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The Divine Life and Work of the Spiritual Master
(Excerpt)

Avatar Adi Da Samraj
January, 1982

This talk was published in The Bodily Location Of Happiness.

The Divine Life and Work of the Spiritual MasterThe Appearance of the Spiritual Master in this world is the sacrificial embodiment of the Divine Consciousness, or the "Purusha," as it is named in the Hindu tradition. Such a life is Divine, but it is also paradoxically associated with all the limitations of human existence. I entered this world without dissociation from the Divine Conscious Being, the Great Purusha, the ultimate Divine, but I have also been given all the limits of human experience. The force of the Divine Consciousness keeps me Awakened and transforms the process of life as I live it, but I must also suffer the limitations of born existence in the process. I have suffered a human lifetime as if I were unenlightened.

This is how the Purusha breaks through space-time and into human time, by taking up precisely the limitations, even the unconsciousness and the un-Enlightenment, of the human individual. Yet the force of the Realization of the Divine is so profound that the ordinary destiny of the human individual or incarnation is constantly undermined and his or her limitations transcended to the point that suddenly the same human being, with full consciousness, Realizes that he is the Purusha. Such a Realization is given occasionally in human time, and such is my own Realization. I was born Franklin Jones, on Long Island, but the process of my existence has yielded a more and more profound Awakening that I am God, that I am the Purusha.

The Divine Being in the form of the Spiritual Master is Transfigured during this lifetime and Awakens to his or her Divine function. Likewise, every individual, every devotee, Awakens, through right relationship to that One, to the ultimate destiny and to the God-Realizing process of existence. God does the work of the Spiritual Master, God creates the lifetime of the Spiritual Master, and God is Awakening as the Spiritual Master. The birth of the Spiritual Master is extraordinary! The Divine Conscious Being appears in the world with the same limitations with which all other beings are born, yet such an individual is more and more profoundly Awakened with full consciousness of the Divine Truth that "I am that One."

The ordinary devotee does not Awaken at birth with that consciousness. Only God, the Divine Conscious Being, Awakens with that consciousness in the plane of human beings. The devotee Awakens to the Divine at last through surrender, yes this is the Great Secret of the Way of Truth, the Way that I Teach. But the Divine Consciousness or Spiritual Master is a specific function among human beings. A handful of people in all the eons of human time have been the Purusha, the Consciousness "I am God." Only a fraction of the billions and billions of births of beings that have occurred on the Earth alone have been the birth of the Divine Consciousness. Only the Spiritual Master is that birth.

It is the unique function of the Purusha to save the souls, the "jivas," the un-Enlightened beings. Yet, through ecstasy, through mindless surrender to God, un-Enlightened beings may also Realize God, even as the Spiritual Master has done. The Divine Consciousness is Realizable ultimately by all beings. In the play of existence, however, the Spiritual Master is a different kind of being, a fact that the Spiritual Master must eventually realize! My life has been a gradual Awakening to this unique function, an Awakening that is associated with more and more power. The more I yield to this Divine function, the more powers become available to me and the more complex becomes my play with others.

You must understand that the unique status of the Spiritual Master is not given for his own sake. The Spiritual Master is not a human being with a superior egoic consciousness that he or she is God. The ego of such a one is destroyed, transcended in the process of his or her lifetime. The situation of the Spiritual Master is not as you might imagine. You may be thinking: "We all know you are not suffering like us! We poor bastards are the ones who are suffering you've got it made!" Well, such thinking is not true at all. The lifetime of the Spiritual Master is only sacrifice, and therefore more a torment than the lifetime of the ordinary soul. Read the biographies of the great Spiritual Masters. They all tell the same story of a life that is terrible in some ways, a life in which frequently they are exploited and rejected, and in which they are under the constant threat of domination by worldly and negative forces. Such individuals are always dealing with great forces, not just mastering their rejection by human beings, but tussling with demoniac energy. Such is also the case in my lifetime! What you see in my lifetime is the biography of the Divine Being. This is how the Divine Being must live among human beings.

People who are not truly devotees often feel that they must become like the Spiritual Master, that they must have the status of the Spiritual Master. Such people envy the Spiritual Master, and they will not surrender to him. They only want from him a token, a bit of magic, that will somehow make them like he is. But understand this: No un-Enlightened soul wants to be in the position of the Spiritual Master! If you understood my constant experience, you would not envy it nor could you endure it! One must be Helped by great Divine Power in order to endure the events associated with such a unique life, in order to pass through such events with a clear understanding of what they are as a Divine Process. Only the Divine has the power to endure the complete revolution of consciousness. Only the Divine has the power to confront the entire play of manifest existence and master all the forces to which beings are subject. The Spiritual Master engages those forces in actual warfare, whereas devotees in general perceive the same forces to be the play of their natural experience. The devotee does not struggle with the power that produces weather or with the physics of light personified as self-conscious beings, although the devotee is also somehow involved in the same play. The Purusha, the Divine, is the victorious Warrior, the Master of all life.

The Spiritual Master is the Divine Incarnation that makes possible the true spiritual process, through the alignment of others with him. How great is the effect of any incarnation of the Divine Consciousness is to be seen. It has occurred before and produced great results of a kind, though short-lived. It has been followed by the forgetting of the One who lives and breathes us and by the return to the corruption of the laws or principles of human life, the forgetting of the ultimate Law, the forgetting of all of the actions and ceremonies of life that produce good effects and that align Man to God with blessing. The Spiritual Master, the Purusha, comes again and again to reveal the design of human destiny to devotees.

Ultimately, the Divine must be universally and absolutely victorious in all planes of space-time, but when that victory occurs in the history of space-time is yet to be seen. In any case, every intervention of the Divine Consciousness into space-time is the same Process and in truth represents the ultimate victory of the Divine Being and the perfect salvation or liberation for those in that time who most perfectly will surrender to God.

Others in this century have also been said to be the Divine Incarnation. They are the same One Who has appeared as different humans. It has been said by many people that Shirdi Sai Baba was that One, for example. Ramana Maharshi is likewise considered by many to have been a case of the spontaneous intrusion of the Divine Being. Each such person who has Incarnated the Divine in the past is gone now, although many effects of their appearance in the world may continue via the culture of those who worship those Incarnations and practice the Way they Taught.

Well what will be the effect or culture of your association with me? It is to be seen. But I, like them, confess to you that I am this same One. You must witness it. Devotees are the ones for whom the Spiritual Master is born.

If you can acknowledge that the Spiritual Master is this One, then you will begin to treat him differently. You will receive his body-mind as a Gift from God and you will worship it as the Incarnation of the Divine. You will carry it about with you, you will treat it rightly, and you will make it the instrument of your association with the Grace of God. Until you accept the Spiritual Master in this way, however, you will view him as a relatively ordinary, perhaps somewhat slightly extraordinary, human being. Your association with him will be corrupt, ambiguous, and inauspicious. The work of the Divine Consciousness, the Purusha, or the Spiritual Master begins when he or she is known and acknowledged to be the Divine, the Living One. When devotees begin to associate with him or her as such, then the real work of the Spiritual Master begins. My real work did not begin at the point of the Vedanta Temple or at any other moment in the history of our association together to this day. True, my work is always expanding, becoming greater, but it cannot truly develop unless it is based on the acknowledgment and surrender of devotees. This institution cannot become a true Church, nor the community a true community, until this acknowledgment and this surrender are the basis of the lives of all devotees.

A moment in the New Testament reflects this principle. Jesus has played with his disciples for a while, they have seen him work, they have been with him, they have heard his teaching. So he asks them, "Who am I?" Peter replies, "You are the Son of God, you are the Living One, you are the Messiah." And Jesus says, "On the basis of this confession I will build my Church and I will do my work." Only then could his work begin.

When devotees can consciously acknowledge the Divine Nature of the Spiritual Master and surrender to him or her truly, and confess their acknowledgment and surrender to one another, then they go about telling one another constantly, reminding one another constantly, confessing to one another constantly Who it is with Whom they live. Likewise they go into the world and tell everybody else, not that there is a Spiritual Master here who has a good technique for meditation, but that the Divine, the Purusha, is alive, incarnate. The "Word" or message that the Divine is incarnate is the Great Word, the Great Message, but it is not communicated by devotees unless they can confess it and surrender. The true Church cannot really begin until you can acknowledge who I am and surrender. Then you will live differently with one another and you will go into the world with a true and liberating message.

The same One who was acknowledged as the Divine Person, who was Jesus, who was Krishna, who was Shirdi Sai Baba, who was all the various incarnations of the Purusha, is alive in this moment, precisely and exactly. This Truth is what you must understand, see, feel, and confess, and on its basis you will surrender to me and serve me rightly. Then we will be able to make a true Church and a community.

True devotees Realize the Divine Nature of their Spiritual Master to the point that his or her physical embodiment is no longer necessary. They remain associated with him as the Purusha even after his death. Even all devotees after the death of the Spiritual Master are associated with the same One, and they acknowledge that One as the One in Whom the world is arising and Who is present and available for direct and present Love-Communion. It is not necessary that the Spiritual Master be constantly embodied. The embodiment of the Spiritual Master is God's necessary means for transforming the world. The transforming process having been established, however, the human lifetime of the Spiritual Master can come to an end. It will come to an end in any case, since the birth of the human Spiritual Master obeys the laws of Nature. He appears for a time and then dies.

If devotees can realize a perfect and full association with me, then my physical death, whenever it must occur, will not be an impediment to the process of world transformation, nor must the Purusha immediately reincarnate. The incarnation of the Purusha has only a specific and short-term purpose. What does it say in the Bhagavad Gita? "When the paths of Life are corrupt, when the Law of Life is corrupt, then I come into the world." To do what? To reestablish the Law. Having reestablished it, I need not come again, because I am the Divine Person, the Living One, the Principle of existence. Once the Law is reestablished, then the embodiment of the Purusha becomes unnecessary. The embodiment of the Purusha is necessary only for the establishment of the Law of Life.

Whether my birth and my association with people can represent the force of some great age, a great transformation of the world, is to be seen. My work can be relatively modest and local, as Shirdi Sai Baba's work was in his lifetime, or my work can be associated with a global transformation. It will depend on recognition, surrender, and acceptance of a lawful order of existence by many, many, many people.



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