On the spiritual path there are three factors: Buddha, the master or the presence of the enlightened, Sangha, the commune or group, and Dharma, your true nature. Life blossoms naturally when there is a balance between the three.
The Buddha is a doorway, and the doorway needs to be more charming than what lies beyond so that people come to the doorway. If you are out in the street and there is rain and thunder, or scorching weather, you feel the need for a shelter. You look and find a doorway. Have you noticed that then, the doorway is more inviting and joyful than anything else in the world?
Similarly, the closer you get to the master, the more charm, newness and love you feel. Nothing in the world could give that much peace, joy and pleasure. It’s like depth without a bottom. This is a sign that you have come to the master.
Once you enter the door, you see the world from there, from the eyes of the master. Then in any situation you will think: How would the master handle this? See the world from the eyes of the master and the world looks so much more beautiful as a place filled with love, joy, cooperation and compassion.
Looking through the doorway there is no fear. From inside your home, you can look at the storm and the bright sun too; yet you can be relaxed as you are in the shelter. Such a sense of security, fullness and joy comes. That is the purpose of having a master.
Sangha is charming from a distance, but the closer you get, it pushes all your buttons and brings out all the unwanted things from within you. If you think a group is good it means you are not yet completely with the group. When you are totally part of that group, you will find that some bickering will come up. But you are the one who makes the group so if you are good, your group will also be good.
Sangha has a reverse nature to Buddha. Buddha makes your mind one-pointed; sangha, because it is of so many people, can scatter your mind, fragment it. Once you are used to a sangha, it loses its charm. This is the nature of sangha. Still, it is very supportive. If it were repulsive all the time, then nobody would be part of sangha.
Buddha uplifts with Grace, love and knowledge, Buddha pulls you up from above, and sangha pushes you up from below.
Dharma is to be in the middle. Avoiding extremes is your nature to be in balance, to smile from the depth of your heart, to accept entire existence totally as it is. Often you crave for Buddha and are averse to sangha, and you try to change; but by changing sangha or Buddha, you are not going to change.
The main purpose is to come to the centre deep within you, which means to find your dharma. A sense of deep acceptance for this moment, for every moment, is dharma. All problems and negativity are generated from our mind.
The world is not bad; we make our world ugly or beautiful. So when you are in your dharma, your nature, you will blame neither the world nor the Divine.
Dharma is that which puts you in the middle and makes you comfortable with the world. It allows you to contribute to the world, be at ease with the Divine, to feel part of the Divine.
by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Source: Times of India