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35

BOOK REVIEWS

 

THE WAYFARERS: MEHER BABA'S WORK WITH THE GOD INTOXICATED

by DR. WILLIAM DONKIN

 

THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS called this "The most unusual book we have ever received.". . . and perhaps it is the first book of its kind in the world, an intimate, documentary study of a Perfect Master's spiritual work with advanced souls on the Path.

 

Although it is well-known that mysticism has found a far more extensive expression in India than elsewhere, until now we have had no way of measuring the spiritual stature of her mystics, nor of understanding the unusual characteristics of many of them. In The Wayfarers, Dr. Donkin has not only given the world a penetrating insight into the spiritual workings of a great, living Master, but he has also made available a wealth of information about all types of spiritually advanced souls throughout India, and about the special type known there as masts, or God-intoxicated.

 

In Part I of the Foreword, MEHER BABA gives an illuminating explanation of the states and stages on the Path, dividing all advanced souls into five basic types: God-merged, God-intoxicated, God-absorbed, God-communed, and God-mad, and gives both Sufi and Vedantic equivalents for these terms. He then describes the eight types of masts, or God-intoxicated souls; and the five types of God-absorbed and God-communed spiritual pilgrims. He elaborates on the distinction between the worldly-mad and the God-mad and their internal states of consciousness. In Part II, his disciple Ramju Abdulla further explains these points, especially the usefulness of these strange types to humanity at large. It seems that masts are a rare type of highly advanced soul not found in the West, although their lives are strikingly reminiscent of some of the great Christian saints. Five great masts in particular, who have lived and worked with the Master, are described at considerable length.

 

The stories of BABA's mast ashrams and his tours, often under the most trying conditions, throughout the length and breadth of India to contact masts and spiritual seekers, are soul-stirring narrations. In the Supplement a complete account is given of every contact Shri Baba has had with masts, advanced souls, the God-mad and the poor, from 1922 onward, complete with names, dates, spiritual status and often amusing descriptions.

 

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