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Contemporary knowledge about God, Evolution, and the meaning of human life.
Methodology of spiritual development.

 
How to Choose Master — and Doubts
 

How to Choose Master — and Doubts

One day, Master invited the young men to go on a mission to a neighboring city to give his friend books and manuscripts.

“This walk will be very useful for you,” — Master said.

... When they were looking for the home of the Master’s friend, they asked the locals how to find it.

One man they met told them how to find that house.

Many people in those places considered the friend of their Master as one of the wise.

The man who showed them where to look for the house, also knew him, but did not share respect for the spiritual Masters.

He asked the young men such questions:

“Do you also decide to join the spiritual life? Naive! I want to warn you: you’re wasting time!

“Once, when I was young, I was indulging in such dreams... I dreamed of achieving the spiritual Perfection, I believed that I would comprehend the Higher...

“Who, in youth, did not burn with exalted desires and aspirations? Who was not overwhelmed by the dreams of the great ‘Straight Path’?

“It was with me too. I even found a mentor. We meditated year after year. It seemed that just a little more... — and the desired Enlightenment would be achieved... But alas...

“And time went by! Meditations have ceased to please us, and they have become a routine of everyday life in which nothing has changed day after day, year after year... Everything was the same as in the world: only — hard work, which, moreover, did not bring either progress, or satisfaction!

“But, with age, I grew wiser: I have realized that in my unattainable aspirations I almost wasted my whole life in vain!

“And that mentor and his disciples — up to this day — are searching for the ‘Higher’ all the time of their lives! They continue their monastic life in the hope of some ‘Enlightenment’, depriving themselves of pleasure and any entertainment!

“I realized that I was missing real life in empty dreams of the unreal and beyond...

“These tales of spirituality are only a consolation for those who have not been able to achieve anything in life! So they build illusions about the ‘spiritual Path’ and say that this is the meaning of life...”

“But what about God? How is love for God? Did your mentor not teach you this?” — the young men were surprised.

“It’s all just words!

“And who told you that people, who call themselves spiritual Masters, are right? They themselves? And look: how many are they — these ‘Masters’, each of which teaches that only he is right! And every one of them disagrees with the others, because they consider their own teachings to be absolutely true!

“And why have you, naive, decided that you should devote your lives for God? What for?

“Look: some preachers say that God Himself wants people to come closer to Him through worship and veneration, while others teach meditation and say that only in this way souls are perfecting, some others speak about cognition of God, others, on the contrary, say that God can not be cognized and people should only offer sacrifices to God and pray for His mercy... And there are even those who teach that you need only to believe that we are already perfect — and this will be namely Perfection!

“And which of them is right? Who knows what God wants from people — in reality? These teachers?... Or, maybe, God wants a very different thing: us to live here and just enjoy life?

“And do you believe in such ‘Masters’? Live with mine — and find out what really has a price!”

“And what about the Great Teachers Who have attained the Enlightenment?”

“That’s what they say — their so called achievements! And who told you that this is true? What can they — unfortunate ones — say when their whole lives are wasted? And those, who worship them, also make fairy tales about their miracles: because it is customary to worship something ‘holy’!

“Listen to my advice: live and enjoy, while you are young and healthy! Give up wasting time on nonsense and serving those who declare themselves ‘cognizant’!”

... The young men were confused... Doubts touched their minds...

Yes, their Master speaks beautiful and lofty words that seem fair and true. But how can we know, whether the Path that he talks about is true? What if they have found not a real Master? And what if all their efforts on the spiritual Path are not true and will not bring good results? And what if suddenly their Master himself is mistaken and will lead them to a deadlock?

“How to verify that we are not mistaken? How can we know that our Master knows the Path to the cognition of the Divine Consciousness? He does not demonstrate miracles that would prove His Divinity, but only speaks words that seem wise to us. We did not even listen to the other Masters and did not compare his words to what others teach...”

… So, immersed in doubts, they talked until they came to the right house.

* * *

A friend of their Master joyfully met the young men who were still in doubt and confusion.

He invited them to wash and rest after a long journey, and he himself began to prepare the meal.

When the host and his guests were seated at the table, the young men ventured to ask their questions.

