Living Students of Living Masters
Below is a gist on what a genuine living Master (competent or qualified teacher, Sant Satguru) communicates to their students/chelas), and is from, Prem Patra Radhasoami (literally, "Love Discourses of the Lord of the Soul"], Volume Three, by Huzur Maharaj. Then further below, from the same document, very helpful satsang instruction providing much insight on the different categories of disciples with varying degrees of enthusiasm for the Path or closeness to the Masters. There is also guidance about making our way through life in diverse circumstances over time, sometimes close to satsang gatherings of Saints or perhaps are further away, with the intent to derive full benefit and make spiritual progress by navigating the highest currents of spirituality that Divine Grace provides..
The Living Master---Qualified Teacher
Huzur Maharaj: Great is the necessity of a Qualified Teacher, the Satguru in Sant Mat or the Radhasoami Faith, the Path of the Masters. Without him, no one can learn the secrets of the Supreme Being, the Path, the method of proceeding on that Path, and the rules of conduct which must be observed by a devotee. He alone knows these secrets, who has traversed the Path within and has reached the Original Abode or a high intermediate region. To a greater or a lesser extent he also knows them, who has met with a Satguru, attended His Satsang for some time and, having been initiated by Him, is practising devotional exercises. Barring these three, viz., Sant Satguru, Sadh Guru, and a sincere Satsang of the Master, none else can know these secrets. One, who has set his heart on the quest for the true Supreme Being and has a burning desire to find Him, will not get peace till he meets any of the aforesaid personalities. No one can proceed otherwise..
When a devoted seeker attends the Satsang of such a Guru, he will really know the following:
1) the secrets of the creation;
2) the real object of his love;
3) the objects to which he is unnecessarily attached;
4) how to obtain emancipation easily;
5) that the pleasures of the world are trivial and transitory;
6) that the source of perfect happiness and bliss lies within;
7) that this can gradually be secured by the performance of bhakti (devotional practices);
8) that the throne of the Supreme Being Radhasoami Dayal [Merciful Lord of the Soul] is also within;
9) what he should do to experience His refulgence, to some extent;
10) and how he should secure His grace and mercy for traversing the Path, obtaining Anand (bliss) and enhancing it..
The Living Disciple---Student in Sant Mat
Jivas [souls in creation] are of three kinds: Uttam (of a higher nature), Madhyam (moderate, ordinary, passable, mediocre) and Nikrisht (lukewarm, inferior, halfhearted). Their understanding is also of three types: Teliya (oily), Motia (pearly) and Namda (felty)..
(1) The characteristic of the Teliya (oily) understanding is that like oil: it spreads over and covers the entire surface. When an Uttam Adhikari (of superior category) hears the discourses, he elaborates on them. He adopts what is useful..
(2) The Motia (pearly) understanding is like a hole bored in a pearl; the dimensions of the hole remain what they are. Similarly, a mediocre, on hearing the discourses, adopts what he hears. He cannot elaborate them..
(3) The Namda (felty) type of understanding is like a hole made in felt. The hole is visible while it is being made, but it immediately disappears. Likewise, persons of inferior understanding hear the discourses and appear to comprehend them, but in fact they forget them immediately..
A Jiva [soul] of superior Adhikar (fitness) can derive much benefit by attending Satsang even for a short time. He sticks to the following two principles and always acts up to them according to his unbiased understanding:
(1) The Seat of the Spirit in the wakeful condition is in the eyes. As the Spirit-Current is withdrawn internally from this focus towards higher regions with the aid of Shabd (Inner Mystic-Sound/Music) and Swarup (Inner Form or inner Mystic-Light), i. e., accordingly as the pupils of the eyes are turned [the current of mind and spirit is elevated and raised inwards and upwards], attachment with the body and the world will be loosened. In other words, as the devotee loses consciousness of this side, he gains consciousness on the other side and enjoys bliss accordingly. Considering this matter necessary and beneficial, he will ever do his best to maintain the practice. Nay, he will gradually enhance it..
