There once lived a spiritual Master who was very, very old. On his hundredth birthday God came to bless him for his many long years of service. While he was receiving God's blessing the Master said to God, "Father, are you blessing me or cursing me?"
"Son, what is the matter? What is wrong with you?" asked God.
"Father, I am afraid of what you are doing now.
"Why are you afraid of me?"
"I am not afraid of you, but I am afraid of your request and loving demand. I am afraid that you will ask me to stay on earth for another hundred years. At the age of twenty I realised you. You asked me to reveal you, manifest you and help you establish perfection on earth. Perhaps you do not know, Father, what kind of suffering I have been going through. Your earth is blind to my soul's light. Your Heaven is deaf to my inner cry. Had I known that God-manifestation is infinitely more difficult than God-realisation, I would not have cared for God-manifestation at all. You want me to illumine humanity, but the power that is required to illumine humanity either you have not given me or, if you have given it to me, I do not know how to utilise it. In any case, whether I have the power or do not have the power, all my efforts are useless unless and until the power takes effect on earth. Do you agree with me, Father?"
"To some extent I do agree with you. But I wish to tell you that it is not your fault that the world is not accepting you and listening to you. It is earth's lack of receptivity that is responsible."
"Then tell me, Father, who is responsible for earth's lack of receptivity?"
"Son, it is I who am responsible not only for earth's lack of receptivity, but also for all earth's weaknesses, imperfections and limitations. It is my Dream-boat and my Reality-shore that are responsible. My Dream-boat does not sail as fast as I want it to, and my Reality-shore does not satisfy my Dream-boat as soon as it reaches the shore; therefore, neither my Reality-shore nor my Dream-boat is happy with the other or with itself. I try to keep the Boat and the Shore together. I try to feed them together, please them together and fulfil them together. But very often when earth plays the role of the Reality-shore and Heaven plays the role of the Dream-boat, earth's achievements, possessions and treasures are so limited and insignificant that when the Dream-boat reaches earth's shore it is frustrated. And when earth becomes the Dream-boat and reaches Heaven, the Reality-shore, Heaven's superiority complex, indifferent attitude and reluctance to share its plenitude, and the bewilderment created for earth by the magnificence of Heaven's treasure, disappoint the Dream-boat badly. Anyway, I do not blame you, my son; I do not blame my Dream-boat or my Reality-shore; I blame myself."
"Father, I do not want to blame you, but I wish to make a suggestion if I may."
"Son, let me hear your suggestion."
"Father, your game should be played by four separate persons. As in a relay race four runners are required to complete the race, even so in this divine race we can have four runners. The first runner will realise you, the second will reveal you, the third will manifest you and the fourth will complete the race and establish perfection on earth. Since you are by far the fastest runner, the fourth one will be yourself.'
"Son, there are some runners who will get the most happiness only if they alone complete the race. There are some students who, instead of covering a certain distance and leaving it to others to complete the course of study, want to go straight through from kindergarten to university. They feel that if they go to the end of their course, then alone will they be satisfied. Of course, I must say, my son, that there are some children of mine who make most sincere promises that they will manifest me after they have realised me. I give them realisation on that condition, but once they get their realisation they cry and cry for their heavenly existence. They don't want to stay on this ignorant and imperfect earth. There are also some really clever children of mine who tell the world before they die that they will come back again. They tell their disciples and the world that they will come back again and again to illumine mankind until all human beings have realised me. Of course, there are some who really mean what they say, and they do try to keep their promise for earth's transformation by coming back to earth again. But unfortunately, most of them do not. Also, there are some to whom I give rest because they have worked very hard. I know that if I wanted to send them into the world to work for me again, they would gladly go, not only once, but as many times as I wanted them to. Naturally, those children of mine are closest to me. But because they have pleased me to such an extent on earth, I feel obliged to please them in Heaven, and I do.
"Now, son, let me change the subject. Tell me, is there any special reason why today, on your birthday, you are so sad and depressed?"
"My sadness has been a daily experience since I began to accept disciples. Needless to say, I accepted disciples at your express command. Father, I tell you a supreme secret: to accept disciples is to lose one's inner freedom."
"Son, why do you say that?"
