Is God really partial?
Inner meditation and outer vibration1There was an Indian spiritual Master living in America who gave utmost importance to his disciples' meditation. He had asked twenty-five disciples who did the best meditation to meditate together once a week at different disciples' homes. The Master felt that the collective aspiration of the group would further increase the strength of each individual's meditation. Whenever he could, the Master visited these five special meditation groups, which met with their respective hosts or hostesses at four o'clock in the morning.
Now it happened once that the Master arrived back earlier than had been scheduled from a month's lecture tour. The next morning he paid surprise visits to these meditation groups. At the first home he was sad to see that the host had forgotten to buy candles, flowers and incense and that the shrine cloth was soiled and wrinkled. Alas, at the other homes the Master was even more disappointed. Either there were dirty dishes piled in the kitchen, which was in most cases right next to the meditation room, or books and papers were strewn all over the meditation room itself. Two of the places looked as though they had not been cleaned for weeks. At the fifth house the Master would have had to use a side entrance to enter the meditation room, as the main hall was filled with bags of garbage and dirty laundry. Instead of going around the house to the side door, the Master went home. He telephoned the five hosts and hostesses and asked them to come to his house immediately.
The Master told them, "The aspiration of each disciple is necessary to make the meditation very high, very deep and sublime. But in addition to aspiration, the vibration of each place is also important. If the vibration is bad, then the aspiration of each individual disciple will have to fight against this vibration. It may be that the vibration is good but the aspiration of the disciples is not. That is a different story. Here we will assume that the disciples are coming with aspiration, although some come with almost no aspiration. But I wish to say that some of the places are not at all satisfactory. And it is the leader of the group that is totally responsible for the vibration of the room."
The five hosts were silent.
"What you do with your own meditation," continued the Master, "you know and God knows. Seekers come to your place only once a week; the rest of the time it is all yours. Now, I am not at all satisfied with your standard."
One disciple asked, "Is there anything else besides physical tidiness and cleanliness that can help the vibration, Master?"
The Master said, "Your daily activities in the meditation room create either a good vibration or a bad vibration. If it has a bad vibration, then your brothers and sisters have to fight against the bad vibration and half their energy will be lost in fighting. They need this energy to fight against their own ignorance so that they can bring down Peace and Light from above. You are all seekers, so you know what good vibrations are. At all your places I was sad and disappointed."
"Master, we are all very sorry for today," said one girl, "but our homes are not always like this."
"True" said the Master, "it is not that every time the vibration of a place is bad. It changes. Outwardly I have come to your places two or three other times as well and every day the vibration changes. Today your place is good; tomorrow the vibration changes. It is a great honour to have the disciples at your place, but if you cannot offer them a good vibration, then we shall have to change the locations.
"Dear ones, these are the simplest things to do. If you cannot do them, then how will you do the more difficult things in your inner life?"
The Master blessed the five disciples and said, "Next week we shall have another opportunity. Let us see what happens."
GRP 1. 14 July 1973.↩
The yogi's advice1Four hundred years ago in the heart of the Himalayas there lived a God-realised yogi who did not accept any disciples. Once a year the yogi would leave his hut early in the morning and climb down the mountain to a nearby village. There he would meditate under a tree for only one hour, starting at five o'clock in the morning and ending at six o'clock. At six o'clock he would open his eyes, chant Aum and, without saying a word, begin his journey back up the mountain. Seekers would come from hundreds of miles away to meditate with the yogi for just that one hour.
This went on for thirteen years. In the thirteenth year, three seekers followed the yogi after he finished his meditation. Although the yogi did not acknowledge their presence, the seekers continued to follow him all the way up the mountain, hoping he would eventually speak to them. When the four reached the yogi's hut, one boy bowed to him and said, "Master, I have been coming to meditate with you for the last five years. But now I must confess that each time I sat down to meditate with you, either I did not feel any inspiration or I felt very tired. Then before I knew it, the hour was over and I had to wait a whole year before I could meditate with you again. Master, I am so disheartened. Please tell me what I should do."
The yogi blessed the seeker and said, "From now on, when the day comes that you are going to meditate with me, get up at three o'clock in the morning and take spiritual exercises to prepare yourself. Before one runs, one has to exercise and make himself limber. Otherwise, if he tries to run the fastest, he will pull a muscle and stumble. It is not possible to run the fastest if one has not stretched his limbs properly. In the spiritual life also, fifteen minutes or half an hour of preparation is necessary. Feel that when five o'clock dawns, that is when the race begins. You are not competing with others, but only with yourself. Five o'clock is your starting time, but before that you must take various spiritual exercises."
"What kinds of spiritual exercises should I take, Master?" asked the seeker.
