Faith in the Master
As our lives unfold and circumstances and events materialize – and as quickly become distant memories – it must start dawning on us that we have no control over our lives. We are occasionally able to say, “Ah, that is what I have been working towards, and it has happened just as I had planned.” But if we analyze those exceptional outcomes realistically, we realize that our plans and actions were actually not of our making. They were merely conditioned responses – actions activated by circumstances which were part of our allotted destiny.
This becomes particularly obvious as we begin to see a logical sequence in the events that make up our existence in this world. If we were to analyze these so-called logical sequences, we would soon realize that we had little to do with them. They happened entirely outside our control, without any help at all from our own scheming or planning. It becomes clear that what the Masters tell us over and over again is true: that we are not the doers – we are merely acting out our parts on the stage of life.
The metaphor of our lives in this world, of being like stage productions is often used by the Masters to describe our situation. The script of the play is our destiny and the director of the play is the Lord himself, acting through the Master. He won’t deviate from the script, but he is able to direct the movements and interpretations of the actors. Although he doesn’t tamper with the events themselves, he does allow them to unfold in a manner which enables us to endure them.
This realization, that the Lord’s agent, the Master, is the director – in truth, the doer who makes everything happen in our lives – is an important milestone for us on the path. Once this concept becomes real for us, then we will have taken a quantum leap towards having faith in our Master.
But most of us are very far from accepting that we are not in control of our lives. A good indicator or test of this – of our believing our Master to be the only doer – is to check how much time we spend worrying about our problems. As our Master has said so often, we hand over our problems and worries to him with one hand and take them back with the other. If we accept the Master as the only doer, what would we have to worry about?
In one of his letters Maharaj Jagat Singh commented:
Your worrying shows that you have no faith in the goodness of God, or even God himself. Let him accomplish things in his own way, rather than in the way that you desire. Try to adjust yourself to all that he does and you will never be unhappy.
The Science of the Soul
What Maharaj Jagat Singh is saying here could be expressed differently: if we accepted the fact that the Lord or Master is the doer, we would have no reason to worry – about anything or anyone. Having this belief in the forefront of our minds all the time would make our lives far easier. And obedience and submission to his will would come naturally to us.
The Masters have repeatedly told us that we have two ways of completing our journey on the path. The first and slower method is by conscientiously living according to the four principles that we promised to obey at our initiation, foremost being regular meditation. The other is by unconditional surrender to the Master. The Masters have said, however, that surrender is the far more difficult option as it involves ridding ourselves of our ego.
Let’s look at some implications of surrender to the Master. First, this means that all our earnings, possessions and other trappings are his, not ours. Second, if we extend this concept to our families, then our children are not ours – they don’t belong to us. As Khalil Gibran wrote in The Prophet, our children are not of us but come through us. They are in fact no more than close associations, brought into our lives to complete certain karmic requirements, both theirs and ours. Third, each of our choices is not ours at all. Once we have surrendered to the Master, then he becomes the only doer, and it is he who makes our choices. Fourth, as he is fully in charge of our lives, we have absolutely no need to worry – about anything at all.
And let’s also think about this: what is the use of this ego that wants to be the boss? If we own nothing, if we have achieved nothing on our own, then we are nothing. Despite all our misconceived opinions of self, we are nobodies!
But it’s a tall order for us simply to toss the ego aside. We are told by the Master that we have to have some ego to exist on this plane. And although our possessions are not ours but his, we have to play the role of responsible caretakers with regard to all our worldly roles, duties and material possessions. We have the same role to play regarding our offspring. Our children require nurturing and loving support, and it is our responsibility to provide this.
In fact, we have the same duty towards the soul. We are responsible to the Lord to nurture our own soul and to do everything possible to accelerate its return to its Father – to our Father and our real home. As disciples of a true Master, we are all on a mission, a highly responsible and demanding mission: to work for the release of our own souls from whatever is preventing their return home.
So how do we go about this? How can we work at obedience and surrendering to the Master’s will? Maharaj Charan Singh tells us:
You can say, I am living in the will of the Master because I am steadfast on the principles of Sant Mat – I am attending to my meditation and living the way of life as taught to me. So, in a broad sense you are living in the will of the Master.
Actually, you live in the will of the Master only when you are able to release your soul from the clutches of the mind. You have to go beyond the realm of mind and maya for your soul to be absolutely pure.
Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III
This tells us that living in his will is more diifficult than we might think. We need to focus all our effort on meditation and leave the rest to him. And the faith that we need to meditate conscientiously flows from the love he creates within us – a love that comes from focused meditation. You can’t have one without the other.
Maharaj Charan Singh has emphasized the importance of faith. He told us:
Faith is very important in Sant Mat. … Faith is the first thing on which the entire spiritual edifice is to be built. When once you decided to come on the Sant Mat path after study and research, why should your faith now shake and fail you? This tendency of the mind has to be fought and an unshakeable faith built if any progress is desired.
Quest for Light
Clearly then, unshakeable faith is an essential prerequisite for spiritual progress. Implicit faith in the Master is the key. Our understanding will grow significantly only with focused, regular meditation, but the initial faith to do that is planted in us by the Master. We are his responsibility and he sets us up, enabling us to do our meditation with this most important initial foundation of faith.
We don’t need to understand every aspect of the teachings before starting on the journey. We require only sufficient understanding to start doing our meditation. With this bare minimum we can take our first steps. When we start doing our meditation, our understanding of the teachings will be basic and our faith may be shaky. It’s true that in the early stages of our discipleship our understanding of the path was very limited. Although at the time we may have thought we knew what it was all about, over time we found that there was still a long way to go. But the little bit we did know at least gave us enough faith to get started on our meditation.
The fact remains, though, that until we have some evidence in the form of direct experience in our meditation, our faith remains shaky. So the Masters may provide us with small glimpses of a little light or a hint of sound to encourage us to continue with our spiritual work. And while we struggle on against the mind, we can take courage from these words of Great Master:
A practitioner should have firm belief that he will surely succeed on this path, and he should go on struggling with faith until his last breath, for no path seems to be better than this. It is better to die in sincere effort than to attain all worldly success. Do not be anxious; the Master is taking care of you every instant. You cannot see it now, but as you advance in your journey, you will see it yourself.
The Dawn of Light