It is with great pleasure we introduce this special issue devoted to Avatar Meher Baba in Art. Many people, many talents made it possible. Unfortunately we could not use all the material submitted.
Avataric periods, beloved Baba said, are the "springtide of creation," and part of that springtide is the surge of "Baba" talent now blossoming all over the world in the various art forms: music, song, dance, poetry, drama, painting, even doodles and cartoons. (Didn't Baba say God has a sense of humor?) We know Baba enjoyed, during his lifetime, many performances put on by his lovers.
We hope you enjoy this issue—late because of the work involved! Our sincere thanks to all of you who sent in your work. And, dear readers, if you'd like to help us award a Grand Prix, write us which are your three favorite entries, in any category.
Meher Baba on Art
I am also a painter, I paint with the colors of spirituality.
I love artists, because through art one can express oneself.
Art, when inspired with love, leads to higher realms. Love art, and that art will open for you the inner life. When you paint, you forget everything except your object. When you are too much engrossed in it, you are lost in it; and when you are lost in it, your ego diminishes, Love infinite appears; and when love is created, God is attained. So you see how art can lead one to find Infinite God.
Do whatever you think is appropriate for expressing your art, and when you feel something better to express, then automatically and by itself it will open out to you . . . There is a painter in India. When we were both young he came to me and showed me his paintings. They were fantastic. Though I saw and knew they were not good, yet I said, "It is good, go on." After a year or so, he came back to me and showed me some more. They were marvelous. Yet I did not say they were marvelous, I said, "Go on," and today he is one of the greatest artists of the East. So whatever you feel like doing, go on doing. It will go on developing by itself. How do you like my painting? (The artist looked round when Baba pointed to the beautiful scenery outside.) All this is my painting . . .
Art is one of the means through which the soul expresses itself, and inspires others. But to do that thoroughly (the artist) must have his inner emotions aroused thoroughly. If you feel that something checks you from expressing yourself, then you have to do one thing, that is, adjust your mental attitude thus: just before you do anything think 'I can and will express it thoroughly,' and everytime you act you will find you are more convinced. It is the mind that is closed. There are many actors, who, either through inferiority or through nervousness or dryness, feel that they cannot express their parts, and this negative feeling of the mind checks expression. While acting, think you are one of the greatest actors of the world and try to express yourself thoroughly. I will help you spiritually. Just think you are the greatest actor. Where's the harm in thinking that? If it is not for "pride," but for bringing the best out of you that you do it, then there is nothing wrong.
The Infinite One is in everything and can be expressed in everything.
I am also an artist. I have the whole world as my canvas, I paint souls . . .