The Master's self-appointed emissary

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The Master's self-appointed emissary

There was once a spiritual Master who had quite a few Centres all over the world. The Master used to encourage the disciples living in or near his ashram to visit these Centres. He knew that his spiritual children who lived far away were hungry for any kind of news from the ashram and it always brought them great joy whenever a disciple from the ashram came for a visit.

Whenever a disciple did come back from a visit to some distant Centre, the Master always used to ask him to come to the front of the room after the evening meditation was over and tell about his experiences. This also brought joy to the disciples in the ashram and in this way a close relationship between the different Centres was maintained.

One of the Master’s disciples, Satyavama, was a very wealthy widow who had a close connection with one of the small Centres in a different country. She had previously lived in that country and it was she who had first introduced the president of that Centre to the Master many years ago. Satyavama held a very high opinion of herself and she thought of herself as spiritual mother of that Centre. She corresponded frequently with the members there, giving them all kinds of advice and suggestions. Although she was only a fourth-class disciple of the Master, everyone at this Centre believed she was the Master’s most intimate disciple. Each time she came for a visit she was treated like a queen. The president asked her to run the meeting and showed her utmost deference. She even gave interviews to disciples who needed help with their inner or emotional problems.

Whenever Satyavama returned to the ashram and was invited to speak about her experiences, she used to give long, detailed accounts of all the wonderful things she had said about the Master. She also spoke a lot about how the disciples of that Centre were so devoted and surrendered to the Master.

One day, during a world-wide speaking tour, the Master and three of his really close disciples paid a visit to this Centre. The members of the Centre cooked the Master a most delicious meal. After the meal was over the Master said, “Now I would like to answer a few spiritual questions. Inwardly I am in touch with your souls, but outwardly you do not often have an opportunity to have my physical presence. So now that I am here, I would like to answer any questions you may have. Please ask.”

There was a long silence. Finally one of the disciples said, “Master, is it true that you put a curse on one of your disciples and made her infant die because she had displeased you in the inner world?”

“What?” The Master was shocked. “Where did you ever get that absurd idea? I am a spiritual man. I only give love and light and life. It’s unthinkable that I would curse any human being, and especially not a disciple.”

Another disciple asked, “Master, I have a great deal of faith in you. But there is something that has been troubling me. In your writings you always say that we have to accept the world and its responsibilities and live in society. So I don’t understand why you told a man to leave his wife and six children and go off to the Himalayan caves to meditate. Could you please enlighten me?”

Again the Master was shocked. “Where do you people get these ridiculous ideas? Whoever said I told anybody that? It’s all lies, lies.”

“But Master,” the disciple continued, “we heard this right from Satyavama’s lips.”

“Yes, Master,” the first disciple said, “she was the one who also told us about how you cursed that poor woman.”

Then the Master got furious. “These stories are all untrue. Just throw them out of your mind, like rubbish, rubbish!” For a full hour the Master spoke with them. He tried to reassure their minds and feed their hearts with Peace, Light and Bliss.

Later that evening, before going to bed, the Master was talking in his room with the three disciples he had brought with him from the ashram.

“Why does Satyavama say these horrible things?” one of the disciples asked.

“Why do human beings do anything? When she tells these juicy stories, it makes her feel important. At the same time, others think she is most intimate with me; otherwise how would she know these things?”

A second disciple asked, “But don’t they know enough to realise that these are all lies? After all you’ve done for them inwardly, don’t the disciples of this Centre have any faith in you?”

“Yes, they have faith. But when they hear ten bad stories about me even though they started with one hundred percent faith, this faith begins to weaken. The physical mind comes in and starts having doubts and then the real problem starts.”

“But how can Satyavama do this kind of thing? How can she say such things here and then come back to the ashram and stand in front of you with folded hands and lie right to your face? How can she look you in the eye?”

“How? How? It happens all the time. That is the fate of all spiritual Masters. You show somebody all love, all compassion, and then they just kick you.”

The third disciple said, “Master, you should throw her out of your Centre! Why do you need such disciples?”

“I should throw her. But God gave me a compassionate heart. So what can I do?”

A disciple then asked, “Well, what do you think is going to happen at the Centre here? They see you so seldom. Did they receive your Light today, or are they still doubting you?”

“They received, but the thing is that the mind will again come forward and they will start having doubts again. I put a very strong force on them, but who knows?”

Three weeks later, when the Master returned to his ashram, he found a letter waiting for him from the president of that Centre. The president said that the members of the Centre had decided to join the path of some other Master. That night, the Master spoke about his trip and mentioned that there was no longer a Centre at this particular place.

Afterwards, when the meditation was over and all the disciples were moving around, Satyavama approached the Master. “O Guru, I am so shocked to learn about the Centre. I tried so hard to inspire them and bring them closer to you, but it did no good. Even during my last visit a few months ago, I saw that they were becoming undivine. It’s such a blow to me because I was so close to them.”

“O Satyavama, my Satyavama,” the Master smilingly said, “your life of treachery has reached its zenith height. Indeed, you are the most perfect woman of deception in God’s entire creation.”

The seance

There once lived in America a very great spiritual Master who had only twenty-five disciples. Nine of the disciples lived in the same city as the Master. The others lived in neighbouring cities. One day the Master decided to take a journey to one of his other Centres. Since the Master was not sure that he would return by the time the evening meditation was to start, he had to find somebody to conduct the meeting. One of his disciples, a middle-aged man named Rakhal, asked the Master if he could do it.

At one time Rakhal used to be a Guru himself. He used to hold seances for elderly ladies and he had a small following. When he first started going to the Master’s meditations, he brought with him his own followers. But they saw the great difference between Rakhal and the Master so they left Rakhal and became the Master’s disciples. After a while Rakhal also became the Master’s disciple, but he still felt that he was some kind of leader. So when he asked permission to conduct the meetings in the Master’s absence, the Master said, “All right. Since many of my disciples are your admirers, you do it.”

