Your aspiration is my manifestation1There was once a young spiritual Master who had always been very talented in art. As a boy, he had painted many beautiful and striking pictures. One of these, in fact, had won second prize in a nationwide contest for artists of all ages. But the pressures of the Master's work in his ashram and the burden of his disciples' problems did not allow him to continue painting. But on his thirtieth birthday a disciple gave him an elaborate paint set and many other art supplies. In front of everyone the Master blessed this disciple and said:
"This dearest disciple of mine has practically supplied me with a whole art store. He has given me all kinds of things. His gifts mean that he sees my capacity, my potentiality, perhaps much more than I am seeing it. My capacity is his vision to some extent. But let us see who is right."
The Master paused. "All right, you want me to be an artist and I want you to be a yogi. Let us see who succeeds in making the other what he wants him to be."
The Master smiled and continued. "We shall both succeed. I shall definitely make you a yogi according to my capacity and your receptivity and you will make me an artist according to your capacity and my receptivity."
From that day on the Master spent all his free time painting. The disciple who had given the Master the art supplies entered some of the Master's pictures in contests and the Master won many prizes. Finally the Master's work was entered in an international competition. The day before the final judging, the Master called a few of his close disciples to come to his home to pray for his success.
After two hours of meditation, the Master said, "There is no difference between your aspiration and my manifestation, which is also your manifestation. Believe it or not, the Supreme has told me that whether or not I win this prize will entirely depend on my disciples' aspiration. You can take this as a blessing or a curse."
"Master," asked one disciple, "why can't your art win on its own merits? Other contestants don't have disciples to pray for them."
The Master explained, "The Supreme says that in my case it is a different matter. My role is creation; I have painted. Your role is manifestation. In our case, the work has been divided. My work is to bring down creation from above and your work is to spread it. So we are equally important in this matter. Right now you have been praying for our manifestation. But even if we fail, I will not blame you at all, because you have tried according to your capacity."
"But Master," said another disciple, "why should winning this particular prize be so important for our manifestation?"
"My son," said the Master, "the outer world accepts something when Tom, Dick and Harry accept it. First we need recognition; then only will others accept our Light. Only in this way can we really be successful."
"But if you win this prize, Master, people will only know you as an artist, not as a spiritual Master," one disciple added.
The Master replied, "If the outer world does not accept me in any way, then I cannot give anything to mankind. But if people feel that I have, something to offer in one field, then they will be more willing to accept the Light, Peace and Bliss that I really want to offer them."
Another disciple said, "Master, I'm afraid that some people, even some of your disciples, may think that you are just crying for name and fame."
"When you are in the ordinary consciousness," replied the Master, "you may feel that your Guru is crying for name and fame. But when you are in a divine consciousness, you will know that your Guru is doing everything for the manifestation of the Supreme. When you are in the heart, you will believe everything that I am saying. When you are in the mind, everything I am saying will seem false. But I wish to tell you that for myself there is nothing that I need. There is nothing in Heaven or on earth that I need. Nothing, nothing! I am trying to do this only so that the world will become more receptive to the Light of the Supreme that I am trying to offer."
"Forgive us, Master," said one girl, "for even asking you these questions."
The Master blessed each disciple. "Now you understand that the manifestation of the Supreme entirely depends on you. There is no difference between your aspiration and my manifestation. What is absolutely true is this: our aspiration is the aspiration of the Supreme. Our manifestation is the manifestation of the Supreme."
GRP 8. 2 March 1974.↩