"An introduction to Ascended Master teachings with comparisons to Vedanta"
by David Tame
India's 'Other' Masters and Gurus
According to Baird T. Spalding in Life and Teaching of The Masters of The Far East during an extensive Western research expedition to wide areas of the Far East in the years 1894-8, a member of the party made the acquaintance in India of a Master he chose in his written account to call Emil. (1) It became increasingly apparent over time that Emil was a man of extreme wisdom and of extraordinary ability. Early on in the account, we read:
"One Sunday afternoon Emil and I were walking in a field when he called my attention to a pigeon circling overhead and casually remarked that the bird was looking for him. He stood perfectly still and in a few moments the bird alighted upon his outstretched arm. He said the bird had a message from his brother in the North. This proved to be a fellow-worker who had not reached the attainment whereby he could communicate directly, so he took this means. We later found that the Masters are able to communicate with each other instantly by thought transference or, as they call it, a force much more subtle than either electricity or wireless.
"I then began to ask questions and Emil showed me that he was able to call the birds to him and direct their flight while they were in the air; that the flowers and trees would nod to him; that the wild animals would come to him fearlessly. He parted two jackals that were fighting over the body of a smaller animal that they had killed and were feeding upon. When he approached them they stopped fighting and put their heads in his outstretched hands in perfect trust, then resumed their meal in quiet. He even gave me one of the young wild creatures to hold in my hands. He then said to me, "This is not the mortal self, the self you see, that is able to do these things. It is a truer, deeper self. It is what you know as God, God within me, God the Omnipotent One working through me, that does these things. Of myself, the mortal self, I can do nothing. It is only when I get rid of the outer entirely and let the actual, the I AM, speak and work and let the great Love of God come forth that I can do these things that you have seen. When you let the Love of God pour through you to all things, nothing fears you and no harm can befall you."
"Every day during this time I had lessons with Emil. He would suddenly appear in my room, even if I had taken special care to lock the door before retiring. At first his appearance at will disturbed me but I soon saw that he took it for granted that I understood. I became accustomed to his ways and left my door open so that he could come and go as he pleased. This confidence seemed to please him. I could not understand all his teachings and I could not accept them fully, nor was I able, with all I saw while in the East, to fully accept at the time. It required years of meditation to bring me the realization of the deep spiritual meaning of these peoples' lives….
"When occasion requires they walk on water, go through fire [not as a fakir's "show", but if fire genuinely threatened - D. Tame], travel in the invisible, and do many other things that we have become accustomed to look upon as miracles performed only by one supposed in some way to possess supernatural powers.
"There is a striking resemblance between the life and teaching of Jesus of Nazareth and those of these Masters as exemplified in their daily life. It has been thought impossible for man to derive his daily supply directly from the Universal, to overcome death and to perform the various so-called miracles that Jesus performed while on earth. The Masters prove that these are their daily life. They supply everything needed for their daily wants directly from the Universal…. They have so far overcome death that many of them now living are over five hundred years of age, as was conclusively proved by their records.
"There are comparatively few of these Masters in India, other cults seeming to be but offshoots of their teaching. They realise their number is limited and that only a few scholars can come to them. In the invisible, however, they can reach almost unlimited numbers and it seems to be the greater work of their lives to reach out into the invisible and help all who are receptive to their teaching." (2)
The first three of a series of six volumes by Spalding render his account of living with and attempting to learn from these Eastern Masters from 1894 to 1898. While very numerous "supernatural" powers were demonstrated by these individuals, they were always much more concerned with rendering their deep spiritual knowledge. For indeed, the powers were mere by-products of their great oneness with the Source of All. Outer phenomenal abilities were considered inconsequential compared to one's own individual inner spiritual growth. Some of these great Masters had lived for several centuries in the same biological bodies. Others had disappeared from the physical world altogether, having transcended it - yet could reappear from the worlds beyond at any time. Those still in the body and those who had transcended the biological form altogether were all part of the same Brotherhood, those still embodied appearing to be just a little less attained than those beyond the requirement for flesh form. This Brotherhood of Masters (of both genders) were scattered throughout India and beyond, but largely unknown to the masses. They had existed for untold ages and would exist forever.
India, of course, is well-known for its wealth of mysticism, and for its many yogis, saints and sages. The Masters described above, however, are of a different degree altogether to most of the publicly-known yogis and saints. Some of the greatest of the yogis and saints of India have known, or at least known something of, this Brotherhood of India's "other" Masters, but for the most part the Brotherhood went unknown and unsuspected not only to Indians of the late 1800s, but still are very largely unknown and still unsuspected to Indians today. Even many yogis do not know or know of them. And to scholars, including scholars of Vedanta, this Brotherhood of India's other and deeper Masters tend to be quite unknown.