Part III — Two God-instruments
Two God-instruments1Both the Master and the disciple are eternal students. The Master is like Socrates, for he is consciously aware that he is an eternal student, whereas the disciple does not know that he is an eternal student. The true Master is God. The spiritual Master is a conscious and dedicated servant of God, a conscious and dedicated student of God. The Master knows that there is a Source and he belongs to that Source; he is of the Source and he is for the Source. He is consciously aware of it. The disciple is, unfortunately, not aware of his oneness with the Source, But the disciple does not always remain unconscious. He, too, develops inner maturity and inner light. Then he feels, like his teacher, that he is also an eternal student.
The spiritual Master is not actually a teacher for his disciples; he is a private tutor. The teacher teaches and then he examines, but it is the student who has to pass the examination with his own effort. If the student does not do well, then he remains in ignorance. But a private tutor gives us special assistance so that we will not remain in ignorance. In the spiritual life, the private tutor is the Master. He helps us to face the ignorance-sea. He privately teaches us how to face the ignorance-sea and how to discover our soul's reality. In every way he helps us in our self-discovery.
There are some seekers who, unfortunately, feel that the Master is God. But no human being can be God. The Master is not even the real father of the spiritual family. The real father is the Absolute Lord. The Master is only an elder child in the family and the disciples are the younger children. The father has taught the eldest son to teach those very things to the younger ones. The younger ones may not know that their real father is not the eldest brother, but Someone else. But they eventually come to realise this. The role of the eldest brother is over only when he can soulfully, devotedly and successfully take the younger members of his family to his Father, who is also their Father.
The Master plays the role of realisation and the disciple plays the role of aspiration. But realisation and aspiration are inseparable. What we call aspiration is realisation on another plane of consciousness. Here on earth we call it aspiration, but that very thing is realisation on another plane. Similarly, what we call realisation on another plane, on this earth-plane we call aspiration. Realisation is nothing but a continuous act of ever-transcending aspiration and aspiration is nothing short of realisation — either partial realisation or ever-illumining, ever-glowing realisation. It entirely depends on the seeker's standard, on his inner growth.
The disciple offers his aspiration to the Master. The Master offers realisation to the disciple. The Master offers to the disciple what he considers to be the best in his life of realisation. The disciple offers to the Master what he feels is the best in his life of aspiration. But the Master tells the disciple, "No, this is not your best. It is high time to get up, my child. Do not sleep any more. Do not wallow in the pleasures of ignorance. Awake, arise! Then the disciple gets up and enters into the life of dynamic spirituality. At that time, the Master tells him, "Please do not delay. Sit on my shoulder. I shall carry you the length and the breadth of the inner world."
Spirituality is like a divine game. There are quite a few players and each player has a distinct role. The Master plays a significant role and the disciple plays a significant role. But on the highest plane it is the Real in us, the Supreme, who plays the role of the Master in one individual and the role of the disciple in another individual. He is the giver in the heart of the Master and He is the receiver in the life of the disciple.
The Master is the bridge, the connecting link between humanity's aspiration and divinity's realisation. He takes what humanity can offer to him for divinity — its soulful cry — and he carries down what divinity can offer to him for humanity — its illumining Smile. The Master is also a messenger. He carries humanity's hope into the world of God's Vision and he brings down divinity's Promise into the human world. He climbs up to the highest with humanity's hope and he climbs down to the lowest with divinity's Promise. What for? For the earth-consciousness, for the transformation and perfection of humanity.
The Master is a servant. In the ordinary life, you need the assistance of the servant in order to see the boss. In the spiritual life also, if a seeker or a disciple pleases the Master, who is God's servant, the servant will tell the Boss that there is someone waiting to see Him. It is the servant who opens the door and tells the real Boss, the Supreme, that somebody is looking for Him. The Master is the secretary. You approach the secretary if you want to make an appointment with the boss.
The role of the Master is to do dedicated service in the silence-life. It is in the life of inner silence that he most effectively works in and through his disciples. It is the silence-life, as a matter of fact, that he offers to his disciples. And it is their sound-life that the disciples offer to him. Silence-life is for realisation; sound-life is for manifestation. Both are of paramount importance.
