down your life for me. Never expect me to cure you of your bodily afflictions, but beseech me to cure you of your ignorance. (43)

A third aspect involves realizing the near impossibility of total and complete surrender to Baba while aspiring to surrender, starting to build the creative habit of resignation, fostering internal dependence on Baba as one's real Self. Surrendering to the Avatar has always been a private, internal process. It need not be affected by Meher Baba's physical passing.

Taken together, the trinity of love, obedience, and surrender forms a basic unity on the path of the God-Man:

One who loves, is the lover of the beloved. One who obeys is the beloved of the beloved. One who surrenders all — body, mind and all else — has no existence other than that of the beloved, who alone exists in him. Therefore greater than love is obedience, and greater than obedience is surrender. And yet, as words, all three can be summed up in one phrase — love-divine. (44)

(33)  The Awakener, vol. 4, no. 3 (1957), p.17.
(34)  Quoted in Purdom, THE GOD-MAN, p. 344.
(35)  Quoted ibid., p. 356.
(36)  Quoted in Irani, FAMILY LETTERS, no. 53, p. 3.
(37)  The Awakener, vol. 2, no. 3, (1955), p. 81.
(38)  Quoted in Irani, FAMILY LETTERS, no. 52, p. 2.
(39)  Quoted in Purdom, THE GOD-MAN, p. 392.
(40)  Quoted ibid., p. 260.
(41)  LISTEN, HUMANITY, p. 224.
(42)  Ibid.
(43)  Divya Vani, vol. 1, no. 8, (1966), p. 42.
(44)  LISTEN, HUMANITY, p. 227.


THE MASTERY OF CONSCIOUSNESS, pp. 94-96, Meher Baba, ed. Allan Y. Cohen
1977 © Ira G. Deitrick
Meher Baba quotations 1977 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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