Guru/Spiritual Teacher

Oneness with the Master

His life is full of din,
His life is full of rush,
His life is full of hurry.
He is a picture of insincerity,
He is a picture of ingratitude,
He is a picture of failure.
He fails to silence the storm of his flesh,
He fails to come out of the abyss of his doubt,
He fails to bury the coffin of his fear.
He shall be saved,
He shall be liberated,
He shall be fulfilled.
He has heard his Master’s footfalls.

Whether or not a disciple is outwardly close to the Master, the Master’s heart-door is open to him twenty-four hours a day. If the disciple knocks at his Master’s door, the Master will open it. But when he knocks, he must knock with his sincere aspiration and not with his demanding vital. If he comes with his demanding vital, the Master’s door will never be open. But if he comes with aspiration, he will please the Master far beyond his imagination, and with just a faint knock the door will be open wide for him.

A disciple can please the Master in the Master’s own way or in the disciple’s own way. When the Master wants to be pleased in his own way, it does not mean that he is an autocrat. Rather, it means that the Master knows how the Supreme wants to be pleased. In the case of a genuine Master, the Master’s will and the Supreme’s Will are always one.

A disciple can best please his Master if he does not expect anything from the Master. He will only give and give; he will offer himself totally and unconditionally. Unfortunately, when the disciple gives something, often he immediately expects a specific thing in return. That is because he is living in the world of give and take. But the spiritual life is not a market. The Master knows what is best for the disciple and when is the best time to give that thing. If the Master gives something untimely, instead of illumining the unlit consciousness of the disciple, he may just break the disciple’s inner vessel.

The power of the Master is bound to illumine the disciple if the disciple has receptivity. If the disciple has no receptivity, then the Master’s power will be of no use. On the contrary, it will be harmful. But if the disciple allows the Master to operate in his own way, which is the way that the Divine commands, then the Supreme in the Master will be able to mould the disciple according to the divine Will.

There are four major ways in which disciples try to please the Supreme in their Master. First, there are some who want to please the Supreme in the Master in the way the Supreme wants to be pleased. How can they do that? On the strength of their aspiration and meditation they enter into the Master and get the message he wants to offer, and then they try to act accordingly. Or they let the Master enter into them and try to receive his messages. Every day the Master is communicating with the souls of his disciples, feeding them with Light, Peace and Bliss. Every day the Master is telling the souls how they can please the Supreme, and the souls are bringing the message to the disciples’ conscious mind. Then the disciples either accept or reject the message.

Since, unfortunately, most disciples do not have the capacity to enter into the Master all the time or the receptivity to receive the Master’s message, they try with all their sincerity, devotion and love to please the Master in the way that they feel is best. They may feel that if they do this for the Master, then the Master will be most pleased. It is a good attitude, no doubt, because they are trying most sincerely to please the Supreme in the Master — according to their capacity or according to the intensity of their aspiration. They are not trying to deceive the Master or create problems for him. They are only trying to serve the Supreme in him the way they feel best. The first way is far superior, infinitely superior; but even this second approach is also good.

Then there is a third way. Here the disciples feel that if the Master says to do something, they will do it; if the Master says not to do something, they will not do it. Then, if anything goes wrong, the poor Master has to take all the blame. But if things go right, immediately their ego comes forward and says, “It is our aspiration that was responsible for this success.”

The spiritual Master says to these disciples, “If I say, ‘Do this,’ because that is the thing your own soul wants you to do, it is good that you do it. But if you would do it on the strength of your own inner feeling, then you would get infinitely more joy, because you would feel that you had discovered the truth yourself.” The truth has already been discovered on their behalf by the Master. But now it is up to the disciples to discover in the inmost recesses of their own hearts that what they want and what their Master wants are the same thing.

The Master can tell the disciples, “Do this! Do that!” But he can say this only to those spiritual children of his who have totally offered to him their body, vital, mind, heart and soul — not to those who have just come to see whether he is a spiritual person and whether he can solve their problems. The Master has to do everything for those who have truly accepted him. But the disciples have to know that the Master is ready to serve them according to how deeply they have entered into him and how much they really love the Supreme in him.

