Sat Nam Dear Family,
Our beloved teacher liked to quiz us. One of his favorite questions was, “Why is the student/teacher relationship like a hammer and chisel to a stone?” That was easy to answer. However, through the years, I’ve become aware of why this question begs another. How does the student become a stone? Let’s begin.
At first blush, this is easy to answer. The student must do what the teacher says, take the hammers blows, and experience the pain of the chisel’s edge. The teacher chips away at the stone until it is sculpted in the teacher’s image. Yes, but how many blows and how much pain is necessary, or how much can the student take? It’s a normal response. I was lucky. I came with a different image. I brought a different context.
I believed that the student/teacher relationship is based on deliverance of promises, on trust in the teacher (and vice versa), and on surrendering yourself totally. Yes, I know it takes practice, but I came with this mission in mind.
I brought another image with me. Not that the hammer and chisel example is in any way inaccurate, I just had my own. I knew that the Siri Singh Sahib wouldn’t object to my view. My image was of me being putty in the caressing hand of the master. He’s the teacher, let him work his magic. Just get the hell out of the way and let him mold. Believe me, this way of thinking has it’s ups and downs. Nevertheless, surrendering to our beloved teacher and his teachings is the way to go, at least it has been for me.
He declared our initial mantra many years ago to be "Keep-Up." He wanted us to keep-up in practicing and following the teachings through thick and thin. It was true then, and it’s truer now. He was right in the beginning and the end. Keeping-up allows you to see this. I have kept-up being putty in his hands. I can personally attest that it works.
This is one of the biggest secrets in the world, and it’s right out in the open. Karma is karma, and fate and destiny play out their polarity fight. If you’re lucky enough to find a real spiritual teacher, and by that I mean one who can pull you beyond yourself, and become putty in his hands, this experience brings nothing but gratitude into your life.
I don’t know about other teachers. I’m sure there are a lot of good things being taught. I’m sure many of them can deliver everything that’s necessary. But, I’ve already found it. No need in taking any risk and going elsewhere. This is the real deal, so just keep-up being putty.
In spite of any doubts, in spite fo any miscalculation, in spite of any impatience, just keep-up being putty in the hands of the true teacher. This is where miracles happen. I mean real miracles. My life is a miracle, at least that’s the way I see it. Miracles are the blessings of a true teacher, they take you beyond yourself to a place unreachable by yourself. They subvert karma; they avert obstacles; they divert fate. They create a true destiny.
Life becomes worth living when miracles follow you. You become a living miracle of God, though the Guru, and through our teacher, and living in the teachings. Putty or stone, chisel and hammer, it’s all the same. Whatever floats your boat.
If you surrender to his hammer, then that’s what you get, and that’s what you need. However, if you surrender, like putty, to his compassionate, loving massaging, Godly nature, then that’s what you get. I preferred a door number two kind of relationship with him, and so did he, otherwise he would never have allowed it. He’s always the teacher, but his compassion allows me the neurotic privilege of having some things my way because putty can be reworked. A stone, well, typically, once it’s chipped away, that’s it.
My wants and desires to be satisfied are still in the realm of propriety, I pray that it stay that way. What’s a life without a little spice? He taught me this as well. Putty has molded me into the person I’m to become with a lot of fun along the way. Who could ask for more? Not me. My advice is to surrender - be it chisel or putty, just do it. This is where the true student/teacher relationship takes off. This is where the fun begins through gratitude, that’s how I view it.
All those who come in contact with our teacher are predestined to do so. Whether or not they see it or whether they take advantage of the blessing is the next question. Few do. Of those that do, few stay. Often, I look around and see who’s left. In some ways it’s a shock, on the other hand, it all makes sense.
I know everyone believes that they keep-up just fine. That satisfies them. It’s the teachings which need to be satisfied, The teachings say surrender, and then you surrender. You can’t and shouldn’t justify any other way. Surrender is surrender, period. That the spiritual law and I can’t change it even if I wanted to. Surrender means that everyday your mind set is to surrender a little more to incorporating the teachings into your life. And, you pray that God helps you in understanding the teachings correctly because your intent is to do what’s necessary to get better in serving the teachings.
This one way of thinking will change your life. Whatever you believe yourself to be, whoever you are, good or not, matters not, put this judgement aside. Layer it with the constant sincere practice of surrendering a little more each day. That’s it, and that’s all you need. Practice that way of thinking and watch your actions follow, follow in ways unexpected and wonderful. Yes, I would say magical. Stay tuned,
In the Humility of Service and Gratitude,
MSS Hari Jiwan Singh Khalsa
Chief of Protocol