Following are 2 passages: (1) Mahapralaya & Destruction (Sheela Fenster), (2) Meher Baba on the Universes & Cosmic Dissolution. See also “Pralaya.”
1. Mahapralaya & Destruction
by Sheela Kalchuri Fenster
Source: Growing Up with God by Sheela Kalchuri Fenster with David Fenster, pp. 222-24
Editor’s Note: This is Sheela’s remembrance of a conversation she had with Baba about “Mahapralaya.” (She did not take notes, this is only her memory of the dialogue.) What she writes here is not the traditional Hindu description of Mahapralaya. A footnote to the passage (at the place marked below with *) says: “In God Speaks, the Mahapralaya is described as the total dissolution of creation. So perhaps what Baba was describing to Sheela was some other cataclysmic event.” Malladi Rama Rao, in the South Asian Tribune, 7 February 2010, says that he questioned Bhau as to whether Baba’s remarks (in The Final Declaration) about the destruction of three-quarters of the world referred to Mahapralaya or to Pralaya. Bhau replied: “Yes, you can interpret as Pralaya. This is Pralaya — partial, not Mahapralaya. Mahapralaya means the whole Creation is submerged in Divine Ocean for a long time, and God in form of the Avatar takes rest. When the force of illusion increases and increases, at that time Mahapralaya takes place. This one quarter and three quarters will be partial — Pralaya — not Mahapralaya. As this is Pralaya, not Mahapralaya, the one quarter will be saved, and they will turn towards the Truth. They will not see this side or that side, but straight towards God, who is carrying the ship, in the form of Meher Baba. Not only Baba lovers, but God-loving people — they are all Baba lovers. The ship is the simile which indicates the reason why they will not look this side or that side, but straight towards God in form of Baba.” —Kendra
Many times he [Baba] mentioned the Mahapralaya (destruction of the universe).
He spoke about it seriously, and it was frightening to listen to his descriptions of what would transpire. He mentioned that India is so hot and dry — but as the Mahapralaya approaches, all of a sudden the climate would change — and it wouldn’t be for the better.
“Why not, Baba?” I asked. “If it is cool and there is plenty of water, isn’t that an improvement?”
“No, nature should remain how I created it. When people create so many sins, things do not remain as they should. The Mahapralaya is coming,” he stated again, and added, “Soon.”
“How soon?” I asked.
“You will see it with your own eyes. Areas that are usually dry will flood suddenly. There won’t be enough food for people. When the Mahapralaya comes, all the evil in the world will be destroyed. So many will die. They will die like ants.”
“Will everyone die?”
“Not everybody. Those who are good will survive, those who are holding fast to my daaman.”
“How will we survive without food?”
“Half a bhakri I will give to those who are holding my daaman. If you hold on to my daaman till the end, no matter what — no matter how much you suffer — definitely, I will save you.”
“We are already following you; whatever you say, we do.”
“That much is enough.”
“I don’t want to live if during all this destruction my hand is gone, or my leg is torn off, or one eye is poked out.”
“It won’t happen like that. Don’t worry. Hold tightly to my daaman. If you do that, nothing will happen.”
“Sometimes my mind becomes very disturbed.”
“Think of me. I try to take you towards the Goal — but if you let go of my daaman, if you stop remembering me, what can I do?”
Baba had mentioned floods, and he spoke again of earthquakes, also. I said, “Baba, earthquakes don’t occur in this area.”
“God knows, one day it will happen, and everything will be destroyed.”*
“Not those who are holding on to my daaman.”
Baba added, “When the Mahapralaya comes, I will be in Meherabad.”
“Are you moving from Meherazad?” I asked excitedly.
“Yes. Haven’t you seen that crypt? I will be staying there.”
“You’ll be staying inside there? Can I stay on the hill, too?”
“You will be around me always. So don’t worry about it.”
“But I want to be near you when the Mahapralaya comes. It’s frightening to see so much destruction. I should be near you.”
“You can if you want to. But take my name, that will help you.”
“I do, but sometimes, if something falls on me or if I am in an accident, I could die all of a sudden. I might not think of you at that moment.”
