God to Man Cover

Edited by C. B. Purdom
London, Victor Gollancz LTD, 1955

A short history of the book

1967 expanded release of God to Man and Man to God entitled The Discourses (Online edition)

God to Man and Man to God
The discoures of Meher Baba

Part I


1 - The New Humanity
2 - The Search for God

3 -
God - Realization
4 -
Aspirants and God Realized Beings
5 -
The State of the God Man
6 -
The Work of the God Man
7 -
8 - The Circle
9 - The way of the Masters
10 -The qualifications of the Aspirant
11 -Discipleship
12 -The formatio, function and removal of sanskaras
13 -Meditation
14 -The nature of the ego and its termination

Part 2


God to Man and Man to God
The discourses of Meher Baba
Edited by C. B. Purdom
London, Victor Gollancz LTD, 1955

Chapter III 


ARRIVE AT self knowledge is to arrive at God-realization. God-realization is different from all other states of consciousness because they are experienced through the medium of the individual mind, whereas God-consciousness is not dependent upon the individual mind. A medium is necessary for knowing anything other than one's self: for knowing one's self no medium is necessary. In fact, the association of consciousness with the mind is a hindrance to the attainment of realization. As the seat of the ego the individual mind is conscious of being isolated. From it arises the limited individuality, which at once feeds and is fed by the illusion of duality, time and change. To know the self as it is, consciousness has to be freed from the limitation of the individual mind. In other words, the individual mind has to disappear while consciousness is retained.

Throughout the life history of the soul its consciousness grows 'with the individual mind and the workings of consciousness proceed against its background. Consciousness comes to be firmly embedded in the individual mind. So when the mind is in abeyance consciousness also disappears. The interdependence of the individual mind and consciousness is illustrated by the tendency to become unconscious when there is any effort to stop mental activity through meditation.

The explanation of sleep

The phenomenon of sleep is not essentially different from the lull of consciousness experienced during meditation, though it is different in origin. As the individual mind is continuously confronted by the world of duality it is involved in conflict, and when wearied by its struggle it wants to lose its identity as a separate entity. It then recedes from the world of its own creation and experiences a cessation of consciousness.

The quiescence of mental activity in sleep entails the submerging of consciousness, but this cessation of conscious functioning is temporary because the impressions that are stored in the mind cause it to return to renewed activity, and after some time the psychic stimuli are responsible for reviving conscious functioning. So sleep is followed by wakefulness and wakefulness by sleep, according to the law of alternating activity and rest; but so long as the latent impressions in the mind are not undone there is no annihilation of the individual mind or emancipation of consciousness. In sleep the mind temporarily forgets its identity, but does not lose its individual existence. And when the person awakens from sleep he finds himself subject to his existing limitations. There is resurrection of consciousness, but it remains mind-ridden.

The obstacle of the ego

The limited mind is the soil in which the ego is rooted; and the ego perpetuates ignorance through the many illusions in which it is caught. The ego prevents the manifestation of infinite knowledge already latent in the soul, and is the most formidable obstacle in the attainment of God. A Persian poem says, "It is extremely difficult to pierce through the veil of ignorance; for there is a rock on fire". As the flame of fire cannot rise very high if a rock is placed upon it, a desire to know one's own true nature cannot lead to the truth as long as the burden of the ego lies upon consciousness. Success in finding oneself is rendered impossible by the ego, which persists throughout the journey of the soul. Though more and more detached as the soul advances on the Path, it remains until the last stage of the seventh plane.

The ego is the centre of human activity, and the attempts of the ego to secure its own extinction may be compared with the attempt of a man to stand on his own shoulders. Just as the eye cannot see itself, the ego is unable to end its own existence. All that it does to bring about self-annihilation only adds to its existence, for it flourishes on the very efforts directed against itself. Thus it is unable to vanish through its own activity, though it succeeds in transforming its nature. The vanishing of the ego is conditioned by the melting away of the limited mind which is its seat.

