International Self-preparation Group
Message from Krishnaji III
I think that for those who are Indians, the idea
of the Masters, the idea of Perfect Beings who have been human and
are still human, is quite normal and obvious and natural; while it
is especially difficult for those who have been brought up in the West really
to comprehend this idea. They want convincing; they want positive proofs.
They want a Master to appear and tell them: "I exist; follow Me".
I remember, the last time I was crossing from America, one or two people, Americans, began to talk to me, and I think they typified the attitude of the West and of America. They noticed that I was different, that I was a vegetarian, that I was better mannered, that I held myself somewhat aloof - not necessarily out of pride and conceit, but merely that I did not do all the things that it was the fashion to do on the steamer; and one young friend said: "Why do you not enjoy yourself? Why do you not behave like the rest of us? Why don't you smoke? Why don't you flirt? Why don't you do everything that we are accustomed to do?" When he asked me that question, it made me wonder why I did not do those things. I could not reply that it was because I had such wonderful ideals that I was above such enjoyments! I had no proper answer to give on the spur of the moment: but I suppose the fact was that, because I held certain beliefs, those other things no longer gave me pleasure. It means of course, a difference in evolution; it means that one has in a way outgrown the things which other people enjoy. I am not conceited about it; please do not ever think that of me, because I am not like that. Then, two or three days later, he insisted on talking to me again about various things, and towards the end of our interview, when we had got to the point of talking quite naturally to one another, I put before him the idea of the Masters; and the first thing he said to me was: "But how do you know? You have no positive proof; you might have been deluded; you might have had hallucinations; You may be wrong". Then, for the first time, it struck me that Westerners, Europeans, people who have been brought up along different lines from ours, want proofs, they want definite concrete definitions of the Master. The Master must be endowed with certain qualities, with a certain environment, before they can recognise Him as a Master. And it is very difficult for anyone, especially for me, to give proofs of the existence of a Master, to prove that He is a human being, and yet that He has powers which we have not. For those of us, who are Indians, the conception is a perfectly natural one. We can no more doubt it than we could doubt that the sun rises and that the sun sets.
Now, of course in India there is also sometimes scepticism, and the desire for proof. But there is always in the background of the Indian mind and imagination the idea that the Masters do exist and that they are attainable; that you can approach them and become like Them. I have been brought up in the idea that the Masters do exist, although naturally I have had my own doubts like everybody else. But I have conquered my doubts, not because I have had tremendous proofs, not because the Masters have appeared to me, not because They have done certain things to me and made me see Them, but because I cannot help it. I cannot help believing in Them. My whole faith, my whole imagination, my whole heart, my whole affection and devotion are behind that belief, because it is in the natural sequence of things; it is more natural for me to believe than not to believe. To me such an idea has not got to be proved.
I think the Western mind, and in some few cases the Eastern mind also, has a special difficulty with regard to this question. To my mind it is a form of disease, and I think you can only get over it, if you appreciate the beautiful, the real, the attractive side of life, and treat the idea of the Masters as something not extraneous, but natural. You do not doubt that the moon, the sunlight, and the stars are really beautiful in themselves. Nobody has to come and point out to you that a starlit night is really wonderful. You feel it instinctively. You appreciate it; you want to be alone in order still better to appreciate such beauty. It is the same thing with the Master. Whenever I see a beautiful thing, a great mountain, the sea, still water, the sky or the flowers, I try to image to myself that the Master must embody all those things, that the Master must have those superficial beauties before He can have the inner beauty, that He must be the child, that He must be the stars, the daylight; He must be the embodiment of everything. If you use your imagination in the right way, I think the idea that the Masters are different from us becomes rather absurd.
As I said, if you believe in such a Master definitely enough, you make Him so real that He becomes like one of us. You must materialize Him and yet not concretise Him. You must draw Him and yet not paint Him in exact colours. If you are able to do that, if you have the capacity to do that, then the Masters become real. To most of us at present They are not real. You may be on the Probationary Path or high Initiates, but if They are not real to you, They are not a part of you. We do not enjoy Them, as we enjoy a real friend, a real brother. We do not feel one with Them; They are still on the circumference instead of being in the centre. And to make the Masters become a part of us, to make Them become one with us, is the primary duty of any pupil, of any Initiate, or of any other person in the world who wishes to place his feet on the Path.
I often feel, when people get up and talk about the Master, that they have not really grasped the idea - that they are still searching for Him in the dark, that they are still groping for Him all over the place, in books, in solitary walks, in love-affairs and so on. You do not find the Master in that way, any more than you would find the real beauty of life by sitting in a room and studying. You must have a certain sense of greatness, a certain sense of imagination, a certain sense of beauty; in other words, you must be evolved before you can reach the Master.
