The Spiritual Master
The Captain and the crew members embarked through the rough waters of the sea on their mighty ship—The Invincible—without a trace of fear or distress on their foreheads. Long as a football field and equipped with state-of-the-art technology, it was by far the best ship their peninsula had ever seen. They had worked hard to build The Invincible and believed they could take on any challenge put forth by the unpredictable waters of the sea. So that day, feeling a little too adventurous, they went very deep into the sea, tackling the massive waves head on and dodging whirlpools with audacity. The atmosphere was one of joy and the crew was brimming with pride and excitement. But The Invincible was now surrounded by new waters, which had never been trodden by the crew. When a sailor asked “Captain, how long back home?” all the Captain could do was stay mum behind the wheel and stare at the empty space designated for a compass. The ship was on its own in the middle of the sea without a sense of direction.
The situation of the ship crew holds a striking semblance to the condition of many humans all over the world. We go about our day-to-day life without having answers to a myriad of important questions. What is the purpose of my life, my journey? Where am I headed to? And that’s where we need a teacher to guide us through the pervasive darkness of ignorance. Just like any new student or apprentice is put under the tutelage of a mentor who acquaints him with the governing laws and the underlying facts of the world, which help him progress, in the school of life, we need a spiritual master who can enlighten our mind, pull us out of the maze of confusing choices, and inculcate the elusive spirit of gratitude in them.
A Spiritual Master is a rare being who has gone beyond the ordinary desires of the common person and has attained divine consciousness. He is thereby in a constant state of oneness with the Supreme himself. Such a personality is detached from the clutches of the material world and is uncontaminated by the worldly influences that invariably succeed to trick every one of us. Even the best among us succumb to the holds of the material world. To put miseries of the common people at rest, a Spiritual Master stems out like a brilliant lotus, unaffected by the muddy waters around and radiating brilliantly under the sun. By surrendering ourselves to the Spiritual Master and expressing our truest gratitude, we too can rise above worldly influences.
The oneness of the Spiritual Master and the supreme is so profound that they are indistinguishable. Just like all the animals and plants of the forest are dependent on the waterfall for their food and nutrition, we ignorant souls, the seekers of knowledge, have a constant need to stay in the company of a Spiritual Master. Being under the constant influence of the Spiritual Master, we progress on the path of acquiring spiritual knowledge and sooner or later the eternal truth of life eventually seems to unfold. Just like the Captain in the story, we may want to achieve big things in life and surround ourselves with luxuries, but we might still feel hollow sitting among our exploits. The reason for this is a profound lack of meaning, love, and gratitude. That definitely suggests a non-relation between material wealth and fulfilment, which is food for thought for rational minds. It goes without saying that under the influence of the spiritual master, we can be fulfilled, understand gratitude, and experience true joy in life.