That night Rakhal conducted his first meeting since he had lost all his followers. Now, Rakhal was ego incarnate and he insisted on conducting the meeting in his own way. He said, “Everybody has to sit around the table and hold hands. In this way we will form a ring so that the hostile forces can’t come.”

Some of the disciples who had not known Rakhal when he was a Guru in his own right began to protest. “This is not the way the Master conducts meetings,” they said.

“I know what is best. Master told me to conduct the meeting, and he gave me the inner message about how he wants it done.”

So they sat around a table and then Rakhal said, “Now let us invoke the Master’s spirit seven times. If we invoke him, then the hostile forces will leave us.”

One of the women in the group said, “Leave us? When did they ever attack us?”

Rakhal said, “The hostile forces always attack us. They are always there, so the first thing we have to do is throw them out.”

The group began invoking the Master, while they were holding one another’s hands. Then, each time they chanted the Master’s name, they slapped their hands down on the table. Each chant was louder and more powerful than the preceding one and they began slapping down on the table harder and harder.

By the fifth time Rakhal was getting carried away and he was shouting the Master’s name as loud as he could and pounding the table with all his might. Right next to him was a very rich elderly lady. Suddenly he pressed her hand so hard that she let out a scream.

“Hah!” Rakhal said. “Now the hostile forces are really leaving us.”

But the lady became furious and she picked up her shoe and struck Rakhal on the knee with the heel. Then he let out a scream and a real shouting match began. It was at this point that the Master walked into the room. He was shocked beyond belief. “Is this the kind of meeting you conduct in my absence?” he asked

“No, Master,” said Rakhal. “It is all her fault. Here we were trying to invoke your presence so soulfully and all of a sudden she starts screaming and carrying on like anything.”

The lady was so angry she could hardly speak. She came up to the Master and said, “That brute almost broke my hand. He was pressing my hand so hard when we were chanting your name that I thought it was going to break. Is this the way you told him to invoke you? What kind of Master are you, anyway?”

The poor Master had just come from a most sublime meditation in a neighbouring city. During the meditation he had gone into a very high samadhi, and even now it was difficult for him to come down. But to come down into this was really unbearable. From where to where! Finally he asked everybody to go home and said he would discuss the matter with them all the next day.

The next evening, Rakhal came into the Centre with a big bandage around his knee. And the elderly lady came in with her hand in a sling. Neither one was speaking to the other and they wouldn’t even look at one another. Each was waiting for the Master to take his side and criticise the other mercilessly.

When the Master came into the room, he made no mention of the previous day’s incident, but went into a high meditation. The whole evening the Master remained in samadhi and afterwards there was such a peace in the room that no one could even speak. Everybody filed out of the meditation room in silence.

The next time they met together, the lady’s hand seemed miraculously cured and Rakhal no longer had his leg wrapped in a bandage. Neither one mentioned the incident again and it was soon forgotten.

The disciples use their occult power

There was once a very great spiritual Master who was living in America. Since he had just recently come to America, he had only nine disciples. Because he had so few disciples, he was able to give each of them a post in his spiritual Centre. There was one president, three executive vice presidents, two regular vice-presidents, a treasurer, a secretary and an assistant secretary. Once a week they would hold committee meetings and discuss plans to spread the Master’s Light and bring him more disciples.

Sometimes these meetings became real shouting matches, especially between one of the executive vice-presidents and one of the regular vice-presidents. Both these vice-presidents were middle-aged ladies who had studied astrology and occultism for many years, long before they had met the Master. From time to time they used to brag to one another about their occult experiences. Even though neither one ever had any occult experiences, each believed that the other did have some occult power, and they were bitterly jealous of one another. They never saw eye to eye about anything. Each felt it was her job to take the Master under her wing and help make him famous. And each thought that the other one was doing irreparable harm to the Master’s mission.

All the time they would take complaints to the Master against one another. The Master was very disgusted and many times he thought about taking both the ladies off the committee. But they had been with him almost right from the beginning and he didn’t have the heart to take away their posts.

The committee meetings were always held in the house of this vice-president. One night around eleven o’clock, after a particularly fierce argument with the vice-president, the executive vice-president jumped up from the committee meeting and ran out of the house. She went right to the Master, who lived just a few blocks away.

Now, since the Master was very poor, he lived in a small apartment up four flights of stairs. The stairs were very steep, and by the time the lady had reached the final flight she was out of breath. But she was so angry at the vice-president that she didn’t even pause to rest. The other woman’s face stood vivid in her imagination and even as she went up the steps she was still arguing with her in her mind. She was so preoccupied that she misjudged one of the steps and she slipped and fell.

Then she let out a scream that must have awakened everybody in the whole apartment building. The Master opened his door to see what was going on and he found his executive vice-president lying on the steps yelling. He helped her up and saw that she wasn’t badly hurt. All she had was a small scratch on her leg. But she carried on as though she had broken every limb in her body.

“Master, Master, see what your beloved vice-president has done to me!” she said. “With her occult power she appeared right before my eyes and tripped me.”

Now, the Master knew that his other lady did not have any occult power, but what could he do?

“I saw her clearly right in front of me,” the woman said. “Master, you have to throw her out of your Centre. She’s trying to ruin your mission. She’s trying to kill me. Here I am your executive vice-president and she’s only a vice-president, but she opposes me at every step. You have to get rid of her.”

The Master invited her into his apartment and gave her a little juice, but the woman kept carrying on about the vice-president. Finally, around one o’clock in the morning, she left.

Now, the next day, early in the afternoon, the vice-president called up the Master. She was sobbing and crying.

“What happened?” the Master asked.

“Oh, Master, you wouldn’t believe it. Your dearest executive vice-president tried to kill me!”

“Kill you! How? Where?”

“Master, she has such an undivine vibration, you wouldn’t believe it. After she left my place last night, her consciousness was all over the house. It was so bad that I could barely go to sleep. So this morning I went to the flower shop to buy some plants and flowers to purify everything.

“As I walked to the flower shop, even then I felt her undivine presence all around me. I knew she was using her occult power to attack me in the inner world.”

“Attack you? What happened?” the Master asked.

