At The Feet Of The Master...2

MAI's picture

Average: 4.5 (2 votes)


The master’s job is not easy. He has to tear down the very disciples he loves. The master also has to bear the ‘pain’ of being misunderstood on a regular basis. Though he is motiveless, disciples will project their motives on to him. Though he is selfless, disciples will project their selfishness on to him. Our vision of the master is based solely on the level of our own spiritual evolution.

One can only understand the guru when one is totally absent. Until then, errors in perception are bound to happen, which will be followed by doubt, argument, resistance and the desire to prove the master wrong. Though this cannot be completely prevented, an intelligent and sensitive student will realise his error and try to come out of it. Some others may stay in this space longer, even for years. The ego can sustain this process indefinitely through the use and misuse of logic and justification. In doing so, it succeeds in its primary task of preventing its own dissolution.

How important is it to have a living master?
In my perception, it is very, very important. The greatest danger on the spiritual path is self-deception. The student can deceive or hypnotise himself into believing anything. I have heard people talking about ‘the oneness of all things’ after reading just one book. They start to believe that they know! It is so hard to tell them that spirituality starts where words end. Spirituality is not about intellectual but energetic transformation.

A lot of patience, persistence and grace are required. Even ‘senior’ meditators can fall into this trap of false knowing. They are so eager to finish their journey quickly and become gurus that they fool themselves. That is why a guide or a guru is so important. Only a being who is more evolved can see where the lesser evolved being is stuck. You need the presence of a person who can see more than you, further than you, more clearly than you.

Unfortunately, even though the master sees and shares, it is not certain that his message will be received. The master’s work is subtle and complex. But what makes his impossible work possible is that he is not doing anything! He is no longer the ‘doer’. He is simply a ‘catalytic agent’ in whose presence miraculous and mysterious events just happen.

The guru alone cannot do anything. It is the disciple’s thirst, his passion for truth, his dogged determination, and above all his trust in his master that makes the magic happen. All said and done, if you are lucky enough to find a living master, stick with him!

Bulleshah, one of India’s great mystic-poets, compares himself to a dog. He says that no matter how many times the master kicks the dog, and shouts at him to go away, the faithful dog will simply walk around the block and return to the master’s doorstep.

It seems it is far better if the disciple maintains some distance between himself and the master.

That definitely has its advantages. When you see the master from a distance, divinely dressed, sitting on a podium and giving a talk, the relationship between a master and disciple remains clear.

The disciple finds it easier to retain his sense of love and respect. The other way is far more dangerous, almost like walking on a tightrope at all times. The journey gets far more intense, but probably faster as well.

When the master offers his physical proximity to you, at some level he has seen you worthy of the challenge. Spending so much time in the presence of the master is a huge blessing. It is like ‘spiritual sunbathing’—it is an invisible and mysterious process of energy transmission that has the capacity to transform your life. This is because his presence is a powerful healing force, a continuous wake-up call.

Here again, the disciple has to be careful. It is quite easy to fall ‘asleep’, and start taking things for granted. The disciple, instead of feeling grateful, starts feeling special and superior, and his ego becomes bigger than Mt Everest!

At that time, you can be sure that an existential ‘kick’ is on its way. It is nature’s way of bringing you back to reality, showing you your true place.

So in case you get a chance to be physically close to a master, be thankful. Make sure you thank God and the guru for giving you the chance. And pray for the wisdom and the humility to remain worthy of this divine relationship. For at the end of your life, this is probably the one relationship that will have made all the difference.

A former Bombay advertising copywriter, Gyandev (Saahil Surti) is a spiritual guide and professional Flower Essences practitioner and therapist. He lives near his guru, Swami Chaitanya Bharti, in Pune.

blissmusic's picture

Pefectly Said!

Beautiful, Mai. Really clear and truthful.

blissmusic | Wed, 06/12/2013 - 01:31
MAI's picture

beautiful piece

Yes, Kip, I found this beautiful piece of writing rather lucid, so well explained, too.


MAI | Wed, 06/12/2013 - 02:32