The Master surrenders
“Master, Master! Today at least I would like you to be sincere with me. Of late you have only been cutting jokes with me. I pray to you to be sincere and serious today.”
“When have I been insincere to you, my son?”
“Master, forgive me. What I actually meant was that you do not go deep within nowadays to answer my questions.”
“My child, my answers depend on the kind of questions you ask me. They entirely depend on the kind of questions you ask me.”
“All right, Master, today I am going to ask you a few most serious questions. My first question is, how many years or incarnations did it take your Master to realise God?”
“Seven long incarnations.”
“Seven long incarnations? I can’t believe it!”
“Who wants you to believe it? Who is begging you to believe it?”
“I am sorry. Master, my second question is, how many years or how many incarnations did it take you to realise God?”
“Three quick incarnations.”
“It took you three incarnations to realise God? You are such a great Master. How is it that it took you three incarnations?”
“What is wrong with that, my son?”
“Nothing, Master. But three whole incarnations? Anyway, I am very glad that my Master realised God in only three incarnations, whereas his Master took seven incarnations.”
“So you are proud of your Master?”
“Of course I am. I am positive that you have far surpassed your Master. Therefore, I should be more proud of you than I am now.”
The Master gave his disciple a sweet smile and said, “I love your innocent wisdom.”
“Master, this is my third question. How many incarnations shall I take to realise God?”
“Just one brief incarnation.”
“O Master, now you have lost all your seriousness once again! How can I realise God in one incarnation, when it took you three incarnations and it took your Master seven incarnations? It is impossible!”
“Why, my child? Why?”
“Master, I have never understood you, and I shall never understand you.”
“You don’t have to understand me. You just have to believe me. Let me make my philosophy simpler and clearer to you. Let us take my Master as a villager. A villager does not get as much opportunity to study as a town-dweller. With great difficulty he goes to school. With great difficulty he learns and becomes a man of knowledge. This was the case with my Master. But I was like a town-dweller. Naturally I got more opportunity to study than my village Master. So I didn’t have as much difficulty as he in studying and becoming a man of knowledge. Now, you are my spiritual son. You are like a city-dweller. You are getting every possible opportunity to go to school and become a man of learning. So for you it will be easy to acquire knowledge.”
“But Master, I still don’t understand you.”
“You will never understand me. I have decided from now on to understand everything for you on your behalf.”
“Master, I really don’t want to equal you in spirituality.”
“My child, I want you not only to equal me in spirituality, but to surpass me.”
“Master, on your part this is a most kind, blessingful wish, and on my part the thought is nothing but sheer stupidity and absurdity.”
“My son, my Master realised God, I realised God and you will realise God. Now, I surpassed my Master. And the way I surpassed my Master, you will also surpass me.”
“But Master, how will I dare to bless you? You know perfectly well that a son is not entitled to bless his father no matter how great he becomes and how ignorant and illiterate his father is.”
“Son, you are giving me earthly wisdom. I want to give you heavenly wisdom. When a son realises God, he is in a perfect position to bless his father, for he is in constant touch with the Highest. When he blesses his father at that time, it is just as though God Himself were blessing his father.”
“But Master, if both son and father are equally realised, how can the son bless the father?”
“Why not? They can bless each other. And as I said before, you should not only equal me but surpass me. So, without the least possible hesitation, I can say that you will be entitled to bless me.”
“O Master, I have pleased you in thousands of ways, hundreds of times. Of course, it was your compassion that made me succeed every time. You have made me an unconditional disciple of yours. Will it ever be possible, Master, for me to ask you to become unconditional to me, even once in this lifetime?”
“Son, I have always been unconditional. Had I not been unconditional ever since I accepted you as a true disciple of mine, by this time you would have left me. And this applies not only to you, but to all my spiritual children. I have always been an unconditional Master to my disciples. God Himself has taught me this supreme, secret lesson. Had I not been unconditional, no disciple would have or could have stayed with me even for a day.”
“Master, this time I really believe you. But will you fulfil my last prayer on earth?”
“Certainly I will.”
