The death of Goroksha's Master

There was once a spiritual Master who was seventy-five years old. He was suffering from a very serious heart condition. Goroksha, one of the intimate disciples who had tremendous love for him, became very alarmed. Goroksha called in many eminent doctors, but the doctors could not cure his Master. Day by day the Master's condition worsened. Finally, with a heavy heart, Goroksha went to a great occultist in order to find out whether his Master would long survive or whether his death was imminent.

The occultist, who happened to be a family friend, was extremely kind to Goroksha. He asked Goroksha about his wife and children, and Goroksha gave him all the news about them. The occultist was pleased with Goroksha and said, "Look here, I shall write down on a piece of paper exactly when your Master is going to die. There, now I have written the exact date, but I am sealing it in this envelope. It is entirely up to you to decide what to do with this envelope. If you open the envelope and see that your Master will live for a long time, then you will be very happy. On the other hand, if you see that your Master is going to live for only a few days, then because of your extreme sorrow you will be of no further use to your Master during the brief remainder of his stay on earth. But if, out of fear of losing your Master very soon, or out of a smug feeling that your Master will not die for another twenty or thirty years, you one day have the inclination simply to discard the envelope, I tell you, on that very day you yourself will die."

One month passed and Goroksha did not open the envelope, nor did his Master die. Then Goroksha had a dream. In the dream he saw that his Master had died. His whole being was thrown into a sea of grief, and he became senseless. The next morning, even when he saw that his Master was still alive, his whole body continued trembling with uncontrollable fear. He felt that on that very day his Master was going to leave the body, so he told his family that he intended to discard the envelope. They immediately protested, "How can you do that? If you discard the envelope, you will die today."

"That is what I want to do," he replied. "I don't want to see my Master's death." Goroksha's wife pleaded with him. "Master is an old man," she said. "Even if he dies today, he has played his role. But you are only fifty years old. You should stay on earth for a long time to do Master's work."

"After Master's passing, what joy will I have in life? If I will never see his beloved face again, what beauty will there be to appreciate on earth?" said Goroksha. "Other people can do Master's work as well as I. I don't want to stay on earth after his death. There will be nothing for me to live for."

"But you know that for a great spiritual Master, the inner world and the outer world are the same," said Goroksha's son. "He does not have to stay on earth physically in order to guide us; his spiritual light and power will guide us even after he leaves the body."

"True," said Goroksha, "even when he leaves the physical body, he will continue guiding everyone as he does now. But I wish to say that I won't be able to bear the loss of my Master. I strongly feel that Master will die soon, either today or tomorrow, and so the best thing will be for me to discard the envelope and die."

Again Goroksha's wife, daughter and son vehemently protested, but he was adamant. He tore the envelope into shreds and discarded it. And lo and behold, Goroksha got an immediate heart attack and died then and there.

When the Master learned of his dearest disciple's death and of his dealings with the occultist from Goroksha's grief-stricken family, he felt miserable. He said to himself, "I never knew, I never even suspected that my Goroksha was a rogue. I thought that he would work for me in my physical absence. Such a clever fellow! He has deserted me. Now I won't be able to punish him here in this world, but I can enter the other world and send him back to earth again." With that, using his occult power, the Master left the body and entered into the higher worlds in search of his dear disciple.

While he was travelling through the vital world in eager quest of Goroksha, the denizens of that world asked the Master, "Are you really entering into the soul's world with the idea of sending your dearest disciple back to earth to work for you and propagate your views, or are you going there because you badly missed your dearest spiritual son on earth?"

The Master gave a broad smile to the denizens of the vital world and said, "It is up to you to decide."

February 6, 1974