Meher Baba and his teachings helped me to find my true spiritual path. His grace will uplift you and draw you closer to the divine.
Introduction to Meher Baba
I was first introduced to Baba through his book God Speaks, which I read near the beginning of my spiritual journey. The words of a saint are infused with their enlightened presence. When I first read God Speaks, I was unaccustomed to Meher Baba’s energy. It was so powerful that after ten pages the thinking mind would no longer function, and I could no longer remember what I was reading.
Shortly after finishing my first pass through God Speaks I travelled to India and visited Meherabad, India where Meher Baba is buried. Hindus refer to the resting place of a saint as a mahasamadhi shrine. I spent three hours meditating in the shrine and was immersed in his enlightened presence. Afterwards I was unable to speak for an hour, which is the first time that had happened. Years later, I came to understand the experience as a turning point in my spiritual journey in which I created an internal connection with Meher Baba.
Studying Meher Baba’s Teachings
After returning from India, I was motivated to learn more about Meher Baba’s teachings and read God Speaks again. I became accustomed to the energy and began to understand the ideas. But what I experienced while reading the book was far more important that what I was learning conceptually. Through the words, I was being exposed to Meher Baba’s grace. So I just let go and read the book as a form of meditation.
Over the next ten years, I read God Speaks over twenty times and his book Discourses five times. Reading became a form of meditation in which Meher Baba’s enlightened presence helped me align with the deeper reality. And with each reading, my connection with Meher Baba strengthened.
Once you establish a strong internal connection with an enlightened master, it is always available to you. You no longer feel alone in the universe. When difficulties arise in your daily life, you can turn your attention to a saint and feel their love and grace flowing to you.
How Beliefs Can Affect Your Spiritual Progress
Meher Baba provides a detailed explanation of creation and the spiritual journey in his books God Speaks, Discourses, and The Infinite Intelligence. His teachings have changed the way I perceive reality, and they have enabled me to more easily align with the deeper reality. The impetus for writing my first book, Into the Formless, was to introduce Meher Baba’s teachings to others, who might also find them beneficial.
Spiritual concepts exist only as ideas in the mind. At best they point us toward the deeper truth so that we may experience it directly. Some concepts are effective pointers that empower us to make profound spiritual progress. Other spiritual ideas are ineffective pointers that keep us trapped within the ego and the thinking mind.
The following are two commonly accepted spiritual ideas that were impeding my spiritual progress. Through Meher Baba’s teachings, I discovered better pointers to the truth.
The Reward of Heaven
Some religions teach that all a person needs to do is believe in one particular world savior in order to spend eternity in heaven. For most of my life, I held such a belief.
Heaven surely exists. There are a lot of people who come back from near-death experiences with first-hand accounts of heaven. Many enlightened teachers (such as Meher Baba and Paramahansa Yogananda) describe that part of the energetic plane of reality that is commonly called heaven.
The question is not whether heaven exists, but whether you get to stay there forever after you die. According to Meher Baba and Paramahansa Yogananda, a person who has accumulated positive merits (or karma) gets to stay in heaven after the death of their physical body. Then after a certain allotted time, they are compelled to incarnate into another physical body due to their remaining physical karma.
I have been fortunate to have three visions of prior lifetimes. According to Meher Baba, such experiences are unusual but not unheard of. Those experiences changed both my beliefs and the way I approach the divine. I am more conscious of my thoughts, feelings, and actions throughout the day. I consciously avoid creating negative karma, and I am motivated to make as much spiritual progress as possible in this lifetime.
Many enlightened teachers, including Meher Baba, explain that the spiritual journey takes place in each moment—you are either lost in the illusion of maya or connected with the divine. By becoming emotionally and energetically attached to events in your life you create more karma, which forms the ego. And it is the ego (the false self) that creates the illusion of separateness from the divine. By connecting with the deeper reality you gradually dissolve past conditioning and weaken the ego until eventually you are freed from the endless cycle of rebirths.
