AUM — Vol. 7, No. 6, 27 Jan. 1972

Sri Chinmoy's New Year Message

The New Year is the year of battle between man’s inner faith and his outer doubts. Man’s sincerity will determine the victory.

The New Year is the year of war between human insecurity and divine confidence. Man’s real need of God will determine the victory.

The New Year knows no compromise. Either the divine in us will gain the supreme victory or the animal in us will lord it over us. Needless to say, those who want to be God-Lovers, God-Discoverers and God-Fulfillers will receive from God constant Concern, constant Protection, constant Guidance and constant Assurance.

The New Year is the year of both destruction and perfection. Those who cherish destruction in the depths of their hearts and glorify themselves in it will be embraced and devoured by total destruction. This is the Will of the Transcendental Lord decreed. Those who cry for divine Illumination and Perfection in their inner and outer lives will be inspired, blessed, illumined, perfected and fulfilled by the Lord Supreme’s Supreme Perfection.

The Boat of the Supreme is ready.

The Supreme Boatman is ready.

The Golden Shore is ready.

The Boatman, with His transcendental Smile, beckons,

“Welcome, O God-Lover!

Welcome, O God-Discoverer!

Welcome, O God-Fulfiller!”

Pride: the ancient disease1

We all have a common disease: pride. Not only do we humans have this deplorable disease, but unfortunately, even the gods have it. Once the gods won a tremendous victory over the demons and they rejoiced to the skies, because it is not a mere joke to win a victory over the asuras. They were bloated with pride. They thought it was their own inner power that had made them win. They thought it was their own force, that nobody else was in the picture.

Brahman, the Absolute, wanted to smash their pride. Brahman thought it was wrong of them to cherish this false idea. So Brahman assumed a superhuman figure and stood in front of the gods. The gods were wonderstruck with this figure. They had never seen such a beautiful form. They asked Agni, the Fire god, to approach this figure and learn something about him.

Agni came and stood in front of the form of Brahman, and Brahman said, “Who are you?”

“You don’t know me? I am Agni. All the world over I am well known, for I can burn everything into ashes.”

“Wonderful,” said Brahman. “You have enormous power.” Then Brahman placed a straw in front of Agni and said, “Agni, now exercise your power. Burn it into ashes.”

Poor Agni exercised all his power to burn the tiny straw into ashes, but nothing happened. It remained intact. Agni’s pride was smashed. He went back to his companions with a sad, deplorable, downcast face.

Then Vayu, the Wind god, said, “Let me accept the challenge. Let me approach this superhuman being.”

When Vayu approached Brahman, Brahman said, “Who are you?”

“You don’t know me?” asked Vayu. “I am Vayu. I am so well known.”

“What can you do?”

“I can blow away everything. There is nothing on earth that I cannot blow away in the twinkling of an eye.”

“Is that so?” Said Brahman. Then he placed the straw in front of Vayu and said, “Move the straw just an inch from where I have put it.”

Vayu exercised all his power, but it was useless. The straw would not budge an inch. It was fixed for good. Poor Vayu went back to the gods and said, “Agni was unsuccessful and I was unsuccessful. Now, who can succeed? Indra is our Leader. Now let him try.”

Indra was always proud of his indomitable strength and power. But the time he came, Brahman had left the place and in his place stood Uma, God the Mother, in the form of the most beautiful woman. Brahman is God the Father, but now God the Mother stood there in most beautiful dress, full of joy, love and compassion. Indra said to this beautiful lady, “Mother, tell me who is that superhuman being who was here. How is it that Agni could not burn his straw and Vayu could not blow it away?”

The Mother said, “It was the Brahman. He wanted to teach you a lesson. You thought that you had gained the victory over the demons through your own power, but that is absurd. You can do nothing without Brahman. It was Brahman who caused your victory over the asuras. If Brahman takes away his power from you, then you are helpless. Here you saw a radiant example. You didn’t have the capacity to move even a straw. You could not destroy a tiny straw and you think that your power enabled you to conquer the demons.”

Indra implored pardon from the Mother, divine Uma, and said, “Now bless me, oh Mother.”

Uma blessed Indra and said, “I have blessed you. You were able to come close to me. Others came and stood in front of Brahman, but you came very close to me. Now I have blessed you. You three among the gods will be very well known.”

