masters: how to know if you've got a good one...
there's a great Kabir poem about how to tell if you've got a real spiritual master or not, and the criteria involves holding your master off a cliff by the ankle (the master's, that is) upside-down, threatening to drop 'em down to a certain death.
if the master in question just laughs, says Kabir, you've probably got a real one........!
*grinning out loud*
on the serious side, though, this is a question that comes up, a lot, in people's lives, especially spiritual 'seekers' and -- I've noticed -- particularly in California. (after all, California has been the hot center for most of the Indian yogis who've come to America, not to mention Shamanic teachers, Buddhists of all traditions, Sufi mystics, Reiki healers, and the whole gamut of healing and esoteric teachings.)
it's all available here in California; and, increasingly, world-wide. you can try them all on for size, read about each teacher, experience their energy, go to a lecture or satsang, buy the book or the CD or the DVD....
& all of this available spiritual knowledge and energy, in my experience, can cause massive and permanent confusion in the very real hearts of highly sincere people looking for god.
so, how can you tell if you've got a real master?
it's true that there are a lot of healers & teachers of differing layers, levels, and angles of spiritual understanding in the world today. it's a great blessing for the planet, since many people are waking up at various levels.
it's difficult to understand any differences between the teachers, their messages and the reality of their teachings, I think, when there are so many choices in the world, and on the surface they all sound good.
my experience, as a spiritual student since the 1980s, is that there are MANY teachers and there are very few true masters.
even with the masters, there are differing levels of capacity and mastery.
some masters, to paraphrase Orwell, are more equal than others.
there are many enlightened souls running around -- but how far does their enlightenment go?
but here is some criteria that might help grok a real master:
* they can soul travel -- ie, leave their physical body for dead, no heartbeat, breath, etc., for a few hours or up to 3 days -- at will. someone who says "oh, I soul travel and visit other realms" -- if the body isn't dead when they're doing this, it's not the maximum level of enlightenment
* they know what is life and what is death and how to traverse the distance between these states effortlessly. (another way of saying 'soul travel'.)
* they are fully enlightened -- they have seen the Mother Divine IN PERSON and talk with Her daily.
* they are willing to share the totality of their enlightenment -- they can introduce OTHER people to the Mother Divine in person.
* they are willing and able to 'eat' the karma of all their students, both present and distant, on a continual basis. they know how to manage the transformation of this karmic energy, turning high negativity into high positive divine soul energy in each soul. (plus, they have to know how to decharge the residue remaining from those transactions.)
* they are willing to share what they themselves know, about the mechanisms of this creation and how the energy really operates, with their students -- ie, they will actively create other masters.
* they are a master of the Five Elements -- can manipulate, physically, the elements of earth, fire, sky, water and air to demonstrate changing one thing to another, or showing high-level manifestations in order to heal people. through the miracle energies, the saints can really change the world. the love itself, in this era, is not enough.
if these criteria aren't demonstrable -- the person may be a great teacher, even a great saint -- but they're not the top top top level of saint available in the world today.
and if they're not at the top top top top level, ie, a purna avatara, why waste your time?
what I've also learned is that certain levels of siddhi, miracle abilities, don't necessarily equate to an enlightened soul.
being involved with the angels, for example, is beautiful -- they represent a major part of this creation and of creating healing/miracles -- but it's also a level of enlightenment where it's easy for holy people to get stuck. really stuck.
many saints get the angels, start showing miracles and sacred beauty in their lives, and their egoism increases (with or without their notice), "oh, I'm talking to angels, oh, I'm involved with the energy of the angels, oh, I must be so great!" -- and they just spin around there instead of moving forward in their spiritual progress. (ie, there are MANY levels of spiritual development beyond the stage of the angels.)
a real master knows how to give someone the angel communications/experiences AND simultaneously keep the student from getting stuck there as they're moving on to the more ambitious goal of dealing with divine souls (like Jesus, Shirdi Baba, Buddha, etc.) on the way to the Mother Divine.
& that's not so easy. it is a MASSIVE undertaking.
or course, if all else fails -- ie, you have met a master but aren't sure, based on what you've heard or observed, if that person meets these criteria, you can always apply the Kabir test.
(if you dare!!!!!)
remember: if they laugh, you've probably found a real one.