Give the Master a Chance
Between Master and disciple there is a relationship of great strength, but our limitations mean that we often fail to recognize this, or indeed to appreciate it. The saints often say they would be nowhere without their disciples, although of course it is the disciple who needs the Master and not the other way round. The present Master has said that he would be out of a job without us, and it’s certainly true that we keep him busy. There is no limit to his efforts in trying to lift us, encourage us and cajole us in the right direction.
The mind troubles us continually, and often it seems we are in a constant battle of some kind. Either we are fighting our destiny, or blaming the Lord for not fulfilling our desires, or simply struggling in our relationships. And sometimes we feel at odds with the path because it can be difficult to follow or might seem to be preventing us from enjoying life’s worldly pleasures.
While struggling with all this, we may miss the obvious solution to our problems: the strength and courage we can draw from our relationship with our Master. Too often, we don’t even give it a chance. Instead, we battle even against him. This may seem a harsh thing to say, and difficult to believe, but our deeds suggest that it is true.
We avoid meditation or fail to give it our full effort; we compromise our principles at the first sign of trouble; we constantly seek shortcuts in life and on our spiritual path to avoid doing what we are required to do…. The list goes on.
In reality, we are not even giving our Master a chance to help us. He is not here to put difficulties in our path; no loving parent would ever do that to his children. And saints have nothing but infinite love for their disciples - this much, at least, we surely cannot help believing. From this core belief can emerge a gradual strengthening faith that the instructions given to us are for our own benefit. When we put those instructions into practice, wholeheartedly, then our limited faith will begin to grow firmer.
Whatever our Master asks us to do is always the shortest path to salvation. He does not want us to be here a second longer than necessary; in fact, his own seva is not complete until all the disciples for whom he is responsible have reached Sach Khand. And all he asks of us is that we do our meditation, avoid intoxicants and meat, and live a moral life. Every instruction he gives us is the easiest possible way to get back home.
So, let us give our Master a chance to help us - let us believe from the heart that he is always doing what is best for us and that he is not here to make things difficult or to test us. After all, if the Master really chose to test us, not even a handful would pass. Let us work with our Master and not against him. When we start to do that, we will truly feel the warmth of his love, and automatically gain the strength and courage to face our destiny in good cheer.
“The inferno of the living … is what is already here, the inferno where we live every day, that we form by being together. There are two ways to escape suffering it. The first is easy for many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you can no longer see it. The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension: seek to learn and recognize who and what, in the midst of inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space.”
Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities