Murshida Conner’s Teachings
As the murshida of Sufism Reoriented, Dr. Carol Weyland Conner was prolific in providing her students with experiences and explanations aimed at deepening their understanding and appreciation of being incarnate in this transformative season of Creation. She prepared weekly classes and messages on Meher Baba’s work in this Avataric advent, on the unfolding of higher consciousness, and on the relationship between a student and their spiritual teacher. Responding to requests from Meher Baba centers in India and the United States, she participated in a variety of public programs. Among her teaching materials are poems and plays that dramatize these same teachings in less expository forms.
The Big Picture of Meher Baba’s Advent
In this four-part series, Murshida Conner reviews Meher Baba’s life and activities in the context of his Universal Work. The four classes are presented below.
Murshida Conner begins programs on “The Big Picture” of Meher Baba’s overarching goals in this advent. Meher Baba had an urgent agenda and only seventy-four years to accomplish it. Each detail had to occur in exact sequence. As the seventh, or Silent, Avatar, Meher Baba integrates the Truth at the core of all religions and lives it. As the Kalki Avatar, he ends the Kali Yuga. As Shiva, he brings about the end and beginning of a vast Cycle of cycles.
Murshida identifies and discusses eleven phases of Meher Baba’s Advent: Spiritual Unfolding; Work with the Eastern Circle; Model Service Projects; World Travel; Work with the Western Circle; The Blue Bus Tours; Work with Masts; Meherazad and Myrtle Beach; The New Life and Manonash; Highest of the High; and Universal Work in Seclusion.
Murshida discusses how Merwan Irani became the Avatar. From his unveiling, he was required to integrate the highest divine consciousness with all levels of Creation and to learn, demonstrate, and master the role of Avatar. She identifies two broad stages of Meher Baba’s work: the Old Life, from 1921 to 1949, and the universal phase, from October 1949 onward. Meher Baba’s last three visits to America occurred during this universal phase.
Murshida explains that Meher Baba reclaimed gross matter, not by opposing and destroying it, but, as embodied Perfection living the divine life here on Earth, by divinizing it. This process is called “descendent spirituality”. Baba established his prototype for future spiritual paths of return with his reorientation of universal sufism, which he called “Sufism Reoriented”.
Upasni Maharaj – A Perfect Master of India
In 1922–23 Meher Baba had directed his early companions to write, publish, and sell biographies of Upasni Maharaj, focusing in great detail on the stages of inner unfolding by which a human being becomes a Perfect Master.
Meher Baba indicated at that time he wanted an English version of the book to be published because spiritual seekers, especially in America, would benefit from the information it contains about higher stages of spiritual unfolding. However, he was not able to find an adequate translator to prepare a Western edition at the time.
Ninety years later, Murshida Conner was given an initial English translation of the long out-of-print two-volume Gujarati biography. Over an eight-year period, an American editorial team assembled by Murshida Conner produced and edited an annotated version for Western readers.
Presentations at Meherabad, India
Each year at Meherabad the Avatar Meher Baba Trust holds an international conference called “Discovering the Avataric Treasure”. A period or phase of Meher Baba’s life is selected as the focus of the gathering, and over the two days of the conference participants offer presentations about aspects of Meher Baba’s work in that period. The program started in 2010 with Baba’s childhood, and in 2020 it featured the years 1949–1952.
Murshida Conner was invited to participate in this ongoing program by her friend Gokaran Shrivastava, the librarian at Meherabad. Gokaran is one of the organizers of this annual conference, and after seeing Sufism’s presentations at the 2012 East-West Gathering Commemoration program, which he hosted, he asked if she would consider contributing an essay to their next “Avataric Treasure” event. Every year until her passing, she wrote one or two essays for Gokaran on an aspect of the Beloved’s life that was presented at the conference as PowerPoint slide presentations and read to the audience by one of Murshida’s students.
Happiness Will Reign – 2022
Presentations at the MBUSC – Byramangala, India
In 2019 the trustees of the Meher Baba Universal Spiritual Center Byramangala invited Murshida Conner to join them on the weekend of November 30–December 1 to inaugurate the unveiling of a version of the Divine Theme murals especially prepared for the MBUSC Central Structure.
Murshida accepted this invitation and below is one of the talks she presented on “universal change”.