The interim Master1

One day a very great spiritual Master was approached by the brother of one of his closest disciples. "You know, Master, that I have my own spiritual Master, even though I have always had the greatest admiration for you. I accepted my Master long before you came to this city and I have always remained faithful to him. But now my Master has said that he cannot teach me any more and he wants me to go to somebody else. For all these years I thought that he was the Master I was destined to have. Now I have entered into a sea of confusion, so I have come to you for advice."

The Master said, "You are correct that one is predestined to meet one's Master. If you have an inner cry, then you are bound to get your Master. When you find the person, you are fortunate. But owing to circumstances, you may not find your Master right away."

"Then all the years I spent with my other Master are wasted?" asked the youth.

"No!" said the Master. "Nothing is lost. But you have to see the situation with true detachment. When you come to someone who you feel is not your true Master, you have to feel, 'For the time being, for a few months or a year, let me learn what this particular Master knows.' This way you will not be sad and disheartened. And even if the person is not your real Master, you will learn something from him."

"Then what should my attitude now be to my ex-Master?"

"If you realise that this Master is now taking you to someone else, then go to a new Master; but do not criticise the old Master. Your sincerity is your safeguard. It will ultimately take you to your destined Goal."

"But, Master, since I was mistaken the first time, how will I actually know who is really my Guru?"

The Master said, "Please enter deep within when you go to a spiritual Master. You may get an inner experience and feel in the inner world that he is yours. Then see if you can have implicit faith in this particular Master. You may look a long time and you may see many Masters, but you will prefer one over the others. The Master whom you prefer, the one with whom you will have an inner connection, a deep affinity, is your Master."

"What exactly will happen when I see him, Master?" asked the seeker.

"First of all you will get a kind of inner thrill and you will not be able to account for it. Your mind will not be able to give an adequate explanation, for the experience is a spiritual one and it takes place far beyond the mind. You have to be the judge. If you go to a spiritual person and he gives you abundant joy, boundless joy, then you will know that he is your Master."

The seeker said, "I am grateful that you are making everything so clear to me. Now, please tell me, Master, for a little while should I follow both my old Master and the new one that I accept?"

"My son," said the Master, "that is like placing one foot in one boat and the other foot in another boat. In the spiritual life two boats cannot be the same and the two boatmen need not follow the same route. It is not like going to school where you take different subjects and have many teachers. In the spiritual life there is only one subject and that is called God-realisation. So you have only one teacher. Your own Master can easily take you to the destined Goal provided that you have faith in him."

"So the way my Master taught me was not wrong, but just different, is that right?"

"Each Master is right in his own way. The destination is always the same and all roads lead to there, but you will prefer one particular road. If you get the wrong Master, you move with the speed of an Indian bullock cart. You are bound to make progress, but your speed will be slow. But if you go to the proper Master, then he will carry you like a jet plane. If you are lucky, you will find the right Master and then naturally you will fly with the speed of an aeroplane."

"Master, during our whole conversation, I have been drinking in your Peace, Light and Bliss. This whole time I have been experiencing such an inner thrill and joy. Master, may I tell you a secret?"

"Certainly, my son."

"I came to you because my heart knew that you were my true Master, but my mind was still confused. You have illumined my mind and you have fed my heart and soul. Master, will you accept me as your disciple?"

The Master blessed the youth. "I accept you, I accept you, my son. You will be my true disciple, my dearest spiritual son. Now you have found your real spiritual home and I shall definitely take you to your destined Goal."

  1. GRP 5. 3 November 1973.