The Master is the Manifestation of the Lord
The Lord is unfathomable and unknowable, but He is manifested in the Master. The Master manifests His Glory. The Lord has locked the inner door in our body and is sitting behind it. He Himself takes on the form of a man and carries the key to open the door.
The form which He takes is particularly loved by us, and this form should be worshipped by us. The glory of the Lord shines through the Master. He takes the human form outwardly and lives amongst us. Having a body like us he undergoes pain and pleasure like us. Therefore the visible form of the Lord, seen by our eyes, is dearer to us than the original and invisible form of the Lord.
The Master is not distinguishable from the Lord. He is one with Him. How, then, can one be greater than the other? In fact, Saints and the Lord are not different. The Master is a blessing for this world.
Maulana Rumi says: "When you accept the Master, realize that in his person are included the Lord and the Prophet. Do not consider them to be different. Do not look at them as different beings, and do not talk of them as being separate. Consider the Master as one who is merged in the Lord. If you have a defect in your eye, the Master and the Lord will appear to be different; and you will lose both yourself and the reality of spirituality. He who regards the Lord and the Master as separate is a dead body and not a disciple."
When you accept a Master, realize that the Lord and the Prophet are merged in his personality. Do not think of them as two; do not see them as two. Do not say that they are two. Know that the Master is merged in the Lord. If you consider the Master to be distinct from the Lord, you are ignorant of the soul and substance of this knowledge. If owing to a defect in his eyes, a man sees the Master and the Lord as separate, he is really a dead person (murd) and not a disciple (murid).
The Master is that form of the Lord which can be seen. We can in his company visit all regions (gross, subtle and causal and those beyond). The Lord Himself is, however, different from all forms. A point that should be considered is whether this form of the Master which accompanies the disciple in this world and in the spiritual regions is better than the form which is indescribable, unfathomable and unknowable, and which is not as yet known to the disciple. The Master is God-in-man, a Godman or Man-in-God. All the qualities from Sat Lok, the True Region to Bhu Lok, the created world or death world, are to be found in him. He helps the disciple in every region. He reigns over every region with a glory and splendour that is unique. He sustains the devotion of the disciple. He is the Supreme Lord in the human form.
The Master is God-in-man, an incarnation of the immortal One. He is the greatest of all. Although the Lord, like electricity, pervades everywhere, the Master is the point where He shines out as light.
The Supreme Lord comes to us in the form of a Master. He knows and feels our sufferings and loves us. Where is the Lord? We can see Him in the radiant and glorious form of the Master and nowhere else. Unless we reach the regions of pure consciousness beyond the reach of the mind, senses and intellect, we cannot see the Lord. In this world, the Lord is merely an idea for us; we are simply clinging to a mental idea of Him. But this becomes manifest in the Master. He lives amongst us and we can see Him.
The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us.
Unless we meet the living Lord (the Master) we cannot know the Supreme Lord. We are living in the gross material world. We want a God, Khuda who will reveal Himself. Man teaches man. Affinity between similar things is natural. We need the Lord's conscious self to be manifested so that we may know Him.
The Shabd or Divine Creative Sound takes bodily form, connects us with itself, and unites us with the Lord. It is a link between us and the Lord. At one end it merges in the Lord, and at the other end it is one with His creation. The human form of the Lord serves as a great link.
Maulana Rumi says that we should sit at the feet of a person who knows our heart, who can understand our difficulties and sufferings, who can share our sadness and who can remove it. We should sit in the shade of a tree bearing fresh flowers and fruit, which will refresh our mind and heart, and from which we will get the fruit of spiritual life to eat. We should not aimlessly wander around in the streets of this world like vagabonds, but should sit at some place where we can have the Lord's nectar.
The Masters are the keepers of this nectar, and they can share this wealth with anyone. They are agents of the Lord through whom the Lord distributes His wealth.
Oh heart! Sit by one who knows the Inner Sound. Take shelter under the tree that has fresh flowers. Do not loiter aimlessly in this market of merchants, but sit at the shop which deals in honey.
Maulana Rumi again says: "Catch hold of the garment of a person who is familiar with the gross, subtle, causal and spiritual regions."
