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5

 

human being and He faces even insult and humiliation in the service of the universe.

 

An Avatar also undergoes the formal process of "initiation" into spiritual life, even though there is really no necessity for it. For example, Lord Jesus Christ was "initiated" by John the Baptist and the Spirit of God lighted on Him like a dove. In the same way, Avatar Meher Baba received "initiation" at the hands of Hazrat Babajan and the bringing down into the normal physical plane by Sadguru Upasni Maharaj. As a rule, the "initiate" abjures a married life.

 

Avatar Meher Baba undertakes silence, seclusion, fasting and undergoes all discomforts and the strain of suffering only for the purification and upliftment of humanity. He bids His chosen band of devotees and workers to bear the cross along with Himself and to smile in the face of so-called humiliation.

 

When the Avatar reveals or awakens humanity to His priceless secrets, out of His boundless grace, in the hope that there may be at least one in a million fortunate enough to value them and benefit therefrom, He is actually releasing "certain forces" which have the effect of operating dangerously or "tragically" against Him. The inevitable results are per­sonal injury, insult, humiliation and even violence against Him. Nevertheless, Avatar Meher Baba, who sets the welfare of the universe before all personal considerations, strenuously continues His work as Avatar in His own special and inscrutable ways. Herein lies the glory of a dedicated life—the Avatarhood of Meher Baba.

 

Baba Says . . .

 

"As God, the God-man sees all souls as His own; He sees Himself in everything and His universal Mind includes all minds in its scope. The God-man knows Himself to be one with all the other souls in bondage. Although He knows Himself to be identical with God and is thus eternally free, He also knows Himself to be one with the other souls in bondage and is thus vicariously bound; and though He constantly experiences the Eternal Bliss of God-realization, He also vicariously experiences suffering owing to the bondage of other souls, whom He knows to be His own forms. This is the meaning of Christ's Crucifixion."

 

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