April 30, 2020
The current pandemic that has so suddenly and swiftly upended human life all over the world is a stunning illustration of the way in which God employs the forces of nature in the service of the Divine Will, which always works for the ultimate benefit of all in Creation. Time and again Meher Baba emphasized that all upheavals in nature, changes in the structure of the Earth, as well as the constant ups and downs of human history, were ordained by God long ago; all happenings, from the fall of a leaf to a global war, are designed to advance the ultimate purpose of Creation, which is to realize and live the Divine Life here on Earth.
Baba emphasized this point many times during his advent, most often during the Second World War, which was accompanied and followed by natural disasters of every kind. Indeed, many of his statements in the 1940s could be applied to our situation in 2020. For example, in June of 1940, as the war in Europe was escalating, Beloved Baba sent a message to his followers in which he said:
The present world chaos and universal suffering are absolutely necessary for the eventual universal spiritual upliftment and for a new world, where peace, love and divine aspirations will reign supreme. None should, therefore, feel scared and dismayed, bearing in mind the certainty of this bright future… The present universal chaos is just a universal nightmare, necessary for the real universal awakening…Things are happening and will happen, as they ought to happen, by the Divine Will.
A few days later he told his companions, “All over the world there will be earthquakes, floods, famine and new diseases. Those killed in war will be nothing compared to those who will be killed by floods, famine, plague, and so forth.”
Perhaps the most well-known example from that time is the period of the catastrophic famine in Bengal in 1943, which took the lives of more than two million people in a matter of months. At the height of the famine, Baba traveled through the region incognito distributing food and clothing to the destitute. He emphasized that he was not engaged in charitable work (though he did visit relief centers in Calcutta and gave money to one agency to purchase cold-weather clothing for children). “The meaning of my feeding people is quite different,” he told the mandali. “It is not to fill the stomachs of the hungry, but to feed humanity spiritually.” He explained:
The current world crisis and suffering is to create and does create in mankind a hatred of maya, for things worldly, however attractive or dear. . . For me to work under these conditions is very important and beneficial, not only to individuals coming in my direct contact, but through them to others of the same class and to humanity in general... Given under conditions of desperation by me personally to the truly poor and the needy, selected and brought by my mandali, it has a great significance and a far-reaching effect.
In our own time, the conditions imposed by the pandemic have required people everywhere to abandon habitual patterns of worldly life and material values, thus freeing them to join a larger consciousness nurtured by the flow of divine love. Every day brings new stories of people working together in harmony for the common good in ways that would have been unthinkable just a few weeks ago, yet now seem quite natural. We are witnessing and participating in the birth of a truly new world – a divine world, brought about by the working of the Divine Will.
When Baba returned from his work in the Bengal famine region in late 1943, he warned his companions, “This is but one phase of more still to follow (such as epidemics and pestilences).” And during the following year, tens of thousands more died in that region from epidemics of malaria, smallpox, and cholera, exacerbated by social disruption, malnutrition, poor sanitation, and severe weather conditions. The British colonial government was widely seen as “spectacularly inept” in handling the ongoing crisis. But Baba said, “Although apparently the British government is blamed as the principal responsible authority, what could poor Amery [the British Secretary of State for India] or Churchill do against the Divine Will?”
Baba described the Divine Plan as “God’s process of self-fulfillment working itself out through the march of the variegated incidents in time.” All things work toward this Purpose as guided by the Will of God as released by the Perfect Masters and implemented by the spiritual hierarchy, following directives made far in advance of the times. This process has been most powerfully accelerated in these times, when the great Kalki Avatar, the Ancient One, has himself come to give an immense “spiritual push” to humanity and all Creation to fulfill the Divine Will. And he has assured us:
Humanity will attain to a new mode of life through the unhampered interplay of pure love, as it spreads from heart to heart. … Through divine love the New Humanity will learn the art of cooperative and harmonious life; it will free itself from the tyranny of dead forms and release the creative life of spiritual wisdom; it will shed all illusions and get established in the Truth; it will enjoy peace and abiding happiness; it will be initiated into the life of Eternity.
 Lord Meher, online edition, 2113
 Lord Meher, 2379.
 Lord Meher, 2287
 “The Work of the Divine Hierarchy”, Sparks of the Truth, C. D. Deshmukh, ed., 1967, p. 60.
 “The New Humanity”, Discourses (6th ed.) I, 24-25.
In His Eternal Love and Grace,
Murshida Carol Weyland Conner