“Then, Master, never allow me to be your equal, let alone dream of surpassing you. I wish to be always at your feet. I wish always to kiss the dust of your feet. You have told me repeatedly that you have come into the world to make everybody happy. Such being the case, please make me happy. Please stick to your philosophy that we are all progressing ceaselessly into the ever-transcending Beyond. Just as you are far ahead of me now, I wish you always to remain far ahead of me. You sing the song of your highest self-transcendence from your own height, and let me constantly sing the song of my self-transcendence from my own height.”
“Son, in this world, when two persons do not see eye-to-eye with each other, in order to create a compromise it is always advisable for one to surrender. So I shall surrender to your most fascinating philosophy, since you are unwilling to surrender to my most illumining realisation.”
Deception and God-Realisation are two eternal strangers
Venu and his wife, Rekha, were leading a very spiritual life. Venu and Rekha had two children, who were also very spiritual. When Venu reached middle age, he felt the necessity of entering into an ashram to devote himself to the spiritual life. Rekha wanted to do the same, and their son and daughter, who were now teenagers and leading a pure life, gladly followed the example of their parents.
Venu was a very rich man. He was a diamond dealer by profession, and also he had inherited a very large sum of money at the time of his father’s death. Venu gave up his business, collected all his money and offered it to his spiritual Master. Then he and his whole family went to the Master’s ashram to live.
The Master gave Venu tremendous affection and special attention. Some disciples thought that the Master was doing this just because of the money Venu had given him. Others thought that it was not because of his money, but because of his love, devotion and surrender to his Master’s will that Venu had become so close to the Master. Venu and all the members of his family were liked by hundreds of people at the ashram because of their simplicity, sincerity, kindness and deep feeling for the spiritual life. They were extremely close to one another as well. Indeed, it was a remarkably happy family.
Days passed into weeks, weeks into months, months into years, and a day came when it was time for Venu’s family to celebrate Venu’s sixtieth birthday. They had been in the ashram for ten years, and therefore this birthday had a special significance for them. That significance was added to the joy and glory of Venu’s most auspicious sixtieth birthday. But alas, their heart of light, delight and joy was captured by destruction-night. On his very birthday Venu was attacked by cholera, and in three hours’ time death snatched him away. The entire family was thrown into a sea of grief.
The Master was simply shocked at Venu’s abrupt departure from the earthly scene. He invited the whole family to come to him for consolation. Venu’s wife and his son and daughter went to their Master shedding soulful tears. The Master blessed them one by one. He said to Venu’s wife, “Rekha, you have lost your husband and I have lost my spiritual son. I do not know whose loss is greater.” Then the Master said to Venu’s son and daughter, “Your father is inside my heart. I have two homes: one is here on earth; the other is in Heaven. Soon I shall take him to my other home with my occult and spiritual power. As you know, I rarely use my occult power, but in this case I am more than willing to use it, for Venu’s soul is extremely dear to my heart.
“I shall tell you something else: your father is bound to come back in five years. He will take birth under my inner guidance in a very spiritual family. All this I shall do because his soul is extremely dear to me. And I assure you that when the child comes to my ashram, I shall let you know.” Hearing all this, the stricken family was greatly consoled. The Master’s precious words had assuaged their grief. They went back home and shared the secret news with all those who came to console them.
Three years passed by. Eager to see her father again, Venu’s daughter, Mula, asked the spiritual Master if her father had taken a new incarnation yet. The Master said, “Yes, Venu has taken a new incarnation, and in two years you will see him here at my ashram.” Venu’s whole family was highly excited at this blessingful news, and they started counting the days. Two years later, a spiritual family came to the ashram with a son who was two years old. This child’s name was Kush. The young husband and wife prayed to the Master to give their child a spiritual name, and the Master gave him the name Venu.
Soon the family of the departed Venu came to learn about this Venu. Once more Mula went to the Master and enquired whether this Venu had any connection with her father. The Master said, “Not only does he have the deepest connection, but this Venu is none other than your father.” On hearing this, Mula went home hurriedly and shared the news with her mother and brother, Tushar. They were all excited, and immediately went to visit the new Venu. Rekha took some grapes for her child-husband, Tushar took a toy flute for his child-father and Mula took a crayon for her child-father.
