Care given by the Master
The relationship between the disciple and the Master is very abstruse and cannot be fully or adequately described. The Saints have, however, tried to explain it so that we may comprehend it to some extent. All worldly relationships, they point out, are based on self-interest. The relationship between the Master and the disciple, however, is pure. It is selfless.
We can understand it to some extent by comparing it with the relationship between the mother and her child. The mother cares very deeply for the new-born child. She shares its pains and pleasures. The child has no power of discrimination. He cannot, for example, distinguish cleanliness from dirt. If the child is unhappy, the mother is very anxious and tries to remove the cause of its suffering and even passes the night without sleeping. When the child is happy and smiles, the mother is happy both mentally and physically.
The mother feeds the child and lulls it to sleep. Even if the child should wet the bed on a cold winter night, she would place it on the dry portion and herself lie on the wet portion of the bed throughout the night.
When the child is small, it is ignorant of language and of its home. The mother looks at the child and the child looks at the mother. She prattles to the child and teaches it to speak. She looks after the child in all matters. She sees to it that it does not put its hand in the fire, she feeds it and keeps it clean. She carefully instructs the child until it grows up into an adult.
Similarly, when a disciple is reborn, so to say, in the family of the Master, he is ignorant of spiritual matters. His thoughts and cares are always entangled in low desires. But the Master stills the mind and the senses of the disciple and purifies him. For spiritual progress, control of the mind and the senses by stilling them is necessary. While the Master in his mercy lends help to still the mind of the disciple, he at the same time enables him to understand and to speak that language which is unspoken. The Master is always careful about the progress of the disciple. He does everything possible to make a disciple clean, devoid of all dirt, and pure. He removes all his defects.
Serve the Master, the giver of happiness. He washes off all vice.
Sri Rag M5, 43-19
A perfect Master removes all the defects of the disciple. He gives him good advice and spiritual wisdom. He ends his bondage to the world. Great, indeed, is such a Master.
Wonderful is the Master, our teacher. He instructs us in the Lord's wisdom. He has made us wise.
Gauri M5, 168-3
The Master removes the filth of wrong thinking.
Gauri M5, 286-14
The Master breaks the bondage of His devotees.
Gauri M5, 286-15
The Master does not let the disciple face situations that are too difficult for him. Just as a child is ignorant and the mother saves him from impending catastrophes, similarly, the Master protects the disciple from sufferings and difficulties without even telling him anything about them.
He protects His disciple; He does not let him face difficulties.
Dhanasri M5, 682-1
The Master removes all the sufferings and diseases of the disciple. The sufferings ordained by fate are lightened. He gives strength to the disciple, which enables him to regard the worldly sufferings as insignificant.
The Lord is kind to me, and all my sufferings and sorrows have vanished. No painfully hot wind blows upon me; the Master himself protects me.
Gauri M5, 218
The Master bestows the boon of Nam on the disciple. He feeds the disciple on spiritual food and makes him drink the water of eternal life. He awakens the disciple and makes him realize his true self. He shapes his life both here and hereafter.
The Master protects the disciple; He is always kind to those who serve Him.
Gauri M5, 286-14
The Master helps the disciple. He redeems him both here and hereafter.
Gauri M5, 286-16
The Master brings up the disciple with the love of a mother – nay with an even greater love. He always keeps him under his protection. He is an ocean of love.
He rears the disciple like a mother, and always keeps him in view. He feeds him both externally and internally with love. He enables the disciple to love the Lord always.
Gauri M4, 168-2
It is immaterial whether the disciple is near to, or far away from the Master. He has a long reach, for his hand is the hand of God. His hands wield the power of God.
His hand is the Lord's hand; His eyes feed on His vision.
The hand of the Master protects the disciple in mountains, wastes, seas and even beyond. The white-robed swallow, it is said, leaves her young ones and goes far away, but constantly keeps them in her thought. The tortoise lays eggs on land but lives in the water and from there it hatches the eggs by fixing its attention on them. The Master always keeps an eye on the disciple in order to bring him up properly. He takes care of him through his spiritual force, so that he may rise above the three gunas.
