From the Galpoghor Series:
Loving the Master
In the distant past, there lived a great sage by name Maharishi Kanaada. He enriched India's storehouse of knowledge by contributing one of the six darshanas the knowledge of specialization. He had many disciples, both male and female, and all of them were very devoted to him.
Among them, one was a beautiful lady, who attended to his needs with devotion. Gradually she developed a great love for him. But she could not give expression to it, for fear of rejection by him or ridicule by others.
However, one day, when she was alone with the master, she picked up courage and said, “Oh, master! I am deeply in love with you and feel like giving myself up to you. Can you please accept me?”
The master was amused at this sudden outburst from her, and kept silent for some time. In the meantime, this news spread like wildfire and all the other disciples crowded outside the cottage unobserved, but intent on knowing the master's mind.
“I am glad to know”, said the master with a smile on his face, “that you are in love with me. But you also know, that I am in love with the whole world, including you. As you are well aware, all the devotees are also in love with me. What is so special about your love?”
Now the lady was a little confused and did not know how to make her intentions more clear, since she thought, everyone understands about love. She also became conscious of so many eyes and ears in hiding, which were waiting for an answer from the master.
Amused at her confusion, the master continued, “When you said, that you loved me, you only meant that you wanted me. When you declared, that you are giving yourself up to me, you only meant, that you want to possess me for yourself. It also means, that you do not really know, what a master is. However, you are a devoted disciple, and I do not want to displease you. You can have me, if you come to my cottage tomorrow, when I am alone.”
On hearing these words of acceptance from the master, the pretty lady ran out of the cottage, full of joy, while the other disciples dispersed from their hiding. The lady disciples in particular were full of envy, and were fully determined to have their share of the cake also, the following day.
And so it came to pass, that the next day the young lady made herself more pretty, and quietly went into the cottage of the master, when she thought no one was around. But the others had already gathered there and stationed themselves in hiding.
Coming in, the lady found the master alone in samadhi, at the far end of the hall, with a halo around him. Full of joy, she ran to him and embraced him with all fervor. But lo! To her horror, she found that she was only hugging herself! What she thought was her master was only space-something that she could neither catch nor contain.
In spite of her best efforts, she was only trying to possess space. After sometime, she became tired and confused and then peals of laughter emanated from all around the room.
"My dear devotee", said the master's voice. "You had forgotten the basic truth that the master is and can be nobody's personal property, though he belongs to everyone. He is like the Divine, which is present every-where and yet not available anywhere. He is the path to your destination, but he is not your destiny. He is an opening for your vision, but not a picture for your view. Share Me with everyone, but do not try to secure me for yourself! Try to realize me within yourself."
At the revelation of this knowledge, the lady, who had been full of frustration a short while ago, became full of joy and was now joined by all the other devotees, who crowed in the hall, to sing in praise of the great master. Slowly, the formless frame of the sage took form and joined in the celebration.
This story from the ancient scriptures reveals, what is meant by "Loving the Master", and how it is different from the other forms of relationships, which we are aware of.
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