Mahatma Gandhi would come out on the deck in the evening when prayers would be offered, giving a short speech afterward. On September 3rd, (1931) he spoke on the significance of prayer. To a small gathering, Gandhi explained what an important part prayer played in his life and how it brought him peace of mind. Gandhi claimed that three of the greatest teachers of the world – Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad – had left unimpeachable testimony that they found illumination through meditation and prayer, and could not possibly live without it.
Gandhi’s statement later gave rise to a protracted argument between Chanji and Rustom, who were among the audience. They appealed to Baba, saying that Gandhi had referred to Prophets such as Jesus and Muhammad as praying to God at times.
To appease them, Baba replied:
People are not to be blamed for misconstruing such things because they know little about the Avatar. It is misleading to say that Avatarhood can be achieved through prayers. The very foundation of this concept is a misconception. They take the Nirvikalp-samadhi state (the “I Am God” state) of the Avatar before his manifestation of divinity to be a state of offering prayers. Such an idea is due to ignorance of the Avatar’s inner state.
After attaining the divine state of Nirvikalp-samadhi, the Avatar enters the second divine state of Sahaj-samadhi (God-Consciousness plus creation-consciousness). In this state of Sahaj-samadhi, the Avatar experiences himself as everyone and everything, and when the Avatar prays to God in the Beyond for the good of the world, it is simply misunderstood. The Avatar does not pray for his own purity – he prays for others. His praying is quite different; it is not for himself. In fact, the Avatar himself is the Prayer made perfect. Even before his manifestation, the Avatar is Perfection personified.
To say that ten, twenty or forty days before the manifestation of his mission the Avatar prays during samadhi, or is in seclusion for purification or preparation, is quite erroneous. There is no question of purity for him who is never impure! It is ridiculous to say that for his own benefit the Avatar prays in seclusion. His prayer is for the benefit of the world and not for himself.
Lord Meher, Original ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 4, p. 1383.