The Eternal Bond
The strongest relationship in the world is that between Master and disciple. The joy and love characterizing this relationship cannot be described in words. To be fully realized, it must be experienced in the innermost depths of the soul.
In spirituality, there are no coincidences; everything happens according to a divine plan. The Master-disciple bond commences once a disciple has been marked by the Lord. From this time forward, the disciple’s life is organized to lead him or her to the door of their Master. In Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. II, Maharaj Charan Singh uses the example of shepherds grazing their sheep to explain this point:
When a shepherd whistles, only his particular sheep will go to him – and they will not go to another shepherd. There are maybe five thousand sheep brought together and they may belong to three different folds and three different shepherds. When one shepherd whistles, only those sheep which belong to him will come to him – the other sheep won’t even listen to his whistle.
In the same way that the sheep run to the shepherd who calls out to them, a Master’s disciples are automatically drawn to him.
During initiation, the Master connects the soul to the sound current. The union is eternal and impossible to sever. Indeed, the Master pledges to guide his disciples to their true home – the source of all – and, should he leave his physical body, the Master’s spiritual power remains with his disciples, helping their souls to ascend. Writing in the Adi Granth, Guru Nanak states:
That friend have I with me, O Nanak,
Who goeth with me at my death;
And where one has to render account,
There is he seen standing by me.
Adi Granth, p. 729
The Master-disciple relationship is one of great compassion and mercy. Out of his boundless benevolence, the Master undertakes the process of washing his disciples clean of the many negative actions of their past. The Master accepts the disciples for what they are, never passing judgment. However, until a disciple reaches the higher spiritual planes, he remains unaware of the Master’s grace and the tremendous help he receives. Very occasionally, in the same way that a loving mother scolds her misbehaving child, the Master may reprimand an erring disciple to keep his spiritual progress on track.
The disciples on the path of God-realization under the tutelage of a true Master are indeed fortunate. However, the disciples must also put in their share of effort, honoring the vows undertaken at the time of initiation to the best of their ability.
Just as we carefully put in time and attention to our worldly relationships, we must cultivate our relationship with the Master. The key to this is meditation. Meditation is the foundation of the Master-disciple relationship. It is the highest service a disciple can offer the Master.