“If you take my name every day and remember me more and more, you will remember me at such times, also. I will help remind you to take my name.”
“Only if I see you. If you come in front of me when I am dying, then I might.”
“I will come and help you.”
About the Mahapralaya I asked, “But you said this world is all a dream.”
“It is. Everything is a dream. But when you see me, when you see my physical form, it is not a dream. Right now, you are looking at me; it is not a dream. Even when you see me in a dream, that’s reality, but you don’t realize it. You are dreaming and you feel that it is a dream, but it is true.”
“Every time you come in my dream and say something, is it a fact? Is it really happening? Are you really there with me?”
“Yes, I am, but you think it is a dream.”
Baba added, “Sometimes when you dream, you are not just spending sanskaras. There are hints to the future in your dreams.” Baba mentioned that when the Mahapralaya occurred, three-fourths of the world would be destroyed, but those who remained would be honest, devoted souls who never lie or cheat each other. “These lovers of God who survive will create a better world,” Baba stated. “Today, even though I want to save people from their own actions and all the resulting bad things that are happening in the world, I cannot because it is their sanskaras that are causing them to act in this way. Even if you try to tell them, they won’t listen.”
2. Meher Baba on the Universes & Cosmic Dissolution
Source: Lord Meher, rev. online ed., pp. 866-88
At 8:00 P.M. on the night of Friday, 2 December 1927, Baba expounded about the universe and Mahapralaya (cosmic dissolution):
How was the universe created? It was automatic. There are innumerable universes which are interlaced with one another. These universes are so numerous that even Sadgurus cannot count them. I once tried to count them while at Sakori with Upasni Maharaj. It is astonishing that, though the chains of these universes come out of the Sadguru and then merge back into him, they are still uncountable through his physical eyes.
One night at Sakori [in 1921], Upasni Maharaj and I were sitting in his hut when the topic of counting the universes arose.
First Maharaj tried to count them. In order to count the universes, he first had to stop the continuous flow of [sanskaric] “chains” that are emerging so he could count as many universes as possible. In order to do this, both his mind and the whole force of creation had to be concentrated on stopping the universes. This is extremely difficult and dangerous. From the Oneness [of God] duality is born, and this duality may prove fatal at times. The tension created by such concentration could cause one to drop the body. So Maharaj prevented me from stopping the chain-flow because it actually threatened my life once while I was trying to do this.
Maharaj told me, “No Sadguru was ever successful in this counting, since the flow of direct knowledge is from the Sadguru himself. If this flow is stopped to count the universes, duality is affected. The Sadguru’s life is put in danger by duality’s reaction.”
These universes come out of the Sadguru and merge back into him after eons. This is called the Mahapralaya. When the universes disappear in Mahapralaya, they are no longer in gross form, but they remain within the universal mind. Every individual gross mind rests in the universal mind. Though this is all an illusion, still the individual souls of all beings that inhabit the universes remain within the universal mind. And after eons the evolution starts again and every jivatma [incarnate soul] gradually takes form in accordance with the consciousness he had before the cosmic event of Mahapralaya occurred.
For example, in deep sleep you are unconscious of both your body and the world. For you this is dissolution or pralaya. When you awaken, creation begins again for you. You come back and the world is again existent to you. This is individual dissolution, but the Mahapralaya happens universally. It is the same as individual dissolution only all universes dissolve, so it is called Mahapralaya — maha meaning great. Briefly, this happens every day in an individual’s sound sleep state, and after ages and ages it happens universally. For this reason, it is said in the Koran, “On doomsday, everyone will rise up from his grave.” [See Koran quotes here.]
Now I will explain to you about Ishwar. Ishwar is the Creator, Preserver, and Dissolver [Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh] as One. This Ishwar is God, but does not know Himself; He is in the state of Infinite Unconsciousness.
However, He knows how to create, preserve, and destroy the creation. How is this? When you blow up a balloon, your eyes are on the inflating of the balloon, and so you look at that and not at yourself. In the same way, the eyes of Ishwar are fixed on His creation and not on Himself.