In honor of "Get Caught Reading" month in May 2015, Meher Mount asked for reading recommendations related to Avatar Meher Baba. Margaret Magnus chose The Real Treasure: Life of A Resident with Avatar Meher Baba’s Mandali, by Rustom B. Falahati. She selected the passage on "Divine Will and Free Will" as an example of a "treasure" contained in the series.
A Recommendation by Margaret Magnus
There is a series of five books or pamphlets, The Real Treasure, in which Rustom B. Falahati writes about his time living and working as a resident volunteer in Meherabad and Meherazad, India, from 1989 to 2000.
His many anecdotes center around his encounters with Meher Baba’s mandali (close disciples) and the lessons he learned and the insights gained while working with them.
One of the stories that struck my heart and helped me better understand the difference between free will and Divine will was the explanation given by Mani Irani, Meher Baba’s sister and close disciple.
Mani Irani Explains Divine Will and Free Will
The following is Rustom Falahati quoting Mani Irani on Divine and free will.
"You see, it’s like a train journey. Once the journey begins, you are stuck with whatever baggage you have. This baggage represents your sanskaras. Divine will represents the route. You can’t alter the route of the journey. The train takes a fixed route to its destination.
“Your free will is only restricted to what you can do on the train. Either you can look out the window, play cards, or read a book. Although the options are many, and the activity you do on the train may give you a sense that you can alter your journey, yet it is not the case.
“Your life, the beginning and the end and the route it takes, is fixed by the Divine will. What you do on the fixed route is your free will. How you accept the events in your life, the people who are supposed to meet you, how you interact with them, that is your free will. It is this free will that will decide your next journey and the baggage that you will carry on it.
“So you see there is very little one can do to avoid the major events, whether they are mishaps or successes, from happening. These have already been ordained for you based on your past sanskaras or actions of your past life.
“However, there is one thing you can do – accept these events joyfully and gracefully, filling up every moment with Baba’s remembrance.
“If you do this successfully, not only will His remembrance soften the impact of the mishaps or other bad events that are meant to occur in your life, but eventually it will finish off your journey once and for all. It will take you to the final goal of all journeys, after which you have to journey no more.”
Rustom Falahati, The Real Treasure – II, pages 28-29 ©2008 Rustom B. Falahati. Reprinted with permission.
How to Order The Real Treasure
- "The Awakener: A Journal Devoted to Meher Baba," recommended by Wayne Myers.