Meher Baba & the coconuts and fruit offered to him. Image eng=hanced by Anthony Zois.
Meher Baba & the coconuts and fruit offered to him. Image eng=hanced by Anthony Zois.


31st May, 1929


Baba explained the meaning behind the Indian custom of offering a coconut to saints and holy personalities:


The coconut can be divided into four parts: three outer coverings and the water inside. Each represents something different. The outermost fibrous hair symbolizes the gross body. The hard husk or shell symbolizes the subtle body. The kernel or white portion inside symbolizes the mind. The water inside symbolizes God-realization.


There are four steps in taking the water out of the coconut. The first is to remove the fibers; the second is to crack the shell; the third is to open the kernel; and the fourth is to extract the water. When opening a coconut, people usually resort to such ordinary, slow, successive actions. But at the time of ceremonial and sacred occasions when the water is sprinkled in worship, the whole coconut is smashed to pieces in one stroke against a wall or the floor.


Each of the four steps has a spiritual significance. The act of taking the fibers off the coconut can be compared to the act of discarding the body and its gross sanskaras. However, with the elimination of the gross body, the subtle body becomes active. The subtle body is like the hard coconut shell that is then smashed.


With the removal of the gross and subtle bodies [the fibers and the shell], the mind [the kernel] is left. Finally, with the annihilation of the mind, God [the water] is found.

Removing every coconut fiber is like obliterating or removing the individual qualities of maya one by one. But even after removing all the fibers, eliminating the whole body and the gross sanskaras, maya remains in the form of the subtle body [the shell] and the mental body [the kernel].


Even after smashing the shell [effacing the subtle body], the kernel remains [the mind continues to experience creation]. By removing the kernel, only the water — God-realization — remains.


To attain God-realization, successive elimination of the three coverings — gross, subtle, and mental bodies — is necessary, which means total annihilation of all three types of sanskaras. This successive termination takes place gradually in the ordinary course of involution, over not just centuries, but generations and ages.


Only the Sadguru has the power to make a person God-realized all at once, within the twinkling of an eye. Only he can smash the whole coconut at one stroke and annihilate maya and the mind. So the offering of a coconut signifies the absolute surrender of body and soul by the one who offers. Let all who offer these realize this significance and surrender themselves heart and soul to their saint or Sadguru.


Lord Meher On-line page 667-8

Lord Meher Vol.3 p.803-4