Now Indra, Agni and Vayu are the principal gods among the cosmic gods, and Indra is the Lord of the gods because he was blessed by God the Mother.

What do we learn from this story? There are favourites. A spiritual Master has many disciples. Some think their outer success depends entirely on their own efforts and their inner success depends upon their own aspiration. After entering the spiritual life, some disciples cherish the idea that their outer success depends on their outer life and outer activities — that because they go to the office and work very hard they are successful. For ordinary people I am not saying anything. They have their universal God. But those who have entered into the spiritual path consciously should not cherish this idea. I wish to tell them that the Supreme in their Master is enabling them to be successful in their outer life of manifestation. Formerly they worked; they got money or they didn’t get money, but they were always unhappy. Now they get a kind of joy, soulful and fulfilling. Now they have inner peace. They feel that there is some purpose in life.

You meditate every day and this meditation feeds you and sustains you. It comes from the Supreme inside the Master. The joy that you get daily in your outer life makes you feel that life is meaningful and fruitful. Before, you worked and got the same payment, but there was no purpose in it. Now the purpose gives you joy and the joy gives you the purpose of your stay on earth.

There are some who are fifth class and sixth class disciples and there are some who are first, second, third and fourth class disciples. How do they become first class, second class, third class and fourth class? In the first class, also, there is what I call an inmost circle. How do they become members of my inmost circle? Not because they have given me millions of dollars or because they will give me millions of dollars in the future. It is not that. It is through their inner dedication and outer dedicated service. When inner dedication and outer dedication go together, then only can one come closest to the Master. If one can be constantly at the service of the Master inwardly and outwardly, then that person becomes the closest. You don’t have to give the Master one penny in order to be a first class disciple. But, in your inner attitude, are you ready? The Master will not ask anybody to give anything which he does not have. Again, if someone has something that does not mean that the Master will ask him to give it. If somebody gives something only on being asked, then that person has to feel that he is not meant for the spiritual life. When love, devotion and surrender come spontaneously, that is a real dedication and a divine accomplishment.

But if the Master has to ask, “Do it, give it, take it,” then human obligations will come to separate the Master from being totally one with his disciple.

Indra came closest to the Divine Mother and wanted her blessings. When she blessed him, she said, “All your victories, whatever you give, whatever you take, whatever you achieve, if you feel that you have been successful, that you are the victors, then feel that it has come on the strength of your inseparable oneness with the Supreme.”

If you become one with the Master in his decisions, then you have accepted him as your very own. Otherwise you will accept the Master in your own way. But in the spiritual life the Master has to be accepted the way the Master wants to be accepted by his disciples. If the disciple is ready to accept the Master in that way, then he becomes a real, genuine disciple and the Master can have all confidence in him. The Master can say, “He or she is my real representative on earth.” The Master feels that he can entirely depend on that particular person, for that person becomes truly his own.

AUM 790. from the Kena Upanishad

Punishment from the Master

There was a spiritual Master who had only a very few disciples — only fifteen or sixteen. He lived in an obscure Indian village, but he had realised God. His realisation had come from Mother Kali. He was all sincerity, all purity, all divinity.

Unfortunately, his disciples in the Indian village were very, very greedy. They wanted to have his occult power. He had shown them his occult power quite a few times. At night, when they turned off the village lantern, he would bless them and they would look at the wall and see Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Durga, Kali, Lakshmi, or some other gods and goddesses. He had shown them all the cosmic gods and goddesses. This made them very happy.

His disciples thought that if they could show these cosmic gods to others, they would be able to make lots of money. Their Master did not care for money. He grew a garden with simple vegetables in it. By working like a farmer he managed to live on earth.

Most of his disciples were householders, but some stayed in the small ashram. Those that stayed often bothered him asking for occult powers. Quite reluctantly he would show them the gods and goddesses. But doubts plagued their minds. They said to the Master, “If the visions that we are seeing are real, then by this time we should have realised God. How is it that we have not realised God?” They asked the Master, “Are you realised? Are you realised, as you say?”

The Master told them, “To see a figure of God does not mean that you have realised God. You can see an illumined being at night, an angel or some spiritual Master, but that does not mean that you have realised the highest.”