“Well, I was defending myself in the inner world when all of a sudden I saw her face right inside the flower pot I was carrying. As clear as day her face appeared right in the pot, and she gave me a nasty look. I was so furious, Master, that I kicked the pot and broke my right toe. So you see what she’s done to me. She used her occult power to break my toe. Master, you have to throw her out of your Centre.”

She went on and on like this for a half hour, and then finally hung up.

The Master said to himself: “Occult power, occult power, alas. My life in New York is wonderful. My life in America is more wonderful. My life in the world is most wonderful.”

The disciple blesses the Master

Several years ago there lived in America a very great spiritual Master. Although in terms of age he was quite young — in his early thirties — in the inner world he was very great. Because the Master was not very well-known, he had only about twenty American disciples. He used to show them all kinds of attention by granting them interviews whenever they asked, giving them individual blessing-flowers during meditation and so on. But unfortunately, some of the disciples misunderstood this. They felt that the Master was showing them so much affection, love and kindness because it was their due. They thought that the Master never scolded them because they never did anything wrong.

Poor Master, what could he do? With his inner vision he saw quite clearly what kind of undivine life they were leading. But these American disciples of his needed special treatment. If they weren’t made to feel important outwardly, if they weren’t shown all kinds of outer attention, they would have left him. True, the disciples loved the Master in their own way, but if they hadn’t received this kind of outer flattery, their undivine mind and undivine vital would have come forward and said, “Who needs this Master? Why stay with somebody whom no one has ever heard of if he doesn’t even appreciate us?” So the Master continued showing his disciples outer attention and love, while inwardly he tried to perfect their nature. Outwardly he would smile, but inwardly he would try to make his disciples become more devoted and surrendered to the Supreme.

It went on like this for a year and a half. During this period the Master wrote a few books and he became known a little. Now, it happened that a very important professor from a university in a different part of the country saw one of the Master’s books. He was so moved that he asked the university authorities to invite the Master to give a series of lectures there. So, for the first time since he began accepting disciples, the Master left his Centre for a short trip.

He was gone about two weeks. When he came back he was shocked. How his disciples had fallen! They had let all kinds of undivine forces enter into them and their consciousness was very low. After the meditation was finished, the Master said to them, “My dearest spiritual children, I show you all the time so much affection, compassion, concern; even when I was away, you can’t imagine what kind of force I put on you people. But the moment I left, you began indulging in all kinds of undivine thoughts. What an unbearable emotional life, vital life you led! Even now to look at your faces is painful to me. I don’t like to scold. I have never scolded you people before. But I wish to say I am really, really disappointed in you.”

Now it was the disciples’ turn to be shocked. First, they had never heard the Master speak like this before. And second, it had never even entered their minds that they had fallen. Their consciousness had dropped so easily and naturally, so spontaneously, that they weren’t even aware of it.

One of the disciples, a middle-aged woman, spoke up. “But Master, how can you say such a thing? I don’t know about the others, but even while you were gone I meditated every morning in my house and came to all the meditations at the Centre.”

“Yes, you meditated. But were you meditating on God or on your friends? True you were meditating, but your mind was all the time on the new dresses and jewellery that your friends were wearing.”

The lady couldn’t believe her ears. She gave the Master a very devoted look, full of insincerity, and said, “Oh, Master, how can you say that? You know that I think only of God!”

Then a young woman said, “Master, while you were gone I worked so devotedly for you. I knit you a most beautiful scarf and all the time while knitting I was thinking about you. So certainly my spiritual life did not fall.”

The Master said, “Selfless service, dedicated service for the Master, is one of the best ways to maintain a good consciousness. But if you feel that the thing that you are doing is very unimportant, while the thing that somebody else is doing is much more important, if you feel this, then your selfless service will be of no help to you at all. While you were knitting you were all the time cherishing the thought that you are useless. You were thinking of the beautiful poems and paintings that other people were making and you were feeling that your own achievement was insignificant. Selfless service is very good, but you have to feel that you are offering according to the inner capacity that the Supreme has given you, and somebody else is offering according to his capacity.

“Oh, Master, I was certainly not thinking about anyone but you.”

And so it went. Each of the disciples asked about his own case, and each time the Master said something, that particular disciple would say that it did not apply to him.

When the discussion was finally over, the Master said, “Now that I have scolded you people, let us all try to live a more devoted, more spiritual life. The past is dust, I always say. Let us forget about the past and from tomorrow begin leading a purer, more divine life.” Then the Master called his disciples up one by one and blessed them.

After the meeting, the disciples were mixing together, talking about what the Master had said. Some of them were still shocked and angry. Never before had the Master spoken to them like that. One lady said, “The Master must have gotten some mental fever when he was away from us. Didn’t you see how tired he looked? Let me go over to him and see if he is feeling all right.”

So she went over to where the Master was sitting, off to the side, and said very loudly, “Master, I know that you weren’t yourself when you spoke to us like you did tonight. You must be ill or something. We all understand and aren’t angry with you at all. On behalf of myself and all the other disciples, I wish to show you that we forgive you.” And with that, she placed her hands on the Master’s head and blessed him. The other disciples were shocked and mortified at her behaviour, although everyone thought that the Master’s scolding was totally uncalled for. But for a disciple to bless the Master was unthinkable. They all insulted her mercilessly in front of the Master.

The Master smilingly said, “Whether I deserve it or not, what I need is a life of silence and utter seclusion. We all belong to God. God knows what is best for you people and what is best for me. Since He is our Creator and Fate-maker, let Him do the needful for each individual.”

The seeker exploits the Master

There lived in America a well-known spiritual Master who had thousands of disciples. Some of them were first-class disciples and some of them were fifth or sixth-class disciples. One of the sixth-class disciples was a young man named Jim. This young man never liked to work and often he spent his days visiting different disciples. He would arrive at their homes unexpectedly and spend hours talking about the Master. In the back of his mind he was hoping that if he stayed through dinner time, they would feed him. Naturally the disciples wanted to talk about the Master and most of the time they were glad to see this young man and more than willing to feed him. Then, before going home, he always asked for subway money, and this too the disciples willingly gave him.

