Meher Baba and Eccentricity of Gurus

This is an unpublished essay from
Adi Da.

The “Mad”
Paradoxes of Meher Baba and the Eccentricity of All True


This book (The Wayfarers, by William
Donkin) is a unique document about a type of apparently
psychotic individual (called a “mast”) that has long and
traditionally been acknowledged (and even venerated) in
India (and, by other names, even in traditional cultures

The “mast”type individual is
(traditionally) presumed to be enjoying and manifesting a
unique state of mind (on the higher psychic and Spiritual
level), while otherwise (at the grosser level of the
body-mind) appearing to be (to one degree or another) insane
(or at least extremely eccentric, and, at least sometimes,
apparently remarkably irrational). And the traditional
explanation for this profound (although apparently even
disturbed) human state is that it is the result and the
evidence of, so to speak, “sitting too close to the fire”.
That is to say, a “mast” is one who, because he or she has
entered unreservedly into a higher state of mind (or even of
ascended God-Consciousness), has lost (or relinquished) some
or all of the conventional mind whereby more ordinary people
control their thoughts and behaviors.

Meher Baba said (or proclaimed) that
he was the “Avatar of the Age”, even the reincarnation of
the same individual who (he asserted) had previously
appeared as each and all of the great religious Teachers and
Prophets and Saviors of the past. However, to most
observers, Meher Baba was not in fact the “Avatar of the
Age” (although he continues to be proclaimed as such by many
of his ardent followers).

Even so, he was not a mere liar or a
charlatan. In fact, he was what, in India, is traditionally
called a “mast”. Not only did Meher Baba (as a rather unique
characteristic of his Work) do much healing Service to many
“masts”, but he was himself a type of “mast”. He was,
according to that traditional description, a kind of
“deranged Saint”, who consistently made absurd claims (about
himself) and a chaos of pronouncements (to others), and who
also communicated much true (and traditional) Wisdom (in the
general context of the fourth stage of life, and also the
fifth stage of life). Apparently, he never recovered
“normal” (or strictly ordinary and conventional) control of
his mind and behavior after experiencing ascended (or fifth
stage) conditional nirvikalpa samadhi (due to the
Spiritually Initiatory touch of another, also “deranged”,
Saint) early in his life. However, his “abnormality” was in
fact a kind of Blessedness.

Those who are not devotees of Meher
Baba should not be foolishly overcritical of his “Mad”

He was not the “Avatar of the Age”
(except to his devotees), but he was a true Spiritual Master
(in the context of the fourth and the fifth stages of life),
and, therefore, he was a legitimate Guru for some. And even
all true Gurus are (if truly Awakened to any degree of
Real-God-Consciousness) at least eccentric and paradoxical,
often rather “Mad”, and not necessarily very comfortably
conformed to social conventions and conventional
expectations–for the true Guru is a living Sign of Real
God, and a Window and a Door and a Way to Real God (and,
therefore, the true Guru is not merely a guide or a path to
convention, or to the “civilized” world of egoic