1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

On Mastery July 1, 2013


image by axinia

If you are the master of a great factory, and all the machines work by your will, are you happy, restful and peaceful when you come home? You may be the master of a whole army or of a whole nation, or of many nations – when you are at home, are you peaceful and happy? The answer is “no”, and this shows us that another mastery is needed. A man may be the master of a whole army, but if he has a stroke or paralysis all of his mastership is gone and he can do nothing. It shows us that this mastership is passing. Mastery of the self is needed. It is not more difficult to gain than the other mastership, but a man will never give as much will power and spend as many pounds tomorrow. The results of the other mastery are much subtler, much less perceptible.

This mastery is taught by those who are born to be masters, to those who are inclined this way. It is taught by repose and by control of the activity, which keeps everything in this universe in movement.

This mastery is difficult to gain in the world. At every step it becomes more difficult, but you cannot run away to the caves and mountains; you must stay where you are. If you ran away and lived in the caves and mountains, the attractions of the world would draw you back again. In running away there is no safety; you would try to be content in the mountains, but your eyes would long to see the world again, your taste, which was used to different food, nice food, would not be satisfied with leaves and fruits.

Life in the world, which brings a person into contact with all sorts of undesirable people and affairs, makes spirituality more difficult, but at the same time it affords a test of will and of spirituality. One may be more spiritual in a cave in the mountains, in silence and in solitude, but there one will never be able to test one’s spirituality: whether it is strong enough to bear the contact of a contrary environment. To be ready for all responsibilities and all activities, to have a family and enemies, to say to the worldly person, “I can do all that you do, and more than that,” and at the same time remain spiritual – that is the greatest spirituality.

To be without cares or occupations may make spirituality easier, but when the mind is not occupied very undesirable thoughts and desires come. It is mostly those who have no work and no occupation, or who have a master, whom they must please, has less opportunity to following what is not desirable.

Reading the life of Shiva, the Lord of all Yogis, one will see that after a long, long time of Yoga he was tempted. Likewise, Vishvamitre Rishi, after a very long time of Yoga in the wilderness, was tempted by the fair ones from Indra, the decree of whose court has always been to hinder the advancement in spirituality of the rare ones. Though Machandra was a very great Yogi, he also was tempted and taken away form the desert by Mahila, a Hindu queen. Brought to her court he was married and made king, and among the flattering surroundings and luxurious environments he lost all his great powers achieved in the heart of the wilderness. It is easier to gain mastery in the wilderness, away from all temptations, but the mastery you gain in the world is of much more value; for the former is easily thrown down by a slight stroke, while the latter, achieved in the crowd, will last forever.

The world will always call you away, because whatever a person does he wants to take his friend with him. If he drinks, he will say, “Come and drink with me.” If he gambles, he will say, “Come, let us gamble together, and enjoy ourselves.” If he goes to the theatre, he will say, “Come with me, let us go to the theatre, we shall enjoy it.” So the world, busy with its selfish, unimportant occupations, will surely drag you towards itself.

This can only be overcome by the will. A person must have a will, and he must have confidence in his will. This idea is pictured by Hindu poets as a swimmer swimming against the tide. They picture the world as Bhavasagara, the sea of life, and the swimmer in it is the mystic, who attains perfection by swimming against the tide, who in the end arrives on the shore of perfection.

In all our business and occupations we should keep our thought fixed on God. Then, in all our business, whatever it is, we shall see only God. Our mistake is that we take responsibility for the sake of responsibility, and recognize cares and business as ours – losing the thought of God.

The Sufis, considering their life as a journey toward the spiritual goal, recite in order to awaken their group to this idea, “Hosh bar dam, nazr bar gadam, khilwat dar anjuman”

Which means: let the breath be God-conscious at each swing; watch thy steps and realize who walks, keeping thine eyes lowered that the tempting world may not attract them; realize thyself amid this crowd of the world of variety.

Taken from “The Sufi message of Inayat Khan”


8 Responses to “On Mastery”

  1. this is what Mother says and we pray in one of the step while putting right hand on bhavsagara or Guru principle of self realization ….Mother please make us of our self Guru …mastery on guru principle itself is very big thing on spirituality ladder which make us to introspect on every step we take while daily leaving …

    • Guru as Mother
      Within us as you know, in all of us there lies the principle of Guru. It’s very interesting to notice the Guru Principle being drawn beautifully round the Nabhi chakra. We never see any chakras connected with the Guru Principle. You see Nabhi, and around is the Bhavasagara. So this Bhavasagara which is the Ocean of Illusion cannot be the Guru. So there are hidden chakras within this Bhavasagara within us, which are to be awakened and to be brought to light, to be manifested. As you can see that the limits of this principle are done by the movement of the Swadisthana chakra. …

      As you start growing into more creativity, the more people you create. And the central point of this one [Guru Principle] is the Nabhi in the center, which is like a big pivotal point on which the whole of this movement takes place. Nabhi chakra as you know, you get it from your mother to begin with. So a guru has to be the mother, he must have the qualities of the mother – not the modern mothers, but in the real sense of the word: that a guru has to love her children and has to have strength and courage to correct her children. And the earnest desire should be to put the children onto proper lines to guide them and to help them to rise. So the first nourishment comes to us even when we are in the womb of the mother, through the mother; and so you are the mother though you may be a man or a woman, but in quality you are the mother. And whatever you think or whatever you do has an effect on the child. The way you behave, the way you talk, the way you live, everything has a bearing on the development of the child.

      H.H.Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, extracts from Guru Puja 1989

  2. axinia Says:

    Thank you Mahesh, these are wonderful quotes.

  3. Beautifully written Axinia. One has to master the Self first, otherwise you can’t ever master anything else. It’s like when you’re on an airplane and are told that in case of an emergency you must first put the oxygen mask on your own face, and only then assist others! It’s a very good metaphor I think; you cannot do anything for others until you truly master yourself.

    Thank you again for the beautiful insights, and may God keep on inspiring you.

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