But sometimes people were not in a good mood, or they had other friends over at the time and they didn’t want to see him. The young man always thought that just because he was going to speak about the Master he would be welcome, but this was not always the case. Also, because he didn’t have any money to buy the Master’s writings, he often borrowed people’s books. Once he borrowed a book it was as good as lost, for he never returned it.

Jim looked upon himself as an assistant Guru, at least when it came to giving advice to young girls. He was always the consultant whenever a young girl had problems. No matter what their problem was, he always blamed it on the same thing: an impure vital. And he always told the girls that he was basing his analysis on wisdom he had learned from the Master.

One day, a high school girl from the Master’s Centre brought a girlfriend to see this young man. This girlfriend was not a disciple, but the two of them went to the same school.

“What is the matter?” he asked.

“I have a severe headache. Many times I get severe headaches.”

Then the young man said, “It is your impure vital. If you lead a purer life, then all your headaches will disappear.”

The girl became very sad and depressed. When she went home, she showed a very sad face, and her father became very worried about her. His wife had died a few years ago and he felt solely responsible for his daughter.

“Why are you so sad?” he asked.

At first she did not want to say, but finally she admitted that the young man had told her that her vital was impure.

Now, her father was a truck driver and was very strong. He became furious and went to the young man’s house. He grabbed the young man by the shirt and threatened, “If you ever tell my daughter anything like that again, I will break all your bones. Who do you think you are to speak about my daughter’s vital life!”

Now, the truck driver had heard from his daughter’s girlfriend that she had a Guru who had all kinds of occult power. So he decided to bring his daughter to the Master to get some Eastern light from him.

He took his daughter to the Master’s house and waited outside while she went to seek the Master’s advice. The Master concentrated on the girl for a few moments and then he said, “There is nothing wrong with your vital life. The reason you are having headaches has nothing to do with your vital life. What you are suffering from is constipation. Take some medicine. That’s all.” When the girl told this to her father, the father was so pleased that he gave the Master five dollars.

But although this particular girl’s problems were solved by the Master, the young man caused countless problems for other young girls. At the same time, he continued to visit other disciple’s houses, until gradually all his old friends became sick and tired of him. After a while he was not welcome anywhere. Finally, he just left the Master’s Centre.

Nobody heard from him for two years. Then one day a college student came up to the Master after one of the Master’s university lectures and said that he was one of Jim’s disciples. However, according to him Jim was no longer Jim any more. He called himself Shivananda and told everyone that the Master had given him that name.

“I’m so pleased to be able to meet Shivananda’s own Guru,” he said. “Shivananda gives talks on your philosophy all the time. He says that he comes to you privately for special instructions and that you give him all kinds of occult wisdom.”

“He gives talks?” the Master asked.

“Oh, yes. He gives talks every week in a large hall and he charges two dollars for admission. He offers everyone so much Light. I am so happy he has accepted me as a disciple.”

The Master was astonished. The Master himself never charged for any of his own lectures or public meditations. But here an ex-disciple was making money by lecturing about the Master. The Master did not have the heart to tell this seeker that the young man had left his Centre two years ago. So he just smiled and walked away.

A victim to mental power

About fifty years ago there lived in America a great spiritual Master with hundreds of disciples. Since this Master had realised God and was one with the Highest, he was in a position to guide both the inner and outer lives of his countless spiritual children. For the inner lives of his disciples he accepted complete responsibility, but when it came to their outer lives, in most cases he kept silent. Sometimes, if it was a very close disciple, he would take responsibility for that person’s outer life as well. Or if the disciples were leading a very undivine outer life, he might find it necessary to take some steps. But in most cases, he felt that the wisest approach was to concentrate on perfecting his disciples’ inner nature and let them get the message from within on outer matters.

From time to time, however, disciples would approach the Master and ask his advice on some outer matter. In each case, the Master would contact that person’s soul and find out what the soul wanted. Then he would tell the disciple the best thing to do.

One day the Master received a letter from a young man who was about to graduate from college. In his letter the young man said, “I am your eternal slave. I am the servant of your servant. Please tell me what you want to do with my life. I am totally at your command. Should I go on and get my master’s degree or give up school entirely and do something else? I leave everything up to you.”

Now, this young man happened to be very proud and haughty. He had a very powerful mind, and he was very proud of his mental achievements. He was very sincere when he wrote the Master the letter, but he felt certain that the Master would tell him to continue his studies. Or, at least, he expected the Master to tell him to enter some field where he could use his mental power.

But when the Master called him in for an interview, the Master said, “My child, I wish you to give up your mental life and open up a laundromat. Your soul has had the experience of the mental life, and now it wants the experience of real humility so it can make the fastest progress. So please stop your studies and open up a laundromat.”

The young man couldn’t believe his ears. “How can I do this?” he asked. “What will my parents say? My father has spent so much money sending me to school. Now, if I open up a laundromat, he will get a heart attack. Surely I can’t do this to my father!”

The Master gave him a very compassionate smile and said, “Of course, my child. Then do what your father wishes. But I wish to tell you that if you did not plan to listen to my advice, you should never have asked me what to do. Ignorance is bliss, as they say. If you hadn’t asked me, you would have continued your studies in perfect bliss. True, your soul wouldn’t have been pleased, but at least in your outer consciousness you would have been happy. But now, when you know what your soul wants and you still do something different, then neither your soul nor you yourself will be really happy. Even while you are studying, you will not get the kind of joy you once got.

“It is just like entering into the spiritual life. Before you enter into the spiritual life, you may do all kinds of undivine things and not be unhappy. But once you jump into the sea of spirituality, once you see the light, you cannot go back to the life of ignorance. Even if you go back, you will never find satisfaction there.”

The young man said, “Let me think about it. I shall speak to my father and then make a decision. Thank you for illumining me with your advice.”

One month later the Master got another letter from this disciple. The letter came from a university a few hundred miles away, where the young man had enrolled to take his master’s degree.

