Man has many teachers. A child comes into existence. His first and foremost teacher is his mother. The mother teaches the child everything with her boundless affection, boundless love and boundless concern. The child responds with a smile. A child learns everything from his mother with a soulful smile. Then the mother teaches the child to recognise the father. The father becomes the child’s second teacher. He also offers the child affection, love and concern in boundless measure. The mother offers everything to the child with a tremendous feeling of oneness, whereas the father does everything for the child with a feeling of vastness. Oneness is there, no doubt, but vastness is the lesson that the child learns from the father.
God has granted each individual being a small house and a big house. Both houses are of equal importance. The mother teaches the child everything that the small house has to offer: affection, love, concern, sweetness and oneness. The mother offers the message of the happy family. The father teaches something more. He offers the message of a larger family: a few friends and the outside world.
Two teachers are teaching us two things which are of equal value and equal importance. Just because the child is the student, he has to learn. In later years he will learn many subjects from many teachers. When the child goes to school, he will have a teacher for history, geography, science, mathematics: for everything he will have a teacher. Each teacher teaches the student a different thing. Since the student is young, he may not know what his future career will be. So, the best thing is for him to know everything to some extent. Then later on, he can make a choice. It is not that the teacher wishes the student to be a jack of all trades and master of none. No! The teacher wants the student to know a little bit about everything, so that in the future he can easily decide what career he wants. A student spends a few years in high school and then he goes to college. There the professors offer him a higher type of knowledge. Then, when he goes on to the university, he takes one or two subjects in order to get his Master’s degree or Ph.D. At that time his future career begins to blossom. The student eventually gets his diploma and becomes a man of knowledge. All these years may bring what he has worked for: satisfaction, a higher satisfaction, a deeper, more illumining and more fulfilling satisfaction.
As a child he learned the alphabet and studied a few books. When he went to college he studied a higher and more illumining knowledge. Then he came to the university to get the vast ocean of knowledge. But in spite of that, he does not have satisfaction. He feels that there are still many things he does not know. At one time he thought that if he had the highest degree, he would be by far the best, and everybody would be under him. But now he sees that there are others who are as good as he is, or even better than he. So his pride is smashed and he feels that in this world of competition there can be no joy. He has got earth knowledge, he has become an authority on a particular subject, but he feels that there are others who know more than he. He realises that as long as he remains in the world of desires, trying to compete with others and defeat others, as long as he feels the necessity in his heart to outdo others or lord it over others, then there will be no happiness. Happiness does not lie in mental achievements, in his outer achievements. Happiness lies only in inner achievements. The human teachers who have taught him his earthly lessons have played their role. Now he wants to go to a spiritual Master who has studied inner subjects and has a free access to inner life, inner wisdom. He feels that if he studies inner subjects, then he will have peace of mind, abiding joy and a sense of satisfaction.
On the mental plane he has achieved something, but on the spiritual plane, the inner plane, the plane that has abiding joy and satisfaction, he is a veritable beggar. So he comes to a spiritual Master to have inner lessons and study inner subjects. The spiritual Master tells him that there are quite a few inner subjects, but there are two main subjects he has to learn if he really wants to achieve satisfaction from life, if he really wants to be successful in a divine sense. These two subjects are prayer and meditation. If he studies prayer and meditation and learns them well, then he will definitely have joy and satisfaction in his life.
The spiritual Master says to the student, “If you want to learn how to pray, then you have to become simple, you have to become sincere, you have to become humble. Your prayers will be answered only when you have become totally simple, utterly sincere and unmistakably humble.” So the student brings to the fore simplicity, sincerity and humility from within, and he prays. When he prays, he feels that his whole inner being, his whole life, is being elevated to a higher plane of consciousness. He is praying for peace, light and bliss, for illumination and perfection. His prayer itself is giving him joy. Even if he does not receive from above an iota of peace, light or bliss, he does not mind; for he gets tremendous satisfaction from prayer itself. Of course, if he is going to be a true seeker of the highest order, then only is it possible for him to pray unconditionally. If not, he will pray for peace, light and bliss conditionally. That is to say, he will be simple, will be sincere, he will be humble and on the strength of his simplicity, sincerity and humility, he will expect to be rewarded.
