How to develop the Attributes of the Master
1 February 1968
We should have love for God, but how is this love developed? How can we develop love for God unless we see Him, come in contact with Him, and enjoy His company? So for that, we have to love some human pole at which God is manifest, for the God in Him. So how to develop love for Him? That is the point. We should develop those very qualifications or attributes that the human body in which God is working, has got. Let us say that He is a good painter, He likes painting. Then you should develop painting, because at the time of developing painting, you will always be remembering Him, for whom you are doing it. In this way, constant remembrance will come in. When you become a good painter, naturally you will draw His attention to you, because that qualification is in Him. Suppose He is a good singer. He likes singing, poetry or verse, then you should develop that same talent within you. Poets are half Saints, I tell you. When you develop that talent it will go to Him, and He will be attracted to you. In preparing to be a painter, a singer or a poet, all the time you are thinking of Him. If you keep somebody in your mind, you will react in his mind. If the disciple remembers the Master, the God in Him, the Master will remember the disciple. Action and reaction will take place.
So the first thing is, that we should develop those qualifications which are within the Master. For example, if some appointments become vacant and applications in writing are called for by the officer in charge, who himself has a good handwriting, who will stand the best chance of getting the positions? There may be hundreds of applications but only a few appointments. The officer will sort through all the applications and accept only those that are in good handwriting, because that very qualification is in him.
So if you want to develop love for somebody, just develop the qualifications or attributes which are within Him. At the very time of developing them, you will be remembering the very same qualifications that are within Him. That will act in two ways. If you keep somebody in your heart, you will reside in the heart of Him whom you are remembering. At the very time of developing that qualification or attribute, you are also remembering Him, and that will attract Him. So this is the first thing required. There is no question of whether you are in His presence or away. You are just to develop that qualification. I have given so many examples.
One I gave was about Bulleh Shah, who was a disciple of Inayat Khan. Bulleh Shah belonged to the high caste among the Mohammedans and he was afraid of what the people would say when they learned that a man of the higher caste had gone to someone belonging to a lower caste. So Inayat Khan sent some of His disciples to Bulleh Shah and asked them to say to him that he was now their brother.
When they reached the street where Bulleh Shah lived, they called out
Where is Bulleh Shah? he is our brother in faith.
So the people told Bulleh Shah that his brothers had come. Bulleh Shah was afraid of what they would say, since he as a man of the higher caste had gone to a man of the lower caste and so he said,
No, they are not my brothers.
When the disciples returned and told Inayat Khan what had occurred, He said,
All right, we won't water his field anymore.
The disciple who gets the attention, or Water of Life from the Master only then is all right. With a little thought of the Master, the very ground of the disciple is watered. So that was stopped. The man who had that blessing before was deprived of it. How could Bulleh Shah approach the Master? What face had he got to go to the Master and tell Him that he was not a disciple! Bulleh Shah knew that his Master was very fond of hearing poetry, verse and loving songs. Now, he had no taste for that sort of thing, but he had to develop it for the purpose of attracting the attention of the Master.
So he went to some dancing girls, whose profession included these things. He remained with them for months and learned singing. He served them free, day and night, until, he had developed that singing within him. A week or so later, the dancing girls were to sing their songs to Inayat Khan.
Bulleh Shah said to them,
Well look here, you have got these womenish clothes, give me some and I will go today and sing before the Master.
So he put on the clothes and went to sing to his Master. He was singing from his heart and naturally radiation was there and the Master said,
Oh, he is Bulleh,
and got up and embraced him.
People usually see from their own smoky glasses and they started saying,
Oh, look here, the Master has gone down and embraced a woman! The cat is out of the bag now.
Inayat Khan said,
Bulleh, take off these clothes, so that the people may know who you are.
Bulleh Shah said,
No, I am not worthy, I am just a fool who has left you. I have committed a heinous crime in not calling myself your disciple.
How did he succeed? On account of the attributes or qualifications which his Master had, who was fond of singing. He developed singing to please his Master.
This is one example, but there are also others. Lord Rama was exiled for fourteen years, and one woman called Shivri, who was living in the wilderness to where Lord Rama was exiled, heard that he was coming. She thought to herself that he would be coming bare footed and that the thorns would prick his feet. So she began clearing the way of all thorns. Love is developed not necessarily by seeing, but also by hearing. She also wondered what she would offer him to eat. In the wilderness there wasn't much, only berries. So she started picking the berries, tasted each one of them, and kept only the sweet berries.
