In July 2015 Beloved Archives hosted a two-day intensive in Hamilton, New Jersey, on Avatar Meher Baba's teachings on Suffering and the Conditions of Happiness. The Intensive titled, WHY DO WE SUFFER? was conducted by Dr. Ward Parks.
The Intensive explored the deeper causes of suffering, and as the flip side to the same question, the sources within reality and human nature for true and abiding happiness. Based on the teachings and discourses of Avatar Meher Baba, the Intensive drew into its purview insights from some of the world's great spiritual traditions, including Buddhism, Vedanta, and Christian mysticism.
While suffering is a perennial reality of the human condition, modernity has in many respects aggravated the problem through its demolition of the older system of values and meaning through which people coped with suffering in the past. Yet, suffering's deeper causes were revealed twenty-five hundred years ago by Gautama Buddha, who indeed made suffering and its transcendence the centerpiece of his teaching. Essentially Meher Baba has offered a similar explanation. But Meher Baba's account takes the analysis a step further in identifying the root cause as sanskaras (mental impressions). The process of the arising of sanskaras from latency in the unconscious mind through the conscious experiencing of desire and the precipitation into action results in the acquisition of new sanskaras attached once again to the unconscious mind; and in this way one is bound to a cycle that makes abiding happiness impossible.
Yet the wellspring of real happiness lies within us. Meher Baba explains that since our soul is actually identical with God, we have infinite Bliss at the root of our nature. If we can annihilate the ignorance that keeps us bound to the sanskaric cycle, we will discover the Bliss that is our own real Self. But how do we achieve this Realization? Meher Baba explains that the first step in the path to abiding happiness is detachment. One must detach oneself from the pursuit of those objects of desire that keep one bound to the wheel of suffering-and-happiness.
In the trio-nature of God, Bliss is most directly connected with love. The path of love, in its essence, "works" with God's nature as Bliss; the true lover does so by renouncing bliss for his own part and serving the pleasure (the happiness) of the Beloved. And thus the path of love proves to be the path of agony and ecstasy - since this is the pair of opposites corresponding within the sphere of duality to God's Bliss nature.
Dr. Ward Parks has presented Meher Baba's explanation in a lucid and coherent manner as is evidenced in the recording on this four- DVD set filmed by Philip Ludwig and produced by Beloved Archives.
PRESENTER: Dr. Ward Parks first heard of Avatar Meher Baba at a lecture when he was a freshman at Harvard University in 1970. "I found what was for me an authentic spiritual Master in Meher Baba (1894-1969)." For 10 years Dr. Parks served as a professor of medieval studies at Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge. In 1993 he left the academic world to become a spiritual trainee in India. There he has engaged in research in Meher Baba's life and teachings and edited books of Meher Baba's authorship.
Dr. Ward Parks at the Intensive in Hamilton, New Jersey. Photo: Philip Ludwig
TO ORDER: The 4-DVD set is approximately 9 hours long and available for $40 (including packing and postage) in the US only for single orders (add $15 for overseas mailing). To order, please send a check to: Beloved Archives, 116 Youngs Road, Hamilton, NJ 08619. You can purchase the DVD set through PayPal by logging onto: www.belovedarchives.org and clicking on to the DONATE button. For multiple orders or bookstore discount, please write to:
Lessons in Discipleship
The Diaries of Minoo Kharas
Minocher Kharas, known as Minoo, one of Avatar Meher Baba’s close disciples, declared at the end of his diaries that his life with the Master and his struggles against his own weaknesses are an “open book.” The diaries tell the compelling story of Minoo’s colorful life and his lessons in discipleship with Meher Baba. They illustrate Meher Baba’s consummate, unparalleled ways of shaping his disciples: his patient and loving guidance through the labyrinth of worldly snares and allures, his aid in the battle against the inclinations of the lower nature – anger, greed, lust, jealousy, envy, hatred, pride, arrogance, cruelty, and selfishness – and the transformation of consciousness he gradually brings about so that the sincere disciple may receive what the Master has come to give.
Beloved Archives opens the Meher Baba Archive to the public
With a celebration of love, music and companionship
The House of the Beloved in Hamilton, New Jersey, opened its doors to the public. It is the first public outreach in the West for seekers to learn about the life, work and teachings of Meher Baba.
SEPTEMBER 24, 2011, Hamilton, New Jersey: It was a day of miracles. The climatologists had predicted thunderstorms, heavy rains and flooding. In preparation, organizers had set up a large indoor hall elegantly dotted with photographs and paintings of Avatar Meher Baba.
It was the launch of the first Meher Baba archive in the West, open to the public - to people of all castes, creeds and religions. And 200 seekers came in by cars, buses and airplanes to celebrate the Event.
And then the Beloved One turned the key. Streaks of sunlight parted the dark clouds and the 2-day celebration was soaked in sunlight and completely rain-free.
The House of the Beloved in Hamilton, New Jersey, USA
JULY 10, 2011, Hamilton, New Jersey: On July 10, 2011 Beloved Archives, the Meher Baba Archival Foundation launched the Meher Baba Web portal (belovedarchives.org), with a strong focus on the life, work and teachings of Avatar Meher Baba. Created by web maven Jon Truelson, the portal opens with a rotating series of photographs of Meher Baba superimposed by pithy messages.
Glow International is published each quarter from contributions made to Beloved Archives, Inc. Your contribution of $30 (for 4 issues) and $50 (for 8 issues) will help us to continue publishing the journal each quarter.
Planned giving and endowment gifts are essential to the long-term prospects of preserving all the archival material in Beloved Archives and spreading Meher Baba's message of love, truth and spiritual unity throughout the world. Donors who choose to make these gifts to help both the preservation and publishing initiatives are designated members of the Legacy Circle. Through their generosity, they truly provide a legacy for the rest of the world by ensuring that the Avatar's teachings will be available to future generations.