The Master Comes First

Ramdas and his Master were both heavy smokers, and they often took arsenic to keep themselves warm. One night Devadas asked his disciples to go and buy two rupees’ worth of arsenic, but his disciples had no money and they were also a little bit hesitant to go to the town at that hour. Ramdas offered to go, but he had no money either. The Master said, “Don’t worry. You just go to the town. There will be somebody there to give you some money.”

Ramdas believed his Master and left without any money. When he reached the town, it was quite late and everything was dark. He saw a light in only one house, so he went there and knocked at the door. When the owner opened the door, he was so happy to see a sadhu standing there. He said, “All day I have been thinking of offering two rupees to a sadhu, and now you have come. I am so grateful to you. Please take these two rupees.”

Then Ramdas took the money and bought two rupees’ worth of arsenic. On his way back to the ashram he thought that since he had such a large quantity, he would take a very small portion and his Master would not notice it.

Ramdas was so happy to bring the arsenic and offer it to his Master, but Devadas Maharaj showed him a sad face. Ramdas said, “At this hour I went all the way to town and got you arsenic. How is it that you are sad?”

The Master replied, “I am sad because you come first in your life, and not me. You should have given me the full quantity; then I would have given some to you. Always think of me first. Only then shall I be pleased with you, and I shall give you not only much more than you need, but much more than you deserve.”

Commentary:

The Master’s faith in the disciple and the disciple’s faith in the Master are of equal importance. But sometimes the Master does not reveal to the disciple all aspects of the reality-tree, for it may confuse the seeker’s unripe mind. If he does not tell the story of the reality-life all at once, that does not mean that the Master is mean or not generous. But the Master feels that like a child the disciple has to receive things little by little so that he can assimilate everything.

When the disciple has to deal with the Master, the story has to be different, for no matter what he has or what he is, it will not confuse the Master’s illumined mind. The Master gives to the disciple according to the disciple’s limited receptivity and easily measured capacity, whereas if the disciple wants to give something to the Master, he can do so unreservedly, for the Master’s receptivity and capacity is immeasurable. Again, if the disciple does not give his whole existence to the Master, the Master does not become the loser?far from it. But the disciple weakens his capacity, shortens his vision of the Master and falls down from the reality-oneness with the Master. Finally, insincerity-dragon and ingratitude-insect threaten his aspiring existence.

So give to the Master unreservedly what you have and what you are. The Master will give you according to your need and according to God’s need. The fulfilment of your need entirely depends on God’s Will.

Sri Chinmoy