A Special Occasion
As human beings living in the world, we celebrate many occasions during the course of our lives such as birthdays, anniversaries and weddings. And on these special days, we usually throw parties, go out for dinner or buy gifts for the ones we are honouring.
On a spiritual level, however, the saints tell us that for the soul, there exists a special occasion of a different kind. They say that when one meets a perfect living Master and receives from him the gift of Nam, it is the greatest celebration for the soul.
After being helplessly caught up in the maze of this creation and stumbling through different life forms, the soul has finally been given the opportunity to go back home. The soul does not know why she has been given this amazing grace from the Supreme Father but it is a time to rejoice, for at last the Saviour has come to set her free.
The celebration of this special event is unlike any other in the world. It begins at the time of initiation and lasts an entire lifetime. And the merriment takes place not on the outside, but on the inside, within the heart of the disciple. For as he travels on the inner path and withdraws his consciousness to the eye centre, little by little, love for his Master deepens, creating within himself a sanctuary of peace and happiness.
But having said that, it must be mentioned that true discipleship is not always an easy affair. Just as there are times of peace and joy, there are also times of struggle and pain, when a disciple’s faith, patience and strength of will are pushed to the limit; when he does not understand why things happen the way they do. During these times one does feel compelled to ask the questions, “Does my Master know what I am going through? Is he really there?”
Sant Mat teaches us that asking questions like these is like asking a mother, “Do you know that you have a child?” Just as every mother by virtue of giving birth to her child automatically has a connection to the child, so does the Master have that same connection with each and every one of his disciples.
The Master’s true form is the Shabd and the soul of the disciple is a spark of that Shabd. When the Master initiates the disciple, he places his Radiant Form at the eye centre of the disciple and reconnects him to that Shabd, giving him a new birth. At that point, he becomes the disciple’s spiritual father. And just as a physical father gives his child physical features, the Master sculpts the disciple. He straightens what is crooked, brings to light all that is shadowed, and chips away at the coverings on the soul until it glows in its original beauty.
Through his inner presence, he guides, protects, and purifies the disciple until he is fit to be taken back to his true home. The physical body of the Master and the disciple will one day perish, but the soul will never be abandoned by the Shabd. Once the soul has been inwardly linked by the Master, nothing and no one can ever sever that connection.
But just as in every relationship one gets whatever one puts in, the bond between Master and disciple depends on how much the disciple gives of himself. It is to this ‘giving of the self’ that the Master responds by showering his grace upon the disciple. And thus a relationship of faith and love starts to develop.
But this is only the beginning. Discipleship is a constant ‘work in progress’. One is not only a disciple when doing seva or when meditating. The fragrance of discipleship lasts 24 hours a day, and everything one does to nurture that relationship with the Master keeps it that much stronger and alive. So the harder the disciple works, the more grace the Master bestows upon him and ultimately the quicker is one’s spiritual progress.
For hundreds of thousands of years, many a soul has struggled and striven to rise above the darkness of the mind in its quest for eternal freedom. But without the compassion and grace of the perfect living Master, the redeemer in human form, it is just not possible. Thus, being a disciple of a perfect Master is not only a precious privilege, it is truly the only occasion worth celebrating. For the very moment the Master touches the souls of his disciples, it is only a matter of time that with the light of a thousand suns, he will take them home.
You have been given the passport to go back to your own home where your supreme Father is waiting to receive you. What greater joy, blessing or bliss can one have in this world of misery and suffering? In fact, no other person should be so happy in this world as an initiate who is on the path. He should always keep his final goal in sight – the treasures, the joys and the bliss that await him in his true home.
Maharaj Charan Singh, Quest for Light