A sincere disciple of any spiritual Master will always get the utmost joy by listening to the Master’s dictates and not to his own physical mind. Those who are selfless, devoted and one-pointed walk along the Master’s path every day, every hour, every second. If a seeker has this kind of devoted feeling for his spiritual Master, then he can make the fastest progress in his inner life.

Finally, there is a fourth attitude. Often so-called aspirants accept a Master for a day or two just so that he will solve their problems. Then, when their problems are solved, they go away. Or they say that they have come to the Master for liberation and realisation, but when they see that it is a long, arduous process, they leave him. They say that they have come for the highest realisation, but when they see that the Master’s path is not the way that they want to realise God, they feel that the Master is not meant for them and they disappear.

Some people ask a spiritual Master what to do and when he tells them, they do exactly the reverse. If you know that you will not be able to listen to your Master, it is best not to ask him what to do. Otherwise, when sincerity enters into your heart and aspiration rises in you like a mounting flame, you will feel miserable that you did not listen to him. If you had not asked his advice in the first place, then you would not have felt miserable, because you would have had perfect freedom from beginning to end to make your own decision and execute it by yourself. When the Master gives advice, he is expressing the Will of the Supreme. It is up to the disciple to accept or reject it. If he rejects it, the Master will never be displeased. A real Master is far above the disciple’s acceptance or rejection. But if the Master wants to, he can tell the disciple, “You are delaying your own progress. But God is inside you and He will continue to march. Slowly and steadily He will one day bring you to the Goal.” More than that the Master has no need to say.

When the Master says something to a disciple, he is saying it for the disciple’s own good. But unfortunately, very often when the Master speaks, the disciple thinks that the Master has some motive. Even if the disciple does not have that kind of feeling, he will often accept the Master’s views with the greatest inner reluctance. What can the poor Master do? If he keeps silent, the disciple feels that the Master is indifferent to him. He says, “Master does not care for me; he cares only for others. He does not tell me anything.” But even though the aspirant has been crying in the inner world for months or years for the Master’s advice, when the Master tells him to do this or that, immediately the disciple objects. He tells the whole world, “Master has asked me to do this; that is why I am doing it. For myself, I don’t want it or need it: I am doing it just to please the Master.” In the inner world the disciples will cry for something; and in the outer world they will blame the Master for giving it to them.

A spiritual Master tries to please his disciples on all levels. At times he succeeds, at times he does not. At times he gets a hundred out of a hundred from them; sometimes he gets zero out of a hundred. He tries to please them most devotedly in the physical world, in the vital world, in the mental world, in the intuitive world and in the soul’s world. Most of his disciples may not be aware of these inner worlds, but they are aware of the outer world in which they are living.

It is not always possible for the Master to please his disciples. Sometimes a disciple feels that the Master is unkind or does not care for him if the Master does not give him what he wants. But if the Master does give him what he wants, the disciple’s soul will feel miserable and will curse the Master. And the Supreme will hold the Master responsible. He will say that the Master is consciously delaying the progress of that particular disciple. If a child wants to eat poison, the mother does not give him poison just to please him.

Each spiritual Master has three types of disciples: true disciples, false disciples and fanatical disciples. Fanatical disciples do not really believe what their Master says. They do not have implicit faith in their Master, but they want to make the world feel that they do. They insist that the entire world believe that whatever their Master says is the highest Gospel. But they don’t have an iota of real faith in their Master. The fanatical disciples only want to show the world how much faith they have and how close they are to their Master.

False disciples feel that whenever they do something for the Master, they are doing him a great favour. They feel that the Master was drowning and they have brought him safely to shore. Although these people may have true sincerity and aspiration in their own way, they are not true disciples.

