Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Disciple's Vow

At times I feel overwhelmed, alone and afraid. I don't even recognize myself sometimes and I feel as if I've transformed into an entirely different person. I've learned that, like a marriage, it is impossible for one to truly know their spiritual partner. One could spend his or her entire life with someone and still have a shallow or incomplete understanding of that individual. A spiritual master may see only what representation the disciple portrays of him/herself. (The eternal spiritual master who resides in the heart, Sri Guru, however, is never fooled.)
Disciples frequently lack the maturity or complexity to understand the desire and wishes of the spiritual master. Likewise, it is daunting to understand the Self. While the pact between master and disciple is before God to each other, allegiance in spiritual life is also an allegiance to the Self. The disciple is obligated to act always in his spiritual best interest. By no exaggeration, it is the primary priority of the initiated disciple to remain chaste to her eternal spiritual identity and duty. Failure to do so would hamper all progress and lead her astray; in fact, such misgivings could turn her away from the spiritual path entirely if given to offenses and accumulated misconceptions.
I do not know my Self. I do not understand my Self. I've often succumbed to doubt, temptation, fear and, most of all, hesitation. I fear to act, speak, feel or think for fear that it may not be palatable to others. I fear that my actions could be misconstrued or condemned or deemed reckless. I've found few things that truly bring me joy-- music, martial arts, and dedicated study. I've found that often I learn more valuable lessons in pursuit of mundane knowledge than in a dry discourse. I've seen drug addicts, addicts of the flesh, gamblers and so-called lost souls with more humanity, compassion and wisdom to offer than even the most weathered practitioner in temple. I find their lessons most valuable, relevant and influential-- for they remind me that the Lord can lead anyone back Home just as easily as illusion can lead her astray.
O Keshava! I've seen You staring back at me in the pages of a book. I have seen the Lord-- He was hidden between scribbled notes on the page. The Lord was found in careful arithmetic and calculations, in the relaxed breath between poetic phrases, dancing amid notes on sheet music. He was intelligence, beauty, an exasperated sigh and fluent understanding breaching forth from the page. I felt the Divinity within myself, around me, encoded within the multiverse, and brimming forth unbounded! I felt alone in this realization as I feared no one else had this same vision and yet I felt swaddled, safe in the Divine Feminine's arms.
Of all my identities, I found that the one I treasure, protect and keep hidden is the one that I should nurture and cultivate. She is locked away in a tower, accessible only with great effort. She is appalled and frustrated and distrustful of the outside world. She lives in her own imagination, in a fantastic faery-tale realm with ivory towers that offer her fortification from the grotesque. She is alone and peaceful, and yet restless and yearning for escape. She remains chaste, loyal and faithful to her spiritual master and awaits patiently his orders and instructions!

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