Ruzbeh N. Bharucha
As GURU PURNIMA approaches an article on THE MASTER
Beyond karma, free will, the celestial, terrestrial and physical laws and worlds, stands one’s Master. The Holy Scriptures too acknowledge that before the Trinity of Shiv, Vishnu and Brahma, and even before the Param Brahma (the formless Almighty) comes the Sadguru and The Qutub; The Perfect Master.
Yes, the laws of karma are rigid and the cards are dealt without emotion. What one has sowed, one shall reap. The experience shall be gone through. There is no escaping this fact. And yet throughout the ages, through time, sages, mystics, Sufis, the Holy Scriptures, all proclaim that The Master is Merciful.
Please let me make this clear, when I write about The Master, I am referring to The Perfect Master, the One who has destiny, all five elements, nature, and all of eternity and beyond the beyond in His or Her grasp.
So you have The Creator. The One who began this never ending saga of life, so called death, the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, the beyond the beyond and all that which exists in between.
Then, you have The Perfect Master, the One who is beyond maya (the illusion) and is One with the Creator even while in the body and obviously when beyond. There is no duality between The Perfect Master and The Creator. He or She is beyond karma and all the laws of Creation and the cosmos. He is beyond flaws, limitations, weaknesses, planets, horoscopes, and eventually decides how to live and how to pass over and when to leave the body. For instance during Avatar Meher Baba’s time, five Perfect Masters brought Him down to human consciousness as the Avatar on Earth in this cycle of time. They were Sai Baba of Shirdi, Upasni Maharaj, Hazrat Babajan, Hazrat Tajuddin Baba and Narayan Maharaj.
Then you have The Master, somebody who takes you towards The Light and helps you to move out of darkness but need not be a Perfect Being. A co-traveller who has the ability to guide fellow travellers on the path and He or She may have His or Her own demons to deal with, flaws and limitations to work through, but is filled with selfless love and has the Divine Spark burning bright but eventually is not beyond karma and still grappling with duality.
For instance Lord Dattatreya, had 24 Gurus or Masters and They were the earth, the air/breeze, the sky, the fire, the sun, the pigeon, the python, the sea, the moth, the elephant, the ant, the fish, the courtesan or prostitute, the arrow-maker, a mischievous child, the moon, the honeybee, the deer, the bird of prey, the maiden, the serpent, the spider, the caterpillar and water. Each one taught Lord Dattatreya something that brought Him closer to The Light and His own realization of Godhood.
So when I talk about The Master, I mean, The Perfect Master.
On one hand we have the unyielding laws of cause and effect. On the other hand we have the mercy and tenderness of The Master.
How does this work?
Either you are a puppet in the hands of one’s own ramifications of free will, which we call as karma, and there is no escaping the laws of cause and effect and we have been told that even God cannot change the rules for anybody or you have The Master who is said to have the reign of destiny of His or Her disciple and devotee and can change it as per what is required? So what is right?
Either karma rules or The Master reigns supreme. You can’t have it both ways.
You can’t be partially pregnant. How can both coexist?
Either karma is a cold son of a bitch who doesn’t care a damn about emotions, circumstances, intentions, repentance and evolvement of the individual and no matter how reformed or repentant one is, one has to go through laws of cause and effect or The Master can stand between you and your own karma and work things out in the best way He or She feels is right and appropriate for the wellbeing of the disciple and devotee.
Through experience, mine and others, I know now that both can coexist.
According to me this is how it works.
For every illness, there is a cure already existing, one just needs to have the key to unlock that door. We need to know where to look. Gravity existed long before Newton. He made us aware of it. Everything has a time and place.
There are various ways a Master helps us and protects us from our own Karma.
One of the most serene ways it is done through The Master’s grace is via dreams.
