Meher Baba has talked about God descending in man (Avatar, Rasool, Christ) and man rising to be God (The Perfect Master, Sadguru, Qutub, Teerthankara). Would you please talk to us about the same.
God is. He neither ascends nor descends. Where can he ascend to and where can he descend to? God is all. There is nothing in to which God can ascend or descend. There is nobody else other than God. All that is, is divine. So the first thing: there is no ascendence, no descendence.
But when Meher Baba says it, there must be some meaning in it. The meaning is something quite different. Let me explain it to you.
God is, remember. God is a pure isness, pure existence, and there is nowhere for God to go or come. The whole is full of him. He fills his existence, one thing. Second thing: but Meher Baba must be true. Then there must be some other meaning to it—not God descending and ascending. What can be the meaning? The meaning is there are two ways of man approaching God.
What do I mean by “man” when God is the only reality? Man is the God who has forgotten that he is God; man is a God who has forgotten himself.
Man can remember his godliness in two ways. One way is that of surrender, devotion, love, prayer; another way is that of will, effort, meditation, yoga. If a man tries to work his way through will, then he will feel he is ascending towards God or he is reaching towards God through his will. Hence Jainas call the man who attains to godliness a Teerthankara.
Teerthankara means consciousness has reached the peak; man has arrived by ascending, as if there has been a ladder, the ladder of the will, the ladder of effort and yoga. So is the concept of the Buddhas; that too is the path of will. Avatar means God descending; that is another approach, when a man surrenders. He cannot ascend. He simply opens his heart and waits, prays and waits, and suddenly he starts feeling a stirring in his heart. Certainly he will see “God has descended in me.” Avatar means descendence, God coming down.
Mahavir went up. For Meera, God came down.
But God never comes down, never goes up. God is where he is. But your experience will be different. If you try hard to achieve God, you will go higher and higher and higher; naturally you will feel the God hidden inside you is arising, rising up, reaching to the zenith.
But if you surrender, nothing is arising in you. You are where you are, you simply wait in deep prayer, in deep love, in deep trust, and one day you find God is descending in you, coming from above. These are the experiences of two types of seekers. It has nothing to do with God. It has something to do with the seeker and his way: will or surrender, effort or prayer, yoga or Bhakti.
So the religions which believe in Bhakti, in devotion … Christianity says Christ comes from God. That is the meaning of saying that he is God’s son — he comes from above, he has been sent. And that is the meaning of Mohammed — he is a prophet, a messenger, Paigambar. Paigambar means a messenger who comes from above, brings the message. He does not belong to this world; he comes like a ray of light into the darkness. And so is the concept of the Hindus’ avatar—Krishna, Ram — they come, they come into the world.
The Buddhist, the Jaina concept is just the reverse. They say there is no God to come, and God is not a father and he cannot have a son. These are all very childish concepts for them. And if you look through their eyes they are; these concepts are childish, very anthropomorphic, man-centered. You create God in your own image, as if God also has a family. He has a family — the Trinity: God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost must be a woman; otherwise the family will not be exactly as it should be.
But why don’t Christians call the Holy Ghost a woman? Male chauvinism. They cannot make a woman also part of the Trinity; it is difficult for them, very difficult for them. So to what have they reduced their God? It seems to be a homosexual family: all men, not a single woman there. It looks ugly. But my feeling is that the Holy Ghost must be a woman. We create God in our own image.
Jainas and Buddhists say that there is no God and there is no God’s family and nobody comes from there. Then what has one to do? One has to arise. God is in you like a seed, as a tree arises from the earth and goes higher and higher. God is not like rain falling, but a tree arising. Man has the seed. Man is potentially God. So when you work hard, you start growing.
These are the two concepts. That’s why Meher Baba says, “… God descending in man (Avatar, Rasool, Christ) and man rising to be God (the Perfect Master, Sadguru, Qutub, Teerthankara).” But it has nothing to do with God.
From The First Principle, Discourse #4
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