"Father, you take human incarnation and see if you can keep your inner freedom if you accept disciples."
"Son, please explain to me in detail what you mean by losing your inner freedom."
"It is very simple, Father. I have thousands and thousands of disciples. Now you know it is you who asked me to take certain close disciples in whom you had faith to work for your manifestation on earth. But you do not realise that those in whom you do not have much faith feel miserable. They feel that I do not care for them personally, and that is why they are not close to me. They feel that they can do much better than those who are close to me. They feel that it is sheer blind partiality that makes me keep these other disciples closer to me. Their sufferings, not to speak of their jealousy, anger and other undivine qualities, take away all my joy. Also, there are some disciples whom you wanted to be close to me for your own reasons, which I do not myself understand. I keep them close to me only to please you, but they have disappointed me hundreds and thousands of times. When they disappoint me, all the joy goes out of my life. And you never listen to me. I tell you that everybody should be given an equal chance. As they fail me, all those who are close should be thrown aside, and others should get the opportunity to please me. They are also your children.
"I could keep all the work on a day-to-day basis and have new disciples do the jobs each day so that nobody will feel that he is important, not to speak of indispensable. But you tell me that each seeker is like a plant that has to grow slowly and steadily into a huge tree. If I move the plant to a new place every day, it will not develop properly. In fact, it may totally die. But you expect much from your children, especially from your selected children, and the frustration I go through when I see that the plants I am caring for so lovingly are not growing at all satisfactorily is beyond measure. Through my disciples, you teach me the lesson of detachment most powerfully.
"You made me the spiritual leader of thousands of people. When you ask me to tell them to do something, I do tell them. And when I see that they are not doing what they are supposed to, I feel miserable because either I have not conveyed your message to them clearly, or they do not love you in me enough to do the things you have told me to tell them. And I also feel miserable that I fail to please you because they are such imperfect instruments. Why I cannot make them more perfect I do not know. Perhaps I do not have enough concern for them."
God felt very sorry for the poor Master. He said, "You do have concern for them. It is their own ingratitude that prevents them from giving importance to your advice at every moment, and thus becoming perfect. When you ask your dear ones to do something in front of others, they get a lion's strength. They get such joy and pride that out of thousands of people you have chosen them to do a special thing for you. But inwardly they are behaving in a very undivine way. And when you ask them to do the same thing privately, they feel that nobody is there to appreciate and admire them and see how great they are. Then they feel that it can be delayed, and even if it is not done at all, nothing will happen, for you will forgive them. Son, I now also feel that you should not keep anybody permanently close to you unless and until that person consciously, devotedly and unconditionally tries to please you at every moment. Use your occult and spiritual power in the inner world and see whether they are really trying in their everyday activities to please you in your own way, which is my own way.
"Those who are one step behind can easily come forward if they develop real love, devotion and surrender to me in you. You have to give them the assurance that they need not always lag behind. Equal opportunity is given to everyone. The journey starts at the same point, but some walk fast and pass their fellows. Alas, those fast walkers may become tired. They may become proud. Pride is one thing that makes disciples weak so that they do not work well or divinely any more. Another thing is insecurity. Although others are far behind them in spiritual progress, they become afraid that at any moment these people will catch up with them and surpass them, and they will lose all their glory and their position. This feeling of insecurity also weakens disciples considerably. Because they think constantly of others, they cannot walk any farther. So, son, make it clear to all your spiritual children that their love, devotion and surrender to me inside you have to be replenished not only every day, but every hour, every minute and every second if somebody wants to be your best and most perfect instrument, your closest and most beloved child."
"Father, I am really grateful to you for granting me the inner and outer freedom to accept and reject, to show concern and indifference according to each disciple's merit. Let everyone get you in me according to his or her aspiration and dedication at every second, and not be like old men and women who have served the government faithfully and now receive a pension, although they no longer do their jobs. There is no pension in the spiritual life. Love, devotion and surrender can and must increase every second. Divinity can manifest more perfectly and completely every second."
"Son, I fully agree with your philosophy."
"Father, this is your philosophy, and today I am telling you outwardly so that you can hear whether I have learned it correctly.
July 15, 1974