A Matter of Trust
Critics often question the concept of obedience and surrendering one’s will to a perfect Master. In fact, there are those who have even gone so far as to label this concept as a way of crushing a person’s initiative and personal freedom.
But if one were to study the scriptures from various religions and spiritual paths, one would eventually conclude that when it comes to the pursuit of spiritual liberation, complete surrender to a perfect living Master is the most natural course of action.
Actually, the resistance is to the word ‘surrender’. It is not the correct term for what the teachings of Sant Mat are trying to convey. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that one should fully and unconditionally trust the Master, much like the way a passenger who buys an airline ticket trusts that the pilot of the aircraft will take him to his destination.
From another perspective, imagine being lost in a dense forest without the slightest idea of the way out. You have been wandering around for weeks, you are weak from starvation and thirst, you are on the verge of collapse and death – the situation is completely hopeless. But then, along comes an expert trekker who knows the woods and offers to show you the way out. In fact, seeing how weak you are, he even volunteers to carry you to freedom.
In a case like this, would you worry about surrendering your will to his? And considering your pitiful state, would you question his authority or ask him why he was there and what his intentions were? Wouldn’t you just grab on to your rescuer and never let him out of your sight?
The mystics explain that this is an exact parallel of the plight of the soul, which is lost in the maze of mind and matter and does not know how to make its way to spiritual freedom. Until along comes a compassionate and loving spiritual Master, who not only knows how to escape but who offers to help the soul realize its freedom. Considering the helplessness of our situation, why wouldn’t we gratefully accept?
The fact is we surrender nothing to the Master. It is exactly as Julian Johnson said in The Path of the Masters, “It is merely a case of entrusting our higher interests into the hands of an expert.”
It is a well-known fact that no true Master ever enforces his will upon any disciple. The perfect mystics teach by example. Like loving parents, they use logic, reason and love. They want their disciples to walk the path based on a conviction derived from their own understanding and personal experience.
But in order to reach that level of experience, what is needed first and foremost is trust in the Master. We need to trust him because we acknowledge that when it comes to the liberation of our soul, he is the expert and he knows best how to get us home.
It has been said that when one surrenders to a perfect Master, he gains the most perfect liberty. But, in fact, true freedom is in the act of surrender itself. For once we leave everything to him we have nothing to worry about. The Master will multiply even our smallest efforts. All we have to do is make the effort to sit and repeat the names at the eye centre … and trust him.
Except for the Satguru, no one is going to get the individual liberated.
Baba Jaimal Singh, Spiritual Letters