Venu’s young mother greeted the family with great love and with all the natural warmth of her heart. She, too, was excited when she heard the news. Since the Master himself had given this news, no one had even a shadow of doubt about its truth.
Every day Rekha came to visit Venu. She gave the child most delicious fruits and candies to eat and often brought him expensive toys. Venu’s mother and his former wife became very close friends. Venu’s son and daughter also used to come and visit their child-father quite often and offer him toys. They got tremendous joy by playing with him.
But only one thing bothered Tushar a little. He did not notice anything in the child Venu which would make him feel that this child had been his father previously. So one day Tushar went to his Master and said, “Master, forgive me. I don’t deny your inner vision. You are the greatest living Master on earth. But how is it that I don’t see anything of my father in this child? His face does not resemble my father’s at all. His movements and gestures are not in any way like father’s.”
The Master replied, “My son, the soul is not bound by anything. The soul has every right to assume a different consciousness and a different mode of life each time it enters into the physical world. Your father’s soul did not feel the necessity of assuming and revealing the same qualities that it had before. His is a very progressive soul. It cares only for the ever-transcending new. New peace, new light and new height are entering into this child. What you actually want and need is the highest achievement from your father and not the outer likeness.”
Tushar touched the feet of his Master and said, “Master, you have removed all the doubts from my mind. You have immensely increased my heart’s faith in you. From now on I shall never argue with you or doubt you again. My life of ignorance I place at your feet of Light.”
Alas, human life is not always smooth sailing. After some time, Venu’s mother and his former wife were at daggers drawn. His mother, observing the way Rekha was gaining love and affection from her child, felt that Rekha would take Venu away from her. She noticed that her son had become more fond of Rekha than of her, his own mother. Sometimes he would cry inconsolably when he did not see Rekha around him. This pained and irritated his mother deeply. So she wrote a sad letter to the Master explaining in detail everything about her most deplorable situation.
The Master consoled her and asked Rekha to stop going to Venu’s house daily. Only on rare occasions could she go and visit her child-husband, who by this time was four years old. Venu missed his dearest friend when she did not come and he cried for her and told his mother he wanted to see her every day as he used to. Helpless, Venu’s mother wrote another letter to the Master, bringing to his outer notice the deplorable situation in the family. In the meantime, Rekha was also feeling miserable because she was not able to visit her child-husband regularly.
After receiving the second letter from Venu’s mother, the Master told her that he would ask Rekha not to go to visit Venu at all. And this was only the beginning of their suffering. The Master said that both the parties must remain totally apart. He asked Venu’s mother to tell the boy that Rekha had left the ashram. There were seven thousand disciples living at the ashram, so it would take Venu a few years to discover that his friend had not actually left. The Master then strictly ordered Rekha not to go to Venu’s house any more. He said, “For forty years you enjoyed the company of your husband. Now let this poor woman enjoy the company of her son for forty years. God is always kind and just. You had Venu; now let her have him.”
The human mind and doubt are inseparable friends. Tushar again started doubting the Master. Granted, this child was his father, he argued. But how was it, he asked himself, that the child never impressed him in any way? He never had any inner feeling for the boy. He thought that something was wrong. Meanwhile, at home, his mother was miserable because the Master had prohibited her from seeing her former husband. His sister, Mula, was also extremely sad over this situation and Tushar was not in a position to console either of them. Who could console them after the Master had made this irrevocable decision? Finally an idea entered his mind. He decided to go and visit another spiritual Master of great eminence, whom he had heard much about from his friends and acquaintances. This Master had a very small ashram, with only forty disciples, as compared to Tushar’s Master who had thousands of disciples.
So one day Tushar went to this Master’s ashram and asked to have an interview with the Master. The interview was granted. Tushar narrated his sad story to the spiritual Master and asked whether all that his Master had said about the child was true.
