Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Qualification for True Discipleship

Mary said to Yeshua, “What are your disciples like?”
He said, They are like little children living in a field that is not theirs. When the owners of the field come, they will say, “Give us back our field.” They take off their clothes in front of them in order to give it back to them, and they return their field to them.
For this reason I say, if the owners of a house know that a thief is coming, they will be on guard before the thief arrives and will not let the thief break into their house (their domain) and steal their possessions.
As for you, then, be on guard against the world. Prepare yourselves with great strength, so the robbers can't find a way to get to you, for the trouble you expect will come.
Let there be among you a person who understands.
When the crop ripened, he came quickly carrying a sickle and harvested it. Anyone here with two good ears had better listen!..........Saying 21 "Gospel of Thomas".

Mary Magdalene was the wisdom disciple of Yeshua and had always asked penetrating questions to the Master. Here she asks the Master what are the qualifications of a true disciple of Yeshua.
There are a number of elements which the Master says that would qualify a true disciple.
The first of these is that a true disciple realizes that he or she lives in a domain and whatever possessions that he or she may have does not belong to them and is willing to surrender the same without any inhibition. The temporal abode in which we spend our lives and all that the world has to offer are not ours to possess. Any attachment leads to a distraction from our intended path. True renunciation is a state of being in the world and yet be ready to relinquish all that the world has to offer at any point of time through a deeper understanding of material nature.

While this is the true, when we live in this domain which is not truly ours, we possess something very valuable and which can be lost if we are not on guard. The very nature of our attachment to terrestrial comforts and worldly offerings can distract us so that the powers of the material world can steal away our true possession. This true possession is our untainted consciousness or our Divine nature.

This is the reason that the Master warns severely that one needs to be vigilant and always alert so that the world does not steal away our Divine nature.

The two questions then that come to our mind are; if we are in a domain which is not ours, why are we planted here? And what is true detachment?

Bible scholars, Funk and Hoover refer to Mark’s saying in the canonical Gospel to find an answer. “As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come”………Mark 4:29. The field of existence is one of enrichment wherein the individual consciousness is planted to grow and mature to a higher level of existence. This concept is heavy in connotation of removal of Karmic imprints through spiritual practice so that there could be transcendence towards Divine nature. This is exactly what the Master says at the end of this saying. The maturing grain is shed of all trappings, including the field in which it grows, at the time of harvest into the Master’s granary from where it could be used according to the Master’s desire.

In order to understand the true meaning of detachment or renunciation one has to refer to the very first available dialogue in the “Gospel of Mary”. Here to question of Mary to the Master, “Will matter then be destroyed or not?” The Saviour said, “All nature, all formations, all creatures exist in and with one another, and they will be resolved again into their own roots. For the nature of matter is resolved into the roots of its own nature alone. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
This realization is true renunciation as the dichotomy or duality of existence is resolved. The fundamental nature of all that exists is in the Divine plenum.

A true disciple of the spiritual Master has to have this outlook of total renunciation of all that aids in his or her spiritual maturing process so that when the time comes for the harvest the disciple is ready to be welcomed into the Divine domain which is one’s fundamental nature.

Love to you all.

1 comment :

  1. Dear Raja,
    The explanations for the Master’s teaching really made an impact on me. Being an expatriate in a foreign country I can relate very well. This land or house does not belong to me. At times senses attachments and gratification of worldly desires draining my energy. Loosing me demands humility! In this coming New Year, my resolutions are to remind myself everyday to wear “Mercy” and “Forgiveness” while I am wearing my coat.
    When tilling ground for the cultivation of crops, one needs patience to destroy all useless weeds; and to wait, even though the ground then appears barren, until the hidden good seeds sprout into plants. It requires still more patience to clear the field of consciousness that is overgrown with weeds of useless attachments to sense pleasures, which are very difficult to uproot. Yet when the field of consciousness is cleared, and sown with seeds of good qualities, plants of noble activities sprout forth, yielding abundantly the fruits of real happiness. Above all, have patience to seek communion with God through deep meditation and to become acquainted with your indestructible soul, hidden within your perishable earthly body.
    I relate your message with the film “Avatar” wherein the explanation is given while a person die his energy remains there and transmitted into cosmic energy.
    We have not brought anything into the world so nothing we can carry! This portrayed in Bagavat Gita too.
    Our Advent readings are lush with portrayals of God as a wondrous Creator of earthly abundance and a Sower of good seed. He turns barren ground to fertile purposes, giving life where there was only a wasteland. We invite our God to water the seeds of faith within us.