The young man said in the letter, “Master, I was so confused when I left you, but now it is all clear to me. I went deep within and meditated on the whole matter and I got an inner message from you. The message said, “If your soul wanted you to live a humble life, it would not have given you a good mind. It would have given you a simple mind, which would have been happy running a laundromat. But what your soul wants is for you to have a developed mind and also a humble life.

“So, Master, what I’ve decided to do is this. I shall continue my studies and develop my mind as my soul wants me to do. And then I shall get a job teaching at a small university in the country and lead a very humble life, which is also what my soul wants. In this way I can satisfy both my soul and my father.”

The Master finished reading the letter, then sadly shook his head. “How clever the human mind is. How easy it is for the human mind to think up reasons for doing what it wants to do.”

Before long this young man got so involved in the mental world that he began to feel that the spiritual life was all foolishness. And before the year was out, he left the Master for good.

Three years later the same disciple came back only to be forgiven and given another chance by the ever-compassionate Master.

The disciple forgives the Master

There was once a very great spiritual Master who decided to come to America at the age of forty-nine. For his first three or four years in America, until his mission became established, he had to support himself by working as a clerk in an insurance company. During this time, he used to hold meditations twice a week for seekers. Since he was so poor, he could not afford to hire a meditation hall, and his own apartment was too small to invite people for meditation. So the Master held his meditations at the apartment of a woman who had become his disciple.

At this time, the Master had about fifteen disciples who came regularly to these meditations. To each of them he gave a spiritual name. Two of his American disciples were called Suruchi and Uttanpada. Suruchi and Uttanpada were as different as night and day. Suruchi was a very short, very fat woman who liked to boss everybody around, especially her husband, Uttanpada and the Master. Uttanpada was very tall and thin as a rail. Just as his wife was strong-willed, he was meek and obedient.

Now, Suruchi used to torture her husband like anything. She made him give her his entire salary check, and then each day she gave him whatever amount of money she felt he needed. If she gave him a sandwich to take to the office, she wouldn’t even give him a dime for a piece of fruit or a glass of juice.

Because Suruchi was so accustomed to being boss, she often got angry with the Master when he did not please her in her own way. One time she played the piano for the Master and he appreciated her playing. He praised her to the skies, but in her eyes his appreciation was not enough. Even if the Master had used all the adjectives in the dictionary, it would not have been enough. So for one week she refused to come to meditations and she did not allow her husband to come either.

Suruchi was also a painter and one day she gave the Master a portrait she had painted of him. Now, the Master did not know very much about painting, but he could easily see that the painting did not have any of his consciousness. He said, “I’m sorry, but I just don’t see myself in it.”

Suruchi became furious, and she refused to speak to the Master. For three weeks she did not say a word to the Master. This pleased him immensely and for three weeks he lived in perfect Heaven. But finally Suruchi forgave him, and then she started bossing him around again.

Of all the people in the Master’s small spiritual Centre, the one Suruchi disliked most was the woman at whose house the meditations were held. She didn’t like the way the room was decorated, and there were a lot of other things she didn’t care for. So the two women used to fight like anything.

One thing that made Suruchi particularly angry was the fact that this lady was given the job of selling the Master’s literature. Once a month the Master wrote a booklet that this lady sold for fifty cents. But Suruchi was always criticising this. When she got mad, sometimes she told the Master, “You people come from India only to take our money.” At the time the Master was earning fifty dollars a week, but Suruchi did not care about this. She was only concerned with the money the Master was getting for this publication.

Because Suruchi did not allow her husband to buy this booklet, each month the Master used to give him a copy privately. This made the lady who was selling the literature angry. “If you are going to give everything away, then how am I going to sell anything and make some money for you?”

Like this it went on, and it was a real mental torture for the Master. One day Suruchi got into a very bitter argument with the literature lady and she refused to come to her house any more. She called up the Master and said, “Master, if that woman remains, then I will no longer be your disciple.”

The Master said, “She is my disciple and you are my disciple. Unless I myself am dissatisfied with her, I will not throw her out.”

Then Suruchi began arguing with the Master. “What do you know about spirituality, anyway? You and that woman are working together just to get money from us. If you don’t stop this immediately and throw her out of your Centre, you will never see my face again.”

“Wonderful!” the Master said. “Who needs you? I will be the happiest person if you stop coming.”

That evening, the Master came to the lady’s house to hold a meditation. And who should he see in the front row but Suruchi? It was his custom in those days to give each disciple a blessing-flower during the meditation. When it came to Suruchi’s turn, she said to him, “How can I be angry with you? You’re just a kid. If I don’t forgive you then who will?”

Then she patted the Master on the head twice, with great affection.

The Master, who was in a very high trance, looked into her eyes and brought down from above boundless Peace, Light and Bliss, which he poured into her heart. Then, without saying a word, he moved on to the next person, giving him a blessing-flower and bringing down more Peace, Light and Bliss for him.

Since the Master did not acknowledge Suruchi’s remarks she wasn’t sure that he had actually even been aware of what she had said. After the meditation, when the Master was back in a normal consciousness, she thought of going over to the Master and telling him again. But it was getting late and she was a little tired, so she thought it would be time enough if she spoke to the Master the next day…

Human emotion triumphs

There was once a married couple who lived in the ashram of a spiritual Master. The husband was extremely fat and the wife was extremely thin. The husband used to take a shower once a month and the wife used to take a shower twice a day. The husband was an authority on each and every subject in God’s creation and the wife was humility incarnate. Strangely enough, the wife had higher university degrees than the husband, but the husband used to tell the wife that it was beneath his dignity to get any higher degrees. He said that he had no use for university degrees, and that was why he gave up his university studies. The modesty and humility of the wife always kept the husband at the top of the ego-mountain.

Eventually there came a time when the husband could not remain faithful to his wife. It was a terrible shock to the wife when she discovered this. She felt absolutely miserable. Her husband would not come home at night for weeks together. He wouldn’t go to work, he wouldn’t do anything except exploit his wife’s compassion. And the wife felt sad and miserable. This went on for months and months. Finally, the wife asked to have an interview with the Master. After the interview, the wife decided that definitely she would get a divorce.

