|Services Book Corner The Greatness of a Master's Love: Review of Tales of the Mystic East|
Lynn McGee, Ohio, USA
With its ancient sacred tradition, India has been graced by the presence of many great Masters through the centuries, including Shakyamuni Buddha, Jesus Christ and Supreme Master Ching Hai, and its literature is replete with spiritual lore. The elevating vibrations of these and countless other Saints have helped the Indian people become tolerant of all religious beliefs.
India's heritage of religious understanding is reflected in Tales of the Mystic East (published by Radha Soami Satsang Beas Publishers), a collection of parables that depict the actions of past Masters and their disciples. The settings of the Tales range from Egypt to India, and the texts describe well-known Masters such as Kabir along with many "unknowns" who are referred to simply as "Saints."
Each story in the anthology brings to life a different aspect of the Master-disciple relationship. But all express the theme that spiritual progress is best achieved when the Master's absolute love and wisdom are met by a disciple's complete faith and devotion.
An example of how a disciple's loyalty is his ultimate protection can be seen in the story "The Price of Hot Coals," in which a spiritual devotee finds himself being constantly tempted by a prostitute. One day, he is instructed by his Master to obtain some hot coals, but the only person he can find with any coals is the prostitute. So he approaches her and asks her to sell him some. Tauntingly, she replies that the "price" will be his eyes, and then she watches in amazement as the disciple immediately plucks out one of his eyes and places it before her.
Immensely regretful for what she has done, the prostitute gives the disciple the coals and he then returns to his Master with the coals and a bandage over his eyes. When the Master sees the bandage, he asks about it and then tells the disciple to remove it. As the disciple takes off the dressing, he finds that his eye has been completely restored!
There are many other similarly inspiring stories in Tales of the Mystic East, and after reading them I asked myself why Supreme Master Ching Hai does not speak of such wonders from Her own life experience. But I soon realized that Master's reluctance to speak of such matters is due to Her deep humility. Although She teaches that a living Master's task is to re-connect us with God, Her unwillingness to be identified as more than what she calls "a transmitting pole" for divine energy is a sign of Her greatness (Experience Heaven on Earth, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, May 9, 1999).
Since coming to this understanding, I have been nearly moved to tears with each story I read in Tales of the Mystic East as I am reminded of Supreme Master Ching Hai and Her selfless work for humanity. As the greatest of living Masters, She interprets universal law and applies it flawlessly to each individual's karmic situation. Master is the only One Who can communicate to disciples on the inner or outer level exactly how to account for their thoughts, words and deeds. In addition, She is the only One who can show us how to progress spiritually and, when we fall, carry us in Her arms until we can walk again. May we all remain worthy of this gift. Thank You, Master.