You may think the universe is a chaotic place ruled by chance, but that is due to partial understanding. Actually everything happens in an orderly way according to a profound set of laws. These laws are so deep that only the wisest can perceive them. Ordinary scientists are merely scratching the surface of physical phenomena; but the laws of consciousness, of karma and rebirth are known only to the enlightened ones, the Masters.
One of these subtle laws is that in every generation, a World Teacher appears to guide everyone to enlightenment and liberation. His message and style are pitched exactly to needs of that generation. For the universe is not unfair, nor uncaring; everyone is given the chance to hear about this Master and become free. Of course, most do not take the opportunity, but that is another matter.
A Master is one who has mastered himself, has brought himself into tune with the whole. He does not claim mastery of anything or anyone else, because that is the law. We are given this six-foot body that is a perfect reflection of the whole, and our duty is to use it to understand the whole, to realize the truths of existence and attain Nirvana.
Even this body is not fully under our control. We cannot choose to beat our hearts, or to digest our food; we cannot turn our senses on or off at will. Try to sit silently and stop all thoughts—it is impossible, at least in the beginning. The mind is not under our control; we are under its control. Like a radio or TV it goes on chattering; we are powerless to stop it.
The Master has not only mastered himself, he has died to himself. He has no ego, no tiny individual ‘I’ struggling, and mostly failing, to attain its small selfish desires. Rather, he has fully surrendered to the whole, and as a result the whole speaks through him. His desires are the desires of the whole, his feelings and thoughts are those of the whole. He has no separate interest, no selfish agenda.
The Master has become empty, an open channel to the eternal silence and unlimited emptiness of the whole. Thus he becomes a portal for others to attain as he has attained. Of course, there are degrees of enlightenment. Any particular Master generally can bring disciples only up to the level he himself has attained. The rare exceptions are due to an extraordinary disciple, who surrenders so deeply that he surpasses his Master.
A Buddha is rare; an Avatar even rarer—despite the avatar factories in India that churn them out faster than chapatis. But those are phony avatars; real ones appear at most once in a yuga. Most Masters are simply Arahants, accomplished in meditation and self-realization: they have realized that there is no such thing as a ‘self’. But even such ordinary Masters live in a dimension of consciousness inaccessible to ordinary people.
Now when a Master like this attains he has to make a choice: either to teach or not to teach. If he chooses not to teach, he may lead a life of quiet ecstasy, passing unknown into silence at the end. But if he decides to teach, to share what he has realized, he creates a storm around himself. Just as a supermassive black hole can marshal the matter of an entire galaxy by its gravity, a Master pulls everyone into his orbit. Guru means heavy, and the Master is the heaviest of all, for he is a gateway into the All.
So the life of a Master Teacher is never dull; in fact it is the opposite, full of sound and fury, and shining with a strange otherworldly beauty. People are either attracted or repelled by a Master. They are either hot or cold, almost never lukewarm. The Master creates conditions such that, just as he has chosen whether or not to teach, you must choose whether or not to become a disciple. Most choose against, because they want to maintain their individual ‘self’. Of course this also means retaining their suffering, but being ignorant, they don’t realize that.
This is quite visible in the private life of a Master, especially before he declares himself publicly, makes his lion’s roar to the world. Many ordinary people who encounter a Master before his public phase ruin their lives by offending him. They either disrespect him by treating him like an ordinary man, or they become envious of his high intelligence and other attributes.
Either way, although the Master may not take offense, the universe he represents certainly does, and the karma generated by their thoughtless and insensitive acts destroys them. We have seen this happen many times. In our short life there have been fortunate to associate with two World Teachers. One taught Bhakti and the other, a modified form of Buddhism.
The forms they practiced and taught don’t matter as much as the fact that they attained enlightenment through it. Their messages were perfectly attuned to the needs of the generations they served. Both were true international World Teachers, traveling everywhere and giving their enlightening teachings to all. But those who opposed them—and there were many, both outside and inside their organizations—were invariably destroyed.
The history of the great World Teachers reveals a key to the dynamics of society. Jesus came, and was tortured and killed by the Jews and Romans. A century or two later, and the Jews were scattered, sold into slavery by the Romans, who converted their whole empire to Christianity. Then when they altered Jesus’ teaching, their empire was destroyed.
When Gautama Buddha appeared in India, the Brahmans opposed him. Nevertheless his teaching conquered all of India and a great deal of the east besides. The Brahmans, out of envy committed terrible atrocities against the Buddhists in league with the Mohammedans. And from the most affluent country in Asia, India became a poorhouse. It was invaded and plundered by every conquerer from Alexander to the British. Now India is ravished, with no sense of culture or direction, blindly imitating western ways.
This is the justice of the universe. The World Teachers, their message of enlightenment, and the reactions of the people to them are the hidden forces that shape the great events of the world.