As long as you are in this world, he will be with you, whether you are in jungles, mountains or deserts, and he will be with you in pains and pleasures. He will also be with you in the subtle and causal regions and even beyond, both when you die while living, to leave the body during meditation, and after your physical death.
Oh brave friend! Catch hold of the Master's garment, for he is above all ups and downs. He will be with you both here and hereafter, whether you are in this world of mind and matter, or beyond.
The form of God-in-man, which frees us from the bondage of time and Maya, and takes us out of darkness and helps us in all the inner regions, is far better than the Lord held in our mind simply as an idea.
The Master is the incarnation of the Lord. We bow to many gods such as Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Ishwar, Parmesh-war, Par Brahm, Sohang, Sat Naam and Anami. We read about them in our religious books. They are all our imaginary ideals and are mentioned in stories. But when we realize the Master's Form, it shows us the relative importance of all these deities. Unless we meet a perfect Master, we cannot know the lower value of these gods. They have always been in existence, but a Master is necessary to make their value known.
The Lord assumes the human form and informs us about His own Being. Guru Amar Das accordingly says that it has been ordained from the beginning that one cannot meditate on the Lord except through a Master.
It has been ordained by the Lord since the beginning: No one can know Him without a Master.
Bihagara Var M3, 556-2
The Master is greater than the Lord is the conclusion one comes to when one thinks deeply. By remembering the Lord you will remain in this world; but by remembering the Guru you will travel above and beyond it.
Kabir Sahib says:
The Master is greater than the Lord; this is the result of careful thought. Meditate on the Lord and you will remain here; meditate on the Master and you will rise above the world.
The Lord has always been inside us, and yet we have had to be born hundreds of times. When we meet the Master, we are connected with Naam and are freed from birth and death. Unless we are connected with God-in-man, Guru and God-in-action, Shabd, we cannot cross the ocean of existence; mere mental meditation does not help. The only means of "crossing" is Shabd.
None can cross over without the Shabd.
Maru M3, 1068-15
The Shabd is manifested in the Master, and it is only through His Grace that it can dwell in us.
There is some help if the Lord is displeased; but there is no help if the Master is displeased.
If the Lord is displeased, we can seek the help of the Master. The Lord can be appeased through him. But if the Master is displeased, what shelter can a disciple have? The Lord is not visible and if the disciple has fallen out with the person in whom He is manifested, which way will he turn for help? The scriptures say the same thing.
If the Lord (Shiva) is displeased, the Master protects us; but if the Master is displeased then there is no one to protect us.
In this connection Sahjo Bai says:
If the Lord is pleased, it is good; but if He is not, it does not matter. But without the Grace of the Master even our intellect misleads, since without him, there is no method of realizing the Lord. I can give up the Lord, but I will not give up the Master. I do not consider the Lord equal to His manifested form.
There are several reasons for this:
God created the universe and gave me birth; but the Master released me from birth and death.
God set five thieves after me; but the Master, considering me to be helpless, protected me from them.
God involved me in the attachment to my family; but the Master broke these chains.
God involved me in disease and suffering; but the Master made me a yogi and released me from them.
God involved me in meritorious deeds and actions; but the Master showed me my real-self.
God concealed Himself from me; but the Master gave me the lamp of knowledge and showed God to me.
God created the conditions of bondage and release in this world; but the Master cleared away all my doubts about release and bondage. I will sacrifice my mind and body at the feet of my Guru, Charan Das. I would give up the Lord but would never give up the Master.
"If God is kind, it is good; if not, it matters not. But if the Master is not kind and gracious my mind will be completely wrecked." "I would give up Rama, but not the Master. I do not consider God equal to the Master. God sent me to this world, but the Master freed me from birth and death, God set five thieves after me, but the Master saved my lonely soul. God ensnared me with family ties, but the Master removed my attachment. God involved me in disease and suffering; the Master made me a yogi and freed me from them. God involved me in meritorious acts and deeds; the Master showed me my real self. God hid Himself from me; the Master gave me a lamp and showed God to me. God involved me in bondage and release; the Master removed all my doubts about them. I sacrifice myself to Charan Das; I will give up the Lord, but not the Master."