The wife made all the legal arrangements very bravely, but when she finally went to court and saw her husband, her heart melted. She cried and cried. On her own she ran and embraced her husband and asked him for his forgiveness.

Of course, the husband freely forgave his wife, although he was the real culprit. But he forgave her under certain conditions. He said, “I will come back to you, but you have to become more kind to me.”

The wife said, “Have I not been kind to you? I am so affectionate to you!”

The husband said, “I will explain it to you at home.” When they got home, the husband said, “What I meant was that you have to become more beautiful. If you are more beautiful, then my mind will not roam to other women. if you become more beautiful, then all my vital problems will be solved.”

The wife said, “How can I become more beautiful?”

The husband said, “You have to become inwardly beautiful and outwardly beautiful.”

“I am praying and meditating and doing everything to become inwardly beautiful,” said the wife. “When my inner beauty comes forward, then you will see more beauty in me outwardly as well.”

“No,” said the husband. “Your outer beauty will come only when you give up the spiritual life altogether. You must not follow any spiritual discipline.”

“Why, why?” asked the wife.

“What is beauty?” the husband asked in a most philosophical tone of voice. Then he answered the question himself. “Beauty in your case is your duty. What is your duty? Always to listen to your husband. Always to please your husband. The husband is God. There cannot be any other God in your life. I am the only God for you. If you take me as your only Lord, then I will stay with you.”

The wife accepted these conditions and got back her husband. They both gave up spiritual life altogether. Now, this couple had a daughter who was five years old. The child was very spiritual, and the Master had given much importance to her. Often he had told the parents that the child was making very good progress. The daughter was very miserable that she could not see the spiritual Master any more. She asked her parents many times why they were not going to their spiritual Master any more and why she was not allowed to see him.

The husband fabricated a story that the Master was very bad and had been thrown out of the country. And the wife fabricated another story. She told her daughter that the Master was so bad that he had asked her to leave her husband. She told their daughter that the Master had asked her to leave the father because the Master wanted to have all her admiration, love and adoration for himself alone. She said that the Master was jealous of her father.

The daughter was very convinced that it was all true. But one day her soul came to the Master very sad. The Master fed the soul spiritually and then said, “Why are you sad?”

“I am sad because my parents are saying you are so bad, so bad. But something tells me that you are not bad.”

The Master said, “I will remain always bad for those who need each other only and who do not need the Supreme in me. All those who are satisfied with one another, and want to be satisfied only with themselves will say I am really bad. But those who feel that without me they are incomplete — no matter how many friends they have or how close they are to husband or wife, brother or sister, mother or father — will always say and feel that I am a nice person. I will be considered a nice person only when I am needed to complete the peace, joy and harmony of the family.”

Then the child’s soul received a blessing from the Master and returned to its abode. And the soul made a promise to the Master that when the child became mature the soul would try its utmost to bring the child back to the Master’s Light.

Confession is not realisation

There was a certain spiritual Master who had a very unfortunate experience when he became very old. He was seventy-eight years old, and he had only fifty or sixty disciples, but some of his disciples were very, very rich; so financially he was quite all right. The Master had five or six attendants at the time, but one attendant, his personal secretary, was very possessive. She was jealous of other close disciples.

One day she said to the Master, “I have served you for so many years. Either you have to give me all your material wealth when you die, or you have to get rid of all these close disciples of yours.”

The spiritual Master said, “Impossible! I cannot give you all the material wealth I leave behind, and also I cannot ask my other disciples to leave me.”

Late that night, while the Master was sleeping, this close disciple took a knife and stabbed the Master on his forehead. When the Master was discovered the next morning he was taken to the hospital and there he died after a few days.

This close disciple told everyone that the Master had been restless that night because he was not feeling well, so he probably fell out of his bed at night and broke his forehead. The hospital authorities didn’t believe this, but some nurses were bribed and they gave that kind of report. The secretary escaped from punishment and soon gave up the Indian way of spiritual life.

She entered into the Christian church again and after a few years established a small church of her own in Washington, DC This church had over a thousand members. They were all her admirers and, of course, they did not know anything about her past. She always acted very spiritual and gave most inspiring talks. Her congregation was very happy with her and very proud of her.

One night in a dream her old Master came to her and told her about another Master, who was quite young. “Only if this Master blesses you will you be forgiven for what you have done to me,” her Master told her. “Get in touch with this Master and invite him to your church. Let him bless you, and let him bless your followers. If he blesses you, then you will be forgiven by the Supreme in me.”

She immediately wanted to get in touch with this young spiritual Master, so she contacted a few of her friends in New York who also used to be disciples of her old Master. These disciples had also had similar experiences. Their Master had come to them and said, “Whatever I could do for you, I did. Now you take help from this Master. I am extremely fond of him and proud of him. He is very young but very great. You should take his help.” Most of them went to him, so they were able to tell their former sister-disciple how to get in touch with him.

So the lady contacted the young Master and invited him to visit her church in Washington. The Master was very poor, but two of his disciples gave him money to go to Washington, D.C. to meet with this self-styled minister. When the young Master arrived, the minister herself came to the railway station to receive him, all by herself.

“Usually I have many followers wherever I go,” she said, “but I wanted to give you special attention. I wanted to have you all to myself, so I came here alone. Please come to my house. I have a delicious meal ready for you.”

When the Master came to her house, she said, “I am sure my friends have told you about me. I am sure they have told you that my church has many, many members. Originally I wanted you to give me and all the members of my church spiritual instruction, but now something within me is telling me that if they see you, they will all leave me. As soon as I saw you at the station I got this feeling, and it is increasing and increasing. So this evening, I wish you to come with me and do me a favour.”

“What kind of favour?”

“I want you to come to my church in the evening when nobody will be there. During the day we have some people working there doing selfless service. But in the evening nobody will be there. I will be very grateful if you will see the place.”