These greedy disciples begged their Master to give them his occult powers, but they didn’t tell him that they wanted only to go out and show off to the villagers to make money. The Master, however, saw through them. He said, “I can’t give you my occult powers. I meditated for years and years, not for occult power, but to realise God. While realising God, I got this kind of power. Occult power came to me automatically; I didn’t cry for it. Meditate. If God is pleased with you, if He wants He will give you this kind of power. I can’t give it to you. You are not fit to receive it. You are not yet ready.”

Finally, three of the disciples got furious. They said, “You have to give it to us.”

The Master said quietly, “I cannot.”

When the Master was sleeping that night, the three disciples, brilliant disciples, went into his room and hit him mercilessly with wooden sandals. They beat his head and badly bruised his limbs. The poor Master was shouting and crying, but nobody else was there.

For three days the Master could not get out of his bed. While he was bedridden, his disciples would not give him even a glass of water. They kept saying, “This is the time for you to give us your occult powers.”

The Master said, “I am more than ready to give you all my occult power. Take it. Now I am dying. Please give me a glass of water.”

But the three disciples said, “No. You have to give us your occult power first.”

“How can I give it to you?” asked the Master. “Try to meditate a little, then let me see if I can transmit my occult power to you.”

All of a sudden one of the three burst into tears. “Master, what have we done to you? You have been so kind, so compassionate, to us all the time. What have we done? We have beaten you terribly and now you are dying.”

When he started crying, the other two also began weeping bitterly. “We have beaten our Master. Forgive us, forgive us, forgive us, Master. Either forgive us, or punish us.”

The Master said, “I have forgiven you.” But the disciples didn’t believe him. So the Master said, “What do you want?”

They said, “We want punishment. If we get punishment from you, then God will forgive us and we will be able to go to Heaven.”

The Master said, “All right. I shall punish you.” The disciples were very happy to hear it. The Master was dying, but with his last breaths he gave them their punishment.

“Soon I will leave this body. My punishment is extremely severe.” They were very happy to hear that their punishment would be severe, for they felt that the law of Karma was working on them in the form of the Master’s punishment and they thought that now they would be able to get salvation. “Soon I shall leave this body,” said the Master. “From heaven I shall work on you three. I shall compel you inwardly to go to a spiritual Master who is infinitely superior to me. I could not give you realisation. I was only a tiny snake, according to you, so you struck me and you have killed my physical body. My punishment will be to send you to a cobra. You will not be able to strike this great spiritual Master physically. You will be compelled to get realisation from him. You wanted my punishment. I want your punishment to be God-Realisation. By beating me you became happy. Now you want to be punished. If I punish you, naturally I will be happy. So my punishment will be to give you realisation and liberation in your next incarnation with the help of a very, very powerful spiritual Master who is infinitely superior to me. By beating me black and blue, by killing me with your blows, you became happy. By giving you realisation and liberation in this incarnation, I will become happy.”

This is how a true spiritual Master punished his three dear disciples.

Not occult power but self-realisation

A spiritual Master who had tremendous occult powers was very reluctant to use these powers. Some of his dear disciples believed that he had occult powers although they did not have first-hand experience of them. Others thought that he had no occult powers, that he was just bragging. There were others yet who thought that it was of no importance whether he had occult powers or not. These last thought, “Our Master loves us. He has tremendous concern for us. He has boundless compassion for us. He has light, peace and bliss. That is more than enough. We don’t have to see his occult powers.”

One day, God asked this particular teacher to show some of his occult powers. For years and years he had not shown any occult power in public, but he had used it in silence many, many times secretly in the inner world. It was not the disciples’ fault that they doubted his powers. They simply had no awareness of the Master’s occult power.

He invited all of his disciples — there were about five hundred of them — to assemble in front of him and said to them, “Today I am going to use my occult power and I shall tell you a few things. But you can’t blame me afterwards if you are embarrassed by what I say and if you are exposed.”

When they thought that they might be embarrassed or ashamed, all of them left except four disciples, three men and one woman. They thought they were strong enough to accept any embarrassment.

The Master pointed to one of the three men who had stayed and said, “Come in front of me.” The other disciples who had left the Master’s presence were watching from a distance, about fifty yards away. They did not want to come closer, but they were very curious and wanted to enjoy others’ embarrassment.

