False unconditional surrender6There once lived a spiritual Master who had only twenty disciples. The Master had tremendous occult and spiritual power, which he had used many times to help and please his disciples and their friends and relatives. One evening the spiritual Master and his disciples all were in deep meditation when suddenly a disciple entered the meditation room weeping and sobbing. She disturbed everybody’s meditation. The Master most compassionately asked her what was wrong.
The disciple replied, “Master, Master, this morning my daughter and three friends went out for an excursion in a car and they met with a serious accident. All four girls are now unconscious in the hospital. The doctor says there is very little hope. I have come to ask you to save my daughter and her three friends.”
The Master said, “Snigdha, you are my disciple, my very dear disciple, and therefore I may try to save the life of your daughter. But I don’t want to be responsible for the lives of the other three girls.”
“Master, what will people think of me when they see that my daughter alone is saved by your spiritual power? And what will people think of you? Will they not think that both of us are very mean? Will not people think that we care only for our own dear ones? No, Master, you have to save the lives of the other three girls also. I don’t want you to save my daughter alone. I am a mother and I know what a mother’s heart is. I know that if these three girls die, their mothers and fathers will all be heartbroken. For the rest of their lives they will be utterly miserable. Therefore, Master, out of your infinite love and compassion, please use your power to save all the girls. And if you do not want to do that, then I don’t want my daughter to be saved either. Let all of them go to Heaven. I am sure God will look after them there.”
The Master remained silent, and Snigdha joined the meditation. A few minutes later another disciple came in weeping and sobbing. The Master inquired about his suffering.
The disciple replied, “Master, my son, my only son has been attacked by cholera. It is a matter of only an hour or two before he will leave us for Heaven. The doctors have already told me that his case is simply hopeless. His mother’s heart is breaking with grief. I have come here for your compassionate help. Many times you have saved the members of my family from imminent calamities. This time also, please save us. Please save my son. I shall be grateful to you all my life.”
The Master said, “I am sorry, Dinesh. You are my disciple, and I would have been more than ready to cure you if you yourself had been attacked by cholera. But your son has not accepted our path. He does not even care for the spiritual life. Therefore, I cannot be of any help to him .”
“Master, Master, he is my only son. I do have three daughters, but he is my only son. Do you mean that I must lose him now? Please don’t be so cruel to me. Master, I am fully aware of your occult powers. Please do me a favour, and this will be absolutely the last thing you will ever have to do for me. Please save my son and let me take his cholera. I have lived a long life already. For an old man like me to depart from this world means nothing. But my son, who is now in the prime of his youth, must enjoy the world and offer his mite to the world. Master, I beg of you, please grant me this last boon. Let me die of cholera immediately, and cure my son of this fatal attack.”
The Master remained silent. Moments later a young disciple came in and bowed to the Master.
He was calm and quiet. The Master said to him, “Mahesh, you are the third person to come late today. The first two had serious problems in their families. What prevented you from coming on time?”
“Master, I too have a serious problem. Last night my father suffered a severe stroke. His case is quite serious, but I leave his fate entirely to God’s Will and your Will. I am sure you and God will do what is best for him, for his soul.”
The Master said, “Mahesh, I am extremely proud of your unconditional surrender. How I wish to have more disciples of your type!”
“Master, since I have left my father’s fate at your feet, since I have made this unconditional surrender, will you not tell me what is going to happen? Will my father survive or not?”
“Mahesh, my son, why such curiosity? On the one hand you want God’s Will and my will to prevail, but on the other hand you are consumed with the desire to know your father’s fate. Is this not a deplorable contradiction?”
“Master, you just said that I have made unconditional surrender, and that I am the only one who has made that kind of surrender. Undoubtedly I have pleased you. Master, it has taken me seven long years to please you in your own way. Just because I have pleased you in a situation as grave as this, will you not condescend to please me by telling me what is going to happen to him?”
“All right, Mahesh, let me feed your curiosity. Tomorrow your father is going to die.”
Mahesh immediately burst into tears and cried, “Impossible! My father cannot die! You have to cure him. If you don’t cure him I shall leave you. Not only that, but I shall speak ill of you. I shall tell people that you have blackmailed me. I shall tell them you have taken thousands of dollars from me with the promise that you would give me salvation and realisation, and now that I don’t have any money left you have thrown me out of your ashram.”
The disciples were simply shocked at this. One young man stood up, grabbed Mahesh, and attempted to throw him out of the meditation room. But the Master interrupted him.
“Stop, stop! ” he cried. “My forgiveness is infinitely more powerful than my sense of justice. Let Mahesh stay.”
Then he turned to Snigdha, whose daughter had been in the car accident, and said, “Snigdha, your magnanimous heart deserves special consideration from me. I shall save your daughter and her friends with my occult and spiritual power. But I tell you, if you had left their fate to God’s Will, I would have been extremely happy and proud of you.”
Then the Master said to Dinesh, “You want to sacrifice your own life to save your son. This kind of sacrifice is quite unusual. For one to give his life for another is very, very rare. For your sacrifice I am truly proud of you, and therefore I am going to save your son with my occult power. But one thing I wish to tell you: I would have been infinitely more proud of you if you had offered the fate of your son to God’s Will.”
Finally the Master spoke to Mahesh. “It is infinitely better to desire sincerely than to make false unconditional surrender. You know that your act of deception will be ridiculed by all and sundry. But I forgive you, my son. To be unconditionally surrendered has always been the most difficult thing on earth. Again, I wish to illumine you with my compassion. Do not give up the spiritual life just because you have deceived me today, just because people will mock you for a time. Be sincere. No sincere effort goes in vain. In the distant future you are bound to make true unconditional surrender, for without that, no human being has ever reached or will ever reach the transcendental Height.”
Then the Master asked all the disciples to come up to him one by one for his blessing.
MSR 6. 16 January 1974↩