Love for the Master and its Advantages
We have not seen the Lord, and we do not know how to love Him. But a Master is the manifestation of His Love and to love the Master is to love the Lord. To love one’s Master is to lose one’s own identity completely in the Master and thereby merge into the Lord.
It is easy to boast about one’s love for the Master, but it is extremely difficult to be a True Lover. A disciple should gradually increase his love for the Master. As a result, that love will eventually turn into True Ecstasy and His Form will then imprint itself in the mind of the disciple. Without Dhyan (contemplation on the form of the Master) it is not possible to strengthen the bond of love for the Master, nor will the Dhyan be complete; that is, it will not be possible for the disciple to hold the form of the Master within himself.
The attitude of the disciple towards his Master and God should be like that of a moth for the flame, and he should burn in the fire of his love for Him, because by such an immolation one does not die but attains everlasting life. The lovers that forget themselves completely in love for their Master drink from the fountain of the Elixir of Life and attain eternal bliss.
We love saintly persons because they are merged in His Love. To meet them and to be in their presence is to meet God and to be in His presence.
Jesus Christ says:
„He who has seen me has seen my Father.“
Once God said to Moses:
„I was not well, and how is it that you did not come to inquire about my health?“
„Oh God, you are the king of this world and of the regions above. How can you fall ill?“
The reply was:
„Moses, a certain very dear devotee of mine was not well and you did not go to him to inquire about his health. If you had visited him at that time, you would have automatically visited me.“
This clearly shows that love and service to the devotees of the Lord is love and service to the Lord Himself. Similarly, live and service to the Master and contemplation of His form is, in reality, love and contemplating of God. But people in their ignorance call it idol worship, man worship, or „gurudom“ (guru worship).
Satguru makes it possible for us to be in the immediate presence of the Lord by his nectar-like speeches and discourses, oh Nanak, that person is fortunate who has his mind fixed in the Lotus Feet of God.
Nearness to God is achieved and felt in two different ways: outwardly and inwardly. Outwardly, it is done by keeping the company of Saints; but inwardly one cannot attain it unless heart is connected with heart. And to create the Path of Contact from one heart to the other it is necessary to inculcate in one’s self the highest form of love. When love and affection are firmly established in one’s heart, then contemplation of the Beloved is easily achieved, because in the hearts of lovers the form of their Beloved is always present.
In the mirror of the heart, there is the image of the Beloved. By simply bowing the head one can see it.
In the Muslim Scriptures it is said that a Gurumukh is the mirror of God. God gives us a glimpse of Himself through His Gurumukhs, and to enable us to see Him, the Gurumukhs act as mirrors (of God). By seeing such persons we remember Him, and the sign by which we recognize such Gurumukhs is that by keeping their company and by meeting them we are automatically reminded of the Existence of God.
When this does not happen, we should take it that the individual is not a complete Gurumukh.
Oh Kabir, by the Darshan of (by seeing) a Saint I remember my God, and every such moment is credited towards the remembrance of the Lord. All other time is wasted.
One should not keep the company of a person who is devoid of truth, faith and love because he is like a mirror and we shall see our own reflection and that of our own thought currents in him.
When a devotee has firmly established the condition of love and affection within himself, his heart is then connected with the heart of his Master by the chord of love. This can be achieved only by inculcating intense love and practising contemplation and remembrance. Hearts that are devoid of these qualities cannot achieve True Love. Therefore, lovers of God remember Him by repetition of His Name and contemplation on the form of their Master. They are then able to benefit by contemplation outwardly as well as inwardly.
A Master is a Lover of God. In Him there are boundless currents of True Love. He is the physical form of that love. To love Him is to find the most important medium for developing love for God, because he is a manifestation of God, and his heart is full of love for Him. His face shines with the light and energy of God. By seeing Him, love and longing for God increases. To love such a person is to love God Himself, because by loving Him we always remember our Lord.
Maulana Rumi says:
When you have accepted the personality of your Master, then God and His manifestation on earth are also automatically accepted. If you look at your Master as a different entity from God, you will lose the reality of God also. If you are searching for the reality of God, look at the face of your Master, and by looking at God through the luster of the Master’s forehead, you will fall in love with Him.
A person in whose heart love for the Master has been bestowed by God is really fortunate, because love for the Master is the method by which we come to love God. To love the Satguru only for his own sake is better than any other type of love, because the inner beauty in Him is indestructible. God’s beauty is everlasting, and He shines through a Satguru; therefore, love for the Master is free from all defects. But one must remember that in order to love God or the Master, it is necessary to create True Longing.
As long as a person is absorbed in enjoyment of the sensual pleasure, real longing (for God) will not come. We must consequently keep away from bad company and also save ourselves from the snare of sensual pleasures. The soul is a particle of its origin, which is the Lord, and it has descended from the highest Spiritual Regions. It is, therefore, not a good thing to entangle it in sensual and worldly pleasures.
By loving the Master we inculcate love for the Lord within ourselves, and a desire is created in us to meet Him. This creates a sense of contentment within and at the same time the mind is controlled by keeping it busy in repeating His Names.
With the increase of love for the Master, love for the Lord automatically increases, and one is always inclined to remember Him intensely. By repetition of His Divine Names one becomes calm, and without this one is restless.
After some time the disciple’s condition becomes one of love and there is an intense desire of the heart for the Lord. By remembering the Master, who is the manifestation of the Lord, the disciple begins to long for his Darshan; tears automatically roll down his eyes, and the soul becomes restless. The restlessness of the soul makes him forget himself. The repetition of the Names becomes so intense that the disciple becomes completely absorbed in it and forgets his own self.