The Master said to the first disciple, “In your immediate past incarnation you were the worst possible thief. Not even one night passed when you did not commit a theft. Now I will show you your face.” The Master showed him his appearance in the past incarnation: dirty, filthy, absolutely thievish consciousness. And the disciple saw the difference between his present consciousness, his present appearance and his past appearance.

He was horrified that he had looked that way. He thought, “How can I be spiritual now if I was such a thief then?” He was embarrassed and in his embarrassment he got very angry at the Master. He said, “You have exposed me.” He was so angry that he ran away from the Master’s place.

Then the Master pointed out the second one. “In your past incarnation you were a real drug addict. You took all kinds of drugs, most powerful drugs. You were an addict. You were unkempt and untidy.” In this incarnation the man was very good-looking and prided himself on being very well-groomed. Smartly dressed, he was polished and sociable. He was a pride of society. The Master showed him his past incarnation, his distorted consciousness, his drug addiction. He even showed him how he used to take drugs.

This man, too, was embarrassed and horrified and he grew very angry. “Oh, Master, what have you done? Five hundred people have heard that I was like this.” So he rushed away from the Master, very angry and disturbed.

Now the third one came and the Master said, “In your past incarnation you were a drunkard, a drunkard of absolutely the worst type.” The Master showed him the friends with whom he used to drink and his own drunkard’s consciousness.

The man became sad. “Oh, I was like this? And now I am so spiritual. How can I be a good, spiritual man if in my past incarnation I was a drunkard? It is impossible.” He, too, became angry at the Master. He was on the point of insulting the Master because he had been exposed in front of five hundred people who were only fifty yards away, unwilling to be exposed themselves.

Now, the fourth one was the woman. When she came up to the Master, he said, “Now, what is that ring? Where does it come from? Where has the Muslim gone? He is not in France anymore?”

“What, Master! What? What? You know that I am unmarried.”

“Yes, I know that. It is absolutely true. You are 35 years old and unmarried. But who gave you this ring in France? Where has that Muslim gone? He has his own wife. Why did he give you this ring?”

She became terribly upset and angry and she was ready to strike him. Angrily she exclaimed, “This is your occult power?”

The Master said, “I wanted to show you my occult power. Five hundred people are loitering there. They are observing and enjoying everything. You have showed off your virginity, your chastity. Now, why don’t you go and get married and cast out his present wife? You have been a thorn in his wife’s side. Why, why? What is the reason?”

She became furious and insulted him and said, “All right, I shall teach you a lesson.” She rushed away, embarrassed and ashamed because of this exposure of her emotional life.

Later the four met together and decided, “Now, tonight we have to punish this rascal Master.” And they worked out a plan. One of the four was very close to the Master and he had the key to the Master’s room. That night, around 1:00, when they thought the Master would be fast asleep, they planned that they would go to the Master’s room.

When they stole in very carefully, the man who had been a thief looked into the closet, where he knew the Master kept money. He saw the Master lying still, snoring, so he stole away $500 from the Master’s safe. The Master lay still, snoring.

Then, the man who had been a drug addict, brought out several kinds of powerful drugs and placed them all on the Master’s bed, arranging them just as if somebody had used them. Still the Master lay still and snored. The bed was littered with drugs.

Now, the one who had been a drunkard, brought three or four bottles of wine. He opened two bottles and spilled the wine very quietly on the Master’s bed, wetting it. The other bottles he put unopened on the bed.

The woman who was embarrassed about the ring, had gone to the goldsmith that day. She happened to know the Master’s finger size. She had had a ring made heart-shaped and very beautiful to fit the Master; and she had her own name inscribed inside. Carefully she put it on the Master’s finger as he slept.

Then they all left, one by one. The former thief had stolen money; the man who had been a drug addict had left all kinds of drugs on the bed; the one who was a drunkard in his previous life had spilled wine on the bed. And the Master lay motionless, snoring. The woman slipped the ring on his finger and the Master still snored. Actually, the Master was merely pretending that he was fast asleep.

The four stole away, but did not want to stop here. They said, “He has to be exposed.” They had been exposed by the Master in front of five hundred people. When morning came they said, “Now, let us let him feel ridicule.”

