Master’s Faithful Agent
In Spiritual Gems Maharaj Sawan Singh says:
You never will make a mistake, so long as you keep in mind to act simply as the Master’s agent. Then let him take care of all results which may follow.
What does it mean to act as the Master’s agent? How can we become his faithful agent, and how does that affect the way we approach our life? If every new action is done in this spirit – in his name – our karmas will not bind us to the wheel of birth and death. So, how do we perform actions that do not bind us? In The Dawn of Light, Maharaj Sawan Singh says:
The attitude of the devotee should be that of an agent and not a primary. Let the devotee do his work as an agent, doing it faithfully and vigorously for the Master, as he would if he were working for himself. Then the Master is responsible and not the agent.… The business of the agent is to do the best he can.
What are some essential aspects of being the Master’s agent? In Spiritual Gems Great Master provides a comprehensive explanation of how to act as the Master’s agent:
A faithful agent does not misuse the powers and the property entrusted to him. Suppose that we take the body, the mind, and the worldly properties we possess as a trust from the Master, and work with them as his agents – then there is little possibility of our using them in ill ways. The new actions, therefore, will not be binding. The agent is responsible to the primary, and if he has done his work honestly and to the best of his ability, then for all his actions as agent, the primary is responsible.
Great Master makes several important points in this rather rich statement. First, a faithful agent does not misuse the powers and the property given to him by the Master; instead he considers them as belonging to the Master. Second, the agent is expected to work honestly and to the best of his abilities. He cannot simply play a passive role saying that “Oh, everything is Master’s, I am just an agent, and I’ll do whatever I feel like.” No, he has to do his best, honestly and sincerely as per Master’s instructions. Third, an agent acts solely as a representative, a caretaker, or a go-between on behalf of the Master. When we sincerely act as our Master’s agent, we are assured that the consequences and the results will be taken care of by the Master as he is now responsible for our actions.
Baba Jaimal Singh Ji repeatedly asked his disciple, Maharaj Sawan Singh (who later became known as the Great Master), to work as the Master’s agent. In Spiritual Letters Baba Ji says:
From the day the disciple meets the perfect Satguru, all work takes place with the Satguru’s permission.… From that day forth the disciple understands that “I am nothing. All that exists belongs to the Satguru – body, mind and wealth, all belong to the Satguru. I am nothing but an instrument.” That is why work performed with the body, mind and wealth will not do him any harm.
Everything that happens is happening with our Master’s knowledge and permission. We are just an instrument in his hands. We are, however, responsible for keeping watch over and endeavouring to control our thoughts, words, and deeds. We should not simply imagine that we are acting in the name of the Master and then go about our life following the dictates of our mind. That is not acting as Master’s agent but as our own mind’s agent. Maharaj Charan Singh provides a solution. In Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. II, he says:
When you will withdraw yourself from the mind, then you will subdue your mind with the help of meditation and submit yourself unconditionally to the Master inside, and [then] whatever you will do will be in the name of the Master. As long as we are slaves of the mind, and the mind is a slave of the senses, and we are running about outside, how can we say we are doing it in the name of the Master?
Thus, to truly become a faithful agent of our Master, our soul must be released from the clutches of the mind. Such freedom of our soul occurs only when, through regular meditation and the grace of the Master, we go beyond the region of mind. At that point, we will indeed act as our Master’s faithful agent. Until we reach that point, there are some practical tips we can try to follow with the goal of becoming Master’s faithful agent.
By treating everything we have as a trust from the Master – by using his gifts appropriately – we can free ourselves from attachments to those possessions and faculties. Baba Jaimal Singh Ji writes in Spiritual Letters:
Instil it firmly in your mind … that the body, mind, wealth, and the inner faculties, the eyes, mouth, nose, ears, hands, feet, all, everything, each and every article that exists in the world, belongs to the Satguru: “I do not exist.”
In another letter he says:
The work that you do … is Satguru’s work, and doing bhajan and simran is also Satguru’s work.… Realize and understand that “I am merely the one who carries out his work.” The self should be totally surrendered.
All the work we do, worldly and spiritual, is Master’s work. As long as we work within the Master’s instructions, everything we do becomes his work and takes on a spiritual flavour. What a relief it is for us to know that even the worldly work we do is Master’s work when we have the attitude that we are doing it as his agent! We are not to be concerned or worried about the outcome of the work. If we worry about anything at all, it should be about doing our meditation regularly as all our other worries and concerns belong to the Master.
To act as Master’s agent, the self or ego must be removed. In Spiritual Letters Baba Jaimal Singh affirms this idea:
Do not let the pride of anything enter the mind that it is yours. No! Even if you become the king of the universe, you must realize that “I have no share in it. I am merely a labourer. Whatever is there belongs to my Master. I am nothing.” The Master’s words should stay uppermost in the mind all the time: “I am nothing. I am nothing. I am nothing.”
By repeating “I am nothing” three times, Baba Jaimal Singh Ji underscores the importance of removing the self while performing actions. It is not easy to lose one’s ego – it is a lifelong struggle – one that is eventually accomplished by regular meditation.
At our level, since it is impossible to know whether we are creating new karma or undergoing the consequences of some past action, it is better to assume that everything we do may create new karma. Some people tend to use destiny as an excuse or justification to do whatever the mind dictates. However, our Masters implore us to act rightly and advise us to treat each action as though we were sowing a new seed.
The present Master frequently asks if our actions are taking us toward the Lord or away from the Lord. He emphasizes that as followers of Sant Mat we have a higher calling, a higher standard. He reminds us that we are spiritual beings having a human experience, and asks us to be good human beings. We know what is right and what is wrong. We should implicitly obey the Master’s instructions no matter where our destiny takes us and learn to be sensitive to his guidance.
Maharaj Charan Singh says in Light on Sant Mat:
Good actions should be performed disinterestedly, without any desire to secure and enjoy their fruit. If actions are done in this way, they will bear no fruit, even as roasted seeds do not sprout. If good actions are performed with longing for their fruit, rebirth is inevitable, to enjoy the fruit of such karma.
Hazur’s advice is simple to understand: When doing good deeds, do them without expecting any reward. We should remember that we are merely actors playing a part upon the stage of life assigned to us by the Lord. We should accept this part, play it to the best of our ability, and when it is over, forget about it.
As his faithful agent, we should live our lives according to the principles of Sant Mat and devote our time every day to meditation. Everything on this path begins and ends with our daily meditation: meditation that is done regularly and punctually with love and devotion. Ultimately, the mind will join its source and the soul will be free to rise to its true home. Only then can we truly act as Master’s agent.
When you are sitting in meditation, you should concentrate all your thoughts in meditation and not always be conscious of how much time you have been sitting, wondering when it is going to be one hour and when it is going to be two hours. You may not always be looking at your watch, but you are wondering whether or not you have sat more than your allotted time. When your mind is thinking of how much time you have to sit and how much time has already passed, then you are not concentrating. You are always thinking about that. Therefore, you should eliminate all thoughts of the world and just put your mind in simran.
It is the quality in the meditation that is important, not the quantity. If you are sitting with love and devotion and full concentration even for one hour, that is much better than sitting for five hours with your mind always wandering or running about, thinking about all the worldly problems or pleasures. So we should try to get into the habit of concentrating fully, eliminating all thoughts.
Maharaj Charan Singh, Die to Live