The spiritual Master said, “First of all, I must tell you that it is quite immaterial whether or not the child was your father. You will not be able to claim him as a member of your family in any case. You were curious to know about your father. Now look where curiosity has led you. To misery! I feel especially sorry for your mother. When you go home, tell your mother that since she has accepted the spiritual life, it is God alone who is her husband, child, father, mother, brother and sister. God is her all. My philosophy says that the past is dust. Since her past has not given her God-realisation, she should not look into the warehouse of the past, but into the treasure-house of the golden future — the future that will give her Love, Light and Fulfilment in boundless measure. You know perfectly well that curiosity is not spirituality. But God has given me a heart of compassion. Since your mother has been suffering badly over this situation, I shall console her in a special way. If you have faith in me, then get married as soon as possible. In a year’s time, I will bring the soul of your father into your family. I shall be able to prove to you, your mother and your sister that this time it is really your father who has come into your family.”
Tushar bowed down to the spiritual Master and touched his feet. Then he went back home and told his mother this incredible story. Rekha immediately arranged for her son’s marriage. In three weeks she found a most beautiful and spiritual girl for him. After one year of marriage, Tushar’s wife was blessed with a child.
When Tushar’s child was one year old he used to stretch out his hands and bless Rekha, his grandmother, most affectionately. This was exactly what Venu used to do to his wife every morning and evening. When the child was two years old, he stopped drinking milk. When his mother and grandmother tried to feed him milk, he would say, “No milk! No milk!” The very sight of milk made him sad and angry. Rekha remembered that her husband had always hated milk.
One day, when the child was four years old, he called out to his grandmother, “Rekha.” Everybody was astonished to hear the name “Rekha,” since no one in the family would call her by her own name except her husband. The son could not call his mother by her first name, nor could the daughter or the daughter-in-law. The child had never heard his grandmother’s first name. But he said to his grandmother, “Rekha, what have you done with the money?”
Rekha, who was overwhelmed, asked him, “What money?”
“Don’t you remember that in my bedroom, right under my cot, you and I dug a hole, and there we placed a small tumbler in which we kept twenty thousand rupees for our children?”
Rekha, poor Rekha! She had totally forgotten about the money. She took the child in her arms and brought him to the spot he had spoken of. Tushar dug a hole in that same spot and discovered a large tumbler with twenty thousand rupees inside it.
When he was seven years old, the child asked his grandmother, “Rekha, where is our Lord? I want to go and see him.” Now Venu had always called his Master “Lord,” and he was the only one in the family who did so. “I want to go and see him. I wish to go and see my Lord.”
On behalf of his son, Tushar wrote a letter to his Master. By this time, the Master had heard quite a few striking stories about Tushar’s son, and he had also heard about the Master whom Tushar had visited. On reading Tushar’s letter, the Master became furious. He wrote a nasty letter to Tushar, saying that he and his whole family had to leave the ashram on that very day. Tushar, his mother, his wife and his sister did not feel at all sorry. On the contrary, they were glad that they could go away from that ashram quite peacefully, without creating any further embarrassment for their Master. Long before this they had been thoroughly convinced that this young child was a reincarnation of their beloved Venu. By this time, they were more than eager to go to the other Master and become his disciples.
A few days later, Tushar’s ex-Master most vehemently attacked the new Master with all his occult power. But the ex-Master was no match for the present Master. The ex-Master inwardly said to the new Master, “Because of you, I have lost a spiritual family. Because of you, seven thousand disciples of mine have started losing faith in me.”
Tushar’s new Master replied, “You have played your role, and I have exposed your deception to the world at large. You have over seven thousand disciples, while I have only forty disciples. But I am warning you! Do not exploit innocent and sincere hearts! Otherwise, God will expose you again and again through other instruments like me.
“You thought that since you had seven thousand disciples, you were a great spiritual giant; whereas poor me, with only forty disciples, could be of no consequence. I tell you, it is not the number of disciples one has, not the quantity, but the quality that matters and I tell you, because of their sincere inner cry and pure life, my disciples have far surpassed yours. Time will prove it.
“It is not the ego in me that is speaking; it is the Wisdom-light that is speaking. There is no competition between you and me, and there can be no competition between my spiritual children and your spiritual children. My children and I are walking along one road; you and your children are walking along another road. Our road is sunlit precisely because we are simple, sincere, dedicated and totally consecrated to our goal. No doubt your goal and our goal are one and the same, but the path that you are walking along is very long and narrow because you are consciously and deliberately wedded to deception, darkness and ignorance. Most of your children are living in the world of luxury and pleasure. But spiritual life is a life of self-dedication and not a life of enjoyment. Be sincere to yourself. Your sincerity will give birth to your children’s sincerity. Sincerity is our eternal safeguard.
