|The Spiritual Training Programme|
DIVINE WILL AND DIVINE WISH
Although everything happens according to the Divine Will, and as Baba explained, not even a leaf can move without it, the limited mind can neither know nor even understand how the Divine Will operates. It is beyond mankind's comprehension. The Avatar comes to give His Wish to humanity, so they can follow His Wish and come to closer to God.
Yet humanity, out of ignorance, often ignores His Wish, and in its attempts to comfort itself, misinterprets events, declaring that certain events or circumstances occur because of the Divine Will.
For a very simple example, someone steals something. The police catch the thief, and he is brought before a judge. The judge says to him, "Did you do this action?"
In reply, he says, "Everything happens according to Divine Will. Although I have done the act of stealing, God must have willed this act. Otherwise, how could I have done it?"
The judge replies, "Okay! You say your stealing has happened according to Divine Will. No doubt this must be so, because it happened. But I have to put you in jail because you have committed this crime. Since you're going to jail is also going to happen, that also is according to the Divine Will."
This simple example may seem laughable. But too often the mind makes similar justifications, in more complex situations in one's life, for the actions that we commit. We say God is doing "it", when it is we ourselves who, because of our own impressions, are doing the action.
To use another simplified example of how we sometimes think:
A Baba lover thinks that Baba is telling him what to do, and therefore, it is Baba's Will. He informs his friend, "Baba wants me to leave my wife, because only now have I have met the one woman in my life who is my true love."
The friend asks, "How can you say it is Baba's Will?"
He replies, "Since I am feeling this way, it must be Baba's Will. Because He said that nothing happens without it being His Will."
The friend says, "That may be. But do you think that your action would be pleasing to Baba? Do you think that it is His Wish that you leave your wife for another woman?"
At this, the first Baba lover says, "I only know what is in my heart. I must listen to my heart and be true to myself, which is what I think Baba would want us to do. So it must be Baba's Wish for me. And so I must leave my wife for my true love."
Such is the state of affairs when we do not listen to the Avatar's Wish but our own. wish, and we justify our actions with our own philosophies of the Divine Wish and the Divine Will. We cannot understand how the Divine Will functions. It is beyond human understanding. But because of His compassion, we can follow the Divine Wish, which is the Avatar's message of love and truth for humanity. Although His Wish is fundamentally the same each and every time He comes ("Love God and love your fellow man"), there are also many aspects of His Wish which, in order to free people from specific obstructions, apply only to the predicament of humanity at that time.
That is why the words of truth that are in the Bible, the Koran and the Vedas are difficult to put into action today. They were meant for different time periods in humanity's history and suited to those specific situations and sanskaras. The words are correct, no doubt. They are words of Truth. But when we try to understand those words from our present circumstances and impressions, we end up interpreting those words according to our modern understanding. This results in misunderstanding, because our situation and impressions differ from those of humanity at that time.
Understanding the words of a previous Avatar is not easy. Only deep love can illuminate those words. But the general public does not have such love, and so they do not try to
understand the real meaning of those words of Truth. Because of this, gradually a priest class comes about and begins to tell people how to follow the words of Truth. But the priest class does not understand either and makes its own interpretations which eventually become rules for humanity to follow instead of following the Avatar's Wish. So the Wish the Avatar gave in a previous descent eventually is followed without understanding. Because of it, people follow the words mechanically and then ritual is born.
When the Avatar comes back, He wipes out obstructions in consciousness, so that humanity can follow God. For those whose hearts are truly sincere in following the Wish of a previous Advent, the words of Truth given at that time can be followed. However, Beloved Baba has told us that the easiest way to follow God is through the Wish of the most recent Avatar, because His message is the most closely suited to humanity's current situation and sanskaras.
As the Ancient One, He has to come down on earth in human form again and again, giving His Wish in a way that will help humanity at that time. Because its sanskaras keep changing, humanity's situation keeps changing throughout time. Therefore, whatever the Avatar's Wish is, and how He works to make humanity aware of it, depends upon sanskaras that humanity has collected since His previous descent. Whatever obstructions in consciousness to God humanity had at the time of Zoroaster, the same obstructions did not exist at the time of Ram. Whatever obstructions to God existed at the time of Ram, the same did not exist at the time of Krishna. Whatever obstructions to God were at the time of Krishna, the same did not exist at the time of Buddha. Whatever obstructions to God were at the time of Buddha, the same did not exist at the time of Jesus. And whatever obstructions to God were at the time of Jesus, the same did not exist at the time of Mohammed. And
whatever the obstructions to God were at the time of Mohammed, the same does not exist at the time of Meher Baba.
