Master, carry me in your suitcase, pleaseThere was a spiritual Master who had two ashrams, one in India and one in America. Six months of the year he lived in India, and the other six months he lived in America.
The Master had disciples in both places, but in India he had more disciples than in America. His American disciples were extremely eager to go to India for a visit. Each time the Master went to India, they were so eager to see his birthplace, his native country. But most of his Indian disciples were not so anxious to go to America. Most of them were afraid. They were under the impression that America was not a good country, and that all its inhabitants were vital, and not really spiritual. They thought that if they went to America, they would lose all their spirituality. Some of the young Indians thought that America was the land of freedom, and that if they went to America they would really enjoy freedom. These disciples were anxious to go. But the Master could not take his disciples either from India to America or from America to India because he was not a rich Master. He was actually quite a poor Master.
It happened that once, when the Master was about to go from America to India, the disciple who was packing his suitcase all of a sudden cried, "Master, Master, I envy your garments! I envy your notebooks. I envy your pencils and pens. I envy everything that is inside your suitcase. How I wish that you would carry me in your suitcase! I envy everything that goes with you."
"Why, Vina?" asked the Master.
Vina said, "They can go to India, but I have been crying and crying to go to India with you and you have never allowed me. So I really envy them."
"Don't envy them, my child," said the Master. "It is not good to envy. It is not a good thing."
Vina immediately said to the Master, "Yes, it is not a good thing, you say. But you have done a bad thing."
"What bad thing have I done, my child?"
"You have not blessed me even as much as you have blessed your ballpoint, or a garment of yours. Anything that you are going to use, if you had made me that, then today I could have gone with you to India. I would not have had to stay here in America. I feel so sad when you go to India without me. In my next incarnation, please, please make me something of yours that you will want to take with you and use."
"My child, you are a belonging of mine. I will use you. I am using you. As a matter of fact, I am using you every day for God, for the highest Absolute. Your love, devotion and surrender I am using for the Absolute Supreme. Don't feel sad, my child. When I have money I will definitely take you to India."
Vina said to the Master, "All right, what can I do? I have to wait for that happy day when you have money. But Master, please tell me, do you think of me when you are in India? Do you miss me?"
"Yes, I think of you, my child."
"Do you miss me, Master?"
"Yes, I do."
"Do you miss me the way I miss you, Master?"
"Yes, my child."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, I am sure."
"Then, Master, I am happy that you think of me and miss me."
"My daughter, do you want to know whether I am happy?"
"Master, I don't understand you."
"You are saying you are happy because I think of you and miss you. Now I am asking you to feel whether I am happy or not."
"Master, I still don't understand."
The Master said, "I am unhappy, to say the least, because of your lack of spiritual height."
"I know I am not spiritual, Master. I know I am not very great in spirituality. And I know you are sad about it. But you always say you are pleased with me, extremely pleased with me."
"My child, you don't understand my philosophy. Here I am telling you a specific thing. You were asking me whether I miss you. I told you that I do miss you, and that I think of you. This is absolutely true. But if I have to tell you my supreme philosophy, it will be different."
"What is your supreme philosophy, Master?"
"My supreme philosophy is that you do not claim me as your very own."
Vina burst into tears. She sobbed, "If I have not claimed you as my very own, then who has claimed you? Every second of my life I cry and cry to please you in your own way. I know I don't always please you, Master. I am still very bad. But I try to please you."
The Master said, "You have your nose, you have your eyes, you have your arms, you have your legs, you have your head, your heart, everything. Everything that is in your body, everything that comprises your body, you claim as your own. When you go somewhere, you take your body. When your body takes you somewhere, you go. You never think of your body and yourself as two. Wherever you go, you feel that you don't have to miss your limbs because they go with you. You don't miss your hands when you are going somewhere. You don't miss your legs or eyes, because they go with you. When you are fast asleep you are not using your eyes. But at that time you don't miss your eyes. When you are reading you are using your eyes, but you do not miss your legs or anything else, because they are with you. You know they are with you. There are many parts of you which you do not use while you are doing a particular thing. You use the things that you need to use, and then the rest you don't use. But you don't miss them just because you are not using them.
"If you really feel that you are part of me, part of my mission, which is my body, then wherever I am going, you are bound to go with me. If you are one with the body and soul of my mission, then wherever I go, you go with me. Without your nose, eyes and ears you don't go anywhere. And your nose, eyes and ears can't go anywhere without you.
"We two are inseparable in our life of mutually dedicated service to the Supreme. So try to feel that it is as indispensable for the body to carry all the limbs wherever it goes, as it is for the limbs to go with the body. I feel it is as indispensable for me to carry you with me wherever I go, as you feel it is indispensable to be carried with me. Take me as the body and yourself as the limbs. No matter where I go or you go, we go together. Is my philosophy clear, my child?"
"Yes, Master. Today I shall accept your philosophy. From now on, wherever you go I will be inside your heart all the time, as I know you are always inside my heart. Then I shall not miss you when you go away. But one thing I want to ask you, Master. I have read in your Indian scriptures that Krishna's dearest ones, Krishna's Radha and his Gopis, who were so close to him, used to feel miserable when he went away. Then, when he came back, their reunion was so sweet. Their joy knew no bounds. If I miss you when you go to India, I feel that my joy will increase tenfold when you come back. Can't separation help also in increasing joy?"
The Master said, "This is one way of experiencing joy, my child. There is another way. That way is to go from joy to greater joy to greatest joy. If you have offered your love, devotion and surrender to me, then you are getting joy. If you increase the amount of your love, devotion and surrender daily, then your joy increases. In this way you don't have to think of separation and reunion in order to get deeper joy, greater joy and more fulfilling joy. If you increase your love, devotion and surrender to me, no matter where I am, whether I am in front of you or somewhere else, automatically your joy increases. It is bound to increase, and it increases in a positive way.
"So, my child, it is not by staying away from your loved ones from time to time that you increase your joy. It is only by increasing your love, devotion and surrender that you increase your joy and fulfil me on earth. Wherever I go, you have to feel that you are my limbs and you are going with me. You don't have to experience the sense of loss. While I am with you or near you, all the time try to increase your love, devotion and surrender to me. And when I am physically away from you, whatever the circumstances, try to feel me and be with me inwardly and again increase your love, devotion and surrender to the Supreme in me. Then you will get the greatest joy, and you will give me the greatest joy."