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A World of Yoga
The Master/Initiate tradition is an exciting one. As you progress and develop in faith and fellowship, becoming a fit companion, you will perhaps have a number of teachers — special and very able teachers — who will help you more deeply to understand your quest and your nature. These special teachers can give valuable instruction and inspiration. In the East they are often called Upa-Guru. It is very likely that Joseph, Jesus’ father, was an Upa-Guru. A seeker may have none, one, or many Upa-Gurus.
Each Upa-Guru helps prepare you for the ultimate meeting with the Sat Guru, the Spiritual Master. (Sat means truth or reality; the Sat Guru permanently awakens the seeker to truth. The term Guru usually means Sat Guru.)
A Sat Guru
The Sat Guru is the man or woman of God, an instrument of the Lord, who will quicken the enlightening process. He or she enables you, the seeker, to overcome your ego and delusion — not only gaining realization of higher consciousness but enabling you to live in higher consciousness.
Your Master’s mission is to transform you into a realized being who stays that way. Since higher consciousness often comes and goes at first, the kind Master, the Sat Guru, will work with you until you are so fulfilled you will not go backward. In fact, the Master’s work in establishing you in higher consciousness is, in many ways, more important than the initial great awakening. Just as the birth of a child is very important, the continuing life of that child is extremely important too; so the Master is particularly concerned that you not only awaken but stay awake in higher consciousness.
The Master's Role
Your good Master is primarily a servant. It’s his secret. While he seems to be telling you and all his initiates what to do, in effect he’s quite dependent upon his initiates to do what they’ve agreed. (Of course he’s already found what he most yearned for: the realization of God.)
Your Master can inspire, bless, even scold, but you must do your part. You have to do what you agreed to do in developing your character and in performing your spiritual and meditative practices faithfully — with the right attitude of devotion every day, even when outer circumstances are chaotic.
What the Master Hopes to See
When you stand before a Master, seeking to be accepted, the Master hopes he will see some of these main qualities in you:
A Good Candidate
If you possess many of these qualities, you are a good candidate. If you are severely lacking them and wish to proceed spiritually, begin now to develop them so your "light" will attract your true Master.