“Tell us, did you study only from one Master or listened to the speeches of different mentors?” — they asked.

“Oh! I had to see a lot of them in this life! I tried to learn from different preachers!”

“And how did you choose the Master whom you believed?”

“I chose not the Master, but God,” — after a pause for a while, he answered.

“In my wanderings, I always observed people who worshiped God in different ways, performed rituals, practiced various methods of immersion in meditation...

“I looked at the crowds of admirers who caught every word of the mentor, admired him, and then heard of another guru — and fled to practice other methods to achieve Enlightenment, which supposedly would make them Perfect...

“I watched the faces, the light in the eyes of the meditators, the worshipers — and of those who taught them. I looked at how the words of the mentors and their students corresponded to how they live, say, keep silent, act in their lives.

“These observations taught me a lot: I have realized that the main Teacher for all is God! He is ready to help anyone who sincerely aspires for Him. And He helps in accordance with the sincerity of a particular person and his or her willingness to comprehend every new step of the Path.

“I was convinced that only heart love allows one to gradually develop the ability to feel the Guidance of God.

“It is God Who helps man, which has rushed to Him, to find that what corresponds to the readiness of the soul. God teaches us to doubt and choose, learn from our mistakes and failures, love and show our loyalty, follow worthy mentors and leave those who mix Truth and falsehood, or only make profit on their followers!

“For example, now you are full of doubts as to whether your Master is good. You want to hear from me the confirmation that you made the right choice, learning from Him, and not from the others.”

“Yes... And how did you know?”

“It’s not difficult — to understand other people.

“But my opinion will not make your choice right or wrong. Your choice is your decision based on your life experience! And, therefore, you should obtain namely this experience!

“Here — look: here is a variety of food in front of you. Now you will eat what you like, that is, what you choose. From this food, there will be energy for life — both bodies and souls. This food will become you.

“That’s the same — with spiritual food: it is transformed by the person who uses it. To one — it brings benefits aplenty, to others — less, and to some — it goes to the detriment. It depends on the choice of what we want to absorb from spiritual knowledge — and make our own knowledge. It depends also on the ability of each soul to realize the desired, and from diligence in mastering the received. Everyone chooses what seems to him suitable and desirable.

“Learn to think not lightly about the advice and teachings of others!

“And, including, do not take my words just for granted! Learn to distinguish between the good — and its opposite! Even your doubts will help in it!

“Do not follow even the most famous Master — just from imitating the crowd of his students!

“Gradually, gaining experience, each man learns to distinguish between useful — and harmful for directing the way of development that he or she has chosen...”

“You speak so wisely! Why do not you have students?”

“When my advice is useful to people, God leads them to me, just as he led you.

“But I do not consider myself to be someone who has the right to tell others — how to live. I have seen too much in my life of those who, by their violence and ‘compulsion to righteousness’, pushed people away from the Truth. And also, I saw a lot of those who self-confidently preach the truth and lie — mixed. The words about Truth are intertwined so closely with misunderstanding and with lie — that it is not easy to understand!

“One wise mentor suggested to spiritual seekers to be like ants who only can choose sugar from a mixture of sugar and sand.

“I myself follow that, what I feel with my heart to be the Truth, and I try to understand the guidance of God in everything. Over the years, I have learned this.

“I’ve seen a lot of mentors. It’s impossible to follow many of them at once. This is similar to the fact that it is not possible for a person to sail across the sea at once on several boats, even if they are sailing to the same place. Tinkering between the ways and trying one or another from the many practices — is so far only learning to distinguish.

“Anyone, who seeks the spiritual Master, should choose — as if choosing the captain, to whom this one is ready to trust in everything. A boat cannot make a successful journey, if the sailors do not follow the commands of the captain and are not obedient to his leadership!

“To choose that captain, who will lead the boat to the desired goal without getting lost on the way, without stranding, without crashing — it’s not easy. But in the team of such an ‘ark’ — it is easier to achieve the desired goal.

“It is also important to remember that Master, Who has reached the Goal, does not at all make His disciples Enlightened. He only indicates the methods of perfecting.

“It is only in the world, visible with the bodily eyes, — if a certain vessel has reached the opposite shore, then all, who have been on it, have arrived.

