|“Even if the heavens fall,|
|Do not let go the hand of Truth.|
|If despair and disappointment ravage|
|the garden of your life―|
|Beautify it once again by the seedlings|
|of contentment and self-sufficiency."|
The identity of the "beggars " was not to be revealed, Baba being simply the eldest among brothers. During this period He voluntarily became the perfect seeker and common man in place of the Perfect Master. When some who knew His identity approached Him for darshan, He turned from them, saying "I am pleased to have your darshan;" Baba made a statement about the New Life, which is of permanent relevance:
|This New Life is endless, and even after my physical death it will be kept alive by those who live the life of complete renunciation of falsehood, lies, hatred, anger, greed and lust; and who, to accomplish this, do no lustful actions, do no harm to anyone, do no backbiting, do not seek material possessions, nor power, who accept no homage, neither covet honour nor shun disgrace, and fear no one and nothing; by those who rely wholly and solely upon God, and who love God purely for the sake of loving, and believe in the lovers of God, and in Manifestations, and yet do not expect to receive any spiritual or material reward, who do not let go the hand of truth, and who, without being upset by calamities, bravely and whole-heartedly face all hardships with one hundred percent cheerfulness, and give no importance to casts, creeds, and religious ceremonies.|
As part of the New Life, Baba predicted He would suffer 'a personal disaster. ' In May, 1952, while crossing the United States he suffered injuries in an automobile accident; in December, 1956, another auto accident in India injured Him more seriously. He declared His suffering was part of His universal burden, saying "No doctor or treatment will be of any help before the pain I am undergoing has served its purpose.” The strenuous program of darshans and sahavas continued.
The New Life led, in 1952, to the last stage of Baba's work: the Free Life. In this period are to be found four most important statements: The Highest of The High; Baba's Call; The Final Declaration; and the Universal Message. The essence of these statements is mirrored in The Universal Message: "I have come not to teach but to awaken…It is possible for you to renounce your limited self by My Grace. I have come to release that grace.... I am the Ancient One."
During this period Baba gave four "Sahavas"—three at the Myrtle Beach Meher Spiritual Center,—in 1952, 1956, and 1958; and one "East-West Gathering" at Guruprasad, India, in 1962, which was attended by over 10,000 people. Otherwise, much of His time was spent in seclusion, with strict prohibitions on writing and visiting Him. Explaining the special significance of a Sahavas, Baba once said: "Sahavas means intimate companionship. It is the intimacy of give and take of love between the lovers and the Beloved. Drink deep at the fountain of Love, but do not lose consciousness. If you can taste even a drop of this Love, what a wonderful experience it will be. "
Of His seclusions He has said: "I am the only one who is not in seclusion. It is the rest of humanity that is in seclusion; I have come to enable it to emerge into Eternal Freedom. " Thus, His seclusion was never the means of achieving Perfection, for the Avatar is Perfection Incarnate. Rather, in seclusion He worked for humanity and all of creation on the inner levels of consciousness.
In an earlier advent, as Krishna, Baba said:
|Matter is the kingdom of the earth, which in time passes away; but the Spirit is the kingdom of Light.In this body I offer sacrifice, and my body is a sacrifice.|
On January 31 at 12:00 noon Avatar Meher Baba dropped His physical form. Although this event shocked many, it was not without forewarning. On July 30, 1968 Baba said: