Self-realization is the ultimate goal of spirituality. People on the spiritual path spend a lot of time seeking a master, attending lectures, reading spiritual books. It is good to learn and take guidance from the great thinkers but blindly following or imitating them makes a person lose their own originality and spiritual dignity.
Blindly following or imitating a great master destroys the spiritual dignity of a person. The ability to live as an individual human being, using one's intellect to judge the pros and cons of things choose the path in one's life and have a control over life is hampered by following or imitating the master.
A Majority of people seek the blessings of master to have an enriching and happy life. In some way, they think that the master will remove their suffering from the present life. There is a strong desire in almost everyone to remain happy forever and relatively stress-free even in adverse circumstances.
To get rid of suffering is not the only reason for people to spend time with master or read spiritual books. Some people want enlightenment in life and get rid of the cycle of life and death.
Some follow master to kill their boredom and have some purpose in life. And for some people their curiosity for the unknown leads them to come closer to master and read spiritual books.
In general, Master seems easy way out sort out the problems of life. People generally do not want to explore the truth for themselves. They do not want to go out of their comfort zone and experience the spirituality and what it means to them.
People do not have self-confidence in themselves and to follow the master do not require much efforts from themselves. However, in reality, spirituality is a personal experience, and everyone needs to experience it themselves. It is a truth of life, and it does not stand on second hand experiences.
The Master is the current of consciousness that helps a person to emerge from illusion to clarity and from darkness to light. A master does not give as much as removes. He uncovers the intrinsic nature of a person rather than imposing a set of doctrine upon them. The true master has a firm belief that spirituality is all about self-realization.
The true master does not encourage people to follow anyone blindly and warns them about the danger of losing one's identity, which will be counterproductive. Whatever one needs to be enlightened is already within them.
People just need the self-realization to know the truth about themselves not the blessings of master through following or imitating them. As you are not going to be rich by taking loan from banks or someone so too you will not be enlightened by a second-hand enlightenment.
Whatever you learn from your beloved master is about the mindset of him and what he feels about spirituality. The spiritual experiences of everybody vary due to differences in background, circumstances and time period. Your spiritual experiences may not be the same life your master, and you may not arrive at your meaning of spirituality as easily as your master has.
However, just as to light a candle, you need matchstick, lighter or another burning candle so too in initial stage most of the people need an enlightened master to get rid of their illusion and to move with considerable speed towards self-realization.
In a nutshell, the role of true master in life is to dispel darkness and light candle so that you can find the truth for yourself by walking on the path of spiritual practices.
Spirituality is an intrinsic part of everyone's life; a natural part of human being. It is inseparable part of your life. It stays dormant under the cloud of illusions. You just need self-purification to experience the spirituality within and what it means for yourself.
Spirituality is a realization of self, and so it is very much personal. Once you feel the spiritual experience in your life, its benefit will be seen in your personality. Your thought will be in control of you and so is your behavior and actions. You will no longer be worried about the trial and tribulations of life. In a nutshell, you will truly lead an enriching and happy life for ever.
The process of knowing self begins with the frustration and self-doubt. While going through trial and tribulations of life, you need to get the answer of questions: Who am I and why I am here? When you keep asking this question to yourself, there is probability that your inner self come out in your external life breaking the dense cloud of illusion and frustrations.
In someway, challenge in life is good for inner growth. It makes the person go out of their comfort zone to find the true meaning of their lives. Sometimes; the troubles, challenges, hurdles, obstacles in the life act as a catalyst to find the true meaning of your life. So you should not worry when life seems to be testing grounds. It tests your level of motivation and seriousness about the life.
The spiritual books play an important role in inspiring and guiding people. It all depends on the person how they interpret the things in their lives.
There are many scholars who spend a lot of time in reading books but at the end remain frustrated. It is because they do not know how to utilize the learning in their practical life.
So learning will not make any concrete differences in your life unless you know how to interpret the things in your favour. To get the real benefits of learning, you should read spiritual books with open mind. You need to weigh the things with your intellect and also experience on it practically and then make your own conclusions.
The path of spirituality demand's introspection and self-awareness. Take guidance from the master but always keep in mind that the spiritual experiences of your master may not be the same for you.
The path of spirituality leads you to self-realization, finding truth for yourself. It is a personal discovery. Everyone is unique so is the spiritual path for everybody. Do not lose your own individuality, otherwise it will be counter-productive.
To conclude, blindly following any spiritual author or master is a danger to your spiritual life. Learn from them but do not imitate them in totality. After all, you have to respect your own spiritual dignity.
Apply your won intellect to test the learning because ultimately it is personal to discover yourself within you and no one knows you better than yourself.