Let me explain. So now we have karma, which means we have to go through a similar experience, feel the pain, the anguish, the sorrow, the razor’s edge cutting through our centeredness, our composure, our dignity, our sense of belonging. The fact is to go through one’s karma is to go through the experience. Basically each of us has to undergo the experience, this is what the law of karma insists, but there is a loophole. One can go through the anguish and very often The Master helps in finishing off with one’s particular set of karmas through the dream state.
So we come back to The Master and how karma can be managed, averted, manipulated, nullified in this simple way of dreams or for many even nightmares. This is one of the many ways The Master works.
Karma has to be experienced and sometimes we can with the mercy of The Master experience it through our dream stage or in the astral world.
There is no law that prevents one from going through Karma but in the dream state. I feel this loop hole has come about through the love, tenderness and mercy of The Master. The Master says, ‘ yes the law of cause and effect cannot be escaped but it can be bettered and worked upon for our children’.
When I was young my maternal grandmother would often tell me, ‘you had a dream where you cried a lot, that’s good beta, instead of crying in this so called real world, Baba took care of an unpleasant experience and pain in the dream world’.
Amongst Zoroastrians, to see death or experience angst, sorrow, pain, while asleep, is a good way of having one’s Karma taken care off.
However cynical you may be, open your heart, believe that your Master knows best and sigh His name and may that sigh be your last exhale in this physical body and the first breath beyond the beyond.
Thus the Perfect Master works through various channels to ease us off from our karmic load. One of the ways as discussed was through dreams.
Karma necessitates one to experience the impact of our actions, thoughts, words and intentions. Through the grace of the Master, one can experience the ramification of karma by going through the incident in the dream state or in the astral world.
But the greatest known way the Master uplifts, nurtures, helps, empowers and protects the disciple and devotee is through the power of Prayers.
Every religious text and spiritual scripture has insisted on prayers and the power of the heartfelt, spoken or unspoken word. You can belong to any religion, the Prophet’s first guidance to His or Her disciple is to pray and through prayer thank the Creator for all His and Her benevolence, ask for guidance and help, plead for forgiveness and mercy as well as through prayer be in a state of gratitude, humility and compassion.
It is strange that when you genuinely pray to thank and seek guidance and forgiveness, you can feel the warmth and the energy of the Master within you and around you. When you aren’t just mouthing words but actually talking to the Master with all your heart and being of your soul, just this humble gesture, heals nurtures and fortifies one’s heart, mind, body and soul.
Through my years of being a channel, I have witnessed miracles take place in the lives of countless families through the grace of the Master and the power of prayers. I have myself been surprised very often when families come back to thank Baba Sai of Shirdi, when the crisis ends, as knowing the situation and the impossibility of any favourable solution, only the grace of the Master and the power of prayers could have made an impossible situation, turn around in favour of the families.
For me the greatest prayer is the name of one’s Guru and Master. There is nothing more sublime, powerful and healing as chanting the name of one’s Master and then leaving the outcome of whatever the situation or problem in the hands of the Master.
When one chants the Master’s name continuously, there is an energy that starts building up in the Mantra or chant. It is like putting fuel in to the Fire. More one prays, the fire blazes stronger. In fact, amongst all the ancient religions, it is a known fact that if a particular prayer is prayed with complete concentration, for a particular number of times and completed in usually forty days, the essence of the prayer, becomes one with the aura. In The Fakir, Baba tells the self-destructive and suicidal Rudra:
“Chanting of prayers and mantras is like putting fuel to a spiritual fire. Like when we do a havan (a fire ceremony). We keep saying our prayers and we keep adding sandalwood or fuel to the holy fire. What takes place? What started off as a small flame, through the wood and the fuel and all other things that are offered, helps the flame become a raging and roaring fire. So the same creaction takes place with consistent prayers and chanting of mantras or just repeating your God or Master’s name. Initially it is just a small flame or flicker of light. But as you keep repeating the sacred words or Name, then slowly the spark becomes a small flame, which becomes a tiny fire, which after regular feeding of fuel or in this case regular chanting of the Name, helps the tiny spark to grow into a raging fire. As you keep chanting the Holy Name, the fire keeps growing. This fire that burns within your soul, dispels darkness and negativity. It destroys and burns away all your past karma. It shows you the way. It keeps all darkness away from you. It enlightens you with knowledge that you never thought existed, as earlier it was hidden in the layers of darkness that initially engulfed you but now has been burnt away, by the raging fire that burns within; lighting up everything around you. This fire provides you warmth, nourishment, strength, light and eternal life. As you keep chanting, all the secrets of the universe unfold and stand before you, as nothing can be hidden from the light. As you keep chanting, you become part of the fire and then you become the fire itself and through this process you, the divine light, merge with the Eternal Fire and Light.
