The desperate seeker

About fifty years ago, there lived in America a spiritual Master who had about forty or fifty disciples. This Master was always ready to give interviews to his disciples and to other sincere seekers who came to him for spiritual guidance.

One day he was visited by a young writer who had written to the Master previously about his problems. On this day he had a particular problem that he wished to discuss with the Master.

"Master, please help me," said the young man. "For the past two weeks or so, I have hardly been able to get any sleep. I have never meditated very much. I always felt that mental activity was more fulfilling. But almost every night now I wake up with a desperate feeling in my heart. All of a sudden I feel that I am in desperate need of spirituality. I have tried in vain to understand this feeling. My mind does not seem capable of analysing it. However, since I cannot see clearly with my mind what is happening to me, I am worried that I may be suffering from some delusion. Can you help me? Is this desperate feeling that I have dangerous to my mental health?"

The Master replied, "No, it is not at all dangerous. You are crying for the fulfilment of your inner cry. It is not with the mind that you are crying; you are crying from the inmost recesses of your heart. The inner heart has infinite capacity. It is not limited like the mind. One does not approach the highest Truth with the mind; therefore, mental health does not come into the picture at all."

"But why am I feeling this cry, Master? What am I really crying for?"

"When we cry deep within," the Master said, "it is because we feel the necessity of Peace, Light and Bliss. When we have this kind of inner cry, then these qualities either come to the fore from within or descend from above. I tell my disciples that they can develop the inner cry by giving more importance to what they really need in their life. When we give importance to our true necessity, then automatically our inner cry, our inner sincerity, is bound to increase. The more we feel that we desperately need Peace, Light and Bliss, the sooner our inner cry increases."

"How can we fulfil this necessity?" asked the seeker.

"In the outer world, when we are hungry we try to fulfil our hunger. If there is no food at home, we go to a restaurant or to a friend's house. Similarly, in the spiritual life when we are really hungry for Peace, Light and Bliss, we will go to a spiritual Master who can fulfil our hunger. First of all he will increase our inner hunger and then he will fulfil it."

"But what about my lack of sleep? Is this harmful or unhealthy?"

The Master explained, "If we have Peace, Light and Bliss within ourselves, then these divine qualities will not tell upon our health. On the contrary, they will strengthen the physical. The physical will have a new sincerity, a new faith in fulfilling the divine in us. The term 'sincerity' is very important. If we want to achieve Peace, Light and Bliss by hook or by crook, if we try to use physical force or vital force, if we try to push and pull, then we will unduly create problems in our mind. But if we rely on our inner cry, then our sincerity will carry us up to the Highest. At that time, the divine protection will be there. It will not allow us to have any mental problems.

"How can I become really sincere, Master? How can I tell if I am sincere?"

The master reassured him, "In your case, you have sincerity. But sometimes, although we are sincere, we still try to pull or push. We try to expedite our progress with our vital energy instead of relying on our own inner sincerity. When we have a sincere inner cry, we come to realise that it is the inner being that is crying in us and for us. And when the inner being cries, our outer mind need not and cannot be affected. It is only when we try to achieve, something through our outer mind that the, mind will be affected, because it is not ready to receive these qualities in a divine way.

"Master, may I ask one last question? Patience is also a divine quality. I am afraid that with this feeling of desperation, impatience will come."

"If you know what patience is," the Master said, "then it is very easy to have patience. If you feel that you can be patient only for a certain length of time, then you will be impatient when the time is up. If you think that in two days you will realise God, then if God is still hiding from you after two days, two months, two years, then you will become impatient."

"How can one cultivate patience?" the writer asked.

"You should feel, 'I shall realise God at His choice Hour. My part is to pray and meditate and it is God's part to grant me realisation when He feels the time is ripe.' If you feel this, then patience will come. You are responsible only for your prayer and meditation and you give the responsibility for the result to somebody else, who is God. God has only asked you to pray and meditate; He has not set a time for you to come and visit Him. We each must take care of our own business. Time belongs to Him, but prayer belongs to you. In this way, you can be divinely patient."

"Master," said the young man, bowing with utmost humility, "you have not only answered all my questions today, but you have given me the answer to all my life's questions. From today, my heart's inner cry will be my only reality."

November 3, 1973