Those who find it difficult to accept the Master’s judgement are also false disciples. They feel that truth has to be justified and mentally understood. If the Master says something to them, immediately they will ask, “Why? Why? Why?” They will always ask for justification. Unless and until their minds are convinced that what the Master has said is true or is coming from the Supreme, they will not do anything the Master requests. If the Master has to offer this kind of message repeatedly in order to convince the minds of some disciples, if he has to go on all his life justifying his conduct, then he can never do anything for these disciples. They are wasting their precious time and the Master is wasting his precious time. The mind can be convinced only for a fleeting second. The Master may take hours to convince the mind, but after a short time the same mind will again start doubting the Master.

Very often these disciples don’t want real justification. They just want to show off their “tremendous wisdom.” Or they feel that the questions they are asking have never been asked and that the questions themselves will remain immortal. But I wish to say that in this world all questions have already been asked and all questions have already been answered. When the disciple asks a question, he only changes a few words from a previously asked question. And when the Master answers the question, he also changes only a few words. Here on earth nothing is new. All the questions have been asked millions of times by millions of seekers; and all the answers also have been given by real spiritual Masters. It is nothing new; we are only using different phrases, different words, different idioms.

If the Master says something which you mentally do not understand, then meditate on it. You will come to understand the inner significance of the Master’s statement. But by finding fault or demanding proper mental answers, you only satisfy your mental curiosity. At the same time, you literally pollute the pure hearts of those who either have established their oneness with the Master or want to establish their oneness with him. From the highest spiritual point of view, if the Master says that something is black, then his disciples will feel it is black even if it is white. Now you will say that black is black and white is white. But from the highest spiritual point of view, if a realised Master sees something as black and if you can enter into his consciousness and also see it as black, then at that time you will be establishing your inner oneness with the Master. And this is the beginning of God-realisation.

I tell my disciples, “If you feel that your way of seeing the truth is more powerful or more real, then I may agree with you in order to avoid complications. If I say, ‘Do this,’ and you say, ‘No, no, that is wrong,’ then immediately I will agree with you. I know that I am not wrong, but I don’t want to argue. I will only wait for your soul to come forward and make you feel that I was right.” Sometimes the disciples feel, “What does Guru know about this?” or, “What does he know about the outer life?” All right, then I will keep silent. But one day their souls will come forward and tell them that I said the right thing, absolutely the right thing.

In the spiritual life, at every moment we are aiming at the goal. While aiming at the goal, sometimes the football player pretends that he is going to kick the ball with his right foot. But if he feels that there is a very powerful opponent facing his right foot, immediately he changes the ball to his left foot and scores a goal. Now, just because it seemed that he was going to kick the ball with his right foot, immediately some people may think, “See, he could not score with the right foot; his right foot has no capacity. That is why he used his left foot.” But what is ultimately important is scoring the goal. Whether one uses the right foot or the left foot to score is unimportant.

What is important is achieving the Goal and making you achieve the Goal. The true Master shall, without fail, take you to the Goal. But if the Master meets with greater opposition with a particular approach, then he will change it. You may be under the impression that he is making a mistake or that perhaps he did not see the truth. He sees the truth, but you have to know that he is dealing with possibility, and sometimes it is necessary to change his position.

True disciples are those who at every moment see the truth through the Master’s eyes and feel the truth with the Master’s heart. There is no sense of separativity between a true disciple and a real Master. Either the true disciples have already established their oneness with the Master on every plane of consciousness, from the highest to the lowest, or they are crying and trying to establish their inseparable oneness with the Master. They don’t use the mind to judge whether the Master is right or wrong; they use the heart to become one with the Master’s wisdom. If somebody feels the authenticity and reality of the Master’s words, then he is bound to get the Master’s consciousness. True disciples do not have to be told the reason why the Master says this or does that. They always feel that their Master is doing the right thing, and they know that he is doing it all for them. More than that, at every moment a true disciple is ready to fight with the Master against ignorance and he will feel that the Master is fighting against ignorance not for the Master’s own salvation but for the disciple’s salvation.

To realise God is not like eating a banana or drinking a cup of tea. It is something really difficult! But the day you realise God, the Supreme, you will see that the price you have paid is too low. The price of God-realisation is never correct. Now the price is absolutely too high; there is not a single disciple who will say that the price is not high. But when you realise God, you will see that your Guru helped you to such an extent that the price was very, very low.

Each aspirant must consciously, soulfully, devotedly and unconditionally offer his will to the Will of the Supreme. When desire asks him to do one thing and aspiration asks him to do something else, he has to surrender the demanding vital and the doubting mind to the will of the aspiring heart and illumining soul. Sometimes the entire being wants to surrender all at once and jump into the sea of divine Reality, but the doubting mind says, “Be careful! Instead of a pearl, you may find some dangerous water animal.” At this time, he must ignore the mind. When there is some hesitation on the part of the disciple, he is really lost.

In many cases, we know what the divine Will is, but we have not surrendered our own will due to lethargy or lack of intense aspiration. We feel that if we do not surrender this year, no harm; we will have many more opportunities before the end of our life. But if we cherish this kind of idea, then we will never surrender. When it is a matter of jealousy, insecurity or doubt, some disciples feel that if they cherish these forces today, tomorrow they will be able to conquer them at their sweet will. But that tomorrow will never come in their life. If you do not begin immediately, you will never begin and your nature’s transformation will never take place.

You may say, “Previously I had more jealousy or more insecurity than now, so I am gradually making progress.” But you have to compare yourself not with your obscure past but with your golden future. Feel that you are a divine warrior and you have to fight until the end. You may say that you have conquered 90 percent of your jealousy and only 10 percent remains. But I wish to say that until you have conquered the whole amount, there is no certainty of victory. Today you may feel that you have conquered some of these wrong forces; ten days later you will see that, like a wave, all the wrong forces have entered into your consciousness again and you are back where you started. Whenever you are aware of any wrong movement within you, please begin immediately to fight against it like a divine hero.

Again, some aspirants have the complacent feeling that they have walked a long distance and now they can take a little rest. But this is very dangerous. Even if you have only one step more to go in order to reach the ultimate Goal, you must not take rest. Even on the verge of realisation, many spiritual seekers have fallen. They have been swept away by temptation or doubt, and only after many, many years have they been able to resume their spiritual life. So you have always to be on the alert; you have to move forward continually.

No depression, no jealousy, no doubt, no fear can be allowed to remain inside you. If you retain undivine qualities, then you are digging your own grave. You cannot imagine what depression can do, what doubt can do, what jealousy can do! They can take you back to the animal life even though you are in a human body. They are doing it and they will continue doing it if you do not consciously throw them out of your life. If you really love the Supreme, then get rid of doubt, jealousy and all other undivine forces — completely and permanently.

Each aspirant has to make an inner promise to obey the Will of the Supreme — at least for just this one lifetime. He has to say to himself, “After all, this is only one life. Now I am 20 or 30 or 40 years old. I may stay on earth until I am about 80. Am I such a useless person that I cannot keep a promise or follow one course for a few fleeting years?” In your next incarnation, if you don’t want to remain on the spiritual path, if you want to lead another kind of life, you can. But if you want to give the spiritual life a chance to please and fulfil you, you must live it in the proper way. Forget about Eternity and Infinity. Only concern yourself with one short lifetime out of the hundreds of lifetimes you have lived and you are going to live on earth. If you can really surrender your will to the Will of the Supreme for just one lifetime, absolute satisfaction will dawn in your life. Right now you are struggling and struggling to surrender your will to the Supreme. But I wish to say that each time you make this surrender you are gaining strength. Then, eventually you will reach the point where even if you want to have a will that is separate from the divine Will, you will not be able to, because you will have merged with the one Will. At that point, yours will be the Victory Supreme.

(Sri Chinmoy „The Master and the disciple“)

About the author



We are all leaves, flowers
And fruits
On the different religion-branches
Of the birthless and deathless

(Sri Chinmoy)

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