The meaning of God-realization is the emancipation of consciousness from the limitations of the mind. When the individual mind is dissolved, the related universe vanishes, and consciousness is no longer tied to it. Consciousness then becomes unclouded and is illumined by the Infinite Reality. While immersed in the bliss of realization the soul is oblivious of objects in the universe and in this respect it is as it were in sound sleep. But there are many important differences between God-realization and sleep. During sleep, the illusion of the universe vanishes since consciousness is in abeyance; but there is no conscious experience of God since this requires the dissolution of the ego and the turning of full consciousness towards the Ultimate Reality. Occasionally when the continuity of deep sleep is interrupted, the soul may have the experience of retaining consciousness without being conscious of anything in particular. There is consciousness, but not of the universe. It is consciousness of nothing. Such experiences anticipate God-realization in which consciousness is freed from the illusion of the universe and manifests the infinite knowledge hidden by the ego.

Difference between sleep and God-realization

In sleep the individual mind continues to exist though it forgets everything including itself, and the latent impressions in the mind are a veil between the submerged consciousness and the Infinite Reality. Thus during sleep consciousness is submerged in the shell of the individual mind, but has not yet been able to emerge out of that shell. So though the soul has forgotten its separateness from God and has attained unity with him, it is unconscious of unity. In God-realization, however, the mind does not merely forget itself but has (with all its impressions) lost its identity; and the consciousness hitherto associated with the individual mind is freed from trammels and brought into direct unity with the Ultimate Reality. Since there is no veil between consciousness and the Ultimate Reality, the soul is fused with the Absolute, and eternally abides in knowledge and bliss.

The manifestation of infinite knowledge and unlimited bliss in consciousness is, however, confined to the soul that has attained God-realization. The Infinite Reality in the God-realized soul has the knowledge of its own Infinity; but such knowledge does not belong to the unrealized soul, still subject to the illusion of the universe. If God-realization were not a personal attainment, the entire universe would come to an end as soon as one man attained God-realization. This does not happen, because God-realization is a personal state of consciousness belonging to the one who has transcended the domain of the mind. Others continue to remain in bondage, and can attain it only by freeing their consciousness from the burden of the ego and the limitations of the individual mind. Thus God-realization has a direct significance only for the one who has emerged from the time-process.

What was latent in the infinite becomes manifest after the attainment of God-realization, the soul discovers that it has always been the Infinite Reality, and that its looking upon itself as finite during the period of evolution and spiritual advancement was an illusion. The soul also finds that the infinite knowledge and bliss that it enjoys have been latent in the Infinite Reality from the beginning of time and that it became manifest at the moment of realization. Thus the God-realized person does not become different from what he was before realization. He remains what he was: the difference that realization makes in him is that while previously he did not consciously know his true nature, he now knows it. He knows that he has never been anything other than what he now knows himself to be, and that he has been through a process of self-discovery.

The process of attaining God-realization is a game in which the beginning and the end are one. The attainment of realization is nevertheless a distinct gain. There are two kinds of advantages. One consists in getting what we did not previously possess; the other consists in realizing what we really are. God-realization is of the second kind. However, there is an infinite difference in the soul that has God-realization and one that has not. Though the soul that has God-realization has nothing it did not already possess, its explicit knowledge makes God-realization of the highest significance. The soul that is not God-realized experiences itself as finite, and is constantly troubled by the opposites of joy and sorrow. But the soul that has realization is lifted out of them and experiences the Infinite.

In God-realization, separate consciousness is discarded and duality is transcended in the abiding knowledge of identity with the Infinite Reality. The world of shadows is at an end and the curtain of illusion is for ever drawn. The distress of the pursuits of limited consciousness is replaced by the tranquillity and bliss of truth-consciousness and the restlessness of temporal existence is swallowed up in the peace of eternity.

God to Man and Man to God
The discoures of Meher Baba


1 - The New Humanity
2 - The Search for God

3 - God - Realization
4 - Aspirants and God Realized Beings
5 - The State of the God Man
- The Work of the God Man
- Avatar
8 -

A short history of the book

1967 expanded release of God to Man and Man to God entitled The Discourses (Online edition)


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"The perfect among the sages is identical with Me. There is absolutely no difference between us"
Tripura Rahasya, Chap XX, 128-133


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