The True Form of the Master
When we are in the presence of the physical form of the Master, nothing else seems more important. We feel secure and protected under his shelter, and a sense of peace fills our being. His words of truth nourish our soul, and in his presence, for that short period of time, we forget ourselves. But what exactly is the purpose of the physical Master in our lives? Why does he travel from place to place, tirelessly, visiting hundreds of thousands of disciples? From the early hours of the morning until night, he gives his undivided attention to his disciples – regardless of his busy schedule – holding satsangs, private interviews, question-and-answer sessions, giving darshan – pleasing millions of yearning souls. Why does he give so much of himself to us?
The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
In Light on Saint John, Hazur Maharaj Ji explains this quote as though he – the shepherd – is talking directly to us, his sheep:
I am willing to sacrifice anything to save the souls allotted to my care, because my Father wants not a single soul to be lost. I must bring every marked soul back to him. This is my work. For this he has sent me to your level. I am prepared even to give my life to save them.
The only purpose of the Master’s presence in our lives is to guide us back to our true home; to awaken us from this illusion that we are living in, and to make us realize our true self. He encourages and inspires us to tune into the Lord, so that we can invoke his grace and go back to our source. The physical form of the Master comes among us to fill us with love and devotion and to create that deep longing to become one with God. Because of the Master’s divine qualities and his pure love, we are irresistibly attracted to the physical form.
A Master is a lover of God. In him there are boundless currents of true love. He is the physical form of that love. To love him is to find the most important medium for developing love for God, because he is a manifestation of God, and his heart is full of love for him. By seeing him, love and longing for God increases.
Maharaj Sawan Singh, Philosophy of the Masters, Vol. II
The question then is, is it wrong to be attached to the Master’s physical form? In a question-and-answer session, Hazur Maharaj Ji replied:
I don’t think you can help having an attachment to the physical form of the Master. If you love the teachings, naturally you love the person giving you the teachings. But if we do not direct this love toward the form within ourselves, then we are not making the best use of our time.
Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III
Hazur Maharaj Ji explains that love for the physical form of the Master is very important on this path; but it is only a means to achieve the end. As much as we may yearn to be in the physical presence of the Master, we need to remind ourselves, that the purpose of our relationship with the Master is to turn inwards, to the real form. If we limit the Master to a physical being, then our relationship will always be at a physical level; we are limiting ourselves to a relationship which can never be permanent. Instead, if we channelize the love we have for the physical towards working harder in our meditation to reach the true form within – the Shabd – we will be able to experience the everlasting presence of the inner Master. Then there will never be separation – even at the time of death. During his last days, Christ told his disciples:
It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
It is only natural for a disciple to question how it can be in the interest of a disciple for a Master to leave him physically. Hazur Maharaj Ji explains:
Christ says: My purpose of being in the body is fulfilled. I have shown you the path, I have filled you with love and devotion, I have shown you the destination. Now you have to work to achieve that destination. While I am in the body, you are not attending to the path or to the inner spiritual journey. You are just running after me outside. But when I am not there and you are not able to live without me, then you will have no option but to look within and travel on that path and be one with me forever. So it is in your interest that I leave you.
In their writings, many saints speak of the excruciating pain caused by separation from their Master. But they also explain that sometimes this separation is a necessary phase in a disciple’s life. It fills his heart with more longing, more love, more devotion, preparing him for a deeper, more everlasting relationship.
For forty years, in every satsang, Hazur Maharaj Ji’s message was consistent: meditate and practise Nam. For thirty years we have heard the present Master repeatedly deliver the same powerful message. It does not matter how many years we have been initiated, or how many times we have seen the physical form of the Master, or how much love we feel in his presence – the true Master-disciple relationship can only be sustained and strengthened through sincere meditation. It is only when we practise the teachings earnestly that we can call ourselves disciples of a true Master. Through our spiritual practice, we awaken to his eternal presence where there is no separation. Hazur Maharaj Ji affirms this in his own words:
May your love of the Form culminate in the love of the Formless.
Legacy of Love