Why we need a living Master - Teacher - Guide ... how we can find a true one.
There have been many great spiritual Masters over the ages, in all parts of the world. they assume human form, for the period of a human lifetime, to initiate and guide seekers who are ready for the spiritual path whilst that Master is on Earth.upon completion of his work Master returns to the higher realms where he continues to guide his disciples . his work here being carried on by his successors
Guru Nanak said " the Steward of God becomes God himself, do not be deceived by his human body". thus when we see our living perfect Master we see our beloved Father, our creator, who has assumed a human body, which to some extent limits him in a physical sense but spiritually our Master has no limitations whatsoever as his inner being is one with the supreme being who created and governs the universe.
Master is Gods ambassador and executive Officer on Earth.he shows us the way, rescuing us from bondage and darkness taking us up to the spiritual liberty and light of the highest spiritual regions. there being no other way by which we souls imprisoned in human bodies can escape from the wilderness of this world to return to our true home.
It is part of our Supreme Fathers divine plan that a living Master be the conduit for finding him.for we are too limited to contact God directly , we need communication and instruction from another human being who is simultaneously at our level and at the level of our Supreme Father.
Master Jesus said" no man cometh unto the father , but by me"
The spiritual power of the Holy Spirit of our Supreme Father is present everywhere but must be concentrated thru a special outlet to be effective on this earth plane. for example electricity exists, but until it is converted and concentrated thru a generator it will not flow thru the wires to become light and Power.
Master is not the body we see.he is the divine power that functions thru his body.the Indian Scriptures describe this as "works without hands, sees without eyes, walks without feet and hears without ears"
Every word uttered by a true Master is an expression of unalterable truth, brought down from higher worlds.
There are many of disciples who have gone with Master into the higher spiritual worlds . a description of this experience is extracted from the book " with a great Master in India" by Dr Johnson.
"looking at the Master as a mere man one can form no conception of his true greatness.but when one travels with him on the path through the heavenly regions then, and only then, does one see him as he really is .
The throngs that attend Master runs into millions of souls, all radiating their own light, but all following and worshipping him in loving adoration.the higher up one goes with him, the greater he is seen to be. he is literally and truly the King Of Kings in all the regions of light and pure spirituality.
Upon returning to earth, he doesn't say a word about these frequent journeys , appearing among us simply as a loving, patient Father ministering to his little children.
It is from dwelling so continually in the higher worlds that Masters have the highest spiritual knowledge and are able to transmit it. they teach what they have learnt, not on hearsay or from book learning, but thru first hand personal experience.
St John said " we speak that we do know, & testify that we have seen"
Master Sawan Singh Ji spoke many times of the need for a living Master" it is only man who has been endowed by the almighty with faculties by the development of which he can attain to the highest, provided he is initiated by a perfect Master and works hard to elevate his soul to the higher regions. without a perfect Master, however hard one may try , he cannot make such progress in the spiritual world"
How can we recognise a true or perfect Master?
This is perhaps the most important question we can ever ask throughout our whole existence, for there are many imposters, some deliberately playing on the desire of people earnestly seeking spiritual liberation.
Some honestly believe themselves masters because they possess a certain amount of power and knowledge.having attained a measure of mental development which gives them a power of leadership, the gift of talking in an enlightened manner, sometimes the power of healing, even clairvoyance, and in some rare cases other "miraculous" facilities.
They create a large following and are generally helpful to society.... they may even think, quite sincerely, that they are highly advanced spiritually.to follow one of these may be beneficial; many are good people, but no one can take a soul beyond the region to which they have gained access themselves.
Consequently, we can only be taken out of the regions of mind and matter, rescued from temptation and illusion and liberated from rebirth by one who , here and now and while living in human form, goes consciously through the regions of mind and matter back to the spiritual realms and has become one with the Supreme Creator.for only he knows the way; only he has the power and the light required to traverse the higher regions and take others with him. only he knows which of us are ready to leave this region of correction and travail.
So how can we recognise such a being?
He is a man of flesh and blood , who submits himself to the laws of nature like other human beings... born in the usual manner into normal earthly conditions, he lives in accordance with the customs of the country in which he resides.
Simple but exact in his apparel and never calling attention to himself, nevertheless in his company one is soon impressed by the dignity of his bearing, the nobility of His expression. at the same time benign and attractive. radiating peace and joy.all indicating a personality apart.
Many would pass by him blindly, but the few find themselves arrested and eagerly gazing at him as though they had found what they had long wished for.
A true Master may be unmarried or a family man, but when he starts his work as a Master he relinquishes family life... He is in the world but no longer of the world.
He is readily approachable by rich and poor, sympathetic and always prepared to answer any questions put to him. ... He is a distinguished, courteous gentleman, who adapts himself to all grades of society, living a simple, modest life and an example to everyone.
