The role of a spiritual Master is like that of a sculptor, and a seeker is like an uncut stone. Every stroke (guidance) of the Master gradually awakens divinity in the seeker. If the seeker is in a mood of humility, the job of the Master is easier. This is because in the state of humility there are no shadows of petty Ego; and then in proportion to humility, the Supreme manifests itself within the seeker.
It is quite all right if you have met a spiritual ‘Master’, but it really does not matter if you haven’t come across one. The only purpose of a ‘Master’ is to awaken the Inner Master in you. He then introduces you to your Inner Master and points out to you your inner Treasures. The human Masters come and go, they are born and they die. Therefore do not be attached too much to their physical presence. Also, do not be attached to your own physical body too. Physical bodies of the Master and the seeker are only the vehicles to carry the seeker to his spiritual destination.
If you are intensely curious and yearn to seek the Essence (of everything in this universe), you will certainly attain higher understanding, even if you do not have a Master to guide you. The Essence of anything is understood through the Master’s Essence which, being omnipresent, is very much there within you too.
He is called a Master who makes you aware of your own potential to know your Self. If you (consistently) feel inferior and diffident in the company of a Master, be sure, that person is not ordained to be your Master. This is one of the convincing criteria to know your own Master.
A Master is not a physical person, a physical Master merely represents an abstract non-material Power. The human Master cannot be physically with you all the time. It is your consciousness of the Master that can always stay with you; and this consciousness is a manifestation of that same Power known as the Master. When I exhort you to respect your consciousness of the Master and not the physical Master himself, I mean that you should keep your attention constantly focused on that Power, and respect It in all sincerity.
A Master can effectively function as a Master only if a seeker is keen in seeking benediction. The Power represented by the Master then enters as Grace in the seeker’s consciousness and becomes one with it. Then, the Master and the seeker become of one inseparable consciousness.
A Master does not lessen the predestined worldly sufferance of a seeker (though he often makes it physically and mentally bearable, usually by spreading it on a longer time span, thus reducing its severity). In fact, a Master does not encourage a seeker to avoid the course of (Karmic) predestiny. Our Master, Baba Muktanand used to say- “Bear your predestiny with love and fortitude”. This is because predestiny is entirely a sum total of all the (Karmic) past deeds of the seeker himself. In the past we had ourselves sowed the thorny acacia plant (and that act is carried over now as predestiny). When the Karmic effects of predestiny crop up, it is up us to try to remove its thorns so that they do not prick our feet nor those of the wayfarers (and the Karmic residue that we cannot undo, must be suffered in dignity). When you change your mindset, the perspective of predestined Karmic sufferings also changes. It is just a matter of changing your attitude.
If you have a keen longing and a sensitive mind, the transmission of a quantum of spiritual power (Shakti) will occur spontaneously, (without the help of a Master), like an electric lightening from a stormy sky. There is never any delay about it. It is a an unconditional natural gift of the Supreme.