You can only get the reality of the Master, you can only feel Him, if you have the appreciation of the beauty of life. I think sometimes that the people who are real artists, real painters, real admirers of beauty, are nearer to the Masters than many of Their professed Followers, because the artist has the elan, the spring that will take him to the heart of things.
If you can grasp that fundamental idea that the Masters are not strangers, not people who live Far away, or who are entirely different from us, then They become real to you. They become more real if you treat Them as you treat your dearly loved Friends, as you treat your brother or wife or child. You do not show them only one side of your life and hide the other side. You are never unnatural to your brother or your wife or, your child or your mother. You are just natural in your house. In the same way must we treat the Masters.
Usually if you go to a meeting where the words "the Masters" are uttered, people at once put up their hands and bow their heads. There is a false devotion, a false idea of the Masters. I am urging this so strongly, because we are getting more and more into this way of thinking. The moment we are happy, the moment we are natural, the moment we are really affectionate and appreciate beauty, the Masters become real to us.
Of course it does not mean that we must not study, that we must not meditate on pictures which are centres of force; those are all helpful, but we must not be satisfied with them. We must find the real source of the rivers, we must find the real mountain from which everything flows. Until we have done that, until we have been able to soar to that height, the Masters and the Path and the idea of Service are not real.
In my messages I shall explain, if I can, why I do certain things, why I feel in a certain way, and why I think in a certain way. It is not, as I repeat over and over again, because I am big or different from everybody else, but because it is my nature to take things in that way. For example people say to me: "How wonderful of you to have got over your brother's death!", as though I had done something extraordinary. When we suffer there is always a sore; there always will be a sore as long as we are human beings; but the attitude of mind and emotions which aggravates that sore should not exist, and that is what we have got to learn. As long as we are living human beings with ordinary human faults and sufferings, we shall always have sores, we shall always feel pain. But the training begins when you are able to avoid increasing those sores, when you can avoid aggravating them or making them more hideous than they are already. If we wish to become pupils of the Master, if we desire to learn what the Path means, we must understand these little things. We must not struggle against what is inevitable, but must be clever enough to yield to it and, by so yielding, to disarm it of its power to hurt.
Then the Master becomes real. I assure you I have not seen the Master, as others may have done, or as they so frequently say they have. But I defy anybody to say that the Master is more real to him than He is to me. It does not mean that He must appear before me, that He must show Himself, that He must display His qualities and His wonderful aura, that He must show Himself in His physical body. Those things do not make the Master real to me. It is the idea that the Masters are there, that They are beautiful, that They are the perfection of myself, that appeals to me. That They are human, that They can enjoy themselves better than I can, that They can suffer, (if They do suffer,) that They know what it means to climb and to struggle - that is what appeals to me.
That is why to me the Masters are so real. For each one of us the proof of the reality of the Masters must come from within ourselves. It becomes unreal when you preach and lecture about it, for then it becomes at once an artificial thing. It is not necessary for me to tell you that at such and such a time the sun sets and the moon comes up and the stars show themselves. You know it, you see it, for yourselves. You do not need anybody else in the world to convince you of those ordinary physical things which exist around you, because you have been brought up with them, you have eyes to see, you observe, you learn to feel and to think for yourselves. It is the same about the Masters. They are not something that X or Y has to explain to you and to paint for you in colours. To each one of us the very idea itself should be sufficient, the very background of this idea should be sufficient. Just because my picture of the Masters satisfies me individually, it does not follow that it will satisfy each one of you; and I think it should not satisfy you, because each one of you has to attain these things for yourself.
Then the reality will become so intense that you can no longer doubt it. I dislike the word "doubt" because there is an implication that the thing in question may be real or not. When once you have seen the sea and felt its immense power, its potential dignity and its tremendous strength, you know, what it feels like to be the sea; but if you go to a person who has never seen the sea and tell Him all the wonderful things about it, about the life it contains, about its little ripples and its tremendous waves, of course he will doubt its reality and it is natural to doubt it. But if you take him to the sea and show it to him, although he may see it in a different way, although he may be attracted by things not noticed by you, yet he now knows what the sea is with its shifting sands. You must become the sea itself before you can know the feelings of the sea. You must be the drop of water before you can understand the greatness and the strength and the immensity of the ocean. So it is with the Master. Until you become one with the Master, a part of Him, you cannot comprehend Him. If you can do this, then life becomes easy and simple and really wonderful. It does not matter then what happens to you, for you just go on until you are the ocean, until you become the Master.