“It is very simple actually. It requires no fancy training. Just be in the moment and be true to yourself. Chant the name of your God and Master or say your prayer but say it with honesty, love and concentration. It is very simple this process. Leave all to God and Master and give your best to life… more important, give your best to the moment. The intention of the soul is more important than all the earthly laws put together. That is the eternal truth. God wants love and simplicity and honesty. All He wants is to throb in your soul.
“When you pray with intent and focus and with complete surrender, there is a shift of energy and like a bulb is lit after plugging it into a working socket, and the darkness vanishes, depending upon the intensity or voltage of the bulb or tube, same way, when you pray, and you are focused and completely plugged in into the Universal Socket, darkness will vanish, as the light within you and in your aura will start to get stronger. More focused your meditation and prayers, more voltage is possible, as the bulb can take the circuit and energy and thus more light is spread and thus darkness is reduced to a great extent, till a day comes when the voltage is so powerful and the bulb within you has become so strong that all darkness is vanquished. There are prayers and rituals given to mankind by Prophets and Sages and Sufis and Mediums, to help individuals to get rid of darkness.
“All these secrets are within each individual. More you chant your Master’s name or more you say your prayers or more you meditate or just come into a state of acceptance, nature begins to reveal its secrets to you. But it is important that you are calm and in positive surrender and acceptance. Otherwise all prayers and all meditations are useless. You haven’t plugged the wire attached to the bulb into the socket. The wire, the bulb and the socket, need to be kept clean and in working order. The individual’s state of acceptance, inward and outward behaviour, the desire to be on the right path and hurt nobody, and discipline of prayer and meditation are a must….the wiring and the bulb….and once all this is in place, the socket, the universal energy throb, will automatically transmit energy and light and vibrations.
Remember your problems might not go away but you will have the strength and wisdom to calmly go through whatever your destiny and your Master has in store for you.
“Remember don’t ask for your troubles to go away. Just pray that you be given strength, wisdom, calmness, joy, to be able to handle and accept whatever is in your lot, with positive surrender and with courage and with happiness. That’s all that you need to ask. Pray for the right thing. Don’t go to a doctor and ask for pesticide. Ask for medication. Your illness may be chronic so don’t pester the doctor for a cure. Ask for relief. If the cure is possible you will be cured. If the cure needs ten months of medication, you will get the medication. If there is no cure you will be given medication to ease the pain. But be ready to accept whatever you get over the cosmic counter, as whatever you are given over the cosmic counter is the best medication that can be given for your over-all wellbeing.
“So don’t ask for miracles. Make yourself the miracle of acceptance and courage and joy and calmness. Remember, when a person is in a karmic quicksand, by fighting and struggling and creating mayhem, you are only going to sink within faster and even if there is a way out you won’t see it. Karmic quick sand can be best handled calmly. By fighting and fretting and fuming you are going to go within faster and in more agony. Through calmness a solution might come about. You won’t sink in so fast. You might even avoid going in any further. Slower you go in the better the chances of survival. Somebody could pass by and give you a helping hand. Even if the solution isn’t available and karma necessitates that you have to go under and have to be enveloped by the quick sand, trust me with prayers and calmness and positive surrender you won’t feel any discomfort. You will reach a stage where you will welcome the embrace of mother earth within. Nine out of ten times a solution will come about and you will be saved and you will come onto sure hard land.