The young Master agreed and that evening he went with the minister to her church. She pleaded with the Master to sit in her special chair in the church, and when he sat down she knelt before him and said, “Please bless me.”

“Why do you want me to bless you?” he asked.

“I will tell you afterwards.”

“You have so many disciples,” said the Master. “You don’t need my blessing.”

“Yes, yes! I need your blessing!” she said. “Please bless me.”

So the Master blessed her and the minister started weeping pathetically. “I am forgiven, I am forgiven!” she sobbed. “I don’t see you as a young man. I am seeing you as my Master, my previous Master who was almost eighty years old when he died. You are not even half his age, but I am seeing him in you. His whole face is in your face. I am seeing him only, and not you. My Master came to me in a dream a few months ago and told me that the day you bless me, I will be forgiven by him.

“Today I am forgiven by him, but now you have to forgive me for something. You have to forgive me for my insecurity. I know that if my followers see you, they will be extremely moved and most of them, if not all, will leave me and follow your path. I would lose all of my disciples. That’s why I don’t want them to come and see you. If I had been really spiritual then I would have given them all to you, knowing who you are and the difference between you and me. But I can’t do it. Call it my insecurity or call it my meanness, but I don’t want to lose all my followers. I will teach them about spirituality and about peace, light and bliss in my own way. But you know how weak I am, how insecure I am. My weakness, my insecurity, will not allow me to bring my disciples to you. So you have to forgive me.”

The Master said, “I forgive you, not because you are weak but because you are sincere. Your sincerity is their safeguard. One day you will be able to guide them, if not to me, then to another real spiritual Master who will be able to take care of your children. You are not the right person to take care of so many children.”

Immediately she cried out, “I know, I know! But I am waiting for that day when God will give me the strength to be sincere.”

The Master said, “You are already sincere, but you are not brave enough to face the reality. You see the light, but you don’t receive the light. You are afraid that the light will take you away and use you for its own purpose. But light does not use anybody for its own purpose against his will. Light only illumines your inner darkness and transforms it into light. Then it uses this transformed darkness for a divine purpose, for the purpose that God intended.

“If you had given me the chance, I would have taken care of you and all your students. You are not the right person to guide them. You are not strong enough. Let us wait, however, for a better hour. When that hour comes, either they will come to me or they will go to another genuine spiritual Master. Only be brave. If you are not brave, you will stay with your sincerity, but this sincerity will not take you very far. Along with your sincerity you have to be really bold. When you see the truth, you have to enter into the truth, jump into the truth. Many people are sincere, but they make the same mistake repeatedly for years and years. When they have problems — emotional problems, vital problems — they tell their Master, but they don’t want to act like divine warriors to destroy their weaknesses, or they don’t have strength enough to invoke light.

“To invoke light, one needs at least a little power. When somebody is dead, one cannot do anything for him. There has to be at least a little life in order for the injection to have any effect. In the spiritual seeker’s case, life means a little bit of inner strength. Sincerity is of paramount importance, but along with sincerity one must have strength enough to complete the journey. Otherwise, repeatedly one will make the same mistake and be ready to confess it. But confession is not realisation. One has to be bold enough not to do the thing which binds him to the world of ignorance again and again.”

Past incarnation resurrected; spiritual life deserted

There was a highly intellectual couple living in New York. The husband had been a judge in Great Britain for many years before he moved to America, but now he was a poet. He wrote most beautiful poems. His wife was an eminent psychiatrist. The husband didn’t work, but only wrote poems, for they were quite rich. He was about sixty years old at the time this story took place, and his wife was about forty-five.

The wife’s fee for an hour of treatment was sixty dollars. She was a dream specialist and very well-known. She used to explain the significance of the dreams her clients had. She had studied many books, and she used her fantastic brain power. She was also clever in another way. She always said good things; therefore people liked and admired her, and she made lots of money. But although she could fool others, she could not fool herself. She had had hundreds of dreams herself, but she could not explain them at all.

One day she heard from an acquaintance of hers that there was an Indian yogi living in New York who was an expert on dreams. She did not go to see him herself the first time, but she sent her husband. The husband went to the Indian Master’s house and asked to speak with him for a few minutes. Since he was a very respectable man, the Master agreed to give him a short interview. It began as a casual chat. Then the judge told the Master all about his poetry.

The Master suddenly said to him, “In this incarnation you are struggling so hard to become a poet, but in one of your previous incarnations you were a very eminent poet. If you continue writing poetry, one day you can again become a very well-known poet.”

The judge said, “Please tell me who I was.” The Master replied, “I am just seeing the person you were right behind you. I am seeing Wordsworth standing behind you.”

The judge was extremely moved. He said, “I have had so many experiences of Wordsworth. On the strength of my poetic connection with Wordsworth I have told my wife many times that I was him, but she does not believe it. But I can show you three notebooks of mine where I have signed my name ‘Wordsworth’ instead of writing my own name. You can ask my wife if it is true or not. I am so moved by your revelation. Can I see the figure you have seen?”

The Master said, “No, he disappeared while you were speaking. But he was right here, just behind you; that I can assure you.” Then the Master told the judge a few more of his previous incarnations. In those days, the Master used to discuss previous incarnations very freely.

The judge said, “I have never cried since I was a child. I am now on the wrong side of fifty, but you can see my tears. These are tears of gratitude because of the things you are telling me about my previous incarnations. I keep a diary and I will be able to prove to you that I have felt some of these things.”

Then he said, “I can’t wait here any longer. I have to go home and tell my wife. Please give us an appointment. My wife is very, very busy, but when she hears these stories she will die with eagerness to come and see you.”

The Master said, “You can bring her this weekend.”

That weekend the husband and wife went to the Master together. When they arrived the wife said to the husband, “Last time you came alone. Now I really wish to have a private interview, too. You please wait downstairs.”

The Master’s apartment was very small. He had a small room where he used to give interviews, and an even smaller room where he slept. But he did not want the judge to have to wait outside, so he said, “If you don’t mind, you can sit in the kitchen. That room is quite comfortable.” So the judge waited in the kitchen while the Master gave his wife an interview.

