Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj used an interesting expression in his last Saturday evening question and answer session, and he repeated it again during his Sunday discourse. He said that at the time of initiation into the Sant Mat teachings, the spiritual Master “imparts some of his own consciousness” into those he initiates.
Some may view initiation as a purely outer event, through which the theory and technique of Shabd Meditation are conveyed. That is certainly part of what occurs. But initiation has a deeper, more esoteric dimension, and this statement hints at it.
To understand the incredible blessing that initiation represents, we need to try to understand who a spiritual Master really is. At the outer level we will first likely view the Master as a teacher. But the true significance of a spiritual Master and the remarkable benefits he bestows, becomes apparent only with inner progress, as through meditation we penetrate the thick curtains of matter and mind, realize our nature as soul, and experience the divine nature of the Master.
Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj writes:
After we take initiation, and have a firsthand experience of the Light and Sound of God, we realize we have received something from the Master that we did not get anywhere else. As we continue to meditate and follow the spiritual path, we realize that we are receiving more and more gifts from the Master. We are having meditation experiences within.
As the Master continues to pour out love and grace to us, we start developing love for the Master. This love grows with each passing year. As we become more seasoned on the path, we realize how much sacrifice the Master is making for us. We continue to grow deeper love for the Master.
When we go within and meet the Master’s radiant, spiritual form and he travels with us as our guide on the journey back to God, we start to recognize who he is and develop more and more love for him.
It is when we attain the ultimate goal of union of our soul with God that we finally recognize who the Master is. At that stage we experience oneness and the ultimate consummation of spiritual love.
The consciousness the Master imparts during initiation is the great catalyst to our spiritual evolution. The uplift we receive is not coming from the physical person of a Master. Rather, it is born of the power of God with which a spiritual Master is fully in tune. That is the singular divine energy through which enlightened beings throughout history have awakened humanity to the eternal truths of inner revelation.
Mystic literature tells us that a spiritual Master does not add anything that we don’t already possess. As soul, as drops of the ocean that is God, we have all the attributes of divinity within us, but those attributes are yet unrevealed. We are like a winter garden. All the color and fragrance of Spring exists as potential in the seeds in the frozen soil. All that is required is the Sun’s warmth, through which the garden blossoms and flourishes. The consciousness the Master imparts at initiation is that Sun.
Again, Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj:
When there is a sincere cry of the heart to know truth, God puts the seeker in touch with a spiritual Master who can awaken the buds of the heart to lasting happiness. The seeker is led to a Master, who grants initiation into the Light and Sound of God.
Through the spiritual radiation and attention of the Master, the disciple’s inner eye and inner ear are opened to see the divine Light already within him or her and to hear the divine Sound reverberating ceaselessly within us.
That experience is like the blossoming of Spring when all the flowers bloom where there were once thorns. The heightened ecstasy of Spring with its magnificent colors and fragrant scents arouses our passions. Life takes on a new depth of joy and we feel intoxicated. This is the symbolism that gives us a taste of what ecstasy we experience when the Master opens our floral buds at the time of initiation and transports us into a world of spiritual delights and divine ecstasies.
Those who are initiated take great comfort in the closeness and certainty of that inner reservoir of divine consciousness. In all our activities, but especially in meditation, we can turn to, repose in, and rely on that uplifting power.
For seekers interested in the next step in their spiritual growth, this benefit of a self-realized Master deserves deep reflection. The history of esoteric literature emphasizes again and again that nothing speeds our spiritual development like the sublime influence of a competent Master.
As the great mystic poet Rumi wrote:
The only truth I know in this word is my spiritual Master:
The light of his Sun has never shone upon anything passing without making it eternal.
—Translation by Jonathan Starr