The Distance between You and God
Another commonly accepted spiritual belief is that God is a being that exists only in some far off place. Until each of us attains liberation we are trapped in duality. It is only natural to view God as something apart from yourself. After all, you perceive everything outside of your body as not you.
The problem arises when we regard the divine as being inaccessible. In doing so, we stop trying to connect with it, which is how we progress spiritually.
Because I didn’t believe that it was possible, I didn’t try very hard to connect with God. It existed as a thought in my mind instead of something that is real and accessible.
Through Meher Baba’s grace I connected with the deeper reality. And then my beliefs changed to match what I had experienced directly.
I realized what you can also realize. The divine is the formless unity that sustains creation. It is present everywhere and in every form. You need only learn how to connect with it. And then the false sense of distance between you and God will fall away, as if you had awakened from a dream.
The Grace of an Enlightened Master
Your own efforts to draw closer to the divine are important. But you can only make a certain amount of spiritual progress on your own.
Without the grace that flows directly from the divine, or from an enlightened master, you will have difficulty overcoming countless lifetimes of accumulated karma and freeing yourself from the limitations of the ego-controlled mind. It is grace that exposes you to the light of Source, dissolves vast amounts of past conditioning, frees you from a limited perception of reality, and guides you along the spiritual path.
I discern two aspects of Baba’s grace. The first is his profound enlightened presence. By repeatedly turning your attention to him and reading his teachings, you will learn how to perceive it for yourself. And once that happens, you will have formed an internal connection with him. By strengthening that connection, you will be drawn ever more rapidly along the path to liberation.
The second aspect of his grace is love. Meher Baba is a manifestation of the divine love that God expresses toward all life forms. By being exposed to his love, you will learn how to open your heart and access the universal nature of love that sustains creation. And this expansive, selfless form of love can set you free.
In Meher Baba’s teachings he often returns to the issue of love. It is your love for the divine that draws it closer to you. And it is the love that the divine express toward you that frees you from the burden of your past conditioning.
As grace enters your life, the ego is gradually burned away by the divine light. Your personality changes as the best part of you comes to the forefront. You remain more detached from the inconsequential events of daily life. You feel more compassion for others who are suffering under the weight of their past conditioning. Love arises in you spontaneously, and you become a true human being.
Films about Meher Baba
Meher Baba dropped the body in 1969. Because he is a modern saint, we have photos and films about his life. They are an invaluable resource that enables us to access his light and grace.
While writing, I often watch a video of Meher Baba in the lower corner of my computer screen. The light that emanates from the images of Meher Baba makes it easier to stay align with the deeper reality. My mind is more still and my energetic system vibrates at a higher level, which allows the writing to occur more naturally.
The following are my favorite films about Meher Baba that you can watch online for free:
Beyond words – 1967 film of Meher Baba
Meher Baba, The Awakener
Meher Baba – Human Side Of God
Meher Baba’s Call
Baba spent many years seeking out and helping the masts who lived in different parts of India. They are spiritually advanced people who are so intoxicated by their love for the divine that they are unable to function in society. In some of his videos, you can see him washing and bowing at the feet of masts and those who have been struck with leprosy.
Taking Advantage of the Opportunity
It is a shame that relatively few people know about Meher Baba, the most recent incarnation of the world savior. It took hundreds of years before Jesus’ life and teachings became widely known. Hopefully, more people will find out about Meher Baba in a much shorter time.
Meher Baba has stated that he is not interested in forming a new religion. It would be nice if people did not come along later and create a religion around him and his teachings. Then it might be easier for people to avoid getting lost in external forms of religious rituals and instead turn their attention within, where the true spiritual journey takes place.
I grew up in a Christian church and often wondered what it might have been like to be in the presence of Jesus or read teachings that he wrote. We are all fortunate to have access to the films and writings of an enlightened teacher such as Meher Baba. I hope that you will take advantage of them.