(2) The currents of mind and senses are flowing outwards. These currents proceed with desires. They are impediments in the performance of practices of turning the pupils of the eyes, i. e., elevating and raising the current of mind and spirit inwards and upwards. It is, therefore, necessary that only such thoughts arise in the mind as are proper and necessary. The current of the senses should pursue only that business which is necessary. Useless, unnecessary and improper thoughts and desires must be not allowed to arise, internally or externally, at any time, more particularly at the time of Abhyas [meditation practices]..
An Uttam Adhikari understands these things. He can always exercise proper control. He need not mind any lapse due to his old habit, but he should be careful for the future and restrain himself. By striving in this manner for some time, his mind and senses will begin to behave properly..
A Madhyam Adhikari has to attend Satsang for a longer period. He should listen and understand the discourses, perform the devotional exercises to some extent and observe the Uttam and Madhyam Adhikaris who, may be attending Satsang for a pretty long period, or visiting it frequently. By the grace of Radhasoami Dayal this will enable him to acquire the ability to exercise some restraint over himself even while living away from the Satsang. If he finds any difficulty in any matter, he may, off and on, write to the Satguru and obtain necessary direction from him..
A Nikrisht Adhikari, provided he is somewhat careful and earnest, must attend Satsang for considerable period and watch the behaviour of Uttam and Madhyam Adhikaris, before he can derive some benefit. And when away from Satsang, he will be able to do something, with the help and in the company of Uttam and Madhyam Adhikaris. Gradually, he will become a Madhyam Adhikari..
Those, who have no sincere desire for Parmarth [spirituality] but happen to come in the Satsang of Sants [Saints] with some sincere devotees, will also derive some benefit. But their condition will not change until they attend Satsang and perform Abhyas [spiritual practices, meditation] with care and attention. It will be enough if they associate with Uttam and Madhyam Adhikaris, because they are not fit to attend the Satsang of Sants..
In short, as long as a person is strongly inclined towards the world, and his mind is filled with the desires for worldly pleasures, he cannot derive so much benefit from Satsang and internal practices of Sants, that his condition may change speedily and he may obtain spiritual bliss within himself regularly..
A truly earnest Parmarthi [devotee of spirituality] can derive great benefit by studying the holy books of the Radhasoami Faith. He can be initiated by letter and thus, by the grace of Radhasoami-Dayal can even secure the bliss of Bhajan [inner hearing] and Dhyan [inner seeing]. He can, off and on, write about his devotional practices to the Satguru or an Uttam Adhikari and get necessary instructions, and make progress in Abhyas [meditation practice]. But there are many such things concerning the Radhasoami Faith and its Abhyas as can only be explained verbally. If reduced to writing, there is danger of mistake or misunderstanding. It is, therefore, imperative and necessary for such a Parmarthi to attend and remain in Satsang for some time, at least for awhile, and get his doubts, misgivings or misunderstandings removed. He should understand fully what can be explained verbally so that his Abhyas (practices) may not suffer due to his living away from Satsang. And his love for and faith in the Supreme Being Radhasoami Dayal, Satguru and Surat Shabd Yoga [inner Light and Sound Meditation] may be strengthened..
If, however, such a Parmarthi cannot attend and remain in a Satsang, then he may, under instructions from the Satguru, associate with and attend the Satsang of some Uttam Adhikari, who has had the good fortune of having attended the Satsang of Satguru for some time. He would derive more or less the same benefit as he would from the Satsang of the Satguru..
In case the company of an Uttam Adhikari is also not available, then the Parmarthi should come in contact with a Madhyam Adhikari, who has attended the Satsang of Satguru. Getting initiation under the orders of Satguru, he should commence spiritual practices in his company. He will thus be able to secure some benefit. He should look for an opportunity and make it a point to meet with an Uttam Adhikari or Satguru, attend His Satsang and secure full benefit.. (Huzur Maharaj, Prem Patra Radhasoami, Volume I I I )