The Deep Philosophy of the Masters’ Teachings – Part 1

What a fine philosophy, full of deep meanings, these great Masters and Avatars have taught! The kasti of the Zoroastrians, the tal-bhajan of the Hindus, and namaz of the Muhammadans, are nothing but beautiful remedies for the cutting and removal of sanskaras—which comprise the greatest obstacle in the path of God-realization.

The Philosophy and Significance of the Zoroastrian Kasti (see footnote below):

For instance, take the kasti of the Zoroastrians. The three knots of this sacred girdle represent the three best doctrines and principles of Zoroastrians—humata, hukhta, and huvarshta, or manashni, gavashni, and kunashni, that is, the best thought. the best word, and the best action. Now, what is the deep philosophy and the internal meaning involved in the shaking-and-snapping (jhatakavu) of this kasti? Who knows its real significance? From a material standpoint, one shakes and snaps the kasti in order to get rid of the dust collected on it. This is the outward meaning and outward manifestation. From a religious standpoint, snapping the thread signifies the striking off of the head of the Devil or Satan, who is the personification of all evil: in other words, one is driving away all bad thoughts, words, and actions. This is the mental manifestation, as taught by the doctrines and tenets of religion.

Spiritually, kasti jhatakavu (to shake-and-snap the sacred thread) means striking off the sanskaras accumulated during the interval between the last kasti-shaking and the current one. Now, what are these sanskaras? And how are they formed? Sanskaras are the direct effects of our thoughts, words, and actions, accumulating on the jivatma every moment. Just as a raising of the hand requires so many picture frames (in a movie film) capturing different motions of the hand when it is being raised upwards from below, in this same way are sanskaras formed in great numbers every moment. The number accumulated during the interval between kastis would be very great, and to destroy them (and not just to get rid of dust as in the material sense described above), one should carry out the snapping of a kasti—or such is one’s intent if one performs the kasti ceremony sincerely and with all heart, keeping in mind the deep meaning underlying it. Otherwise, a thousand such kastis—even accompanied by big and lengthy prayers, murmured mechanically just for the sake of practice, custom, or whim—are absolutely of no avail. Do just one kasti—at least this much—during a day, but do it sincerely, and that will bring you very good results, better than thousands of kastis done blankly and without any heart or sincerity in them. The kasti-snapping prayer is thus intended for the cutting off and destroying of sanskaras. That is the real meaning and significance of this ceremony.

[Footnote: The kasti is the sacred thread which observant Zoroastrians wear around their waists. These three terms (kasti, tal-bhajan and namaz) thus designate major elements in what Baba would characterize as the shariat of three major religions, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, and Islam.]

– “Meher Baba’s Tiffin lectures”, p57
31-May-1926; Meherabad

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