The Need for Receptivity
13 June 1969
Over the past two years, the foreign correspondence has almost doubled and the time which I have to take to attend to it has increased correspondingly. Over the same period of time, my commitments here in India have also greatly increased.
Much of the time that I spend in doing the foreign correspondence could be saved if the Representatives and Group Leaders played a greater part in looking after the areas and individual Satsangs for which they are responsible. By giving due consideration to their responsibilities and by setting a good example, the causes that prompt the dear ones to write numerous letters to me on routine matters concerning the running of Satsang affairs would be avoided. In addition, the majority of the basic questions asked by those non-initiates who are interested in the Teachings of the Masters as well as by initiates could and should be dealt with by the Group Leaders, who can answer from their own level or by referring the questioner to one or the other of the books written by me. I have written books on almost all phases of Spirituality, which contain the answers to most of the questions that non-initiates or those already put on the Way may care to ask, but still letters keep coming in asking questions which could be answered by giving a proper study to the books.
The time has come for all Group Leaders and Representatives to evaluate their position and be ready to assume larger responsibilities than they have hitherto carried out. They should have sufficient knowledge of the Teachings to be able to answer most questions on the Path and also deal with questions asked on comparative religions, with special reference to the Bible, when compared to the Surat Shabd Yoga. If a Group Leader believes that he/she cannot answer a particular question or solve a particular situation, the matter may be referred to the Representative for reply. If a Representative believes that he/she cannot deal with it honestly, only then should it be referred to me.
I should also like to say a few words about the numerous personal problems which the dear ones refer to me for a solution to their difficulties. While I am happy to give the right guidance, it should also be remembered that those initiated by me are looked after by the gracious Master-Power working overhead, Who is ever with His children and can solve all of their problems if they but put themselves in a receptive mood. In this regard an application of sound common sense together with a calm consideration of the facts can work wonders in developing receptivity to the Master-Power. Receptivity is the key which can not only solve your material difficulties, but also unlock the Kingdom of Heaven within you.
At the time of initiation, the Master imparts His own Life-Impulse. When we remember Him, He remembers us, with all His heart and soul. He is not the body. He is the Word made flesh. To get the full benefit of the Master Power, the disciple must develop receptivity. It is impossible to develop receptivity until implicit obedience is given to the commandments of the Master. When you pay heed to the Master’s words, then that is a sign that you are growing in Love for Him, and the more you grow in Love for Him, the more receptivity you will develop.
At this time, I should also like to clarify certain misunderstandings on initiation. Some experience of the Light and Sound is always given, whether little or great, depending on the background of the person being initiated. It sometimes happens that a man is tense at this time and so reduces his receptivity to the gracious Master-Power working overhead. The best results are achieved when the person being initiated is relaxed and quite fresh and buoyant. However, too much emphasis is placed on the initial experience received at the time of Holy Initiation. It is the first sign that God’s Grace has descended on a soul when that person receives Initiation from a Living Master. Such-like people who are connected to the Word or Naam-Power are most fortunate. It is through the Grace of God alone that one is initiated. The greatest service that a disciple can render to the Master is to become a fit receptacle so that he can be attuned to the Naam-Power to Which he has been connected. However, this takes time. The Spiritual Path is a difficult one and requires a rigorous self-discipline. We must forever be on the alert against anything that draws us away from the Path. We must carry out the Master’s instructions to the very letter and devote regular time to meditation. We must learn to overcome self-love, which is a fire that consumes and destroys, and learn to cultivate Love for God, which is a fire that purges and purifies.
Initiation also means that one is accepted by the Master to enter the College of Spirituality. It is not by any means a graduation. To give you a worldly example, when a student is accepted by a university for a course of study, he is generally overjoyed at the mere acceptance. He does not immediately go to the President and demand his graduation certificate. He knows that he must work hard at his studies in order to pass the intermediate and final examinations before he can be called a graduate. If he does not apply himself, then he should not be surprised if he fails in his examinations. After passing his final examination, the student is then rewarded with a degree which entitles him to undertake post-graduate studies.
If one has to put in so much hard work to obtain worldly knowledge, then how much harder should he expect to work and discipline himself in order to make himself worthy to receive that which the Master wishes to bestow on him.
Until such time as the disciple begins to develop within and enjoy contact with the Inner Master, he must of necessity have firm faith in the Outer Master. The Master does not disclose all of His greatness at once, but only in proportion as an aspirant shows his keenness and makes progress on the Path, just as a student, when he advances in his studies, gets to know little by little something of the ability of his teacher. Similarly, the Master starts just like an ordinary teacher and imparts instructions as any friend or well-wisher would do. In the course of time, He demonstrates the authority of a Master and is finally seen to be embedded in Sat or Truth as Satguru. At this stage, He and God appear to be merged in one another and there is no difference between them.
Finally, initiation does not mean that life will be a bed of roses for the disciple. In the task of self-purification, physical and mental suffering play their part. Who is there that does not suffer at some time of his life? After initiation, the process of lightening the load holding the soul in bondage is started. This process can be gone through speedily and happily if the disciple keeps sweet remembrance of the Master in his heart and endeavours to remain jolly in his spirits. As the disciple advances on the Path, he is given Spiritual Strength, and outer adversities lose their pinching effect.
I wish you all speedy progress on the Way and, side by side with your own Spiritual Development, let the Light shining in each one of you be a source of inspiration to your fellow man.
I hope that this Circular Letter will inspire you all to greater effort, so that by the time I come among you, God willing, you will derive greater benefit from the Physical Presence of the Master.
With all Love and best wishes,