“My last warning to you is this: if you again exploit innocent hearts, you will not only lose all your disciples, but they all will surpass you in the real spiritual world, the world of inner achievement. And what is worse, you will have to get your liberation, salvation and illumination from one of your disciples at some remote future time. Mind you, this will take place hundreds of years from now, when you become totally sincere and dedicated.
“God, out of His infinite Bounty, has blessed me with occult and spiritual power which far surpasses yours. Therefore, today you have to accept this most deplorable defeat at my hands. You have a little bit of occult power. But mere acquisition of occult power, no matter how great, does not indicate that one is a God-realised soul. You are a shining example. For you God-realisation is still a far cry. My only advice to you is this: deception and God-realisation are two eternal strangers.”
Silence is the best truth
Many years ago in Bengal, India, there lived several spiritual Masters who were renowned for their sincerity. They were sincerity incarnate, and many times they suffered severely for this. Nevertheless, they were determined not to swerve from the path of truth.
One day, with his fifty intimate disciples, the Master Kudal went to a religious festival. Thousands of seekers and hundreds of disciples with their respective Masters came to attend this religious festival. The disciples of various Masters sang spiritual songs and staged spiritual plays. It was a colossal gathering. In the street that afternoon, all of a sudden Kudal approached a beautiful girl of seventeen who was with her parents, and he cried out, “Mother, Mother, you are here! You were my mother in your last incarnation. Mother, bless me. I am your son, Kudal.”
Kudal’s disciples were at first amazed, because they had never encountered this kind of behaviour in their Master before. Sushila, the girl, was embarrassed and shocked. Her mother thought that Kudal was crazy. Her father became furious and threatened Kudal.
When Kudal’s disciples saw that their Master was being threatened by the girl’s father, one disciple said to him, “How dare you insult our Master? Our Master is a great Yogi! If you ever again dare to insult him, we shall send you to the other world. Fifty of his disciples are here now. If you don’t want to believe what our Master says, don’t believe it. If your daughter does not want to bless our Master, let her not bless our Master. But you are a fool! The entire world is eager to be blessed by our Master. He is a Yogi of the highest magnitude. Just because your daughter happened to be his physical mother in her last incarnation, he wants to be blessed by her. The physical son, no matter how great and high he is, no matter how divine he is, offers his loving devotion to his mother. Do not ascribe undivine motives to a Master of his calibre.” Sushila’s father said to the disciples, “For God’s sake, let me take my daughter home. Enough of this Kudal, this spiritual rogue! I always knew that spirituality was a bosom friend of stupidity.”
But, meanwhile, something was happening in Sushila’s heart. During the disciple’s angry outburst, she had been looking at Kudal most affectionately and soulfully. When her father and mother led her away, she began to weep. She said to her father, “Father, you have insulted a great spiritual Master. To insult a spiritual Master is a terrible sin. And I strongly feel that I was his mother in my previous life.”
Immediately Sushila’s mother cried, “Stop! Stop! He is a rogue and you are a fool! I don’t want you to be fooled by a fake Master.”
The father added, “He is not only a rogue and a fake, but an immoral character as well. The way he came up to you, my daughter, and talked to you in the street was utterly distasteful. His manners were nothing but callous.”
Sushila said to her parents, “If you go on speaking ill of this great spiritual Master, I shall not talk to you anymore.”
Suddenly the mother said, “A brilliant idea has struck my mind. Let us go to our own Master and ask him if what this one has told us is all true.”
The father immediately agreed, saying, “Indeed, that is an excellent idea. Undoubtedly our Master is infinitely greater and higher than this Kudal, whom Sushila now seems to be on the verge of accepting as her own.”
Sushila said to her parents, “If you go on speaking ill of this great spiritual Master, I shall not talk to you any more.”
Her mother became furious and scolded, “Shame, shame on you! How dare you compare our Master with that silly man!”
