A real spiritual Masteris one who has attained God-realisation. Everyone is one with God, but the real spiritual Master has established his conscious oneness with God. At any moment he can enter into a higher consciousness and bring down messages from God to those disciples who have faith in him. The Master, if he is genuine, represents God on earth for those seekers who have real aspiration and faith in him. He has been authorised or commissioned by God to help them. The real Teacher, the real Guru, is God Himself. But on earth He will often operate in and through a spiritual Master. The Master energises the seeker with inspiration and, in the course of time, through the infinite Grace of the Supreme, offers the seeker illumination.
You make a mistake when you take the Master as only a person, as the human body. You have to feel that the real Master is inside the physical. Why have my disciples come to me? It is because their real Master, the Supreme, is inside me. The Supreme is also inside them, but in them He is still sleeping whereas in me He is fully awake. The Master and the disciple are like two friends who have the same capacity, but one is sleeping and needs help in getting up before he can manifest his capacity. The Guru is somebody who will come and touch his brother’s feet and caress his head and say, “Please get up. It is time for us to work for our Father.”
When a Master accepts someone as a disciple, he accepts that person as part of himself. If the discipleis imperfect, then the Master also remains imperfect. In the disciple’s perfection lies the Master’s perfection. I always say that I have no individuality, no personality. It is my disciples’ achievements that will take me either to Heaven or to hell. I have the capacity to remain all the time in Heaven, but they can easily drag me to hell at every moment because I have accepted them as my own.
A real spiritual Master tries to bring to the fore the inner divinity of the disciple from deep within the disciple’s heart. He knocks at the disciple’s heart-door and awakens the divine child in him, which we call the soul. He tells the soul, “You will look after the other members of the family – the physical, the mind and the vital – and take care of them. They are making mistakes constantly. Now give them new life, new meaning, new purpose.”
It is the spiritual Master’s job to make his disciples feel that without love, without truth and light, life is meaningless and fruitless. The most important thing a spiritual Master does for his spiritual children is to make them consciously aware of something vast and infinite within themselves, which is nothing other than God Himself.
The highest transcendental Truth is within our hearts, but unfortunately we have not yet discovered it. So I ask my disciples to go deep within and meditate on the heart, which houses the soul. Eventually they learn how to contact the soul and start listening to its dictates. At that time they have begun to make real progress toward discovering their highest and deepest Self.
If one is already developed, that is to say, if one has been practising the spiritual life in previous incarnations and is in a position to listen to the dictates of his own inner being, it is not absolutely necessary for him to have a spiritual Master. In that case he has only to go deep within and practise the spiritual life most sincerely. Since he doesn’t want a Master’s help, he has to depend entirely on himself and on the boundless Grace of God. But we have to know that the spiritual path is very arduous; only on rare occasions have people realised God without the help of a spiritual Master. Most spiritual Masters themselves took help from someone for a day or a month or a year or ten years before they realised God.
As we need teachers for our outer knowledge – to illumine our outer being – so also we need a spiritual Master to help and guide us in our inner life, especially in the beginning. Otherwise, our progress will be very slow and uncertain, and we may become terribly confused. We will get high, elevating experiences, but we will not give them adequate significance. Doubt may eclipse our mind and we will say, “I am just an ordinary person, so how can I have this kind of experience? Perhaps I am deluding myself.” Or we will tell our friends, and they will say, “It is all mental hallucination. Forget about the spiritual life.” But if there is someone who knows what the Reality is, he will say, “Don’t act like a fool. The experiences which you have had are absolutely real.” The Master will encourage and inspire the seeker and give him the proper explanations of his experiences. Again, if the seeker is doing something wrong in his meditation, the Master will be in a position to correct him.
By: Sri Chinmoy
From: Sri Chinmoy Library