The Master and the Disciple
By: Sri Chinmoy
Length: 108 pages
Release date: Dec 23, 1979
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What is a genuine spiritual Master, and what kind of wisdom does he embody? Who are his disciples and what force compels them to follow him? In this remarkable collection of writings, spiritual Master Sri Chinmoy illumines for us the deeply moving dynamic that binds the spiritual Master or Guru and his disciple. This dynamic is eloquent with love, and testifies to a transforming vision of life. Sri Chinmoy's words reveal a higher spiritual truth whose pursuit is charted by the odyssey that spiritual Master and disciple undertake together. The nature of that odyssey deserves our understanding.
In Sri Chinmoy's terms, a true spiritual Master or Guru is someone who has attained God-realisation, ultimate perfection in the wisdom of life, and who seeks to convey this wisdom to others. To anyone with an ardent hunger for inner knowledge and peace, such wisdom is readily visible in the God-realised soul. Sri Chinmoy himself emanates a radiance and peace so profound, and a love so accepting and unconditional, that one cannot escape feeling a quiet delight in his presence. The illumined Master conveys his wisdom seldom by words and never by didactic instruction. His teaching is the silence of his gaze, the harmony of his gestures, the compassion of his smile and the infinitude of his heart. His authority stems from his love and peace, and it is for the sake of these that the disciple binds himself with willing devotion to his Master's will.
There are few God-realised souls and still fewer God-realised spiritual Masters. As Sri Chinmoy points out, the genuine spiritual Master, recognising that the inner wealth he has discovered is each man's birthright and hidden treasure, offers his gift to suffering and seeking individuals everywhere. This gift of necessity comes without charge, for love and peace have no price and teach us to see their reflection in all created things. And so, with infinite compassion, the spiritual Master takes frustration and pain from those who come to him and gives in return his own peace and joy.
A spiritual Master is an artist of infinite patience. In him are joined the determination of a dauntless warrior and the gentleness of the tenderest mother. Using years as his time frame, he sculpts the recalcitrant human material of his disciples into the very image of peace. This task is enormous. For peace is as natural to the soul of man as air is to breathing, yet peace evades us. Each of us claims to want nothing more than peace, yet each of us lives in a sea of turbulence. The fault lies in our own ignorance, doubt and inadequate devotion to the source of peace within us. And so the spiritual Master must repeatedly compel his disciples to turn away from false solutions to the aggravations of life and to find their own ultimate refuge in the shrine of their hearts.
Through his own childlike simplicity, joy and serenity, the Master continually offers the disciple an image of the disciple's own true goal. At first the Master's influence provides the disciple with repeated but temporary experiences of tranquility and delight. But over time these experiences generate in the disciple a budding faith in his own inner potential. This faith hungers for the realisation of its own inner vision. Sri Chinmoy writes, "It is the spiritual Master's job to make his disciples feel that without love, without truth and light, life is meaningless and fruitless. The most important thing a spiritual Master does for his spiritual children is to make them consciously aware of something vast and infinite within themselves, which is nothing other than God Himself."