“I have heard much about you from your friend,” the Master told her. “Let us meditate for a few minutes before we start talking about your dreams.”

After a short meditation the psychiatrist said, “I have explained thousands and thousands of dreams. But when it is a matter of my own dreams, I can’t explain them at all.” Then she proceeded to tell him several of her dreams.

The Master gave immediate explanations for all of them. She was very grateful for all his answers, but suddenly she started crying as if somebody had died.

“You have told great things about my husband,” she sobbed out. “Now can you not tell me something about myself?”

“You didn’t ask me,” the Master said.

“But are you not seeing anybody behind me?” she asked.

“Yes, I am seeing somebody behind you,” said the Master, and he told her that she was a very famous Queen in France. “You were the wife of Louis the Fourteenth.”

“Can you tell me something else?” she asked.

“Yes. I can tell you that very recently you were in the Louvre, and there you started crying and sobbing as soon as you entered because all your reminiscences of your past incarnation came forward.”

“How did you know?” she asked in amazement.

The Master said, “I am reading your mind; I am telling you just what you are thinking.”

“You are right, Master. I was there only three months ago, and nobody knows except my husband. He was with me, and nobody else was there; but even he didn’t know why I was crying.” Then she cried and cried and cried out of pure joy.

Both the wife and the husband were most grateful to the Master for telling them these things. The psychiatrist wanted to give the Master sixty dollars, which was her own fee for a consultation. But the Master protested vehemently.

“At least take half,” she said.

“How can I take so much money?” the Master said. “You charge your clients, but I don’t charge a fee at all. And this offering of yours is too much, too much. I can’t accept it.” But she forced the Master to take the money.

The husband and wife both became disciples of the Master, and after a while they invited him to their home. In those days, when his mission was just beginning, the spiritual Master used to accept invitations, although later the Master became a great man and was very fussy about where he visited. But in those days impurity did not bother him so much, and he went there.

This couple had a friend who was a French actress. On the one hand, they liked her personally, but on the other hand, they considered it beneath their dignity to associate with an actress. In public they would not be seen with her, but privately they would invite her to come to their home, where she was not only their friend but also in many ways their servant.

This actress happened to be there when the Master came to visit this couple. As the poor Master’s fate would have it, this lady started crying and said to the Master, “I know I was not as great as these two friends of mine were. But please tell me who I was in my past incarnations. Be sincere to me. If you don’t tell me that I was somebody great, I won’t mind. I had a dream last night, and I have had it many times before, that I was Joan of Arc. Now tell me sincerely — is there any truth behind it, or is it just because I am mixing with these great people that I also got the idea that I was someone great?”

Now, this couple had five pet cats in their apartment and all the time the cats were bothering the Master. He said, “I can’t concentrate because the cats are bothering me. Please remove the cats.”

By this time, the two disciples had become jealous because the Master was about to concentrate on their friend. They were afraid that the Master might tell the actress something that would make her their equal. Although she begged her so-called friends to take the cats into another room so the Master could concentrate, they would not do it.

Finally the Master said, “All right, what can I do? I will try to concentrate in spite of this kind of annoyance.” The Master pressed his fingers on his third eye, very hard, as if he were trying to make a hole in his forehead and bring his third eye forward. Then he looked at the actress and said, “Yes, you are absolutely right. You were Joan of Arc. And I can tell you even at what hour you had the dream last night. It was around 3:30.”

She said, “Yes, it was early in the morning, but I don’t know exactly what time!”

The Master said, “Well, I am one hundred percent sure. And another thing I wish to tell you; your mother, at the time you were Joan of Arc, is also alive. She has also taken another incarnation and she is in Paris. You will see her in this incarnation.”

The actress was delighted. She said, “How will I see her?”

“When you go to Paris you will see her. She will recognise you and you will recognise her. Even now she broods on you. She always thinks of her Joan of Arc. In this incarnation also, she has tremendous soul’s connection with you.”

When the psychiatrist heard that this actress had been Joan of Arc, her jealousy reached its height. The judge also indulged in jealousy. They dropped their connection with that lady altogether, and also they dropped their connection with the Master. So that is the end of their part of the story, or so it seems.

But the actress began to come regularly to the Master’s Centre in their place. After a few months she did go back to France and visited the home of her present parents in Paris. One day a neighbour came to their house. As soon as the actress and this lady saw each other, in front of her present parents they embraced and cried and cried. The older woman called her ‘daughter’ and she called the woman ‘mother’. They knew each other immediately. For seven or eight months the actress remained in Paris and kept no connection with the Master.

Upon her return from Paris she came to see the Master only to tell him that he had been perfectly correct. But she did not come back to the Master again, because her eminent friends took her up again, and they said that the Master was not sincere. The reason they gave was that he had promised them that he would give them an interview on a certain day, and on that particular day he had gone to some other place and broken his promise. They said that on that day they had something most important to discuss with him, and they had been badly disappointed. Of course, nothing could be more important in the Master’s life than to grant them an interview on that day. So, since the Master did not keep his appointment, it was a day of tremendous frustration and loss for them, and many wrong things happened in their lives because of the Master’s insincerity.

They also said that the Master was a very insignificant Master. If he was really great, by this time he would have got thousands and thousands of disciples. Although he always said that he cared only for sincere people, the Master himself was not sincere, so how could he expect to get sincere disciples? “I am great,” the psychiatrist would say. “That’s why so many patients come to me daily. I can’t even keep up with them. If he were really great, by this time he would have had thousands and thousands of disciples, as other Masters have. So he is not great.”

But their jealousy and anger went still higher, deeper and farther. They told their actress friend, “We have left him. If you keep any connection with him, then we will not keep you as a friend of ours.”

The actress said, “You don’t need an Indian rascal. If you promise to me that you will keep me as your friend, then I don’t need him either.”

So all three resolved never to go to the Master again. They all gave up their spiritual life, preferring ordinary human friendship, which was all a play of superiority and inferiority, jealousy and selfishness.

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