The Deep Philosophy of the Masters’ Teachings – Part 3 (Final)

For example, the typical Zoroastrian, while offering his daily devotions, can often be marked counting the number of pages left for the completion of a certain lengthy prayer which he has commenced—which goes to show that he is thinking only of finishing the tiresome task of “murmuring.” He assumes he is carrying this out for God’s sake, but the truth is quite the opposite: he is doing it for shariat and show, to give his heart the cold consolation that he has offered his prayers and discharged his duty to God. How many times do we observe Parsi priests inquiring after the rate of vegetables and other articles from street vendors even while they are doing their kasti or saying their prayers? How often do we see persons doing kasti before meals while their heads and hearts are actually given over to the dainty dishes laid out on the table? Lakhs and lakhs of such prayers and kastis are of no avail. The same applies to the bhajankaris (singers of bhajans): even if they strike tal against tal for a hundred years, dancing and jumping high and low and shouting aloud at the top of their voices the name of “Tukaram-Tukaram,” even so, they won’t find so much as a shadow of the real Tukaram! Likewise with the Muhammadan namaz: even if one performs it with head bowed, hands on the ears, and with other such observances in strict accordance with the dictates of shariat, nonetheless, if one’s head and heart are elsewhere, any number of such namazes would be altogether worthless.

There are many who entertain the belief and notion that if they strictly observe all the shariat of their religion and then proceed to do any action they like, even committing sins, all these actions and sins are pardonable by reason of the prayers which they performed, as said, according to shariat. But this is a very wrong notion and belief. Sages won’t and have never given such advice. Shariat in itself is not at all bad—if it is observed properly in its real sense and spirit, not for show, but as a real duty to God and religion. Nonetheless, even this (the proper use of shariat) constitutes the longest of the three roads to Realization, as explained earlier. These so-called “philosophers” of today who do no more than quarrel constantly over the customs, practices, and principles of religion—such men can lead their hearers and followers (if they have any) no further than into the domain of ignorance. For what light can be thrown by him who himself is in the dark? What knowledge can he impart who himself is ignorant of the real meaning and significance of religion? Such guidance is like the blind leading the blind: guide and followers alike are only rushing towards the abyss of darkness and ignorance. Trying to grasp at the shadow, they succeed only in losing the substance!

– “Meher Baba’s Tiffin lectures”, p60
31-May-1926; Meherabad


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