Contrary to popular perception, Judas did not betray Jesus but he was made to betray to help Jesus in his universal work, says Meher Baba.
Silent Avatar, as Meher Baba is known, hails crucifixion as Jesus’s way of taking the ‘burden of the universe’ upon himself.
Bhau Kalchuri, long time disciple of Meher Baba and author of Meher Baba’s life story, ‘Lord Meher’, says Meher Baba elaborated on the Universal Work of Jesus and His concept of love. ‘Jesus made Peter know that he would betray Him for His work’, Kalchuri quotes Meher Baba as saying in the discourse.
Meher Baba highly appreciated the work of missionaries among the destitute children and described such work as ‘really’ serving Jesus Christ, according to another long time Meher Baba lover, Charles Purdom.
In his book, ‘The God-Man’, Purdom says Meher Baba ‘blessed’ a Christian Father working amongst destitute children.
Father Anthony, Principal of the St. Catherine of Siena School in Bombay (now Mumbai) met Meher Baba in May 1960. The meeting took place at Pune where Meher Baba was spending his summer.
When the Father told him of his work among abandoned children, Baba asked him to carry on his work unmindful of the difficulties and gave His blessings, saying, ‘I am with you in your work, as I am myself in you’.
‘Difficulties, lack of sympathy and opposition there will be in your work, but I will help you. You have my blessings and love’, Baba was quoted as telling Father Anthony. (The God-Man, Page 353).
Meher Baba, who had declared, ‘I have come to awaken you”, remarked that the ’emblem’ of abandonment is the Cross, while the Cross itself is ‘symbol’ of sacrifice. He told the Father that only when one sacrifices everything that one would find God.
“The cross of Christ is also the symbol of sacrifice. Hence I say that you should sacrifice your whole self, and plunge yourself unreservedly into the work of helping the destitute children. By sacrificing your everything, you will find all”, Meher Baba told the Missionary.
Meher Baba provided answers to several nagging questions about the role of Judas in the crucifixion of Jesus, when he spoke at the Pilgrim town of Nasik on May 19, 1937.
Like Ahmandnagar, where Meher Baba mostly lived and worked, Nasik city on the banks of Godavary River, is also in Maharashtra. It is close to Mumbai.
Writes Bhau Kalchuri in his magnum opus, “Meher Baba said Judas was made to betray…. He helped Jesus Christ in his universal work…. Peter betrayed (Jesus) willingly”. (Page 2183, Vol 7, Lord Meher)).
On Peter and his love for Jesus, Meher Baba observed:
“Peter loved Jesus the most. Jesus loved him the most, although the love of Jesus for all was the same. Can you explain this? Loving all the same, and yet some more than others? It is like the different parts of the body. They all belong to you, but you love some parts more than others. The eyes are more dear than your fingers. Is this clear?
“Jesus loved Peter the most in this respect. Peter was his eyes.
“When Jesus said to Peter, ‘You will betray me’, Peter knew he would betray his Master, the one whom he loved most, and yet he bore it bravely. It was the most difficult thing to do, to know that he would betray, and yet not to become weak. Jesus made Peter know that he would betray him for his work”
Meher Baba described as ‘most difficult’ the betrayal of a person whom you love most, according to His biographer.
Elaborating this difficulty, Meher Baba said:
“Suppose you (pointing to one) love me the most. You are Peter. You (pointing to another) are Judas. I want you both to kill me. Now you, Peter, are made to kill me. You would not willingly do so. You are asked by me to kill me, and you love me more than your own life. But you will lovingly kill me for my work.
“Even Arjuna (warrior prince and disciple of Lord Krishna in Hindu epic, Mahabharata) could not be like Peter. Krishna had to show him (Arjuna) his universal body before he would kill his brothers and relatives in battle (the reference is to Bhagvad Gita, the celestial song Krishna gave to Arjuna at the start of Mahabharata war).
“You, Judas (pointing to that one) love me very much. I turn the key and you go against me for my work. You do not go against me of your own accord. I make you go against me in order to tell people about me. You do it willingly knowing that people hearing you would beat me and crucify me.
“All this means love, faith and sacrifice. If you do what I ask willingly, you really love me. If you are made to do it, you love me a little less. But if you do not do it, it all turns out like today’s mango mess, when you all hesitated to accept when I offered you the mangoes.
Baba concluded, “God’s grace makes you love me. My grace makes you one with me.”
(19 May 1937, Nasik, Lord Meher Vol. 7 p.2183)