When the Ancient One came down in the form of Jesus, His work included using His power to attract and heal the masses. Baba stated that as Jesus, it was necessary for Him to do that at the time. He gave out part of His Wish as He sat with His disciples during the Last Supper. He asked them to eat bread and drink wine. But the bread He asked them to eat was likened to His body, and the wine He asked them to drink was likened to His blood. He knew His crucifixion was to come, and He asked His disciples to do this out of remembrance of Him. His utterance grew into one of the major ways Christians still remember Him. But His saying this is not for all time. It was His way to help His followers remember Him.
Another instance of His Wish is the Lord's Prayer, which He gave to help His followers and asked them to repeat. In referring to this prayer, Beloved Baba has said that no prayer even from Him lasts with its original potency. It is only for the time being. And this time, Baba has given several prayers. He specifically stated that His followers will be helped by repeating the Parvardigar prayer when He is not in the body. It will help maintain the link, He said.
When the Messenger of God, Mohammed came, His work included being involved in wars. As for His Wish, we turn to a few practical matters. He had said if you give a loan to anyone, don't charge interest. At that time, the situation was such that when anyone took out a loan, he would be charged so much interest, that he would never be able to repay the loan during his lifetime.
Now, the situation is quite different. There are banks, and if you take out a loan, there is a fixed rate of interest. And
when you deposit any amount in a bank, even if you don't want interest, the bank will automatically give it to you.
Another situation which is different from the present time is that Mohammed allowed men to have as many as four wives. At that time, not only was the number of women greater than men, but they also needed protection. Now the situation is changed. Family planning is necessary throughout the world, because the world has become overpopulated.
Meher Baba worked in Silence. But because mankind's intellect has developed, to satisfy it He gave out more words than in any previous Advent.
Because I was one of the Mandali, I could see how Baba would give out His Wish. Sometimes it was only for a particular person; other times it was only for His Mandali. Sometimes it was for ones who were close to Him, although they lived far away. At other times, He would give out His Wish to the general public.
Beloved Baba had said to the general public, "Remember Me." People may think, "How can simply remembering Meher Baba be spirituality? Shouldn't we observe austerities, penances, fasts, silence and repeat mantras? Isn't that spirituality?"
But in this age of action, where the mind is distracted by all the daily activities, He has made it very simple for humanity to follow Him through His remembrance. People do not know what help He gives them when they remember Him. For those who remember Him, He binds them to Him and gradually wipes out their impressions. Even though Baba would tell the general public to "Remember Me", you, as Spiritual Trainees, should never take too lightly His Wish of Remembering Him. Then in
a practical way you will make Him your constant companion in your thoughts, words and deeds.
A few years ago, I wrote a book entitled Mastery in Servitude. That book had three sections.
The first section had to do with organising the entire work force of the Trust, whether they are Trustees, Spiritual Trainees, paid staff, etc. under Beloved Baba's motto of Mastery in Servitude.
Another section of the book concerned "Narayan Seva" ("Service to God".) But in this case, the service is God Conscious (the Avatar) serving God Unconscious (His Creation). I explained what this means and gave episodes in Beloved Baba's physical life of how He performed Narayan Seva, which is really Mastery in Servitude. That book, along with this one on Spiritual Training, gives the Trust its foundation to fulfil its objects and manage its activities.
Also included in Mastery in Servitude was a section on the very important message of Beloved Baba's called "My Wish". The Trust's Mastery in Servitude programme is based firmly on Baba's Wish as He stated in this message. In this section of that book, I take each of the six points in Baba's Wish and portray their truth through five incidents that took place in Baba's time and one that took place in Mohammed's time. Baba gave this message in a special meeting of His lovers at Meherabad in 1958. Anyone, anywhere, who upholds His Wish as stated here, will surely come closer and closer to Him:
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1. Do not shirk your responsibilities.
2. Attend faithfully to your worldly duties, but keep always in the back of your mind that all this is Baba's.
3. When you feel happy, think: "Baba wants me to be happy." When you suffer, think: "Baba wants very me to suffer."
4. Be resigned to every situation and think honestly and sincerely: "Baba has placed me in this situation."
5. With the understanding that Baba is in everyone, try to help and serve others.
6. I say with My Divine Authority to each and all that whosoever takes My name at time of breathing his last comes to Me; so do not forget to remember Me in your last moments. Unless you start remembering Me from now on, it will be difficult to remember Me when your end approaches. You should start practising from now on. Even if you take My name only once every day, you will not forget to remember Me in your dying moments.
. . .