Masters Work Hard and So Must We
When we look at the lives of the spiritual Masters, one fact that stands out: they work tirelessly to carry out their mission. The dedication of the Masters can be seen in their relentless schedules – working from early in the morning until late at night and frequently travelling, sometimes for months at a time. Masters travel far and wide to share their teachings with seekers and satsangis. Maharaj Sawan Singh explains the purpose of the Masters’ frequent travels in With the Three Masters, Vol. II:
Whenever Hazur goes somewhere, he has three aims in mind: to tell the people about Nam and the teachings of Sant Mat, to increase love amongst satsangis and initiate seekers, and to make sure that in his absence they get together for satsang once in a while so that their bhakti remains intact and new seekers get a chance to learn about Sant Mat.
Masters are fully dedicated to their mission, but they also have a human body and physical limitations. While undertaking their spiritual seva, Masters are also subject to the human condition and karma. They too are subject to fatigue and illness. Yet they continue to carry out their seva in spite of physical limitations. When we consider the dedication the Master shows toward his disciples, it may also be important for us to appreciate how hard he works on the physical plane. Knowing this, perhaps we will be more motivated to participate in a reciprocal relationship and do the work he has asked us to do. This is a matter that is difficult to fully comprehend because on one level the Masters are above suffering. In Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. I, a questioner asks, “Then why should a Master suffer from any disease, or be unwell, physically?” Hazur answers:
We feel that they are suffering physically, from a health point of view. Actually, they are above the cycle of karmas and can clear any karma.… So we may think they are suffering. Really, the soul is not at all bothered with what the body is going through.
Yet, on the physical level, the body definitely has limitations. In the diary, With the Three Masters, Vol. II, we are given a glimpse of the demands on the Great Master and the effect of those demands on his health. In entries dated August and September 1945, the author writes:
During the night, at about 3am, Hazur developed a stomach problem and could not sleep. He spent the whole night sitting up.… Hazur may have become ill because of stress. On the 23rd, he travelled from Kalu ki Bar all the way to Amritsar. On the way, people insisted that he give satsang.… The second satsang was a long one and Hazur became too tired even to sleep. In the morning, one of his wisdom teeth started to hurt. We advised him to have the tooth extracted, but in the evening he preferred to go to satsang instead and spent the night in pain.… This kind of hard work is responsible for his poor health.
The Master takes his seva seriously and works resolutely and tirelessly for our benefit. He travels all over the world, gives satsang, patiently answers questions, gives interviews, oversees the management of the Dera and the satsang centres across the world, and much, much more.
Master’s hard work is for one purpose – to bring us the teachings and to inspire us to experience the teachings in our own lives through our meditation. Masters show us how to live a spiritual life while in this limited, temporary body that is subject to fatigue, disease, decay and death. And with that understanding we can similarly dedicate ourselves, with our utmost effort, to our most important work – to sit for two and one-half hours a day in meditation and to live a Sant Mat way of life. That is the only “work” he asks of us. That work is our duty as human beings. By devoting ourselves to that work, we discover the purpose of our human life. In Spiritual Perspectives Vol. I, Hazur says:
Don’t worry about the suffering of the Master. Let him play his own role. We have to play our own role. When a tree doesn’t yield any fruit, is the gardener happy? Doesn’t he suffer so that the tree can yield fruit? He feeds it all sorts of nutrients, he waters it and does all sorts of things with that tree. He wants the tree to yield fruit because he has planted it. He has aligned himself with the tree.
Master has “aligned himself” with us. Let’s do our work with love and determination, inspired by the tireless dedication of our Master.