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Be as it may upon the inner planes of involution.
According to Meher Baba, a mast is one who is entranced or spellbound
by internal spiritual experiences and ecstasies, cannot function
outwardly in an ordinary way, and may appear mad to a casual outside
observer. Such experiences, according to Meher Baba, stem from the
station of a mast’s consciousness (his or her state of consciousness)
on inner planes of involution.
Work with ‘masts’
In the 1940s, Meher Baba did extensive work with a category of people
he termed “masts,” (short for “Mast-Allah” or intoxicated with God)
These individuals are essentially disabled by their enchanting
experience of the higher spiritual planes. Although outwardly masts
appear irrational or even insane, Baba claimed that their spiritual
status was actually quite elevated. By meeting with them, he allowed
them to move forward spirtually.
Baba visited literally thousands upon thousands of masts throughout
the world, and occasionally set up ashrams where they were cared for.
The best-known of these masts, known as Muhammad Mast, lived at
Baba’s encampment at Meherabad until his death in 2003.
The quaint town of Mattura seems in harmony with ancient pastoral
times. As we approached the place along the river where Krishna
played with His “gopis,” a youngish man wearing what is called a
fool’s cap sat on the steps playing his flute. So sweetly he played
that one was attracted to this “court jester,” and the ancient “song
of Krishna” which he was rendering is one of the most beautiful in
India…. The moment this man noticed Baba, he stopped his playing
and in a voice loud enough for those with Baba to hear said, “Here
comes the Flute Player,” which is the other name for Krishna.
All the time we went about the small town, this mendicant followed
Baba or ran ahead. How he smiled at Baba! Just around the bend of the
street we would hear his flute sounds. It was like a haunting melody.
He didn’t want money, he didn’t want anything and when he passed
several people smiled, thinking him to be a “fool” with his dancing
steps and flute. Towards the end he seemed to become almost ecstatic
and our guide, thinking he was annoying us, tried to drive him away
with a stick. Upon this, Baba immediately protected him and gave the
guide to understand He liked it. Baba told us that this was the man
for whom He had come. There are “fools of God” who often take this
guise so the world will pass them by, in order to accomplish freely
their own work.
Baba embraced him and stroked his cheek and gave him two coins. Just
before returning to the bus, extraordinary greetings or signals went
on between Baba and this mendicant…. As Baba drove off in the bus,
we saw him dancing on tip-toe, like the Pied Piper of Hamlin and
waving his flute in a most rapturous manner. Some old hard-faced
priests standing near the temple looked at him scornfully and then
the contagion of joy was so great that even they too smiled.
From July 10, 1925 until his physical death in 1969, Meher Baba was
silent. He communicated first by using an alphabet board, and later
by hand gestures which were interpreted and spoken out by one of his
mandali (devoted disciples), usually by his disciple Eruch Jessawalla.
Meher Baba said that his silence was not undertaken as a spiritual
exercise, nor as a vow of silence, but undertaken and maintained
solely in connection with his universal work. “I am never silent. I
speak eternally. The voice that is heard deep within the soul is My
voice…the voice of inspiration, of intuition, of guidance. To those
who are receptive to this voice, I speak.