KING-MESSIAH for Jews. Second Coming of Jesus for Christians. Imam Mahdi for Moslems. Kalki Avatar For Hindus. Sosiosh for Zoroastrians. Maitreya Buddha for Buddhists. Others. Helene Petrovna Blavatsky, founder of modern Theosophy, says all these hopes refer to one and the same objective event which will occur.
In Persia in 1817, a child was born. He was named Mirza Hussein Ali and he died in 1892-in the year of his 75th birthday-as Baha'u'llah, founder of the Baha'i religion. In North India in 1894, a child was born. He was named Merwan Sheriar Irani and he died in 1969-in the year of his 75th birthday-as Meher Baba, Avatar of the Baba-lovers. In South India in 1895 a child was born. He was named Jiddu Krishnamurti and he still lives-in this, the year of his 75th birthday-as Krishnamurti, bright mystery born of the Theosophists.
Neither singly nor together did these men weld the spiritual and civil orders together into the promised New Jerusalem. Their followers rationalize that their Savior laid the spiritual and theoretical foundations. Too safe a notion in these days when Israel is rebuilt while Messiahs watch. Something is not quite right, not quite complete. Something is missing. I think, someone.
I've had good times with Baha'is. They embody part of a new, glowing, wonderful uniting force. A typical Baha'i meeting reminds one of the UN General Assembly. But, I suspect, that unity is more specialized and less universal than Baha'is believe. They may be one of the cradles for a new multi-racial race among other races, rather than for the kind of world unity they envision.
Baha'is are working toward bringing the whole world under their spiritual and political jurisdiction. In their religious and civil conceptions, they stress the collective more than the individual, obedience more than assertiveness. Properly convened, their supreme International House of Justice is deemed infallible. Baha"u'llah is buried in Israel and Baha'i International Headquarters is there. At one meeting, I heard Baha'i pioneer, Dan Jordan, beamingly report a message the Israeli government once sent the Baha'is: "We love you." Well, perhaps we must courageously and plainly tell the Palestinians: "God is simply not on your side." Or: "Fight on-signs are thickening but the Messiah is still shadowy and the Elect not yet clearly identified."
Baha'is see the major steps in their future in three great canvasses. The first is a period of persecution. The second, called the time of the "Lesser Peace," finds the world, exhausted with disaster, coming together in a loose, imperfect way while increasingly looking to Baha'is for guidance. The third, called the time of the "Most Great Peace," realizes the Baha'i "Theomony." Some believers enthusiastically look forward to all three periods. Last June, the Baha'i religion was banned in Iraq. Tomorrow, the world. The day after tomorrow, the Kingdom.
IN SIMLA, INDIA in 1966, I inquired after a beautiful woman in town. I learned she was the companion of a young mystic named Baba Krishnaji. I had some good times with them. One of Baba Krishnaji's teachers was Meher Baba. Both Babas took vows of silence and invented original hand gesture languages. Meher Baba said that he would break his silence when the world reached the climax of its wars and chaos. He would speak one Word, end the misery, inaugurate a lasting peace, and travel widely to the nations which would be easier to see him. None of this happened.
At a public lecture, Harry Kenmore, New York chiropractor and member of Baba's inner circle, said Baba told him that each time a Messiah came to Earth, he manifested one weakness. For instance, Jesus on the cross should not have asked God why He had forsaken him. (Apparently, Baba had not the view of some philologists that, in the mistranslation, "glorify" became "forsake.") Kenmore said he thought that Baba's weakness lay in his failure to break his silence as promised.
I wonder if this admission will become part of Baba scripture. Considering the supreme importance Baba and his followers placed on the speaking of the Word, saying that Baba's weakness was his failure to speak it is something like saying that the weakness of wax-winger Icarus was that he flew too near the sun.
I've had lots of good times with the enraptured Baba-lovers. They like to say that Baba used the spiritual energy of his 1962 East-West Gathering in India to safely pass the world through the Cuban missile crisis which occurred at the same time. Also at that time, China invaded India, Baba predicted an Indian victory, and India lost humiliatingly. Still, Baba had great love and genius, and his essay, "Origins And Effects Of Wars," is the most excellent discussion of war I have seen. Even so, it does not adequately explain why Palestinians rightly yield to Israelis; why red Americans should yield to white and black ones. It would seem that, all in all, Meher Baba is another flight to the vicinity of the sun, by a Son-shadow, for the Plan.
In his book, "Berlioz in London," Hector Berlioz mentions two princes from India who stirred London in 1851. One of them met 20-year-old H. P. Blavatsky in Hyde Park, and asked her if she would participate in a great work. She would, and did-bringing modern Theosophy to the world. Her successor, English reformer, Annie Besant, teamed up with Charles L. Leadbeater to continue the flow of occult revelations. Their work was crowned with the discovery of the returned Christ in the person of a 14-year-old boy named Krishnamurti. Leadbeater made the discovery clairvoyantly while watching, Krishnamurti frolick on a beach. He and Besant trained the youth for his mission. Krishnamurti complied, learning to love tennis and sports cars along with Theosophy.
In Ojai, California in 1922, Krishnamurti experienced a spiritual transformation. It was a purification, and a dedication to lead humanity to the heights. On December 29th, 1925, underneath a Banyan tree, he spoke to Theosophists of the Teacher: "He comes to lead us and He comes only to those who have understood, who have suffered, who are unhappy, who are enlightened. He comes only to those who want, who desire, who long. And I come for those who want sympathy, who want happiness in all things. I come to reform not to tear down. I come not to destroy but to build." Theosophists took the dramatic change in person to signal the end of Krishnamurti's apprenticeship and the beginning of the fullness of his glory.
On August 3rd, 1929, Krishnamurti described to the Theosophists how they had longed for and prepared the Coming. He described how they had lost their way, inventing new religion, new barriers to understanding. He broke with them: "I desire those who seek to understand me to be free, not to follow me, not to make of me a cage which will become a religion, a sect. Rather they should be free...."
I HAVE SPENT wonderful days and nights on the beach where Leadbeater made his discovery. It was the back yard to my jungle cottage. I have walked and sat beneath the incredible Banyan Tree where He and I were one. I have visited the rooms where the young teacher lived. All these places are on the stunningly beautiful estate of the International Headquarters of the Theosophical Society at Madras, India. I lived there seven months.
In November 1965, I went to Benares to see Krishnamurti for the first time. I heard his three public "Talks" during the one-week camp. A month later, I took a break from the Madras Music Festival to hear him give a Talk at his Adyar home. I next saw him almost three years later at Brandeis University where, as a student, I first heard of him.