“Mother, don’t call him silly, for I inwardly feel that he is really good and great.”
Her father, in an ironic voice, uttered, “Divine, too, no doubt.”
Sushila said to her parents, “Why are you torturing me? Let us go to our Master and solve our problems.”
The mother replied, “Forgive us. Let us go.”
On their arrival at their Master’s home, the father blurted out, “Master, today has been the most inauspicious and trying day of my life. That Kudal, who styles himself as a great Master, has created a terrible problem in our family! Thousands of people are enjoying the religious festival, and we wanted to do the same. Alas, all of a sudden a hostile force had to attack us. This hostile force was none other than Kudal, the great fake. Master, do you know what he told us? He told us that our dearest Sushila was his mother in her last incarnation! And what is most painful is that Sushila believes it. Please, Master, tell us once and for all that it was all false. Once she hears this from you, Sushila will not be so attached to him and fascinated by him.”
The Master went deep within. Fifteen minutes later he came out of his trance and said, “Kudal was right, perfectly right.” The mother burst into tears, the father flew into a rage, and Sushila fell at the Master’s feet with overwhelming gratitude.
Sobbing, the mother said to the Master, “Master, already it is almost impossible for us to keep our daughter at home. Now I am sure she will go and join Kudal. He will ruin our dearest daughter. She is our only daughter. She is the only child in our family.”
The father said, “Impossible! As long as I am on earth, I shall not allow my Sushila to go near him.”
Sushila smilingly said, “Let us see.”
Then the father said to the Master, “Master, we came to you to be saved. Instead of saving us, you have totally destroyed our family. I tell you, you and Kudal are two unthinkable and unbearable fakes. I had great faith in you, in myself and in God. I am giving up the spiritual life for good. Tonight I shall set fire to your house and burn the whole thing to ashes!”
The Master replied, “My son, you can do anything you want with my house and with my life, but I shall always speak the truth. I shall never waver an inch from the truth.”
“But don’t you see that your truth has destroyed my whole family?” cried the father. “What kind of truth is it that destroys a sweet, loving and affectionate family? I hate your sense of truth, and I literally hate you!”
That night, Sushila’s father kept his inhuman promise to set fire to his Master’s house. In the middle of the night, the unfortunate Master had to take shelter in his garden. Before his very eyes, his house burned to the ground. Yet his compassion and forgiveness prevailed.
Early in the morning, this Master’s own spiritual Master came to him occultly during his meditation and said, “My dearest son, compassion is good, forgiveness is good, but you have to know that wisdom is equally good. Truth is unparalleled and incomparable. But on the physical plane, if you all the time use the truth in its pristine form, the ignorance of the world finds it extremely hard to bear. The world stands against the one who offers truth. So, at times, silence is the best truth, and not the revelation of one’s realisation.
“Look how Kudal’s sincerity was misunderstood. And your sincerity was met with ingratitude and destruction. I tell you, although sincerity is of utmost importance, at times silence is the only medicine that can cure this world of ignorance. Speak the truth when it is inspiring, encouraging, illumining and fruitful. But in cases where the truth will create measureless misunderstanding and untold suffering, silence is by far the best truth, the only truth.”
Gokul will not leave his Master
One day a great spiritual Master said to his dearest disciple Gokul, “My son, you have now equalled me in spirituality. You have inner Peace, Light and Bliss in boundless measure. I want you to leave my ashram and open one of your own.”
Gokul burst into tears and said, “Master, Master, this can never be. I can never leave you, and I shall never leave you. You are my life. You are my soul. You are my goal. You are my all.”
The Master said, “Son, two lions cannot live together in one den. One has to move into another den. You are not getting the opportunity to flourish here.”
“Master, who wants to flourish? Not I! Not in the least! I came into the world only to serve you, not to equal you. It was your mistake that enabled me to equal you. I beg to be excused one hundred percent, but to tell the truth, what you say about my spiritual status equalling yours, I take with a grain of salt.”
“You don’t believe me? Don’t you know it is a great insult when you don’t believe your Master?”
“Master, you are my heart’s love. I believe you in everything else. Only when you say that I have equalled you in the spiritual life do I have some reservations.”
