Who Comforts Our Beloved Comforter?
We are living in a precious time. Amidst the chaos and uncertainty of Kaliyuga, where death and disease are rampant and human values are rapidly declining, we are blessed with the privilege of being under the shelter of a perfect living Master. And as we go through this turbulent time, facing our own individual karmic load, there is tremendous comfort in our Master’s presence, in his teachings and in his all-embracing love. His presence empowers our sense of purpose, his teachings illuminate our understanding, and his love is our most sublime source of inspiration.
One cannot help but wonder, though, about the Master himself. He gives so much time and attention to his sangat, and by the multitudes they turn to him incessantly for comfort, guidance and support. But what about him? Who comforts our beloved Comforter?
The teachings of Sant Mat explain that a true Master transcends all the limitations of mere man. He has developed the highest possible degree of strength, imbibed all the positive virtues of a perfect man and, having attained conscious oneness with the Supreme One, he lives in the world but is not of it.
Notwithstanding this fact, it is also true that the Master must enter the stream of human life in order to accomplish his mission – to take his allotted souls back to their true home. So he lives in the world like everyone else: He has duties and responsibilities, he goes through the pressures and stress of everyday life and, although he is not fettered by human bonds and is not a slave to the objects of his affection, he still feels the joys and sorrows of the human experience.
Because the Master serves as God’s earthly mirror, he cannot express the frailties of a human being – though as a human being, he too feels sorrow, pain and the entire gamut of human emotions.
Legacy of Love
The Masters have always said that their sangat is their real family, and their life is testimony to this statement. They devote all their time to the spiritual well-being of their disciples, and the welfare of their sangat is always their main concern. It has been said that if anyone would like to study the biography of a Master, one only has to look at his devotees. This statement holds true simply because the perfect Master literally gives his life to his beloved sangat – to us.
Each one of us is a part of that sangat. As precious as the Master is to us, we too are his beloved drops – his little spiritual children – and it is precisely this relationship that makes everything we do have an effect on him. It makes our discipleship, our way of life and our devotion to the teachings a great source of happiness for our Master. When we honour his teachings with our obedience, we pay tribute to his efforts. When we give up worldly pleasures to pursue spiritual work, we make him feel like a proud father. And when we meditate sincerely with love and devotion, we convey the intensity of our love in a way that nothing else can.
In The Path of the Masters, it says in no uncertain terms that the physical Master’s work is time-limited. It means that every Master has a definite period – his lifetime – in which to do his work. And when that time has expired, his work on earth will be finished and the life of his physical body will be over. Except for the Master, no one knows when that will be. So, what we have before us is a small window of sweet opportunity to please our Beloved while he is labouring hard for us on this earthly plane; to make him happy and to bask in his pleasure.
There is no doubt. We are living in a precious time, amidst the chaos and uncertainty of Kaliyuga, we are blessed with the privilege of being able to comfort our Beloved with our little effort and our simple devotion. And as we go through this turbulent time, facing our own individual karmic load, we can show him through our sincere and unwavering commitment to the spiritual path that we are so very grateful for his presence in our lives – for being our very life.
And even though we know that the grace that can fulfil and sustain this kind of devotion is from the Beloved himself, it is our loving effort that moves him. And when the Beloved is moved, he responds with the only gift that conveys his love like nothing else can. He awakens us to the ringing radiance of the ultimate Comforter – the Shabd.
I bowed down at my Master’s feet
And he raised me lovingly with his own hands.
Filled with love and gratitude, I paid homage to him.
Forever bow to such a beloved Master, says Tuka,
And repeat constantly the Name bestowed by him.
Tukaram, The Ceaseless Song of Devotion