But if he prays unconditionally, at that time he prays only for the fulfilment of God’s Will.
The other subject the student has to learn is meditation. Here the teacher tells the student that he has to make his heart as pure as possible; he has to become purity itself. The teacher says, “Simplicity, sincerity and humility are needed, but if you want to be successful in meditation, you also need something else, and that is purity. A pure heart is of paramount importance. If there is impurity either in your physical consciousness, your vital consciousness or your mind, then you will not be able to study this subject well. If you lack purity, your mind will never be able to achieve the divine vastness and enter into Delight, Ecstasy and Light. So purity is of paramount importance: purity in thought, purity in deed, purity in the result of each action, purity at the journey’s start and purity at the journey’s close.”
What is purity? Purity is our constant love of oneness, within and without. To love the entire world as one’s own, to feel inseparable oneness with the rest of the world: this is purity. Each time the seeker breathes in, he must feel that his entire being is purified, that he has drawn cosmic energy to purify his whole body, vital, mind and heart. And when he breathes out, he has to feel that all the impurity from his body, vital, mind and heart he has thrown into the Universal Consciousness. He purifies and empties his system, and then brings down Peace, Light and Bliss in infinite measure so that he can become a true instrument of God.
The teacher tells the student, “If you want to become extremely successful, if you want to become an expert in the subject of meditation, then you should learn something else, and that is concentration. You have to concentrate on only one thing: the positive side of life, not the negative side of life. Concentrate on the reality that creates, not the reality that destroys. You have to feel the necessity of running towards your goal as swiftly as possible. You can reach the goal by walking and again by flying. It is you who have to make the decision. If your aim is to run the fastest towards your goal, then you have to concentrate. While concentrating, you are unburdening your many thoughts, your many ideas, your worldly activities; the incidents that are inside your mind you have to cast aside. In this way you have to unburden yourself. Concentration has to be like an arrow aimed at the target. At every moment you have to run the fastest, like a deer. You must not carry any burden: no thoughts, no worldly ideas. Only then can you run the fastest.”
So the student devotedly listens to the spiritual Master, and anything that has to be cast aside, he casts aside. He only concentrates on the positive side of life, and he does make considerable progress. Simplicity is the first step to the goal. When the student becomes sincere, he comes to the second step; and when he becomes humble, he is at the third step. Then, if he can cultivate purity, that is the fourth step. At that time, inside his purity, simplicity, sincerity and humility, he will see something else: love. He has love for simplicity and his love for simplicity is giving him joy. He has love for sincerity and his love for sincerity is giving him joy. He has love for humility and his love for humility is giving him joy. He has love for purity and his love for purity is giving him joy. Everything that he has and is embodies love. This love he offers to the subject that he is studying: meditation. When he meditates soulfully, on the strength of his simplicity, sincerity, humility and purity, the student feels that this world belongs not only to God, but to him as well. He feels that this world, God’s creation, is not only for him but also of him. His sublime meditation makes him feel that God the Creator and he the creation are inseparable. They complete God’s cosmic Vision, cosmic Game. The Creator without the creation remains unfulfilled; the creation without the Creator remains unrealised. So the Creator needs the creation for His manifestation, for His fulfilment, and the creation needs the Creator for its ultimate, transcendental, absolute realisation.
The student has learned how to pray, how to concentrate and how to meditate. Then the teacher says, “Are you getting joy in what you are doing?”
The student says, “Definitely I am getting joy. From my prayer I am getting joy, from my meditation I am getting joy, from my concentration I am getting joy.”
Then the teacher says, “Now I wish to teach you another subject. It is the most important subject. From this subject you will get utmost joy, ever transcending joy. Here the joy is limitless and, at the same time, it is transcending its own Infinity. This subject is called contemplation.”
Here the student becomes the divine lover and God is the supreme Beloved. In each second of his earthly life, the seeker feels he is inundated with his Beloved’s Presence. He sees a continuous growth of his receptivity. In each act, in each thought of his, in everything that he has, in everything that he does and everything that he has become, he feels the glowing Presence of his Beloved in the inmost recesses of his heart.
When one runs the fastest with concentration, one gets joy. When one goes up high, higher, highest with prayer, one gets joy. When one enjoys vastness from his meditation, one gets joy, but this joy may not be and cannot be constant. But when the student becomes the divine lover and at every moment sees and feels the Presence of his supreme Beloved, his Beloved Supreme, then his joy is constant and, at the same time, infinite and ever transcending.
Now the teacher says to the student, “My child, I have taught you everything that I have learned from my teacher.” The student asks, “Do you have a teacher?”
The Master replies, “Yes, my teacher is God Himself. You may call me a teacher, but to be absolutely honest with you, I am not a teacher. I am only a messenger. I carried God’s messages to you. The lessons that you have learned from me are nothing but messages that I received from God. And the inner cry that you have shown me, the hunger, the thirst, the eagerness that you have shown me, are nothing but your messages. These messages I have taken to my Teacher, who is the only Teacher. I am the messenger, common messenger. I have taken your hunger to Him and from Him I have brought His feast for you. You gave me what you had, your hunger; and He gave me what He had, His Food, Nectar, for you. Now I want you to go to my teacher who is also your Teacher, everybody’s Teacher, and in silence give Him your infinite love and concern.”
Then the spiritual Master takes the student to God. At that time God says to the student, “What do you want from Me? Do you want to serve Me?”
The student says, “I want to serve You.” Then God says, “Do I have to give you something in return?”
At that time the student may say, “In return I expect a smile from You, which is my salary. I will do everything that You want me to do, but I shall be grateful if You give me a smile, which will be my fee.” If this is what the student says, then the Teacher, the Supreme Teacher, will grant it. But the student may say something else to God. He may say, “I will do everything that You want me to do, and I don’t expect anything from You, no smile, no love, no concern, nothing. Only I want to please You in Your own Way, unconditionally and cheerfully. That is my goal.”
If this is the promise that the student can make to the real Teacher, the only Teacher. God, then God says to him, “My child, you are My most perfect instrument. I shall be able to manifest in and through you on earth, for it is you who will carry me into the world and manifest Me fully on earth.”
One seeker wanted to serve God conditionally. God said to him, “You have abundant Peace, Light and Bliss. You have also made tremendous progress. Therefore, undoubtedly, you are a very great seeker, and you will be My instrument.” But the unconditional seeker is something more. This seeker God makes His Representative. To the one seeker God says, “You are My instrument and you will fulfil Me according to the capacity that you have.” But to the other seeker God says, “You are a Representative of Mine, who will manifest Me according to My Will, according to My own Capacity, which is unlimited.”
So the student either becomes a Representative of the Absolute Supreme, absolutely one with His Will, on the strength of his unconditional love, unconditional devotion and unconditional surrender; or the seeker expects a smile, recognition, as a salary for his work. So it is up to the student to make the choice. Here we are all seekers, all sincere seekers. We have started our journey right from our childhood, Our mother was our teacher, our father was our teacher, our kindergarten teacher and our college professors were our teachers. These were all our human teachers. Now we are knocking at God’s Door and asking Him to accept us as His students. This is how we end our journey. But this end is not the real end, for God is endless in every way: When we reach our first goal, then He places before us a second goal, a higher goal. Each moment today’s goal becomes the starting point for tomorrow’s higher goal. At every moment God is taking us, carrying us with Him, to His own ever transcending Vision and ever transcending Reality.
June 21st, 1976