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8

the Dharmashala or Free Shelter for the migrant poor; and the Meher Charitable Hospital and Dispensary. There were also, at different periods, ashrams for the God-intoxicated souls or masts*, with whom the Master worked, to restore their true balance of understanding.

 

Since July 10, 1925, MEHER BABA has observed complete Silence. He communicates by means of an English alphabet board on which he spells out words by pointing at the letters. His Silence is maintained for spiritual reasons and is the prelude to his world manifestation. The Master also frequently retires in seclusion and observes long fasts. These are periods of spiritual working on the inner planes for the good of all humanity. Alternating with these periods of seclusion (one of the most recent was the so-called 'Great Seclusion' of forty days, June 22nd to July 31st, 1949). Baba leads a life of dynamic activity. On his tours throughout India he has contacted literally hundreds of thousands of souls, sometimes as many as ten thousand in one day. He is particularly interested in contacting the masts, sadhus (spiritual seekers) and the poor, to whom he may present gifts of grain, cloth, fruit or coin, according to circumstances.

 

Particularly interesting are his contacts with the spiritually advanced souls peculiar to the East, known as masts. These are God-intoxicated pilgrims on the Spiritual Path who are immersed in bliss and are to a great extent unconscious of the body. BABA has been known to undergo great hardships in order to contact these masts, many of whom live in isolated and almost inaccessible places. These contacts not only help the masts in their struggle toward God-Realization, but they are also instrumental in serving BABA'S universal spiritual work.

 

Regarding his Spiritual Mission, MEHER BABA has explained that he has not come to establish any new cult, society or organization, nor even to establish a new religion, but to give a general spiritual push to the whole world and to lead all those who come to him towards the Light and the Truth. This being an Avataric period, which means the end of the previous evolutionary cycle and the beginning of a new one, BABA'S spiritual help to humanity will be both individual and collective, and it will affect every phase of life. His disciples today are characteristically of many nationalities, classes and religions, for the Truth underlying every religion is the basis of MEHER BABA'S teaching.

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* Pronounced musts.

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