“In the spiritual world, things are different. Usually the great Master manages to ‘take with Him’ \x{200b}\x{200b}only a few disciples. And the rest receive help only on a certain part of their personal developmental path. But with the next birth in the bodies — they have more opportunities. They can then very successfully continue and complete their evolution, or even become themselves gradually Masters who help others.

“Personally I — am not ready to entrust my spiritual progress to another man. I myself build my ‘boat’... Perhaps someday, I will want to recruit my own team... But, for the time being, I’m not ready to take responsibility for the fates of other seekers.

“Here — you brought me new books of your Master, and this for me is a great joy! I will read them with pleasure, and they will give me an opportunity to explore and build my own Path to the Goal, to comprehend the Divine Consciousness, Which is Uniform, despite the differences in names and religious teachings. But I do not call anyone to follow me, to do the same as I do.”

“Have you ever regretted that — instead of worldly pleasures — you have chosen the life of a spiritual ascetic?”

“There are people, for whom, what you call worldly joys, is the apex of their dreams. Such people do not yet need to master in-depth meditations. It is appropriate for them to live according to the laws of kindness, listening to their conscience, rejoicing in everything beautiful in life, and striving to bring feasible help to surrounding people and other beings. It is better, if a person is just a baker who likes to bake bread, or a potter who enjoys his work — than an unfortunate imitator of those, who have dedicated their lives to the spiritual, serving God!

“If the monastic life does not bring joy and satisfaction in the comprehension of God, then the road that you have chosen is not yours, or you entered it prematurely!

“It is much more joyful for God to look at those who are happy from their feasible help to people and other beings in all goodness — than to those who fan their lives in fanatical sermons or bitter prayers!

“But those, who are already overcome by spiritual thirst, — they are striving for another! I myself have never regretted my choice. But this does not mean that you will not regret your choice too.

“Think for yourself: do you need God? Do you want to live for Him, not in a momentary rush, but all your life until the last breath? Do you want to master that, which you need for understanding and feeling Him always?

“If such knowledge is not dear to you, if souls do not burn with love for Him, — then you do not need to continue trying to learn it!”

“Oh no! We so like the practices that we learn! We really felt that there is a Living God — and it’s so cool! We want to cognize Him, to come near to Him!”

“Then why you have so many doubts?”

“It’s clear, we got infected with them, talking with one gentleman, when we were searching for your house. We were overwhelmed by doubts not about having to go through the spiritual Path, but about the fact that we are going correctly... We are still so inexperienced, we only recently started to learn!”

“I think I know who you are talking about. His story is very sad but not original. His self greatly grew and strengthened, he ceased to feel love and God’s Presence in his life. He did not want to see in himself those problems and vices that were intensifying in him! And so, he began to struggle, with all his strength, to prove to himself and others that everything around was wrong! And now, he is disappointed with everything in life and tries to find for himself at least some excuses and consolations. That’s why, he condemns everyone and tries to forget himself in momentary pleasures! Unhappy, in offense at the whole world, — he now preaches that there is no sense to work on the transformation of the soul!

“But also appreciate how much good the meeting with this person and his speeches have brought you! You were thinking — due to it — about many so important things!

“So everything that comes into your lives, according to the Will of God, you can use for your progress, purification, for the cognition of the vast world in its entirety and other souls developing in it!”

* * *

The young men returned to the house of their Master joyfully after a conversation with His friend.

One of them said:

“Look: we have received confirmation from God in the fidelity of our choice!

“And our Master — He foresaw all this! Do you remember, what He told us? He already knew in advance how useful this journey will be to us! Do you remember how He said that those, who have attained Enlightenment, do not necessarily have to demonstrate their Divine Abilities to other people? And the older disciples of our Master more than once mysteriously smiled when they talked about His skills! Now I understand that He does not demonstrate His Divine Abilities to attract disciples and bring up faith in them! He teaches us all — the love for God and the ability to perceive the Divine Guidance. He teaches us to think on our own, not blindly believe Him or anyone else.”

“Yes, how wonderful it is! And this friend of Him, whom we were visiting, after all is studying from our Master, although he does not live with Him! If such man, already so wise, looks for advice and instructions from God through the books of our Master, then how lucky we are that we are close to Him and can learn from Him every day!

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