Be sincere8

“Master, Master, what is wrong with you? Why are you so upset?”

“You rascal! What have you done?”

“What have I done, Master? I have just sat on your bed, just for a fleeting second, and for that you have to be so upset?”

“You rascal! What kind of audacity do you have?”

The Master removes the sheet and starts tearing it to pieces.

“Master, Master, don’t tear it. Right now I shall go to the store and buy you a new sheet. Just leave it, please.”

The disciple goes to the shop and buys a new sheet. Then he offers it to the Master.

“Thank you, but don’t do it again.”

“Master, you have told us many times that you are the garbage collector and we can always throw our impurities into you. How is it that this time, when I just sat on your bed for a second, you became so furious? That means you don’t really take our impurities, you just say you do.”

“You fool! I always tell the truth. But listen: every night I speak to God on my bed. We sit there together and talk, and the cosmic gods sit on my bed, too. My bed is like a holy shrine. You have defiled it with your impurity.”

“O Master, I didn’t know that God and the cosmic gods sit on your bed. I am sorry that I have done it. But I am also proud that it is I who have sat on your bed where God and the cosmic gods sit every night! Master, you can punish me; no matter what kind of punishment you want to give, I will be happy to accept it.”

The Master becomes furious. “I will not give you any punishment, but you must not enter into my bedroom any more.”

“Master, Master, tell me one thing. I sat on your bed, true. So why do you want to discard only the sheet? What about the blankets and the pillow and mattress?”

“Yes, you are right. But what can I do? I don’t have the money to replace them.”

“Then, Master, I am going to the shop to bring you new blankets, a new pillowcase, a new pillow and everything new.”

The Master says to the disciple, who is a young man of thirty-eight, “Only you can do this kind of nonsense!”

“Yes, Master, I am very sorry that I have created such a problem for you.”

The disciple goes out and buys a new pillow, new blankets, a new mattress, everything new for the Master, and presents them to him.

“Thank you.”

“You are more than welcome, Master. But Master, what about the bed itself, the frame? There also my impurity has entered, has it not?”

“Yes, it has entered, but I don’t have the money to buy a new frame.”

“Oh Master, don’t worry. I am going to offer you a new one.”

The disciple goes out and buys a new bed and offers it to the Master.

The Master is extremely happy. He says, “I thank you most deeply.”

“Master, there is one thing I don’t understand.”

“You will never understand anything.”

“Master, it is my hand that has touched your new sheet, your pillow, your pillowcase, your blankets and your mattress. Everything that belongs to this new bed, my hand has already touched once. So, Master, are they not impure? The things that you are going to use now are all impure, are they not? How is it that you are going to use them? Is it just because they are new?”

“No, it is not because they are new. You people are impurity incarnate, especially you. But I have the power to purify everything that you touch.”

“But, Master, a few hours ago when I sat on your bed you got so furious. You could have purified it then instead of taking all these new things. I don’t mind spending money on you. On the contrary, it is a great honour for me to give you material things. But you could easily have purified your bed then and you would not have had to take all these things from me.”

“Look here, in this world when I use something regularly, that very thing embodies my consciousness, my light, my purity, my power. Everything that is divine is embodied by that particular thing. Now, I have been using this old bed for the last four years. The moment you sat on my bed, your impure, undivine consciousness entered into the pure, divine consciousness of the bed. Why should I have to go through the trouble of purifying the bed? If you had had a little respect and devotion for me, you would never have dreamed of sitting on my bed.

“True, I take your impurities, I take impurities from every disciple. But that does not mean that the disciple will consciously and deliberately desecrate the place or thing that already embodies my solid purity and divinity. One thing is for the Master consciously and deliberately to take impurities from a disciple; another thing is for the disciple deliberately, out of sheer malice, to destroy the purity of the Master’s belongings.”

“Master, I shall tell you my supreme secret. I had a most sincere desire. I wanted to offer you a new bed, a new sheet, a new pillow and mattress and new blankets — everything new, because I thought that if you accepted my offering everybody would come to know of it and everybody would appreciate and admire me, and I would be extolled to the skies. I would be able to say, ‘My Master is using the bed I offered to him. He is so kind to me.’ I thought this would be an easy way to get appreciation and admiration from my brother and sister disciples. For me to spend a few dollars is nothing. As you know, Master, you have blessed me with material wealth. So Master, that was the reason why I sat on your bed.”

“You fool! You deliberately deceived me. When you try to deceive someone you may at times succeed and you may at times fail. You succeeded this time with me. But if you had been sincere right from the beginning, if you had prayed to me to accept a new bed from you, do you think that I would have refused you? No. When you are sincere you get not only the thing you want, but also something more, something beyond your imagination.”

“Master, what would you have given me had I been sincere?”

“My son, if you had been sincere from the beginning, I would have said, ‘That is a splendid idea. And I shall give you my bed for your own use. Many cosmic gods, as well as God Himself, have sat and talked with me on this bed. Now I offer it to you with our deepest blessings.’ So, if you are sincere, not only do you get what you want, but you are likely to get something infinitely more, something far beyond your imagination. Be sincere. ”

MSR 8. 16 January 1974

Sri Chinmoy, The Master surrenders, Vishma Press, New York, 1974