The former thief, who had taken money from the Master, asked his other friends to give him some more money. They gave him $5,000. Early in the morning he threw the $5,000 in bills on the Master’s bed. Then they said to each other, “We will phone the other disciples and say that the Master had a heart attack, that his heart failed and that one of us had the key to the Master’s room. We’ll say that when the Master was in terrible agony, he phoned one of us up and said, ‘Come! Help me! I am suffering.’ But when we came, the Master died of heart failure.”

They phoned all the other disciples early in the morning all of them came. Because the four disciples had said that the Master was dead, the other disciples did not come near his bed. From a distance they looked at him. The Master was still fast asleep. This time he was not snoring because he knew the trick they were playing. He was in a very deep sleep and the disciples, seeing his relaxed, composed body, thought he was dead. They all began shedding bitter tears because their dear Master had passed away out of their reach.

When the Master saw that many, many people had gathered together, he jumped up suddenly from the bed. Some became frightened because they had been sure the Master was dead. Some were thrilled that resurrection had taken place and some wanted to scold and insult the people who had deceived them. But the Master said, “I am so glad to see all of you. Now, what is the matter?”

But nobody had the heart to say that they had heard that the Master had died. So the Master said, "Now, there are so many of you. I want to bless only four people. Yesterday, you know, I embarrassed those people and today I feel that they should get some sympathy, some concern from me. I will give them my blessing.”

The four who had done wrong were trembling. They thought, "Oh, the Master is inviting us, but what is he going to say? God knows.” Perhaps the Master would expose them again, seeing the things they had done. So they hesitated and did not want to come.

The Master said, "Come, come, come.”

Then they said to themselves, “Now we are caught. Whether we go or not, he will tell that we have done all this.” First they were afraid. Then they thought that the Master did not know what had happened because he had said that he wanted to bless them because he had embarrassed them the previous day. They thought that perhaps it was true. The Master had been snoring, maybe he didn’t know about all their tricks. Since the Master was insisting with such smiling compassion and concern, they came one by one.

The former thief came. The Master blessed him with sincerity and great power. Then came the one-time drug addict, then came the ex-drunkard, then came the woman who had the problem with the ring.

Then the Master said to them, “Now, I have forgiven all you people. All, all, all, all of you I have forgiven.”

They thought that if he had forgiven them that meant that he knew all the tricks they had played the night before. The Master first said, “I have forgiven you.” Then he turned to the one-time thief, “Look, if I get $5,000 now, I will become really rich. But this money is not mine. Kindly take it away. It is your money.”

Then to the ex-drug addict who had put all kinds of drugs in his room he said, “Look here, how can I have your things? Is it possible for me? I never take anybody else’s drugs, whether they are good or bad. So now you see, these are your possessions. Kindly take back your own possessions.”

Then to the former drunkard he said, “Everybody knows that I don’t drink. It is you who brought everything. I am sorry that you spent money and opened two bottles of wine. My bed is now all wet. Only two bottles are still intact, full. These two bottles you can return, or you yourself can drink them. They are yours.”

He turned to the woman and taking off the ring, said to her, “That means we loved each other. You really loved me. I know that. Yesterday, unfortunately, I could not prove to you that I really loved you. Had I loved you truly, then I would not have done this kind of thing. I would not have said what I did.” She was terribly ashamed and embarrassed and could hardly look at him. He added, “Now, please take back your ring. It does not fit, first of all. And in the second place, I’m sure you know that I don’t want to fall in love with you.”

Once again they were embarrassed. “What can we do now?” they wondered. They had shown themselves for what they were. Previously the Master had only showed them what they had once been and others had enjoyed their exposure. This time it was even more embarrassing because they themselves had tried to play shabby tricks on the Master and had been caught.

What could they do? Hundreds of people were around them. How could they show anger when they themselves had done what they had done?

The Master again blessed them. One by the one the Master blessed all four. Then he said, “Look here. I told you I have forgiven you. It is absolutely true. You wanted to know about my occult power. I always say that with occult power the tendency is curiosity. Most of you are curious, curious, simply curious. This curiosity has to come to an end. I want you people to be really sincere in the spiritual life, to aspire and to inspire others. And you don’t aspire, you don’t inspire others. You only want to know what you were, what others were and what you are going to be. What you are going to be, you will definitely become through your aspiration. You don’t need occult power to know what you are going to be tomorrow. Aspire. As soon as tomorrow comes, you will see what you are. But, if you know what you are going to be tomorrow, what will happen? You will relax. ‘Oh, tomorrow I am going to be very rich,’ or something. ‘Let me sleep.’ Then, if you sleep, you delay the process. And if you know that tomorrow something painful or frightening is going to happen in your life, you will be horrified. Before the actual event takes place, you will be half dead. When you don’t know something, it is only bliss, because you are aspiring. Your aspiration will give you the thing that is best for you tomorrow. Tomorrow means the future. But you don’t want that. You only want to be a curiosity-monger. For a long time you have been bothering me. Some of you, most of you do not. I want to show even the sincere ones who have faith in me that by having faith in my occult power they don’t gain any spiritual experience, they don’t make any progress. And you people who doubt my occult power, I embarrassed you because this will be of great help to humanity and mankind. There are millions of people on earth who are like you. You represent them and I am most grateful that through you I have been able to give them the proper experience, to show them that they should not try with occult powers to know anything about their past. It only creates more problems. It does not help you at all in your aspiring life.”

All the four touched the Master’s feet and the Master said, “From now on you will be my true disciples. Not occultism, only aspiration, spirituality, realisation, will be the Ultimate Goal.”

Safe in the Master's compassionate concern

There was a sincere seeker who was looking for a Guru. The poor man had worked very, very hard. He had spent years in search of a Guru but could find no Guru who really appealed to him. He had met many spiritual Masters, but he did not care for any of them. Now he was miserable, for he felt his days were passing in vain. In spite of his intense aspiration, he could not find a real Guru, a Guru of his own.

Finally one night he had a dream. In his dream he came to know who his Guru was. The following morning he set out for his Guru’s place, which was about sixteen miles away from his own house. Since the Guru lived in one village and he himself lived in another, he had no choice but to walk. He felt immensely happy and excited. It was early in the morning and everything was calm and quiet. He recognised that he did not actually know where the Guru’s place was. He knew the house, but he had a vague idea of the location of the Guru’s village. He thought he would be able to ask his way of the people he passed and reach his destination that way.

He walked for about six miles or so and then he was not sure of his route. All of a sudden he saw a young girl fetching water from a pond by the street. She had a pitcher along with her and she filled it to the brim. Then she started carrying the water pitcher down the road. As soon as he saw the woman the seeker became sad and angry.

He said to himself, “My journey will be all in vain! Here temptation has started. This stupid girl has ruined all my aspiration. It is a real curse! O God, now where is my Guru, where is my goal? She has ruined me. I have read Ramakrishna’s books, I have read the books of other spiritual Masters: ‘women will take us to hell.’ Here, I am going to my Guru’s place and she has to be right in front of me!”

So he cursed the woman. But she did not pay any attention to him. She was walking along the street, full of joy and pure love. The man thought that he had to follow that particular way because there was no other route nearby and there was nobody else, no man on the way to ask. So what could he do? He could either go home or continue to walk along the road until he came across a man. He decided to walk on, following the woman. Finally he thought to himself, “What is wrong with her? How is it that she is carrying such a big pitcher and walking along this road, all the time ahead of me, never behind me?”

Then after having covered about four miles, the man saw a little boy, naked, playing and singing a village song right in the street. The song went like this:

> “To the North is the Goal,

> To the South is Breath,

> To the East is Destruction,

> To the West is Frustration.”

But the man could not make out the words, but he wondered what it was the child sang so soulfully! He kept on his way, walking towards the North, while the child was singing. “The goal, goal!”

While he was listening to the child’s song, all of a sudden he became aware that the beautiful girl had disappeared. Earlier he had cursed this girl for leading him. But now he was tempted and the girl was not to be found. Anyway, he was very happy that the girl had left him.

He walked for another five or six miles and again he began to wonder where he was, because he did not know the actual house. Tremendous doubt came into his mind. What could he do? Nobody was on the road. It was very strange; on other days there would have been some people, but today there were none. Still he said to himself, “All right, let me walk along, alone.”

After covering a few miles, he again saw the woman with the pitcher hanging around her waist. She was looking at him with compassion. He became very angry. He said, “Again you have come to tempt me! Just a few hours ago you were there and I was upset and angry and now again you have come.” He was very angry but the woman pointed out to him a particular house. He went into the house and there inside saw a spiritual Master. The woman disappeared. He touched his Master’s feet and was blessed by his Master.

A few hours later the Master said to him, “Now, come, let us go and see our fields. I have a vegetable garden with tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants and so forth.” So the seeker, the new disciple, was delighted to see his Master’s property.

In the field the disciple saw a neighbour of the Master, who took away two eggplants without permission. The Master was furious. He said, “How dare you do this without asking?”

The neighbour said, “Oh, you are a spiritual man. I am taking only two eggplants. My wife has nothing to make for food, so I thought that if I took these eggplants she could make something nice for us.”

The Master said, “No, you can’t do that. You have taken them without my permission!” A terrible fight followed. The Master was about to threaten and strike the neighbour.

The new disciple wondered, “O God, what kind of Master is this?”

At last the Master said, “All right, take them. I don’t need them. You take the two eggplants.” The Master now said to the disciple, “Let us go home.”

Both the disciple and the Master went back and had their supper. Then the Master said to the disciple, “Let us meditate.” But the disciple could not meditate. He kept all the time remembering the Master’s anger and thinking, “Oh, the Master is so mean. Two eggplants he cannot give to his neighbour.” He was very upset and unhappy and thought, “I was mistaken. This man cannot be my Master. He is so cruel. He is so unkind. Tomorrow, early in the morning, before he gets up, I will leave his place without his knowledge.”

So in the small hours of the morning, while the Master was still fast asleep, the disciple decided to leave the Master’s place on tiptoe.

While he was outside the Master’s house about to run away, he again saw the beautiful woman. She begged him to carry a bag for her which contained — though he did not see at first — two eggplants. He felt compelled to carry it. And when he had it in his hands, the woman started shouting and screaming: “Thief, thief, thief, thief!”

The Master woke up and heard the shouting. When he came out of his house he saw that the seeker was leaving him and that there were two eggplants in his bag. The Master came out and said to the disciple, “You thief, did you take these two eggplants yesterday? You did not take them this morning. Perhaps you entered into my storage barn and took them.”

The disciple said, “I have stolen them? This girl insisted that I take them. I do not know what she has — charm or something else. I don’t know. She put them in my hand and I couldn’t seem to throw them away and then she called out ‘thief, thief, thief,’ and who is the thief? She is the thief. I am not the thief.”

He wanted to hit the girl in front of the Master. When he was about to strike her, the girl disappeared. “Master, please tell me who this awful girl is. Why does she make problems for me all the time? I did not tell you, but yesterday, it was she who was responsible for my misfortune. I started out full of eagerness, enthusiasm and joy for your place. Right when I started walking, I saw her fetching water. She tempted me. Her beauty disturbed me. She walked ahead of me for such a long way. And again I saw her near your place and again this morning. Master, save me from this girl.”

The Master said, “Why did you leave me? Why did you want to leave me early in the morning?”

The disciple answered, “What kind of Master are you? You are quarrelling and insulting that man about two eggplants. Look how mean you are.”

The Master said, “No, it is not my meanness. If that man had asked me, my permission, I would have given him not only two but as many as he wanted. But, without his asking my permission, why should I allow him to take my food? Forgiveness is always there; you saw I forgave him for taking those two eggplants. But if he does not get permission, today he will take two, tomorrow twenty; the day after he will take everything away.”

He continued, “Like me you also grow fruits in your garden. I know your neighbours take away your things and your wife gets angry about it. But you tell your wife, ‘Oh, don’t worry, it is not a serious matter. After all, we are all God’s children, it is all God’s property. Who cares?’ And you suffer financially afterwards. You are expected to sell fruits and then to be able to maintain your livelihood. But you grow food and your neighbours steal away so much of it and your wife suffers financially. You are making a serious mistake. They will remain lazy and they will become thieves.

“So it was just to show you that you are doing the wrong thing that I did all this. It was not my neighbour; it was I. I can take all forms; I took that form. I was with you and that neighbour was nobody other than I. I was quarrelling and fighting with myself only to show you that it was something wrong. Nobody should take another’s possessions without his knowledge, approval and permission. That is why I did it. It was one of my beings; I assumed another form.”

The disciple said, “All right then, I can believe you. Now that you have convinced me, I will stay with you. I will stop giving things to people who don’t deserve them.”

The Master said, “Certainly, if you allow people to take away your things, you are allowing them in that way to commit theft. So it is your mistake.”