The Master is most sincere when he becomes part and parcel of humanity's cry. When humanity is hungry for Peace, Light and Bliss, the Master, on the strength of his oneness, suffers from the same hunger. Like humanity, he also is pinched with an eternal thirst and hunger. But again, the same Master goes up high, higher, highest and becomes one with the Source of infinite Peace, Light and Bliss. There in Heaven he enjoys a feast, a sumptuous feast, and here on earth he is compelled to starve. But both he does devotedly and soulfully. His role in God's cosmic Drama is to carry humanity's cry into Heaven's Delight and to bring down Heaven's Delight into humanity's cry.
In God's Eye, both the Master and the disciple are of equal importance. God knows that His little child, who is known as a disciple, will not always remain young and helpless. He will also be endowed someday with boundless Peace, Light and Bliss. And also God knows that it is He who is playing the role of a little child in and through each disciple. It is He who wants His creation to remain ever new and fresh. Ever-transcending newness and freshness is the world-song in each individual and each creation of His. At the same time, He inspires us and makes us feel that He is the ever-transcending Truth which both the Master and the disciple must embody.
The Master and the disciple become one on the day the inner initiation takes place. Now, initiation can take place in various ways. It can be done in the traditional Indian way, by chanting a mantra and offering a few symbolic sacred items. In this way the disciple is given a sense of renunciation, which is of paramount importance in the spiritual life. Initiation can also take place through the eyes. The Master offers a portion of his soul's light or a portion of his life-breath to the disciple through the eyes. This is how he accepts a disciple as his very own. Through the Master's compassion-power the disciple brings to the fore from the inmost recesses of his heart peerless gratitude. When gratitude and compassion work together, initiation takes place. At that time the Master makes a solemn promise to the disciple: "My son, your ignorance of millennia is now in me. I shall illumine it, transform it and make it a perfect instrument of the Lord Supreme." On the strength of the Master's absolute oneness with the Supreme and with his disciple, the Master feels that all that he is, all that he was and all that he will be, the disciple himself is, in seed form.
In the course of time, the disciple, like his teacher, becomes fully aware of the undeniable truth that he is also an indispensable instrument of the Absolute Supreme. Then the disciple says to the Master, "Master, you are the body of eternal Truth and I am your limbs. You need me for your manifestation and I need you for my realisation. Let us function together, for it is so ordained. You will play the role of the Universal Consciousness, the transcendental Height, and I will play the role of your earth-manifestation instrument. Together we shall manifest and fulfil the Absolute Supreme.
The Master, while serving the disciple in silence, knows and feels that he is loving the Beloved Supreme inside the disciple. And there comes a time when he does not see his Beloved Supreme inside the disciple as a separate entity but he sees his Beloved Supreme inside the entire existence of his disciple. He sees the disciple as his Beloved Supreme. And there comes a time when the disciple does not see the Master as another human being but he sees the Master as totally one with his Lord Supreme.
There comes a time when the Absolute Supreme makes both the Master and the disciple feel that He needs them equally, for He embodies both Vision and Reality. His Vision-Light He has already offered to the Master and His Reality-Light is growing inside the disciple. Both His Vision and His Reality must work together in order to establish the world of perfection here on earth. The Master without the disciple is lame and the disciple without the Master is blind. But when they are together they are neither blind nor lame; they are perfect instruments of the Absolute Supreme manifesting the Supreme in His inimitable way.
In conclusion, I wish to say that the Master and disciple are both God's indispensable chosen instruments. They are indispensable precisely because they want to please the Absolute Supreme in His own way. If the Master wanted to please the Supreme in the Master's own way, then the Master would not be indispensable. If the disciple wanted to please the Supreme in the disciple's own way, then the disciple would not be indispensable at all. But when both the Master and the disciple cry and try, try and cry, to please and fulfil the Absolute in the way the Absolute wants to be pleased and fulfilled, then they are pure, perfect and conscious instruments of God.
SPO 20. 4 February 1976↩