“Son, I wish to tell you that if you do not believe in everything I say and do, then it is as meaningless and useless as not believing in anything I say or do.”
“Master, Master, please don’t scold me. I believe you and I shall believe you implicitly in everything you say and do.”
The Master gave Gokul a broad and blessingful smile.
“Master, may I ask you for a favour?”
“Certainly, my son. If it is within my capacity I shall, without fail, fulfil your desire.”
“Master, in your ashram there are many who are literally dying to go out and open ashrams for you.”
“Gokul, I cannot allow just anyone to open an ashram for me. I know what their standards are.”
“Master, they are crying to open centres for you and you don’t allow them to do so, whereas I wish only to be at your feet all the time but you want to send me out to open an ashram. What an irony of fate, Master.”
“Son, there is a great difference between the Master’s asking a particular disciple to open an ashram for him and the disciple’s wanting to open an ashram for the Master without his permission. Those who open ashrams for the Master without his express permission, most of the time are carried away by their blind egos. In the name of the Master they secretly aggrandise their own egos and fulfil their secret motives most effectively. In this case, I am asking you to open an ashram of your own, in your own name and not in mine.”
“Master, in that case it is infinitely worse.”
“Not at all, my son. I know that you have realised the highest Truth, just as I did many years ago. Since you have realised the Truth, you are more than qualified to run an ashram of your own and kindle the flame of aspiration in thousands of sincere seekers, as I have been doing for the last two decades.”
“Master, for me to open an ashram of my own and not an ashram of yours, under your guidance, is simply impossible.”
“You give me the feeling that you are ready to open an ashram in my name.”
“Not exactly, Master. But if you want me to make a choice between opening an ashram in my own name or one in your name, needless to say I shall immediately agree to open an ashram for you. But if you want me to make a choice between staying at your feet like a most faithful dog and leaving the ashram to open an ashram for you, I shall without fail try to stay at your feet all my life.”
“Son, don’t you understand that if the qualified people do not offer their service to those in need of it, then this world of ours will never be flooded with Peace and Light?”
“Master, I fully understand it. But the human in me is as attached to you as the divine in me is devoted to you. It is simply impossible for me to go and live elsewhere.”
“Son, since you are so reluctant to listen to my request, I shall let you go this time. But I shall send you back into this world three times to work for God; whereas if you listen to me this time, it will be a matter of only a few years that you will have to work for God. For I will make this incarnation absolutely your last.”
“Master, is it so? Then I am ready to go out and work for God and for you for the last few years of my life. But you have to keep your promise that I shall not have to come back into the world, since you have told us that you will not take any more incarnations. I wish to be always at your feet. But Master, I tell you, just as it is difficult for me to leave you, so also will it be difficult for you to get rid of me, for I am your eternal dog.”
“Son, you are not my dog but my God, who can never leave me no matter how many ways I try to make you leave me. Son, it is not the disciple in you that does not want to leave me but the ever-affectionate God in you who does not want to leave me and can never leave me. Son, to lose to you is to win on an infinitely higher plane of consciousness, and to claim you as my Eternity’s Pride, Infinity’s Heart and Immortality’s Smile.”
Master, Master, what is wrong with you? Why are you so upset?”
“You rascal! What have you done?”
“What have I done, Master? I have just sat on your bed, just for a fleeting second, and for that you have to be so upset?”
“You rascal! What kind of audacity do you have?”
The Master removes the sheet and starts tearing it to pieces.
“Master, Master, don’t tear it. Right now I shall go to the store and buy you a new sheet. Just leave it, please.”
The disciple goes to the shop and buys a new sheet. Then he offers it to the Master.
“Thank you, but don’t do it again.”
“Master, you have told us many times that you are the garbage collector and we can always throw our impurities into you. How is it that this time, when I just sat on your bed for a second, you became so furious? That means you don’t really take our impurities, you just say you do.”
“You fool! I always tell the truth. But listen: every night I speak to God on my bed. We sit there together and talk, and the cosmic gods sit on my bed, too. My bed is like a holy shrine. You have defiled it with your impurity.”
