I suppose many of us have asked ourselves that question at one time or another. Most of us have figured out the answers, but there have been those who, even after 30 or 40 years, are still waiting for a reply from Meher Baba.
One of the best answers to the question I ever heard was from two old friends. They met Baba in New York in 1956 and when they left that meeting asked each other, “What do we do now?” They were both quick-witted and they came to the immediate conclusion that there were no crusades, no dramatic acts. They instinctively knew that Meher Baba would want them to go on with their lives, to do the best they could with whatever came their way, and to take him with them. We should all be that quick.
On the other hand, I know one woman who is still asking herself that question after decades. In the meantime she has worked diligently and devotedly at helping other people in a variety of ways. I rather suspect that she is doing exactly what Meher Baba wants her to do, whether or not she realizes it.
When Margaret Craske came to the United States after seven years with Baba in India, she wrote to him for guidance every time she had to make a decision about her life. She finally wondered if that was what he really wanted. So she wrote to him, “Shall I continue to ask you to make decisions for me or shall I go where fate takes me?” Baba replied, “Go where fate takes you.” He didn’t have to tell her to also make sure she took him with her.
When I first met Baba in 1961, someone in the room told him I was a journalist. “Do you write good stories?” he asked. “Some of them are good, Baba,” I replied, and he laughed. He made no comment on whether I should continue with that work, and it didn’t occur to me that he would comment. I have never had the impression that Baba particularly cares what I do. But I have always been sure he certainly cares how I do whatever it is I’m doing. I think it’s not the “what” that matters so much and that he can use whatever we do for his work. And most of the time, we’ll never know how he’s using us. Just as well, too; keeps us from getting in his way. There were, of course, exceptions to this during Meher Baba’s life, when he gave very specific directions to close followers. But he did not do so for most of us.
I think the important thing here is to realize that we were born with certain talents and abilities, and that one talent isn’t necessarily more vital or useful to Meher Baba than another. He made it clear that we should use whatever talents we have to the best of our abilities and for the good of others.
So, it seems pointless to me to spend even a smidgen of a lifetime looking for a “great purpose” and worrying about it if we don’t find it. I expect the only really “great purpose” for any us is to love Meher Baba. Isn’t that what he asked?