Two disciples

(Two disciples in a room in their Master's ashram.)

FIRST DISCIPLE: I told you, I told you, I told you!

SECOND DISCIPLE: What did you tell me?

FIRST DISCIPLE: I told you that our Master has nothing. Nothing! He has no spiritual power. He has no occult power. He knows only how to talk. He talks about Transcendental Reality and Universal Consciousness and all about what he can do with his occult power. But it is all lies. He knows how to talk and we know how to listen to him. But he has nothing, nothing. Look, he has been suffering from his rheumatism for the last three months. If he had even an iota of occult power, he could have cured himself.

SECOND DISCIPLE: My heart tells me that he has the capacity to cure himself, but that God is asking him to have this experience.

FIRST DISCIPLE: He says he is taking on our karma, but we have done nothing. I have done nothing wrong. You and the other disciples have done nothing wrong. What happens is that he blames us when he does something wrong. Who knows what he has done wrong in the inner world? That's why he gets punishment. And outwardly he blames us.

SECOND DISCIPLE: He never blames us. And I believe him when he says he is taking our karma.

FIRST DISCIPLE: You believe him? Then believe him. Remain with him and suffer. Die with him.

SECOND DISCIPLE: I shall die with him. Not only shall I die with him, but I shall die for him.

FIRST DISCIPLE: God created two types of people on earth: one type to deceive, another type to be deceived. One type to be rogues, the other type to be taken advantage of.

(Enter the Master. The first disciple begins to edge away. The second disciple touches the Master's feet.)

MASTER (to the first disciple): So you know that I have no capacity, that I just brag? I am not the right Master for you. You will do the best thing by going to some other Master, or waiting for the right Master to come to you. Leave me. Go home and live peacefully. (To the second disciple.) You believe in me. It is my duty to help you, to guide you. Now tell me, do you really feel that I take your ignorance, your imperfection into my body? Or do you just say it because you have studied my philosophy and books written by others? You have read about Ramakrishna, who took away the impurity, imperfection and ignorance of his disciples and suffered so much. Many, many spiritual Masters have said they have done the same. Do you think that I am just saying it because so many of them have said it? Do you think I am only talking, or do you think I actually take these things from you?

SECOND DISCIPLE: Master, I know what you take from me. Every day you take from me insincerity, obscurity, impurity, jealousy, doubt, insecurity and many other imperfections. Where do they go? I give them to you; they come to you. If there is nobody else on earth who believes it, I don't mind. Even if you tell me that you don't take it, that it is your own karma, I will not believe you. I know that God is giving you this experience for my sake. If I had gone through this particular experience, perhaps I would have died.

MASTER: My child, there are two reasons why I suffer. One reason is that I really take upon myself the burdens, the imperfections, the undivine qualities of my close disciples. That is what the Supreme wants me to do. There are two ways to take this karma. One way is to take it on oneself and suffer, and the other way is to throw the imperfections of the disciples into the Cosmic Consciousness. But the easier way, infinitely easier, is to take it on oneself. It is a direct way. You are suffering, and directly I touch you and take away your suffering. The other way is like carrying you to a different place, to the Universal Consciousness. The Cosmic Consciousness can be seen as a refuse heap. I take your impurities and imperfections and make them into a bundle. Then I have to carry that bundle there and throw it away. But the other way I just touch you and, like a magnet, I take away your sufferings, your pains, your undivine qualities. That way is easier and that's why I do it. God wants me to do this.

I say to God, "God, my children love me so much and I do not love them, I don't please them." Then God says to me, "Look how you suffer for them. Look at your own love, My son — how sincerely, how devotedly you love them. You feel that in your children's perfection is your perfection, which is absolutely true. They love you just because they feel that if they can possess you, they will possess everything. They love you to have you; you love them so that you can bring them to Me. You love them because you feel that if you can bring them to Me, then you have played your part. By loving you for themselves, they feel that they have played their part. And when you love them, when you bring them to Me, to your Highest, then you feel that you have played your part."

Also, God has given me another reason to suffer. Many people come to me with only desire, desire, desire. They come to me only to fulfil their desires. But when they see that I am paralysed with pain, that I am also subject to suffering and disease, that I am as weak as they are, they say, "He is an invalid, he is helpless. How can he help us in any way? How is he better than us?" They feel the best thing is for them to go to somebody else who can help them, and many leave. But the truth of the matter is that God wants these people to leave me. When they leave, my boat becomes lighter and can then go much faster toward the Goal. God wants unaspiring people to leave their Master and make the Master's boat lighter.

So these are the reasons I suffer. When a sincere disciple sees that I am suffering for him, he says, "If I really love my Master, then I should give him only joy." So the disciple makes a promise, an inner promise: "I want him to be constantly proud of me. Nothing will give me greater joy than to see that my Master is always proud of me." So the disciple does not make any more mistakes and the Master becomes happy and proud.

(The first disciple touches the Master's feet.)

FIRST DISCIPLE: Master, for so long I was a faithless, inhuman creature. From today on I shall be your faithful, devoted disciple.

SECOND DISCIPLE: Master, I have been your devoted, faithful disciple for so long. Today you have told me the secret of your suffering. From today on I consider myself an important, conscious part of you. I consider myself an arm of yours. Master, your compassion is my life's only salvation.

FIRST DISCIPLE: Master, your forgiveness is my life's only salvation.

MASTER (to the first disciple): By recognising your stupidity, your ignorance, you have brought your divinity to the fore. (To the second disciple.) By recognising me, my spiritual Truth, you have manifested God's Divinity on earth. You have manifested God's Will on earth.

Sri Chinmoy, The Master and the disciple.First published by Agni Press in 1985.

This is the 690th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.

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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book The Master and the disciple, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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