“O Master, I didn’t know that God and the cosmic gods sit on your bed. I am sorry that I have done it. But I am also proud that it is I who have sat on your bed where God and the cosmic gods sit every night! Master, you can punish me; no matter what kind of punishment you want to give, I will be happy to accept it.”
The Master becomes furious. “I will not give you any punishment, but you must not enter into my bedroom any more.”
“Master, Master, tell me one thing. I sat on your bed, true. So why do you want to discard only the sheet? What about the blankets and the pillow and mattress?”
“Yes, you are right. But what can I do? I don’t have the money to replace them.”
“Then, Master, I am going to the shop to bring you new blankets, a new pillowcase, a new pillow and everything new.”
The Master says to the disciple, who is a young man of thirty-eight, “Only you can do this kind of nonsense!”
“Yes, Master, I am very sorry that I have created such a problem for you.”
The disciple goes out and buys a new pillow, new blankets, a new mattress, everything new for the Master, and presents them to him.
“You are more than welcome, Master. But Master, what about the bed itself, the frame? There also my impurity has entered, has it not?”
“Yes, it has entered, but I don’t have the money to buy a new frame.”
“Oh Master, don’t worry. I am going to offer you a new one.”
The disciple goes out and buys a new bed and offers it to the Master.
The Master is extremely happy. He says, “I thank you most deeply.”
“Master, there is one thing I don’t understand.”
“You will never understand anything.”
“Master, it is my hand that has touched your new sheet, your pillow, your pillowcase, your blankets and your mattress. Everything that belongs to this new bed, my hand has already touched once. So, Master, are they not impure? The things that you are going to use now are all impure, are they not? How is it that you are going to use them? Is it just because they are new?”
“No, it is not because they are new. You people are impurity incarnate, especially you. But I have the power to purify everything that you touch.”
“But, Master, a few hours ago when I sat on your bed you got so furious. You could have purified it then instead of taking all these new things. I don’t mind spending money on you. On the contrary, it is a great honour for me to give you material things. But you could easily have purified your bed then and you would not have had to take all these things from me.”
“Look here, in this world when I use something regularly, that very thing embodies my consciousness, my light, my purity, my power. Everything that is divine is embodied by that particular thing. Now, I have been using this old bed for the last four years. The moment you sat on my bed, your impure, undivine consciousness entered into the pure, divine consciousness of the bed. Why should I have to go through the trouble of purifying the bed? If you had had a little respect and devotion for me, you would never have dreamed of sitting on my bed.
“True, I take your impurities, I take impurities from every disciple. But that does not mean that the disciple will consciously and deliberately desecrate the place or thing that already embodies my solid purity and divinity. One thing is for the Master consciously and deliberately to take impurities from a disciple; another thing is for the disciple deliberately, out of sheer malice, to destroy the purity of the Master’s belongings.”
“Master, I shall tell you my supreme secret. I had a most sincere desire. I wanted to offer you a new bed, a new sheet, a new pillow and mattress and new blankets — everything new, because I thought that if you accepted my offering everybody would come to know of it and everybody would appreciate and admire me, and I would be extolled to the skies. I would be able to say, ‘My Master is using the bed I offered to him. He is so kind to me.’ I thought this would be an easy way to get appreciation and admiration from my brother and sister disciples. For me to spend a few dollars is nothing. As you know, Master, you have blessed me with material wealth. So Master, that was the reason why I sat on your bed.”
“You fool! You deliberately deceived me. When you try to deceive someone you may at times succeed and you may at times fail. You succeeded this time with me. But if you had been sincere right from the beginning, if you had prayed to me to accept a new bed from you, do you think that I would have refused you? No. When you are sincere you get not only the thing you want, but also something more, something beyond your imagination.”
“Master, what would you have given me had I been sincere?”
“My son, if you had been sincere from the beginning, I would have said, ‘That is a splendid idea. And I shall give you my bed for your own use. Many cosmic gods, as well as God Himself, have sat and talked with me on this bed. Now I offer it to you with our deepest blessings.’ So, if you are sincere, not only do you get what you want, but you are likely to get something infinitely more, something far beyond your imagination. Be sincere. ”
(Sri chinmoy, The Master surrenders)