Guru Ram Das says:
My Master who is God incarnate has captured my heart and I am restless to have his Darshan.
This state cannot be described in words, because such a person is full of the ecstasy created by the Elixir of Love and is awakened into a state of super-consciousness (bliss). Those who are devoid of love for the Master cannot understand this condition. In the fire of love, everything in the mind of the lover is annihilated; and because it is not possible for him to bear that state of separation (from God) and restlessness, he cries out to the world, „Please do not love.“
Had I known that love results in such an affliction, I would have announced to the world with the beating of drums that nobody should love.
Only one whose mind and body are engulfed in the Ocean of Love can know the condition of Love. No other person can do so. A Lover is beside himself because of his intense longing, and people call him mad. But having tasted this unique Love, he is so happy in it that he cares nothing for the world and passes his time in a state of constant Love for the Lord.
Bulleh Shah described this state of a Lover in the following beautiful words:
I have loved my Beloved, and people taunt me. Nobody understands the condition of my heart, because I feel that I am in a strange atmosphere. Only he who has a longing for the indestructible Lord can comprehend Him. It is difficult to ascend to the summit of Love. He alone knows who has done so.
The fire of your Love has consumed me in a moment, and this Love has made me announce to the world: Whoever is consumed by the fire of Love is the only one who can comprehend it. No one else knows it.
Because of separation from Thee, people call me mad, and I am spending my time in quietness, shutting my eyes and closing my ears.
Oh my Lord, please look upon me with Thy divine glance and be merciful to this wretched creature of Thine! This love has been so unkind to me that everywhere people are taunting me. This butcher of Love has been so unkind to me that I cannot describe it. Having pierced through my breast, it vanished. I cry stealthily to my parents by making every kind of pretensions. I am in such a state of Love that people taunt me on all sides.
When one, who has real love for the Master, is in the Master’s presence, his condition is unique, and due to the burning of the fire of love caused by the Master’s Darshan (sight of the Master) he appears to be an entirely different person.
By looking at the Master the remembrance of the Lord automatically comes into one’s mind, and by being absorbed into it the soul soars into the higher regions and is in a state of indescribable bliss.
Thus the two Souls – the Soul of the Master and that of the disciple – unite. Both become one. The soul of the disciple enters into the soul of overflowing love of the Satguru, and merges completely into the form of his Master, thereby attaining the state of the consummation of love or complete union in Him. The disciple is dyed in the hue of the Master’s love and imbibes all his qualities. As the Master’s qualities are far superior to anything imaginable, the disciple gains tremendous benefit.
This state of love is so ecstatic that Mohammedan Saints have compared it to the state of intoxication caused by drinking wine. But the state of bliss is indescribable, and can be known only by the devotee who has surrendered himself completely to his Satguru (Master). In such a state the Master guides the devotee with Grace under all conditions. People who are engrossed in the sensual pleasures of this world cannot realize this.
In order to invoke love and Grace from the Lord, it is necessary for the devotee to enrich love for his Master and to seek Grace from Him.
One person may claim to love God. Another loves his Master. Which one of these two is nearer to God? Without love for the Master it is not possible to love God, because God is invisible. So the person who claims to love God loves Him only superficially. God is visible only through His manifestations (the Masters); therefore, to love the Master is to love God. If you desire to love God, you should keep the company of His Lovers.
The currents of God’s Love will then enter into your heart and make you a lover of God. The love for God increases in proportion to the increase of love for the Master, and the devotee begins to see light inside.
Sometimes the light is in the form of lightning, sometimes stars are seen, and sometimes the stars burst and the sun and moon are visible. Sometimes the luminous and brilliant form of the Master is visible within, and this enables the soul to see higher spiritual regions within and to cross Brahm and Par Brahm.
The Master forbids the devotee to reveal these secrets to others, because it is against the law of God and of Nature to do so. By the Grace of the Master these internal sights increase in number and intensity day by day; and by contemplation on the form of the Master the devotee’s love for God is also gradually intensified, thus increasing his state of happiness into one of unalloyed bliss. Such a devotee is really fortunate, and after he has reached this state, if the Master shows indifference, then his life becomes miserable and is worse than suffering from hundreds of ailments.
It causes no pain or anguish if God is displeased with a True Devotee, because he has the support of his Master, but if the Master is displeased with him, then he has no place to go in this world or beyond.
A Master possesses the unique magnetic power of love which draws a devotee towards him and creates within him a feeling of indifference towards worldly attractions. This magnetic power is an inherent quality of the Master and emanates from his every action and movement. Everything that radiates from the Master – the light of his beautiful face, the lines on his forehead, even his indifference when he is displeased with the devotee, the luster round him when he speaks smilingly – all pierce the heart of the devotee and thus attract him to his Master. Through the luster of the Master’s face shines the luster of God, and one sees God in his Master.
Even harsh words coming from the beautiful red lips of the Master are full of love.
This state of love is achieved by those lovers who have fully forgotten themselves and have merged themselves entirely into the Beloved. But in order to attain this condition one has to cross various stages.
Sometimes the Master appears indifferent and by other similar signs tries to eliminate ego and arrogance from the mind of his devotee. Sometimes the Master’s love for the disciple is apparent and he thereby strengthens the love in the disciple, as a result of which the soul rises higher.
Sometimes True Lovers of the Master feel their life to be miserable and have an intense longing to meet Him, and in their state of separation from Him they consider every breath to be as long as a year. To them this world is a place of horror, day and night.
This state of unbearable pain cannot be described, and if one were to listen to an attempt at describing it, he would tremble. Oh God, may such a state never be the fate of any person!