"You can spend fifteen minutes to an hour reading spiritual books. You can chant or do japa, or you can learn a few songs. There are some songs which actually embody meditation. Even if you are not a singer, there will be no one nearby to laugh at you. There will be only you and the Supreme. Then, after you have prepared yourself at home, you can come to meditate with me. Otherwise you will come with all kinds of inertia. So please get up at three o'clock. Once a year you can easily do this."
The second seeker then said to the yogi, "Master, I have also been coming to see you for several years. Sometimes I have good meditations, but usually after five-thirty I get the feeling that my meditation is over and I find that I stop meditating. I don't know what to do."
The yogi said, "You should continue trying to meditate. But in silence you should also do these spiritual exercises that I have just mentioned." After saying this, the yogi blessed this seeker.
The third seeker said, "Master, every year I also feel very sleepy during my meditation with you."
The yogi blessed the third seeker and said, "After thirty or forty minutes of powerful meditation, if you find yourself feeling sleepy, then I wish to say that this is not sleep at all. At that time your inner being is operating most powerfully over your physical, your vital and your mind. Mentally you may feel that you are not in this world; you may feel that you have to come back and be very dynamic. But this is not so. Your soul is operating most powerfully and you are mistaking the inner silence for sleep."
"But sometimes I feel that I have been sleeping almost for the entire meditation," said the boy.
"If you feel that you have been sleeping for half an hour, then naturally you are not meditating. If you really are falling asleep, try repeating 'Supreme' as fast possible. Then you will feel the power inside His name and your whole body, your whole being, will be inundated with divine energy."
"Why does one have to chant so fast, Master?"
"If you go on repeating 'Supreme' very slowly, in five minutes you will fall asleep. But this way, if you repeat 'Supreme' as fast as possible, you are bound to feel a new flow of energy. The utterance of the Supreme's name is entering into you as energy."
"But Master," said the seeker, "what will others think of me if I do this?"
"If you do this while you are meditating with others, it may seem as odd as shaking your arms or stretching your legs to keep awake. So please repeat 'Supreme' in silence; you are bound to become very dynamic."
"Master," said the first seeker, "you have shed abundant light on all our problems, We are sure that next time we meditate with you, we will be able to receive infinitely more of what you are offering to us. You have our eternal gratitude."
Then the three seekers returned to their village with the yogi's blessing and the yogi began a new year of silent communion with God.
GRP 2. 14 July 1973.↩
With hope-food I exist1There was once an Indian spiritual Master living in America who had great concern for every aspect of his disciples' spiritual lives. He always stressed the importance of individual morning meditation for those following his path. One very cold winter, however, the Master decided that his disciples could also benefit considerably from meditating with each other in the morning. So he formed seven meditation groups which were to meet at disciples' homes every morning at six o'clock. This group meditation was to go on for one month and it would take the place of the seekers' normal individual meditation.
Each morning the Master would surprise a different group of disciples by joining them in their meditation. As the month went by, the pressure of the Master's work unfortunately did not allow him to visit these groups anymore. On the last day of the month, however, the Master went to meditate with all the groups, walking from door to door, even though it was snowing very hard. But because of the bad weather, very few disciples had gone to meditate that day. The Master was very sad. When he returned home, he telephoned each one of his disciples and told them to come to his house immediately.
When they were all seated in his meditation room, the Master said, "These morning meditations are a golden opportunity for you. But most of you, if not all, are not taking them seriously. You are not availing yourselves of this opportunity every morning."
"Master," said one of the group leaders, "I am sad to say that on many other mornings as well, even when the weather was clear, you would have been disappointed by the attendance."
"I would like to continue these group meetings for another month," said the Master. "Right from tomorrow, you can be absent from your group only if you are extremely ill or out of town. If you cannot come to morning meditation for either of these reasons, please make it a point to inform the person at whose house the meditation is being held. No other reasons will be accepted. If someone says, 'I went to bed too late,' that kind of reason will not be accepted. But it depends on your sincerity. If somebody is not sick but tells the leader of the group that he is very sick, then God has to take care of that person."
"Master," said another group leader, "do you want to know who is not coming and why? Usually they do not inform us."
"Yes, I would like to know. Please keep attendance. I will ask you to tell the members of your group not to come anymore if they do not inform you when they are sick or out of town. If there are unavoidable circumstances, then what can you do? The soul can be there, although the body cannot."
"But Master," a third group leader said, "some people never come."
The Master said, "If a person is not coming regularly and if he cannot give an adequate reason, then I will tell you to inform him not to come."
"Master," the fourth group leader asked, "why are you becoming so strict with us?"
"If I tell you that you cannot come," explained the Master, "then you will really value the morning meditation. If you don't value your meditation, then nobody else is going to value it, not even God."
The fifth group leader said, "What about those who do come? Don't they at least give proper value to these meditations?"
"Do you think so?" asked the Master, "Today the highest mark I could give any group for its meditation was sixty-five out of one hundred. And what will be the lowest? In India the passing mark is thirty-three, but in America your passing mark is sixty-five."
"In America," said another group leader, "if everyone fails, then sometimes they lower the passing mark."
"All right," said the Master, "how much do you feel you got? Enter into the heart. For two minutes if you remain in the heart, then you will feel that I am right."
All the disciples became silent for a few moments. Then the Master gave marks for each group. Two groups tied for having the worst meditation; they got eleven percent. The next lowest mark was seventeen; fourth was twenty-three; fifth, twenty-nine; sixth, thirty-seven and seventh, sixty-five.
"Even sixty-five is most deplorable," said the Master. "For me, it is not a passing mark; it is a real failure. And I am really impartial when I give grades. Feel that you have the capacity to get ninety-nine, but you are not using it. I want each group to get at least eighty from me. Since you are taking the trouble to get up early to come and meditate, I am extremely pleased. But I wish to say that everyone's meditation can be much, much better."
"How can we do that kind of meditation?" asked one girl.
"It all depends on the eagerness and sincerity of each individual," replied the Master. "It is not that the members of the group that got sixty-five are better than the members of other groups. No! Each one has come to offer his meditation to the Supreme according to his own capacity and each individual is responsible for maintaining his own standard. So if you are getting the lowest mark, don't blame the other members of your group; blame yourself. We are starting with eleven. It is a real disaster in the spiritual world if you get eleven percent.
"What is the failing of each group?" asked another disciple.
"It is the aspiration of each individual. If you go deep within for half an hour, then you will see what you must do and what you must not do. But one thing I can say. Some of you do not even take a bath before you come and this is most deplorable. This basic discipline you should have learnt a long time ago. If you do not like it, I am sorry. But I cannot enter into your life and treat you like kindergarten students. You left kindergarten long ago."
"Master, what about our actual meditation once we come?" one boy asked.
"What happens," said the Master, "is that as soon as you get to the meeting, most of you feel that you have played your role. Just by coming you feel that you have done all that is necessary. But you have to feel that coming to the meditation room is only like coming to the starting point. Once you have come to your starting point, this is where the race begins. From here you have to run. You are not competing with anybody, but you are trying to run the fastest according to your own capacity.
"Also, do not sit on a chair unless you have problems sitting on the floor. Yoga and comfort do not go together. You will only enter into the world of sleep."
The Master paused. "I am eager to give you one hundred out of one hundred. The day I can give each group this mark, I will be the happiest person. But how am I going to do it? I don't think in this incarnation I will ever be able to do it."
One disciple said, "Master, we are grateful that you are giving us another chance."
"Yes," the Master said, as he stood up to close the meeting, "I have hope. Hope-food I am eating every day. With this hope-food I exist. Let us see if my disciples will really please me."
Is God really partial?1"Master, you are compassion incarnate. May I ask you something about God's Compassion that has been bothering me for a long time?"
"Please ask me, my daughter."
"You have always said that God is impartial, but it seems to me that God shows more Compassion to those who have entered into the spiritual life than to those who have not. Don't unaspiring people need more Compassion and Consolation from Him, since they are even more helplessly caught by ignorance than spiritual seekers?"
"My daughter, you are correct in saying that God favours spiritual seekers. But you are wrong when you think that those in the ordinary life need more Compassion. They do not need or want God's Compassion."
"Master, what do you mean?"
"When one begins to aspire, at that time all his bad qualities are being gradually transformed and illumined and all his good qualities are being brought to the fore. So even if there is just a little aspiration, Compassion works. But if there is no aspiration, if there is no seed planted in the ground, then when God's Compassion rains down, it is all wasted. Also, if there is no aspiration, the word 'compassion' is not even in the person's dictionary. Those who are still living in the world of aggression do not need anybody's compassion. So why should God give them His Compassion? For them the law of Karma is operating; for them God uses the Light of His Justice."
"But Master, aren't unaspiring people sincere in their own way?"
"My daughter, some people have very good intentions, but that does not lessen their ignorance-life. I may tell a lie and repeat it ten times forcefully with the idea that I am telling the truth. But this kind of sincerity does not help us at all."
"But Master, are we really any better than those still in the ordinary life? Even now I can think of hundreds of things I did wrong just yesterday."
"Before we entered the spiritual life, we led semi-animal lives; but we were not conscious of the fact. Now that we have entered fully into the spiritual life, we see that we are really half-animal. Inwardly we strangle many people, although outwardly we may smile at them and shake their hands. We fight, we are jealous; every day we do countless undivine things. But at least we are fully aware of the things that we do wrong."
"What about the mistakes we still make, Master?"
"Spiritual people know they are making mistakes, but every time they take the side of Light. If you have good intentions and on the way you stumble, God sees that your intentions are good. You still need more strength, inner strength, but you will get this one day. Although you are helpless, hopeless and useless, you have an inner urge to please God in His own way. The very fact that you have entered into the spiritual life pleases God."
"So this is why God shows us extra Concern?"
"Yes, my daughter. He is always compassionate. Even His Justice-Power used with unaspiring people is Compassion, because it perfects them and makes them want to give up their undivine ways. But for seekers who want to please Him devotedly, soulfully, unreservedly and unconditionally, He has more Compassion. If you are trying to do the right thing and I am not, who will deserve more Compassion? God's Compassion-magnet will be able to pull you more. If I am not as sincere as you, then I cannot expect to receive the same amount of Compassion-food from God. So although the seeker is bound to make mistakes, in his case God's cosmic Law will give way to God's Compassion-Smile.
"Master, if we know that God showers extra Blessings and Concern on us, how can we prevent ourselves from feeling superior to others or judging them?"
"Let me explain it to you, my child. If somebody is not aspiring, it must not affect you. Again, if somebody is aspiring much more than you can, why do you have to be involved? If you see someone who is not aspiring and you become full of pride, then you are ruined."
"How can we stop pride from entering us, Master?"
"If you walk along the street and see that somebody is not leading a spiritual life, you should remain detached. It is one thing to see something and another thing to feel that you are superior. Why do you have to make a judgement?"
"So, Master, how should I feel when I am with my friends who are not aspiring?"
"If you mix with these friends, don't feel superior or inferior. Try to act in your own way. Your friend wants to eat a food which satisfies him, and you want to eat a particular food which satisfies you. He wants to eat the food of idleness and you want to eat the food of aspiration and dedication. If you say that your food is more nourishing than his, then you are judging him. Just feel that you are approaching your reality in a different way."
"Can I be absolutely sure, Master, that I am not judging my friends?"
"My child, you have to know what you feel within. If you feel superior within, that is judgement. Any feeling of superiority or inferiority is judgement. So if you don't have any feeling of superiority, then there is no judgement. Feel that your friend has every right to lead his own life. You are going to be responsible for your own life and you are not going to be responsible for his. Eventually you will stop mixing with your old friends and remain with spiritual people whenever you have an opportunity. Have you understood my philosophy, my daughter?"
"Yes, I have understood you, Master. You have illumined my mind and heart with your compassion. You always answer your spiritual children's inner and outer questions. But the main thing we learn, Master, is that our spiritual father is all compassion and all concern for us. You are always compassion incarnate."
GRP 4. 3 November 1973.↩
The interim Master1One day a very great spiritual Master was approached by the brother of one of his closest disciples. "You know, Master, that I have my own spiritual Master, even though I have always had the greatest admiration for you. I accepted my Master long before you came to this city and I have always remained faithful to him. But now my Master has said that he cannot teach me any more and he wants me to go to somebody else. For all these years I thought that he was the Master I was destined to have. Now I have entered into a sea of confusion, so I have come to you for advice."
The Master said, "You are correct that one is predestined to meet one's Master. If you have an inner cry, then you are bound to get your Master. When you find the person, you are fortunate. But owing to circumstances, you may not find your Master right away."
"Then all the years I spent with my other Master are wasted?" asked the youth.
"No!" said the Master. "Nothing is lost. But you have to see the situation with true detachment. When you come to someone who you feel is not your true Master, you have to feel, 'For the time being, for a few months or a year, let me learn what this particular Master knows.' This way you will not be sad and disheartened. And even if the person is not your real Master, you will learn something from him."
"Then what should my attitude now be to my ex-Master?"
"If you realise that this Master is now taking you to someone else, then go to a new Master; but do not criticise the old Master. Your sincerity is your safeguard. It will ultimately take you to your destined Goal."
"But, Master, since I was mistaken the first time, how will I actually know who is really my Guru?"
The Master said, "Please enter deep within when you go to a spiritual Master. You may get an inner experience and feel in the inner world that he is yours. Then see if you can have implicit faith in this particular Master. You may look a long time and you may see many Masters, but you will prefer one over the others. The Master whom you prefer, the one with whom you will have an inner connection, a deep affinity, is your Master."
"What exactly will happen when I see him, Master?" asked the seeker.
"First of all you will get a kind of inner thrill and you will not be able to account for it. Your mind will not be able to give an adequate explanation, for the experience is a spiritual one and it takes place far beyond the mind. You have to be the judge. If you go to a spiritual person and he gives you abundant joy, boundless joy, then you will know that he is your Master."
The seeker said, "I am grateful that you are making everything so clear to me. Now, please tell me, Master, for a little while should I follow both my old Master and the new one that I accept?"
"My son," said the Master, "that is like placing one foot in one boat and the other foot in another boat. In the spiritual life two boats cannot be the same and the two boatmen need not follow the same route. It is not like going to school where you take different subjects and have many teachers. In the spiritual life there is only one subject and that is called God-realisation. So you have only one teacher. Your own Master can easily take you to the destined Goal provided that you have faith in him."
"So the way my Master taught me was not wrong, but just different, is that right?"
"Each Master is right in his own way. The destination is always the same and all roads lead to there, but you will prefer one particular road. If you get the wrong Master, you move with the speed of an Indian bullock cart. You are bound to make progress, but your speed will be slow. But if you go to the proper Master, then he will carry you like a jet plane. If you are lucky, you will find the right Master and then naturally you will fly with the speed of an aeroplane."
"Master, during our whole conversation, I have been drinking in your Peace, Light and Bliss. This whole time I have been experiencing such an inner thrill and joy. Master, may I tell you a secret?"
"Certainly, my son."
"I came to you because my heart knew that you were my true Master, but my mind was still confused. You have illumined my mind and you have fed my heart and soul. Master, will you accept me as your disciple?"
The Master blessed the youth. "I accept you, I accept you, my son. You will be my true disciple, my dearest spiritual son. Now you have found your real spiritual home and I shall definitely take you to your destined Goal."
GRP 5. 3 November 1973.↩
The desperate seeker1About fifty years ago, there lived in America a spiritual Master who had about forty or fifty disciples. This Master was always ready to give interviews to his disciples and to other sincere seekers who came to him for spiritual guidance.
One day he was visited by a young writer who had written to the Master previously about his problems. On this day he had a particular problem that he wished to discuss with the Master.
"Master, please help me," said the young man. "For the past two weeks or so, I have hardly been able to get any sleep. I have never meditated very much. I always felt that mental activity was more fulfilling. But almost every night now I wake up with a desperate feeling in my heart. All of a sudden I feel that I am in desperate need of spirituality. I have tried in vain to understand this feeling. My mind does not seem capable of analysing it. However, since I cannot see clearly with my mind what is happening to me, I am worried that I may be suffering from some delusion. Can you help me? Is this desperate feeling that I have dangerous to my mental health?"
The Master replied, "No, it is not at all dangerous. You are crying for the fulfilment of your inner cry. It is not with the mind that you are crying; you are crying from the inmost recesses of your heart. The inner heart has infinite capacity. It is not limited like the mind. One does not approach the highest Truth with the mind; therefore, mental health does not come into the picture at all."
"But why am I feeling this cry, Master? What am I really crying for?"
"When we cry deep within," the Master said, "it is because we feel the necessity of Peace, Light and Bliss. When we have this kind of inner cry, then these qualities either come to the fore from within or descend from above. I tell my disciples that they can develop the inner cry by giving more importance to what they really need in their life. When we give importance to our true necessity, then automatically our inner cry, our inner sincerity, is bound to increase. The more we feel that we desperately need Peace, Light and Bliss, the sooner our inner cry increases."
"How can we fulfil this necessity?" asked the seeker.
"In the outer world, when we are hungry we try to fulfil our hunger. If there is no food at home, we go to a restaurant or to a friend's house. Similarly, in the spiritual life when we are really hungry for Peace, Light and Bliss, we will go to a spiritual Master who can fulfil our hunger. First of all he will increase our inner hunger and then he will fulfil it."
"But what about my lack of sleep? Is this harmful or unhealthy?"
The Master explained, "If we have Peace, Light and Bliss within ourselves, then these divine qualities will not tell upon our health. On the contrary, they will strengthen the physical. The physical will have a new sincerity, a new faith in fulfilling the divine in us. The term 'sincerity' is very important. If we want to achieve Peace, Light and Bliss by hook or by crook, if we try to use physical force or vital force, if we try to push and pull, then we will unduly create problems in our mind. But if we rely on our inner cry, then our sincerity will carry us up to the Highest. At that time, the divine protection will be there. It will not allow us to have any mental problems."
"How can I become really sincere, Master? How can I tell if I am sincere?"
The master reassured him, "In your case, you have sincerity. But sometimes, although we are sincere, we still try to pull or push. We try to expedite our progress with our vital energy instead of relying on our own inner sincerity. When we have a sincere inner cry, we come to realise that it is the inner being that is crying in us and for us. And when the inner being cries, our outer mind need not and cannot be affected. It is only when we try to achieve something through our outer mind that the, mind will be affected, because it is not ready to receive these qualities in a divine way.
"Master, may I ask one last question? Patience is also a divine quality. I am afraid that with this feeling of desperation, impatience will come."
"If you know what patience is," the Master said, "then it is very easy to have patience. If you feel that you can be patient only for a certain length of time, then you will be impatient when the time is up. If you think that in two days you will realise God, then if God is still hiding from you after two days, two months, two years, then you will become impatient."
"How can one cultivate patience?" the writer asked.
