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Posted on January 3 at 2:04 p.m.
Thanks for sharing these observations and thoughts. Your reflections are interesting and valuable.
It was also nice to note your reference to Meher Baba in the article's concluding passage, giving a thumbnail sketch of his experience of God-Realization (at the hands of Hazrat Babajan, the Sufi Perfect Master in Pune [then called Poona]) and subsequent experiences, work, and teachings.
Here now an extended footnote, if I may, pointing out (FYI) one factual correction. The great Hindu Sadguru who threw a stone at Meher Baba (which, Meher Baba later explained, helped him to re-connect with physical consciousness, since at the time he was still absorbed in God-consciousness and barely aware of the physical body) was actually not Neem Karoli Baba (who was I believe a younger contemporary of Meher Baba's, and who died in 1973). I know Neem Karoli Baba was aware of Meher Baba and I understand he respected Meher Baba; but I don't really know if these two figures had any direct contact. (Of course, Ram Dass [aka Richard Alpert] was a kind of link between the two, since Ram Dass had corresponded with Meher Baba and was also a student of Neem Karoli Baba's.)
The Sadguru with whom Merwan S. Irani (late called Meher Baba) met in 1914 -- initially with that legendary but very real throw of a stone -- and at whose ashram young Merwan subsequently lived for several years (till 1921), was actually Sadguru Upasni Maharaj (also sometimes called Upasni Baba).
Upasni Maharaj (1870-1941) was senior to Meher Baba (1894-1969). Upasni Maharaj was also a very close disciple of the famous Sai Baba of Shirdi (whom Meher Baba also met, just prior to going to meet Sai's disciple Upasni Maharaj; Sai Baba of Shirdi passed away in 1918).
So in short, it was Upasni Maharaj, rather than Neem Karoli Baba, who hurled the stone at Meher Baba, and who subsequently served as Meher Baba's own guru for a period of about six years. Although Meher Baba was already God-Realized when he encountered Upasni Maharaj, Meher Baba has explained that Upasni (a Perfect Master of that era) served a crucial role in helping young Merwan to integrate the elevated state of God-consciousness with normal human consciousness and awareness of his physical body and the physical world once again. In Meher Baba's teachings, this further integration (subsequent to God-Realization) comprises the state of "Perfection" -- for he can then not only experience the infinity of God, but can also be of service to those in the world.
Congratulations again on the good article, and thanks for the useful pointers to good charitable organizations doing valuable work in contemporary India.
ps: There is a good Wikipedia entry about Upasni Maharaj --
And the Wikipedia entry Meher Babas is also rather good --
On The Quiet Indian