So the seeker said, “All right, Master, I am going to be your disciple, forgive me. But what about the stupid woman? She bothered me, tempted me. You know I am so pure, so spiritual and what has she done to me?”

With a broad smile the Master said, “That beautiful woman was also myself.”

The disciple said, “What? Why did you do that?”

The Master said, “Look here, the first time you saw her, you were totally lost. You thought that it would be a wild goose chase. You lost the way, there was nobody there. I took the form of the beautiful woman because I knew that you still had vital love within you which you haven’t yet fully conquered. And when I took that form, although you were cursing that woman for tempting you, you had passion for her. She did not have this passion, but you felt lustful toward her. You were cursing her. That is what men do when they see a woman. Inwardly they desire her; outwardly they curse her. They say, ‘She has ruined me.’ Who has ruined whom? I wanted you to come to my place, but how? I thought that this was the only way since there was nobody there. It was the beauty of the woman who brought you to the child. You covered the distance because you appreciated and admired her beauty. If it had been somebody else, say another man, you would have doubted him, you would have said, ‘No, perhaps it is the wrong way.’ But you followed this woman. Her beauty compelled you to go on. Her love was absolutely pure and divine. Her concern for you was supremely genuine.”

“Oh, Master, then why did she leave me when I saw the little boy?”

“That little boy was also myself. It was I in another of my forms. You were cursing the girl and at the same time you were following her. She said, ‘Now let me use some other means.’ So I got the idea of assuming another form, of a child. He was so innocent, so pure. He was singing so soulfully. You were tempted by this beautiful girl. But you had no physical attraction for that boy. That boy had a greater advantage. He was so innocent, he was like nature, absolutely pure.”

The disciple asked, “But why was the boy singing?” The song seemed so meaningless to me: ‘To the North is the Goal, to the South is Breath, to the East is Destruction and to the West is Frustration.’ What does it mean?”

The Master replied, “You don’t know? I was singing through the boy. To the North is the Goal. You see, you followed my instructions unconsciously. To the North was my house. And to the South was breath. Breath is your home. You did not go back towards the South. When you go back home, that is your breath and if you had followed the road that was leading towards the East, it would have meant destruction, because there were two dacoits there. Whoever came along towards the East from the place where the boy was, was destined to be attacked by these two dacoits. When they find nothing to steal on the traveler, they simply kill him. So you would have been killed by the dacoits. First they would have searched you and if you had not had enough money, they would have got much pleasure in killing you. And if you had followed the road to the West, there would have been frustration, because there was no goal there. So that was the song.”

“O Master, my Master, My Savior.”

“Then unconsciously you followed the child’s message. You walked towards the North and you reached your destination.”

Then the disciple said, “Why did that stupid woman again come and bother me?”

The Master said, “The stupid woman was again I who assumed that form with compassion. After walking a few miles, you got lost again. You were confused, you were hesitating, so I took that form and full of compassion, I was showing you my own home.”

The disciple said, “But was it necessary to do all this?”

The Master said, “Yes, it was necessary because, if purity is not fully established when you run towards your Master, towards your goal, then you should run with impurity. There is no harm if you cannot walk along the path with absolute purity, especially in the beginning. Walk towards the goal even with impurity. Then, you see, if you have childlike innocence, you will get joy. With impurity you started. You were having impure thoughts and so forth. With an innocent feeling and spontaneous inner joy you can go further. When you go still further you will be inundated with divine compassion. On your way to my place, first I showed divine love through the girl. Then I showed you innocent joy through the child. Then I showed you compassion through the girl again.”

The seeker touched his Master’s feet, saying, “Master, now I have understood. You have helped me, you are truly my Master, I take you as my real Master. You are my only Savior.”



In the sun of aspiration no mental or vital ache is past cure.


I am the most loyal servant of heart, mind and vital.

My wage is sincerity.

My master heart is always exact in payment.

My master mind is at times exact.

But alas, I exact sincerity from my master vital with much severity


The smile that shines through tears is the only smile worth having.


Each aspirant has to be a divine soldier. He must consciously and constantly use his divine energy to drill himself into a liberated soul.

From:Sri Chinmoy,AUM — Vol. 7, No. 6, 27 Jan. 1972, AUM Centre Press, 1972
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