Such an important topic in this day and age of trendy spiritual entrepreneurism. Important because of the great many seekers of spiritual wisdom existing in the world, and the scarcity of real masters to guide along the paths. More important because of the greater number of charlatans always waiting to take advantage.
Being able to identify mastery is a major step on the seeker’s path. Identifying a master at once says to the seeker that the very same potential for mastery exists within their own Self; at the same time they will have found a means of lighting up their own way to spiritual progress.
So then, how to identify the spiritual master? First and foremost, know this:
A Master will Neither Cause You any Harm nor Advocate a Path Which May Cause Suffering.
Take for example those fellows you may find on social media advertising a shaktipaht for the purpose of waking up your Kundalini energy. They may charge you some bucks and tell you not to worry about the side effects which may range from a wide variety of body pains and mental disturbance to outright psychosis and assure you at the same time that this is a temporary balancing of the body and you must go through this for your spiritual advancement. Pure bullshit. Run!
When that Master Speaks to you, the Truth will Ring Inside You Like a Bell.
Doubt will be removed. They will not play with their words, trick you with logic, speak lengthily without giving you time to digest what is being said. They will not seek to control you; they do not need to. A master’s power does not rely on your submission to their word. Hence they are kind when they take the time to teach. That is not to say that all masters speak with kindness. Many are gruff in the extreme, but it is not a callous gruffness, unless of course you are being blown off for some reason. A master will not seek to rein you in, to control you. But a magician with an agenda might. Here I may be parsing a little too minutely. Forgive. I have a special place in my heart for the impeccable master. Mine was so. And I strive to be so.
A Spiritual Master Will be at the Top of their Game.
Success leaves clues to quote a master of the self-help genre Tony Robins. Whatever else one has to say about that guy, he’s helped a whole lot of people with his approach. So have Mother Theresa, Ram Dass, Nelson Mandela, Wayne Dyer – so many who have taken their game to master level. I don’t know, maybe master is a term that needs to be reserved for old Shaolin monks, but I’m looking at it in this paragraph anyway, as a level of perfection on a path. When you get advice on how to make money, you want it from someone who has made a lot of money. Same for sports or spirituality. Mastery in this sense is pretty obvious. And still, people get suckered every day. They go to get coached by people who’ve no idea what they’re doing, or go to get healed by the first shaman they see advertising in Spirituality Today magazine. How many thousands of people are there on Facebook getting psychic readings, putting their belief system in the hands of the first total stranger that comes along and says let me show you your self.
Regarding the Path of Self-realization, or Yoga, the Master of this Path is Quiescent.
They are calm and abiding in themselves. They do not cast judgment, but spring to mighty action when innocence is endangered. They are warriors for justice. One has but to look at the stern visages of Buddha’s mighty army of saints and the weaponry they hold with which to battle the demons of mind.
A Spiritual Master is Fearless.
Having reached the pinnacle of what it means to be human, the fear of death has been removed. In its place now remains a noble courage that allows all personal suffering with composure and equanimity. After all, the body rusts; pains and strains are forever. But it is just what bodies do. There is no worry over this and that. The past is dead and the future is a blank slate. Only the here and now really is, and the master abides in the now with the greatest of certainty.
A Spiritual Master is Happy.
He exudes joy for the most part. But even when their face may take on a mask that says something else, if you were yourself to be calm enough to look past the mask and deep into the eye, you would see the twinkling. And if you were to be absolutely normal, yourself without fear in the midst of the master’s tension, I promise that you would be greeted with love. For in most cases, the true master is out to crush that demon called fear. And we can smell it a mile away. And it stinks. A master will put himself on the line every time to help their friends overcome that monster. Even unto sacrificing their own self, suffering in order to relieve the suffering of their friends.
A Spiritual Master Will Not be Bothered by This and That.
They will most often be found silent, watching. Waiting. Unperturbed. Not disturbed by anything outside or inside. We will be very satisfied with what we have and what we are, where we are and what we do. It is all the same for us. We are possessed by an overwhelming confidence in the knowledge that actually God takes care of its own and we are that. All of us. And we exist to help others wake up to similar fundamental truths of being such as this.
…is a Saiva Tantrika, Gyana Yogi and founder of Uma Maheshwara Yoga & Ayurveda. David has an MA in Semiotics, lives in Japan with his family and works as a coach in L & D, devoting his time to developing science-based tools and programs that help people reach the fullest potential of the human condition.