Michael Ribet is a long-time member of Science of Spirituality and a frequent speaker at local, national, and international spiritual and interfaith events. He will give a presentation, Benefits of Finding a Spiritual Guide, on Saturday, October 29, at 4:00 pm at the Naperville Center. (For details see the Events page.) All are welcome. In today’s post, Michael shares his experience of finding his own spiritual guide.
by Michael Ribet
From very early childhood, I was troubled by a deep spiritual yearning. I can remember when I was five or six years old, staring out the window and thinking that I needed to find a person who was directly connected to God. As I grew older and heard stories of various spiritual masters like Jesus and Buddha, one question came to my mind, again and again: “If God was so compassionate in those days, to send His person into the world, why not now?”
I was drawn to books and movies about the lives of mystics but never felt an interest in religious practices. It was always clear to me that all religions emanate from the same divine source. What I was looking for was a direct connection to that source. I didn’t know the word “guru” but used the word “messiah” to describe what I was yearning for.
When I was 19 years old and a sophomore in college, I met another person who was also seeking the same things. He told me that I should be vegetarian if I wanted to know God. When he said this, I was eating a hamburger. As I heard his words, I put it down and have never eaten meat again. A few months later, I followed this person to a meeting in New York City. It was the weekly “satsang,” held by the local disciples of Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj.
I listened with rapt attention to the words being read. I’d never heard anything like it before. Was this what I’d been looking for? I took a book written by the Master home with me. The name of the book was Godman. The very title was filled with promise. I got busy with final exams and couldn’t get to the book for a few weeks. The night that exams were done, I sat down with the book.
Once I started reading, I literally couldn’t stop. Everything that I had longed for and searched for jumped off the pages and directly into my heart. It was around 3:00 in the morning when I finished the book. As I closed it, I thought, “This is what I’ve been looking for all of my life.” I was certain that the book’s author, was to be my teacher, or Guru (the word he used in the book).
A few days later, I returned to the Satsang. I asked how to become a disciple. They told me that I could apply for initiation after I had been a vegetarian for some time. Fortunately, I had started that diet months earlier, so they gave me the application. I completed it and put it in the mail the same day. A few months later, I was notified that I had been accepted and the following Sunday, I became a disciple of my spiritual Master, Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj.
At my initiation, I was granted the experience of inner Light and Sound, just as I had been promised. I saw stars within and heard the blast of a trumpet. Since then, I’ve lived a blessed life. Outwardly, I’ve had my share of misfortunes and difficulties, but inwardly, the love of my Guru has carried me through. When things are most difficult outwardly, that love seems strongest.
My teacher left the physical earth in 1974, but he left me in the hands of his successors, Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj and the living Master, His Holiness Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj. All three of my gurus have held me close. I’ve experienced their love, grace and inspiration at every turn which life has taken. They have taught me through their talks, both in large public gatherings and in intimate conversations. They have inspired me through their shining example. But for me the greatest experience and the way that I have received the most, is through their loving glances. When a Master who comes directly from the Divine, looks into your eyes, the love of God pours directly into your soul. It is an indescribable experience. I once wrote in a poem, “My life is now a journey from glance to glance.”
I have learned that the two greatest blessings that a soul can receive are to get the human birth and to receive initiation from the living Master of the time. As recipients of these two great boons, we don’t need to ask for anything more, because whatever is in our best interest will be provided by our spiritual Master.
My gurus, have never taken any money for their many gifts, they give freely and ask for nothing in return. The living Master, Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj, travels all over the world speaking to audiences large and small and granting initiation into the inner Light and Sound. He has initiated over 500,000 people since he began his spiritual mission in 1989. Inspired by his grace, many of his disciples also give talks all over the world.
The single best moment of our lives is the day that we meet the true Master. It always fills me with joy when I see the sincere seekers after truth receiving the gift of Holy Initiation which will ultimately lead us to reunion with our Creator.