There were also some great yogis living in the wilderness but Lord Rama never went to them first. He went to Shivri, who cleared the way for him so that the thorns would not hurt his feet, and who had kept the half eaten berries only for the sake of knowing those which were sweet and those which were sour. So love knows no law. After Rama had been to Shivri, he went to visit the yogis. There happened to be a pond where the yogis lived which was full of insects and the yogis asked Lord Rama to wash his feet in the pond, so that the insects would be cleared out.
Lord Rama declined and said,
No, you are great yogis, it is better if you wash your feet in the pond, and it will then be cleared.
All of the yogis put their wash water into the pond but it was not cleared of the insects.
The yogis then said,
You are Lord Rama, if you wash your feet in the pond it will surely be cleared.
– All right,
said Lord Rama,
We'll try it.
He washed his feet in the pond but it still was not cleared. Lord Rama then told the yogis to wash the feet of Shivri (whom they disliked) and when they washed her feet and put the wash water into the pond, it was cleared.
Those who love God, love the Master, the God in Him of course. It is no matter of show. That very Power is within you and knows every act of yours, what you are doing and why. He knows the very trend of your thoughts. Love knows no show. Love knows service and sacrifice. The outward symbol of love is a sweet tongue, imbued with humility. When you have developed that love, what should you do? You must have patience, perseverance and go on with it. Just like a moth which burns itself on the flame of a candle but never makes any sound.
So those who want to love God should not care for their name or fame, honour, this or that thing. They should leave every greatness that they have got physically outside, and lay down at His feet. If they lose their life in sacrifice, even then they won't mention it. So this is a very delicate question, I would say. Those who have love for God, or the God-in-man, well, this is a relation between you and the God in Him and nobody else. You have to develop it. For that you must have perseverance. It takes time. The work of the servant is to do work, that's all. It is for the Master to see what He has to give to him.
Once a very nice Arabian horse was given to Guru Har Gobind, the sixth Guru of the Sikhs. Guru Har Govind said that whoever should recite from the Jap Ji with no other thought intervening during the time that the verse was being recited, would be given his heart's desire. One man came forward and said that he would recite.
He began reciting and just before he was nearing the end, he thought to himself,
I wonder what the Guru will give me?
He remembered the Arabian horse that had been given to the Guru and thought that it should be given to him. When he completed the recitation, the Guru ordered that the horse be given to him.
He then turned to the man and said,
You poor fellow, you did not know what I was going to give you. I was going to give you my very own place.
So it is not for you to judge things and request what you want, but it is for Him to see what is really in your best interests.
How can you develop love? First, just develop those attributes which are in the Master. If He is a good painter, then develop painting. If He is a good singer, then develop singing. Our Master used to have wells dug for the good of the people at large. So those people then began to dig wells for Him and He was pleased. He wanted selfless servants who would never utter any word to Him about what they were doing for the Master. He was a very plain spoken man.
Those who went to Him and said,
Master, I have committed this or that sin,
He would say,
and forgive them.
But those who concealed their shortcomings from Him would lose out. When we go to the Master, we simply think that He does not know anything. But at the heart of hearts He knows what you say.
As I was telling you yesterday, just like something in a glass jar, He sees what is in us. Even if you try to conceal it, He still sees. So we should go to the Master with very clean hearts, with love for Him, with all due deference for Him. Then naturally, He will give His own Self to you. So this is how we can develop love for the Master, for the God in Him. The attributes that He has developed in Him, you should try and develop in you. What are they? He wants love, no show, strict obedience to what He says. Once He says something, obey Him. Obey Him literally. While developing these things you will all the time be having the sweet remembrance of the Master within and also outwardly. It is for the Master to see what He has to give. He has come only to give Life. He has no other business. He is Life, Light and Love. He can give you these qualities only when you have become receptive and there is nothing that stands between you and Him. The attributes of God are reflected in Him. If you just adopt those attributes in your own life, then you will be loved by the Master, and by the God in Him.
As Christ said,
Those who love me, will be loved by my Father, and whom my Father loves, I manifest myself to him.
All Masters have said the same thing.