The Dark Cloud
“On Sunday, 19 May 1957, Baba held a meeting in Guruprasad with the mandali and his lovers from Ahmednagar, Poona and Bombay to issue a ‘Warning.’ It was a most serious matter. The meeting began at 8:00 A.M. Forty-seven persons attended the meeting. Baba asked those present whether they had slept well that night, adding that those who had not should not doze during the proceedings. He then stated, ‘As for me, I had no sleep for I had to do some important spiritual work. From the time of the accident , I have been continuously suffering severe physical pains. Tell me, from my face how I look now?’”
After further preliminary remarks, Baba said:
I want to tell you one important thing which each of you must remember well. It is a fact that I am the Lord of the universe. I am omnipresent. Now the time is fast approaching and I clearly see the “dark cloud” hovering; I see its picture. By this I am not referring to the recent  automobile accident that has already come to pass. The humiliation that I was referring to for many years is within sight. During that phase of my life, there is every possibility that I may slip out of your hands.
Now let me first explain what I mean by humiliation. Suppose you are loved by someone very dearly for several years and one day when you happen to meet him, he suddenly begins to abuse you, kick you and spit in your face. In the context of your previous relationship with him, your plight becomes an example of humiliation. In the same way, if some persons who have previously adored me and raised me up to the skies in adoration for years suddenly turn against me and express extreme disdain for me by throwing me in filth, it will be another example of humiliation.
I will also give you an example of circumstances under which this kind of a thing can happen. You are worshiping me for so many years. Suppose you suddenly find me eating garbage, living in rubbish and roaming about naked in the streets, behaving like a madman. What will be your reaction to this behavior of mine? I do not want any one of you to think or say that Baba is going to become mad. On the contrary, I have come to make the whole world mad after God and Truth.
Only the Avatar, whenever he lives amidst mankind, has to undergo humiliation. When there are five Perfect Masters, who are God Personified and who control and look after the affairs of the universe, what need is there for them to precipitate the incarnation of God on earth? They bring Him down to shoulder the sufferings of humanity. The five Perfect Masters are not as much scandalized or humiliated as the Avatar. I have been made to take this human form by the five Perfect Masters of this age, to bear the Cross and to undergo humiliation.
You have read in the Gospels wherein Jesus Christ had said to his apostles: “You will deny me.” This did happen when Peter, the chief
apostle, denied Jesus. The thing is that during the phase of humiliation, the circumstances will go so array that you will not be aware when my daaman has slipped out of your hands! At that time, you may even feel justified in leaving me. But if you feel that this should not happen, there is one remedy. You should grasp well all of what I say and understandingly live up to it. You should also tell everything that you hear today to those who are not present. In short, I clearly see the dark cloud. I do not wish to make a mere mention of the dark cloud without any reason, but this is my loving warning to you so that my daaman may not slip out of your hands…”
—Source: Glow International, May 1980, pp. 6-7. Also Lord Meher 15: 5169, 5171-72.
On 8 September 1957 a three-hour meeting of the mandali and thirty-two men from Bombay, Poona and Ahmednagar was held at Meherazad, ostensibly to discuss the upcoming sahavas and arrangements for the invited Westerners. Baba said:
The world, once it knows who I am, will understand then what I want you to understand now — that from the beginningless beginning, I am the Ancient one, immutable and eternal…
I have already warned you of the dark cloud which I clearly see hovering over me. I have been referring to it in one way or another for many years.
In fact, only the shape of things changes every time I come, and that is why I say the same things again and again in different ways. At the time of Jesus, I uttered many warnings, yet none could grasp in advance about my crucifixion.
The dark cloud is very, very near to bursting, and I have to take the whole force of it upon myself. You can have no idea what that will mean for me. It will be like hell itself bursting upon me on earth. Be resolved to hold fast to my daaman even when this cloud bursts. You will thereby share in my work…
Look at the weapons of destruction science has evolved. Nation accuses nation of preparations for war, and world catastrophe might come without warning at any moment. World events reflect the results of my inner working.
