No matter what difference of opinion there is between you and such friends, there is always understanding and communication. In that relationship, regardless of differing views, you have mutual respect and cherish your friendship above everything else. True friendship established in God is the only relationship that is lasting.
If you proffer friendship, you must mean it. You must not show kindness or cooperation outside, and inside feel the opposite. Spiritual law is very powerful. Don’t go against spiritual principles. Never deceive or be treacherous. As a friend, know when to mind your own business, understand your place; know when you should have the willingness to cooperate, and when you should have the will to non-cooperate.
It is wrong to speak the truth when, by doing so, one betrays another person unnecessarily and to no good purpose. Suppose a man drinks, but tries to hide it from the rest of the world. You know about his weakness, and so in the name of truthfulness you announce to your friends, “You know that so and so drinks don’t you?” Such a remark is uncalled for; one should not be busy about other people’s business. Be protective about others’ personal faults, so long as they harm no one else. Speak privately to an offender about his failings, if you have an opportunity or responsibility to help him; but never, under pretext of helping someone, speak deliberately to hurt him. You will only “help” him to become your enemy. You may also extinguish any desire that he might have had to become better.
Though M came across many saints and sages who helped him in their own way during his years of extensive wanderings as a spiritual seeker, he never regarded any of them, albeit his respect for them, as his guru. He knew he would have no guru other than the Master (as M calls him) whom he had seen, as it were in a vision in his childhood, and who had promised to be M’s spiritual mentor. However, M did not deliberately seek him out, confident that his Master would meet him at the appropriate time. In the event, not only did he meet him many times, but once, on their third encounter, they spent a fortnight together in a cave at Kedarnath. This stay turned out to be a watershed in M’s life; the course his life took from then on changed and led him where he is now.
The following chapter is a recollected transcript of the dialogue between the Master and M. The latter asserts that many of his doubts were cleared by these sessions of questions and answers stretching over the length of his stay. To reproduce it in the same format is warranted by a noble tradition—a tradition by which most religious literature of the world (the Bhagavad Gita to name but one) is handed down in the form of catechisms, prashnottara. An advantage of this method is that, as a form of communication, it is far superior to a discourse. In this method, the teacher answers questions from an earnest student rather than haranguing a medley of captive students with different degrees of interest in the subject. Hopefully the spirit of the dialogue informs this reproduction.
There is a magnet in your heart that will attract true friends. That magnet is unselfishness, thinking of others first. Very few persons are free from self-centeredness. Yet one can develop the quality of unselfishness very easily if he practices thinking of others first.
You cannot attract true friends without removing from your won character the stains of selfishness and other unlovely qualities. The greatest art of making friends is to behave divinely yourself—to be spiritual, to be pure, to be unselfish….The more your human shortcomings drop away and divine qualities come into your life, the more friends you will have.
True friendship consists in being mutually useful in offering one’s friend good cheer in distress, sympathy in sorrow, advice in trouble, and material help in times of real need….One who has given his friendship to another gladly foregoes selfish pleasures or self-interest for the sake of his friend’s happiness, without consciousness of loss or sacrifice, and without counting the cost.
7. The Master
Once you have decided after careful reflection, treat him with the greatest respect and beg of him to accept you as a disciple. You are fortunate if he does, because a true master is not fond of collecting hundreds of disciples. Rarely does he agree to be the guru.
A guide is necessary in almost all cases because you are starting on a voyage of largely uncharted territory. You may find here and there greatly advanced spiritual beings who do not seem to have had a guide. They are exceptions, and though they may not have a guide in human form, understand that God Himself guides them and looks after their needs.
Don’t imitate them, for they belong to a special category. Do not even imitate your own teacher for you are not he. Follow his teachings and instructions instead and you’ll bloom into a master in your own original way and not turn out to be a faint imitation; a shadow of the original.
A master may be young, old, male, female, fair or dark. The externals do not matter at all. What matters is his inner spiritual status. He may, if he so decies, help you wipe your heart clear of all the accumulated vasanas and make you free.
May such a master guide you!
Friendship is God’s trumpet call, bidding the soul destroy the partitions of ego-consciousness that separate it from all other souls and from Him.
Friendship is the purest form of God’s love because it is born of the heart’s free choice and is not imposed upon us by familial instinct. Ideal friends never part; nothing can sever their fraternal relationship.
The treasure of friendship is your richest possession, because it goes with you beyond this life. All the true friends you have made you will meet again in the home of the Father, for real love is never lost.
When perfect friendship exists either between two hearts or within a group of hearts in a spiritual relationship, such friendship perfects each individual.
7. The Master
When the time is ripe, the master comes. You don’t have to search for him in Himalayas. He may be living next door but you may not know. Your ignorance and arrogance effectively help him to remain hidden.
If you are a sincere aspirant, if your only goal in life is to meet your beloved ‘Self’, if you constantly meditate and pray for guidance, the master shall surely come—if so required.
You may or may not recognise him but he guides you silently. The true master is the Lord Himself who takes on various forms to guide the devotee.
Test the master well before you accept him. If there is even a trace of lust or selfishness in him, he is not of the highest status. Test him thoroughly but have patience. Do not judge in haste, for, many a time the actions of a master have been misunderstood. Mysterious are his ways. Do not judge his actions without finding out the motives.
Unconditional Love: Perfecting Human Relationships
when two people feel an unconditional attraction for each other, and are ready to sacrifice for one another, they are truly in love.
To wish for perfection for the loved one, and to feel pure joy in thinking of that soul, is divine love; and that is the love of true friendship.
Meditate together every morning, and especially at night….Have a little family altar where both husband and wife, and children, gather to offer deep devotion unto God and unite their souls forever in ever-joyous Cosmic Consciousness….The more you meditate together, the deeper your love for one another will grow.