Financially , a true Master lives on his own income, in no way dependent on the support of others.
Guru Nanak said .. "Touch not the feet of those who call themselves Gurus and who go a-begging.only he who works for his bread and out of his earnings spares something for charity knows the path"
A true Master bestows his services and teachings free.just as nature gives us air, light and water as her free gifts .... He neither expects nor accepts anything as a reward.He would never consider putting anyone under any obligation.He is truly the giver and never the receiver.
To him all people are alike, irrespective of their race, nationality, creed, intelligence or social position.his teaching is universal and common to all.
A true master is never curious or inquisitive about other people's affairs or the private life of anybody, and never pries into the secrets of any heart.
While we see only the outer appearance of a person, his eye reaches the mind and the soul.but the Masters thru knowing everything, do not lift the veil which the Creator has drawn over our thought and emotions.
A True Master has the highest spiritual knowledge and is able to transmit it.he teaches what he has lived thru personal experience of the inner path.
St John said. "Verily I say unto thee , we speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen.and ye receive not our witness. If I told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things"
A true Master awakens the soul , the in dweller of the body and gives unfailing guidance to those already initiated.
St Mathew said." for what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his soul?"
He is the Master of his subject when he speaks.He describes the way, with all the distinguishing features, the soul is to follow to reach its true abode, in the presence of the Creator.
His way is the Sound Current or the Word and he practices and teaches the same.
He is the custodian of the word. He is the word personified and gives the message of the word. the word is the teacher and the word is the lesson.
St John said " and the word was made flesh & dwelt among us , full of grace & truth"
All sages and perfect Masters who have reached the spiritual regions beyond the realms of mind and matter have always given the Word , the Way, the Sound Current as their teaching.
He knows that the various commandments given in so many religions by their founders are for leading a good, moral, upright life and are the basis for building a spiritual life.integrity and the Sound Current go hand in hand.
Without morality there can be no hold on the sound current and without the practice of the Sound Current it is impossible to live by these commandments.
Only the practice of the Word enables us to conquer the hereditary five foes lust , anger, greed , attachment and egoism. to follow moral precepts and lead an upright life is like putting ashes on the fire. it is not extinguished.when the ashes are blown away by the force of karmic wind, the fire is rekindled and we are again a victim of the relentless foe.
Whereas the practice of the Word is like putting water on fire, which is thus quenched forever.
A true Master does not perform miracles for show. but the protection and guidance disciples receive. the ways by which he frees the soul " within" from the clutches of the mind and brings it in contact with the word and the Supreme being are signs and wonders people would not believe.
A true Master is here among us for guidance and in his radiant form is "within" us to accompany us on the way.and is there without fail at the time of our departure from this perishable world.
He is our one true friend, come to rescue us.
Mother Theresa's insight into the true value of and meaning of friendship is perhaps appropriate;
When I was homeless, you opened your doors,
When I was naked, you gave me your coat,
When I was weary, you helped me find rest, When I was anxious, you calmed all my fears,
When I was lonely , you gave me love,
When in prison, you came to my cell,
When on sickbed, you cared for my needs,
In a strange country, you made me at home
Seeking employment, you found me a job,
Hurt in a battle, you bound up my wounds,
Searching for kindness, you held out your hand,
When I was Negro, or Chinese or white ,
Mocked and insulted you carried my cross
When I was aged , you bothered to smile,
When I was restless, you listened and cared ,
You saw me covered with spittle and blood,
You knew my features, thou grimy with sweat,
When I was laughed at, you stood by my side,
When I was happy, you shared in my Joy
Lets look at this from Masters perspective by reading from an extract from Dr Johnson's book "With a great Master In India"
"One day Master seemed a bit sad and I asked him if he did not feel well. He said , yes, he felt all right. And then he went on talking about the higher regions, how the soul so much disliked to come back here and put on dirty rags, when it was used to wearing the finest robes in the palaces of the Fathers kingdom.
He said, "It is hard to remain here in the body". On another occasion Master remarked that if one looks down upon this world from the higher regions, it all resembles a bunch of garbage cans and outhouses, in comparison.the very atmosphere seems poisoned and so dark in comparison with the fair lands above.
So it is difficult even for the unselfish Master to remain away from home and live in low land of shadow & uncleaness.only his great love for human souls who so much need his help detains him here.
But there is one great compensation which he has; he may daily visit his splendid mansions above and converse with the glorified inhabitants of that region.the joy of that then sustains him through all the arduous labour here..
He knows that it is only a matter of time until his work will be finished here and he will take up his permanent residence there.
Not being a poet we could simply say "Thank you Master, our one true friend, for coming to rescue us !"
(This material is sourced from "With a great Master in India "," The Inner Voice" and "Yoga and the Bible".