The Spiritual Master
Passages taken from Sri Chinmoy's writings on the spiritual master (Guru).
He who inspires you Is your real teacher. He who loves you Is your real teacher. He who forces you Is your real teacher. He who treasures you Is your real teacher.
Each person has to have a meditation of his own. He has to get it from the inmost recesses of his heart or from a spiritual teacher. If you want to launch into the inner life of aspiration, the life of the soul, then you will need a teacher who can teach you to concentrate, meditate and contemplate. Until you get a teacher, you may not be sure what message your inner voice is giving you. You can start by reading scriptures and spiritual books. These books will instruct you how to discipline your life to some extent. But if you want to go to the end of the road and reach your inner Goal, then you need true meditation.
It is not obligatory to have a master, but it is certainly advisable. You know that there is a goal and you want to reach that goal. If you are wise, you will accept help from someone who can show you the easiest, safest and most effective path to the goal. To achieve realisation by oneself alone is like crossing the ocean in a raft. But to achieve realisation through the grace of the Guru is like crossing the ocean in a swift and strong boat, which ferries you safely across the sea of ignorance to the Golden Shore.
It is the spiritual Master's job to make his disciples feel that without love, without truth and light, life is meaningless and fruitless. The most important thing a spiritual Master does for his spiritual children is to make them consciously aware of something vast and infinite within themselves, which is nothing other than God Himself.
How can an aspirant know if a master professing to be realised is actually realised? A God-realised Master is not someone with wings and a halo to identify him. He is normal except that in his inner life he has abundant Peace, Light and Bliss. In the spiritual life, a real seeker who has sincere aspiration and dedication has already achieved a little bit of inner light, and with this light he is bound to see and feel something real in the master.
The human Guru is only an instrument of the Supreme. I always say that I am not the Guru: the real Guru, the only Guru, the supreme Guru is the Supreme Himself. I am a representative of the Supreme for my disciples.
A spiritual Master is only an elder brother in your family. The younger brothers do not know where the Father is or they do not know all about the Father’s capacities. The elder brother teaches them about the Father’s capacities or he takes them to the Father. Then his role is over.
When the Master accepts someone as a disciple, that means the Master makes a solemn promise to the seeker’s soul that he will take the seeker to God. At the time of initiation, the Master promises to the seeker, “Don’t worry about your weakness, about your darkness, about your ignorance. I will take care of them. You just give them to me. From now on your limitations, your imperfections and bondage are all mine; I will take care of them.” The Master does not take away the disciple’s individuality or personality. The Master only takes the disciple to God.
O disciple, do you know the most foolish customer on earth? He is your Guru and your Guru alone. He buys your ignorance and gives you knowledge; he buys your impotence and gives you power. Can you ever imagine a more foolish bargain? Now learn the name of your Guru’s foolishness: compassion and nothing else.
Your Master is the sacred bridge To help you cross the turbulent life-river And reach your destined goal.
You have a multitude of questions, But there is only one answer: The road is right in front of you, And the guide is waiting for you.
All excerpts by Sri Chinmoy