"You should feel, 'I shall realise God at His choice Hour. My part is to pray and meditate and it is God's part to grant me realisation when He feels the time is ripe.' If you feel this, then patience will come. You are responsible only for your prayer and meditation and you give the responsibility for the result to somebody else, who is God. God has only asked you to pray and meditate; He has not set a time for you to come and visit Him. We each must take care of our own business. Time belongs to Him, but prayer belongs to you. In this way, you can be divinely patient."
"Master," said the young man, bowing with utmost humility, "you have not only answered all my questions today, but you have given me the answer to all my life's questions. From today, my heart's inner cry will be my only reality."
GRP 6. 3 November 1973.↩
Aspiration or manifestation: which comes first?1In a very poor village in India, there lived a spiritual Master who was so poor that he could not afford to have a place large enough to hold his meetings. So he and his disciples very often meditated in a field near the Master's home. The Master had written considerably and many of his writings had been published, but he had received practically no money from his books. One day the Master was approached by two disciples who had been with him for only a month.
"Master," one of them began, "we would like to do something to serve your mission."
"I am most grateful to you," said the Master.
The second disciple said, "We would like to know what you think of our idea to set up a library of your writings in the village."
The Master showed them a sad face.
"What is the matter, Master?" the disciples asked. "Why do you look so sad?"
"First of all," said the Master, "we do not even have a place of our own. Right now we are not in a position to have a place for our meetings. We are like beggars. Some days we are given a hall in the village; other days this room is not available and we are forced to meditate in a field. What we need now is a place to hold our meetings. Then, naturally, there will come a time when our ashram is fully established and at that time we shall set up a library. But right now the library is not of primary importance."
"We are sorry that we asked you about this in the first place," one of the boys said. "We should have known better."
"What is of real, immediate need," said the Master, "is more aspiration, more dedication. In no way am I throwing cold water on you two. You are sincere, but I wish to say that you can be more sincere, you can be more dedicated, you can be more aspiring. I see that you are sincere, but your sincerity can be increased; your dedication can be increased. As there is no limit to our aspiration and realisation, so also there is no limit to our sincere dedication to the Supreme. Your first month with me is ending. You have to have more aspiration and more dedication towards our mission. So instead of thinking of a library, please think more of your own dedication and aspiration."
"How can we increase these qualities, Master?" asked the other boy.
"The answer is this. In the ordinary life when you want to do something, you often do it by hook or by crook. But in the spiritual life that is not possible. We shall not do anything by hook or by crook. We shall achieve what we want to achieve only through sincere aspiration, intense aspiration, illumining aspiration and infinite aspiration. If today's aspiration is not enough, then we shall increase it tomorrow and the following day until ultimately we reach the Highest. Of immediate need is aspiration and dedication. Then there must be oneness with our mission. And finally we can think of manifestation."
"Master," said the first boy, "I know and feel that in the fleeting month since you accepted us as your disciples, we two have already made significant progress. Our sincere cry now is to become pure and perfect instruments for your divine manifestation on earth. With your illumining love, this aspiration of ours can blossom and bear fruit to please you in your own way."
The Master smiled and said: "I am smiling because you have sown a new hope-seed inside my heart. I am smiling because I have offered a new promise-fruit to your soul.
GRP 7. 19 December 1973.↩
Your aspiration is my manifestation1There was once a young spiritual Master who had always been very talented in art. As a boy, he had painted many beautiful and striking pictures. One of these, in fact, had won second prize in a nationwide contest for artists of all ages. But the pressures of the Master's work in his ashram and the burden of his disciples' problems did not allow him to continue painting. But on his thirtieth birthday a disciple gave him an elaborate paint set and many other art supplies. In front of everyone the Master blessed this disciple and said:
"This dearest disciple of mine has practically supplied me with a whole art store. He has given me all kinds of things. His gifts mean that he sees my capacity, my potentiality, perhaps much more than I am seeing it. My capacity is his vision to some extent. But let us see who is right."
The Master paused. "All right, you want me to be an artist and I want you to be a yogi. Let us see who succeeds in making the other what he wants him to be."
The Master smiled and continued. "We shall both succeed. I shall definitely make you a yogi according to my capacity and your receptivity and you will make me an artist according to your capacity and my receptivity."
From that day on the Master spent all his free time painting. The disciple who had given the Master the art supplies entered some of the Master's pictures in contests and the Master won many prizes. Finally the Master's work was entered in an international competition. The day before the final judging, the Master called a few of his close disciples to come to his home to pray for his success.
After two hours of meditation, the Master said, "There is no difference between your aspiration and my manifestation, which is also your manifestation. Believe it or not, the Supreme has told me that whether or not I win this prize will entirely depend on my disciples' aspiration. You can take this as a blessing or a curse."
"Master," asked one disciple, "why can't your art win on its own merits? Other contestants don't have disciples to pray for them."
The Master explained, "The Supreme says that in my case it is a different matter. My role is creation; I have painted. Your role is manifestation. In our case, the work has been divided. My work is to bring down creation from above and your work is to spread it. So we are equally important in this matter. Right now you have been praying for our manifestation. But even if we fail, I will not blame you at all, because you have tried according to your capacity."
"But Master," said another disciple, "why should winning this particular prize be so important for our manifestation?"
"My son," said the Master, "the outer world accepts something when Tom, Dick and Harry accept it. First we need recognition; then only will others accept our Light. Only in this way can we really be successful."
"But if you win this prize, Master, people will only know you as an artist, not as a spiritual Master," one disciple added.
The Master replied, "If the outer world does not accept me in any way, then I cannot give anything to mankind. But if people feel that I have, something to offer in one field, then they will be more willing to accept the Light, Peace and Bliss that I really want to offer them."
Another disciple said, "Master, I'm afraid that some people, even some of your disciples, may think that you are just crying for name and fame."
"When you are in the ordinary consciousness," replied the Master, "you may feel that your Guru is crying for name and fame. But when you are in a divine consciousness, you will know that your Guru is doing everything for the manifestation of the Supreme. When you are in the heart, you will believe everything that I am saying. When you are in the mind, everything I am saying will seem false. But I wish to tell you that for myself there is nothing that I need. There is nothing in Heaven or on earth that I need. Nothing, nothing! I am trying to do this only so that the world will become more receptive to the Light of the Supreme that I am trying to offer."
"Forgive us, Master," said one girl, "for even asking you these questions."
The Master blessed each disciple. "Now you understand that the manifestation of the Supreme entirely depends on you. There is no difference between your aspiration and my manifestation. What is absolutely true is this: our aspiration is the aspiration of the Supreme. Our manifestation is the manifestation of the Supreme."
GRP 8. 2 March 1974.↩
One with Heaven, one with earth1Twenty years ago in India there lived a God-realised Master of unparalleled height. In his youth the Master had excelled in sports. His friends and admirers were glad to see that he believed physical and spiritual health should go together. When the Master began accepting disciples, however, he suddenly became very sickly. Whenever he returned from visiting disciples in distant villages, he looked even weaker and more helpless. This continued for many years and even some of his own disciples began to doubt the Master's inner strength.
Finally a few of the Master's closest and most devoted disciples went to speak to the Master about his health. "Master," one young woman began, "there is great concern in the ashram about your physical health."
The Master said, "For the last six years, how I have suffered! The Divine in me can enter into trance. But if we spiritual Masters want to be of any help to humanity, then we have also to live on the human level."
"We understand that, Master,' said one young man. "But now even some of your own disciples are asking why you are sick so much of the time if you are supposed to be so great spiritually."
"When spiritual Masters enter into the world, they always suffer. All spiritual Masters who have taken human incarnation have suffered tremendously. You people may say, 'Oh, he has not realised God; that is why he is suffering. Otherwise, he would be all the time in Bliss.' But no! I have realised God and I do have the capacity to enter into Bliss. But if I see that all of you are starving, will I be able to eat the ripe fruit alone? When I try to feed you, however, I just get kicks from you. This is what I have been suffering from."
"Master, was this why you looked so weak yesterday when you returned from visiting your disciples in a distant village?" asked one girl.
"Once or twice a year when I make these journeys," the Master said, "when I see some seekers, immediately I am reminded of Shakespeare's Shylock. They make a kind of vital demand on my time and energy and it is like tearing out my flesh. They think, 'Guru sees me only once a year for three minutes, so let me try to get as much from him as I can.' They don't realise that I am giving to them and feeding them inwardly every single day.
"On this trip I was very, very sick. For twelve days how I suffered. Such pain I went through! Yet even here, where I have my main ashram, there are disciples who have the attitude that the Master has an obligation to take their ignorance. When spiritual Masters come on earth, they suffer far more than the Masters up in Heaven."
"Why do they suffer more on earth, Master?" another disciple asked.
"When we see the suffering on earth, we have to take it. But those in Heaven, when they keep their eyes closed, do not see this suffering. It has happened once or twice that I have had such problems with some spiritual Masters who have left the body. After a particular disciple has left me, sometimes they want me to take him back. But I say, 'No'. It is I and not these Masters who have to go through suffering when a disciple creates problems. When you are a little higher, in another world, it is very easy to give advice. But when you are here on the ground floor, it becomes difficult to take that advice. My disciples, too, seem to like to give me advice. Ninety-nine times I have to listen to them; then on the hundredth time they may listen to me. Not only I, but all spiritual Masters, suffer this fate."
"Master, you are one with Heaven and you are one with earth. Why do you put up with this?"
The Master said, "When an individual becomes one with God, he feels that God is using him to fulfil the need of humanity. And at the same time, he sees firsthand the hunger of humanity and feels compassion. On the strength of his oneness with his younger brothers and sisters, he lifts humanity to the highest height and then brings down for humanity a most delicious meal from above. A God-realised person is like a messenger. He carries humanity's aspiration to the highest plane and he brings down from above God's Compassion and Blessings. One moment he represents earth-consciousness, the next moment Heaven-consciousness. What earth-consciousness is, he brings to God; what Heaven-consciousness is, he gives to man."
GRP 9. 23 July 1974.↩
Everything is God's Grace1Seventy-five years ago in India there lived a great spiritual Master with about fifty disciples. Their ashram was situated at the edge of a forest, not far from the small village where the Master had spent his childhood. Because he devoted all his time to his spiritual children, the Master rarely saw any of his old friends from his youth. Inwardly, though, he kept a close connection with a few friends who had shown him much affection and admiration, in spite of the fact that they had not accepted his spiritual path.
One day the closest of these friends knocked at the door of the Master's cottage. "Come in, please come in, my friend," said the Master. "To what do I owe the honour of your visit?"
"You call me friend," said the man, "but I consider you my older brother, my mentor. I just happened to be passing through this forest on my way to another village. I have not been there for many years and I have totally forgotten the way. I suppose you could say it was by God's Grace that I stumbled upon your ashram."
"Indeed," said the Master, "without God's Grace, we cannot budge an inch."
"Already you are cutting jokes with me," said his friend. "As a matter of fact, I walked almost from one village to another without God's Grace. Only when I discovered your ashram could I say that His Grace began operating. Anyway, I am so happy to see you again."
The Master said, "I am so grateful that you have come. I have always felt that you were extremely spiritual. But I am serious, you know, when I say that without God's Grace nothing can happen and with God's Grace everything can happen."
"All right," said his friend, "let us see. Can you give me a gun?"
"A gun?" asked the Master. "What for?"
"If you give me a gun, I will shoot you and then we will see how God's Grace operates."
The Master smiled. "Now who is the one who is cutting jokes?"
"I may not be totally serious," his friend said, "but I am curious to know what your answer will be."
The Master replied, "My friend, it is God's Grace that I do not have a gun to give you."
"Your answer is simply perfect," said the man. "Now I shall tell you a secret. Very soon I shall be giving up my ordinary life. After seeing you today, my heart is sure that you will be my Master. Losing my way was a blessing after all."
The Master said, "It was God's Grace that you could not find your way, just as it was God's Grace that I could not give you the gun. Come back soon, my friend. I shall be waiting for you."
GRP 10. 23 September 1974.↩
Sail your own boat1There was once a very great spiritual Master who was compassion incarnate. His compassion far surpassed all his other divine qualities. Especially in the matter of accepting disciples, his compassion was most striking. He welcomed into his spiritual family many souls who were not quite ready for the inner life. He also had many disciples who were very sincere and some who were extremely advanced. The Master felt that if the disciples who were not yet awakened could mix with the other disciples, then very soon these unfortunate seekers would also begin to lead a life of true aspiration.
One of these unfortunate seekers was creating problem after problem for the Master. He was doing all kinds of unspeakable, undivine things. But just because the Master's compassion was working, he let the young man remain in his ashram for some time.
Finally it became necessary for the Master to take action. One day after the morning meditation, the Master called this particular disciple aside and said, "Madu, my compassion has allowed you to stay with me for two years, but now I clearly see that this is not meant to be your spiritual family. Please leave my ashram and go your own way."
For one year the Master saw no more of this fellow. Then the Master came to learn that the young man had begun attending meditations at one of his distant centres. What could the Master do? He thought that there was still a slight chance that the young man might finally enter into the spiritual life wholeheartedly. But, as fate would have it, in that centre also the seeker became a disturbing, disruptive force. But again the Master's compassion operated and he allowed the seeker to stay.
A few months later the Master received a letter from this young man. The letter was full of insults. In closing, the young man wrote, "Now I have left your path and this time for good, because the standard of your disciples has become unbearably low. The standard has dropped to such an extent that I cannot stay with you anymore."
At the next meeting the Master narrated the whole deplorable story to his disciples. Then he said, "My spiritual children, I have a very short but significant message to give to all of you. True, I have a very big heart and my compassion always prevails. But to any of you who are thinking of leaving my ashram and to those who have already left, I have one request to make: stick to your own convictions. If you want to sail your own boat, sail your own boat. I shall continue to sail my boat. Even if all of you get the inspiration to leave me, I shall go on sailing my boat according to the dictates of my Inner Pilot. Together He and I shall sail to the shores of the ever-transcending Beyond."
GRP 11. September 23, 1974.↩