“But I say, even if you were to go under, do so in a manner that makes your Master happy and proud of you. Then one can say proudly ‘ I love my Master and He is the only one that matters and nothing else matters as long as I can keep Him happy and proud of me’. That is called the Master’s Voice. Speaking the language the Master really loves. Everybody wants to change destinies and planetary positions and get prayers to ease their pain and discomfort. That’s normal and understandable but the true child of the Master says ‘ bring it on’, bring more pain and hardship and more discomfort and let me see if I can still make my Master happy and proud of me by my conduct and my state of calmness, courage, positive surrender and joy.
I say, pray that ‘let me be finished with my karmic cleansing. Let the karmic cleansing get over in this life time and let every second be horrible and discomforting and chaotic and painful and filled with misery…bring it on…and let me be finished with it all…but Master let me still make you proud and happy of me by conducting myself in a manner that makes you smile and makes you do a jig knowing that You have a lover and a child and a disciple and a slave and a servant and a friend and everything rolled into one, who just wants to keep you happy and proud’. Let the spouse give you grief and let the kids abhor you and let the business partner cheat you of your life’s work and let the world mock you and let disease haunt you and let poverty grind you and let every single moment be a glimpse of hell and you pray and you still let me smile and be in a state of positive surrender and face whatever my destiny or You have in store for me gracefully, with humour, with content, with a spring in my stride for my purpose and destiny and aim and desire is to make You happy and proud of me and nothing else matters and nothing else ever will, so be it as I pray and so be it as I pray. My son, when you love like this, the Master smiles and says,‘ah the kid has begun to learn now.’
“So break the coconut and become a shameless lover of the Master and care nothing for discomfort and pain and annihilation and taunts. Yes keep your self-respect always held high. Not ego, self-respect. And if you feel you can’t keep your self-respect high as you can’t get out of the situation… marriage, relationship, whatever, then leave it to the Master and breathe to make the Master happy and proud of you. Then accept even abuse with a smile and as Prasad. Let go of everything but the knowledge that your Master really is with you and you can make Him very happy or sad by your thoughts, words and deeds. If you take every person who tries to hurt you as an instrument of the Master to make you grow and convert the incident as an opportunity to make Him proud of you; every misfortune as an opening to make Him happy with you and for you to pay off your karmic debts; every tear shed silently but in total acceptance as a pearl which shall adorn your Master; every calamity as special attention from the Master towards you so that you quickly finish off the earthly balance sheet and be with Him eternally, then my son all is well and good. You are truly on the path and your Master is your world and your universe and your breath and your purpose of existence. I want that out of each child of mine. That is the only thing I desire of you my child.”
I truly believe the best prayer is the one that comes from the heart. A conversation with one’s Master. Not asking for anything but ‘to give me the strength and wisdom, to go through whatever you my Master and my own karmic journey has planned for me , with grace, positive surrender and lots of humour’.
I have seen miracles when faith, prayers and complete positive surrender to the Master’s embrace. Seen people recover when the medical fraternity has time and again thrown in the towel. People bounce back from bankruptcy when nobody would give them even the time of the day.
Relationships heal and futures turn around for the better, when the world has turned their backs to them. But most important, I have seen prayers give hope, strength, fortitude, calmness, to go through life, for those who, for whatever reason, have been dealt with a real sad deck of cards. And I often wonder, how they go through the trials and tribulations of life, each and every day with a smile, and then am told often, that it is the faith in the Master and their prayers, that gives them the strength to walk with the head held high, knowing that nothing is really going to change for the better, but its fine, as the Master knows best.
Such faith humbles me and this comes through the Master and prayers from the soul. Have faith that S(H)e truly knows the best and just be, after giving your very best to life and each moment.
Ruzbeh N. Bharucha