Excerpts from two exciting new books about Meher Baba.
THE SILENT WORD — Being Some Chapters of the Life and Times of Avatar Meher Baba, by Francis Brabazon. 424 pp., hard cover, $9.95; soft cover, $6.95. Meher Baba Foundation.
On 17th October, while they were spreading cow dung over the back compound, Baba arrived. After going through some letters which had come during his absence he wrote the following on the notice-board:
If anyone during the last two days has broken any order of mine, slight or important, knowingly or unknowingly, he should tell me about it by eight o'clock tonight. — Merwan.
Everyone began telling their mistakes. Doctor had read a ghazal of Assar Saheb's in the Urdu daily 'Bhashard' and as a 'fine' had to go to the market and buy a volume of Vivekananda's works. And so were faults confessed and adjusted.
After this Gustadji mentioned that there had been a long discussion on music between Rustom and Naval. Naval said that 'Maigh Rag', if sung properly could bring down rain. Rustom argued that it was impossible to do so through the mere science of singing; it could only be done by the exercise of some sort of spiritual powers.
Hearing this, Baba agreed with Naval that it was possible through the science of Raga to bring down rain. He explained: "In general terms it can be said that rain falls as the result of vapour-clouds 'dashing together'. Now, sound travels in waves and consequently takes time. This can be observed if you watch a washer-man washing clothes. When he beats them on a stone you see the movement a few seconds before you hear the slap.
"In Maigh Rag, when the voice attains the required pitch of vibration it reaches the clouds and creates a disturbance which results in rain. It is quite a natural phenomenon, and what is there to disbelieve about it? Compared with this the fact of wireless telegraphy is much more difficult to believe since without a connecting link (a wire) sounds and messages are made to travel great distances between two points.
"Now, what is voice, from where does it originate? It must already be in existence somewhere before it issues from the mouth. Really speaking, voice is everywhere in the universe. God is voice, as He also is light. Voice has been given a door, the mouth, to manifest from. When a sound is let out of the mouth it becomes lost in the Universal Voice which is everywhere. So, what wonder is it if the voice emanating from the Rag reaches the clouds which are only a couple of miles away. There is nothing spiritual or supernatural about getting rain through sound-waves.
"Sound, being vibration, travels and creates various vibrations. It is for that reason that one should read the Holy Books, although the meaning may not be understood. The words of the Zend Avesta of the Parsi and the Holy Koran and other scriptures are so put and arranged that when read, the voice or sound created come very near to being in unison with the Universal Voice, and that goes a great way in effecting real spiritual values in one."
While Doctor was preparing Baba's bath in the afternoon, Baba suddenly asked Ramjoo, who was standing by, if God had a mother. He said he didn't know. Where upon Baba took him to task for not knowing the ordinary tenets of Islamic faith. To finally decide the issue Assar and Khak were called. Assar said that Ramjoo was right. How could one tell with certainty whether God has parents or not?
Baba then said, "Since you yourself are not certain whether God has parents, why should you cry down the Christians for believing that Jesus is the son of God? Whatever it may be, you should not put aside your Shariat so very easily."