ambpc6In the 1930s and 1940s, Meher Baba did extensive work with a category of people He termed "masts", who are persons "intoxicated with God.” Masts are advanced souls on the inner planes of the spiritual path who have become spiritually intoxicated from direct awareness of God. Their love for God is so intense that they often appear insane to most observers. In fact, Baba has explained, they are not insane; they simply refuse to adjust to the world, lost as they are in their longing for God. Meeting with them, Baba helped them to move forward spiritually while enlisting their aid in His spiritual work. Baba undertook long and arduous journeys to contact masts and others with whom He had special work. On His extensive mast tours in India, Baba personally worked with more than 20,000 masts and with the poor in journeys totaling over 75,000 miles. One of the best known of these masts, known as Mohammed Mast, lived at Meherabad until his death in 2003.

On 16th October 1949, Meher Baba dissociated Himself from the places, possessions,and connections that He had maintained until that time and embarked on one of the most enigmatic phases of His Avataric Mission what He called a "New Life". Following a series of questions on their readiness to obey even the most difficult of His requests, Baba selected twenty companions to join Him in a life of complete "hopelessness, helplessness and aimlessness", sixteen of these were male and four were female members. They then traveled about India incognito, begging for food and carrying out Baba's instructions in accordance with a strict set of "conditions of the New Life". These included absolute acceptance of any circumstance and consistent good cheer in the face of any difficulty. During these three years, Baba appeared to have voluntarily ‘suspended’ His state of the Perfect One in order to embrace the role of Perfect Seeker. This phase culminated in early 1952 with what He called "Manonash" or "annihilation of the mind."

Meher Baba once again began a round of public appearances throughout India and the West and gave His personal touch to the hundreds of thousands who flocked around Him during the mass public gatherings of this period. In February 1954, for the first time Meher Baba publicly declared Himself to be the Avatar or Christ of the age. The Avatar is the direct descent of God in human form; previous Avatars of the known history include Zoroaster, Ram, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, and Mohammed. Meher Baba also gave significant messages that included the "Universal Message,"

In the 1950s Baba also actively encouraged establishing two centers: theMeher Spiritual CenterinMyrtle Beach, South Carolinain the United States and Avatar's Abode near Brisbane, Australia. Meher Baba was involved in two serious automobile accidents, one in Oklahoma, USA in 1952 and the other in Satara, India in 1956. As He explained at the time, the Avatar in all His advents had to undertake physical and spiritual suffering upon Himself as a part of the crucifixion which He had to undergo for the redemption of humanity. The injuries which Meher Baba sustained particularly from his second automobile accident contributed to the gradual decline in His health over the next decade.

 

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