The mother swan travels afar in the skies, but she always remembers her off-spring and feeds them on her love. Even so does the Master love the disciple, and cherish him to his heart.
Gauri M4, 168-4
Oh Nanak, the Master loves the disciple with all his heart.
Gauri M5, 286-17
He lends a helping hand and sustains the disciple every moment.
Dhanasri M5, 682-2
The relationship between the Master and the disciple is that of pure love. He is very kind. He gives us instructions regarding how to return to our home, and then prays to the Lord to forgive us and free us from bondage.
He calls upon the people to tread the path to the Court of the Lord. He prays to the Lord to forgive and release them.
The Master is the true friend of the disciple. Whenever the disciple encounters difficulties, he comes to his help. The disciple, as a rule, does not know this; but such incidents take place between the disciple and the Master every day. This fact is fully supported by tradition. Sometimes incidents take place which we do not understand at the time, but they are for our good, as we come to find out later on.
A child may be sleeping comfortably, while its mother sits beside the bed and looks at its face lovingly. She fans the child and patiently waits for it to open its eyes. Similarly, the Master waits lovingly for the ignorant disciple to awake from the sleep of attachment and Maya.
All this care is given to the disciple while he is in this world. But the Master himself comes and stands by the disciple at the time of his death, which is the time of utmost anxiety. He takes the soul of the disciple with him. He is also present to help the disciple at the time of final reckoning.
He accompanies the disciple; He is with the disciple on the day of reckoning.
Suhi M1, 729-3
My Master is the image of joy and power; He attunes us to the Transcendental One; He helps us till the end.
Ramkali M5, 915-11
Maulana Rumi says:
Oh foolish man! take hold of the garment of the Master so that you may escape the sufferings of the next world.
Oh fool, catch hold of His garment quickly, that you may be freed from the pangs of death.
The company and friendship of worldly people is transitory and evanescent. Some leave us when we face difficulties; while others desert us in the end. But the Master is the true protector and helper of the disciple. He is always with him at the time of need or difficulty. He does not leave him alone at the time of death or even later.
Oh Nanak, break with your worldly friends and brittle supports, and give your love to the Master – a firm and true friend. They leave you while you are still alive; He does not forsake you even after death.
Maru Var M5, 1102-3
Yama, the angel of Death cannot take with him any soul that is protected by the Master. The Master himself takes his initiates with him.
Kabir Sahib says:
Just as gold does not rust and iron cannot be consumed by worms, similarly, a Master's devotee, whether good or bad, never goes to hell.
Gold never rusts, and iron is not consumed by worms. The devotee, be he good or bad, never goes to hell.
The Master helps the disciple to overcome difficulties in both the worlds – the physical and the spiritual. There is no helper other than he.
I have the wealth of the Lord, and it will be with me as I journey. He is my life-long friend, and will accompany me; He protects me here and hereafter; the Lord gave me the Master Out of His great mercy.
Sorath M5, 628-6
The Master is always with me; He frees me both here and hereafter; all glory be to the Master; for he made me realize the Lord.
Vadhans Var M4, 588-2
There is no friend like the Master; by the Grace of the Lord, He is my friend both here and hereafter.
Maru M1, 1031-19
If we find a Master by good fortune, we are, so to say, insured both here and hereafter. He is very kind. He helps us in the hour of need and on dangerous occasions without expecting anything in return and without asking for any reward for it.
He is my benefactor and accepts no reward; He helps us in our difficulties; He saves us from the rocks and rapids (in the stream of life).
The Master is the redeemer of the poor. He helps us with his Grace. His company is more beneficial than words can express. If the Master is with us, not even an army of thousands of enemies can harm us.
Him whom the Master helps, thousands cannot harm.
Sawayye M4, 1399-19
They are fortunate who are united with the Master. They have no anxiety.