At the time of the Flood, hell was let loose in the world. Scientists and statesmen now solemnly declare that if total war comes, the whole world may perish. They are just echoing me. But the whole world cannot perish because I have to come down again after seven hundred years…
Just as I am now quite unable to do so many physical things unaided, in spite of an otherwise healthy body, I may, at the time of the impending crisis, become even mentally helpless, without being mentally deranged in the least. You may then not be able to continue to hold on to my daaman because circumstances will seemingly justify your letting it go.
I am infinitely merciful, and so repeat the same theme again and again, so that you may remember my words and try your best to cling to me.
For example, in a sudden and terrifying earthquake, any man, in the blind hope of saving his life, is likely to run, forgetting in an instant his family and all his possessions, and thus forsake them before he realises what he has done.
Whatever is to happen will happen. This is the principle, or as I call it, the Law of Must, the law on which universal illusion thrives. It is as if the ready and complete film of illusion, from the beginningless beginning to the endless end, is being projected continually.
If it is destined that my daaman should slip from your hands, it will. But it is for me to warn, and for you to remain alert. . . .
—Source: Life Circulars of Avatar Meher Baba, pp. 79-82. Also in Lord Meher 15: 5221-5223.
On 29 September 1957, at another meeting at Meherazad about the sahavas, Baba said:
The work I do, to fulfill all that is ordained, releases a tremendous force that stamps my advent. When the Infinite and
Changeless works through the finite and changing, the channels are necessarily varied and unlimited. The opposing forces created are tremendous, but also serve my work. In spite of the dark cloud facing me, I do my work ceaselessly. Part of my work, by June 1958, is to give my sahavas to hundreds of my followers.
Do not try to understand the method of my working. Do not worry or question. Just obey. The pain I have in the hip joint is one of the many distractions I have to reckon with while doing my work. Because unquestioning obedience and one hundred percent willingness to happily carry out my instructions and abide by my decision do help in my work, do not worry if my instructions seem contradictory or oscillating. I know what has to be done. I know how it is to be done.
It is for you to do what I say. Do not be concerned with anything else.
—Source: Meher Baba in Lord Meher 15: 5228
. . . When Baba sipped a little water at 5:00 P.M., he again coughed. He commented, Even in the first [darshan] group I got this cough at this hour. Who is remembering me? Eruch said that when Baba put this question to the first group, they could not answer. But Baba repeated that it was the impending dark cloud that remembers him. Baba confirmed this by remarking, It is a fact that the dark cloud is coming and that cloud is remembering me”
—Source: Meher Baba in Lord Meher 15: 5333
On 20 May 1958, in Myrtle Beach, Baba made the following remarks to the Sufi group:
The dark cloud is approaching very fast. Only a few will hold on to me. Those who are near me, not in space but in love. The rest will leave me. The age-old experience will be repeated. In this incarnation, I have a large following, but again I shall be left with a few. It is as if around me there are many beautiful buildings. It took years to build them, but when an earthquake comes, they are destroyed in a few seconds. Only a few survive.
The doctors have said: ‘Don’t go to America; this is a bad time.’ But I replied: ‘No, I must go to meet my lovers and tell them these things.’
If you love me one hundred percent, you will be able to hold on to me. Obey me at all costs — especially until July 10th. You will never see me again in the flesh. All will come to pass in quick succession as I have said, any time after July 10th. . . .
When Ivy Duce and her Sufi group had their interview in the Lagoon Cabin, Baba reiterated how they must hang on to his daaman, and how difficult it would be:
If six cobras came into this room suddenly from out there, would you just sit still here with me? No, you would be flying out the doors and windows as fast as you could in sheer panic. You would forget all about Baba!
Peter denied me when I was Jesus. The dark cloud of which I have been warning you of is very, very near. It will happen suddenly, from an unexpected angle, just like I have mentioned the sudden onrush of the cobras. You will not expect it from such an angle, and you will feel justified in leaving me. Each will be tried by his own psychological weakness, but try to hang on.
—Source: Lord Meher, 15: 5395, 5398. See also Ivy O. Duce, How a Master Works, p. 308.
Even if the sky and earth should come together, do not let go my daaman.
—Source: Meher Baba in The Awakener Magazine 22, no.1, p. 38.