It is easy to find a Master if we know that there are different types, and know which type is most suitable for us. In my opinion there are three types of Masters. The first type is what we call the intellectual type, the scholars. They are very knowledgeable about scriptures, versed in the terminology within the realm of philosophy. They can teach you who wrote what scripture when, and the meaning of its terminology. These teachers are very worthy of our reverence. They can transmit to us some of the holy teaching from the ancient times that we may not have the time to understand, or maybe that we are not expert enough to know the terminology. That is the first type of teacher. Learning with them about different teachings and religions, our knowledge will be broadened.
The second of teachers are absorbed in ecstasy or Samadhi all the time. They are entirely devoted to God, to the Holy Plan. They are in direct contact with God and have direct knowledge from God. They can see Him face to face. And if we are in contact with these Masters by chance, or by our own will, we will derive some benefits. Our mundane mind will be less burdened by the pressure of the world, and we will feel uplifted and happy and regain a longing for God. We will feel like we want to renounce the world. I don't mean by that to shave your head and live in the jungle, but to feel less desire for the sensual pleasures and the material gain of this world. These teachers are usually hard to find, because they mostly do not really teach, they just absorb themselves in ecstasy, enjoying the bliss and harmony within.
The third type also absorb themselves in the love for God, but they also have love and compassion for those who are in ignorance and suffering. Therefore, they run around as per request. Even if there was only one or two people sincerely longing to be reunited with God, they would come and share with them the secret of the Kingdom of God, the way to find the Reality, the Truth, the Tao within ourselves, of how to awaken within them the greatest source of knowledge, of all power and saving power within ourselves, in order to lessen the intensity of suffering in our lives, in order to develop our own self-confidence and merge with the almighty source from which we come.
This is a basic outline of the three types of teachers. So, we have to look for one type that could satisfy our desire, needs and inner longing. If we happen to see any Master, then we must use our discrimination to see whether this is the Master we want, whether he or she is worthy of our reverence and trust.
The first type of teacher is easy to recognise because of his erudition. He can talk and know all the scriptures, and we know he is a man of knowledge. It is easy to know this, because worldly knowledge is easy to understand and to test. The second type is also easy to recognise by their appearance and the devotional atmosphere around people always absorbed in ecstasy. The third type of Master is difficult to detect because when a person is not in ecstasy, it is difficult to know if he has ever been in ecstasy or not, because this type of teacher is 24 hours a day in an invisible 'Samadhi' or ecstasy. Samadhi means that you are in ecstasy, in bliss, tranquillity and light.
You can be in ecstasy while living in this world. There are two kinds of Samadhi: One is after you leave this world, you are forever in ecstasy, in bliss, in the Kingdom of God. You are one with God or the Ocean of Love and Mercy. The other type is a smaller ecstasy that you experience every day through meditation, through devotional longing, or any type of ritual in order to reach ecstasy. So when you are in Samadhi, you forget the whole world. Sometimes you can hear the people around you, but cannot relate to the world. When you are in a deeper ecstasy, the whole world disappears, and you only see light and God, and feel peace, bliss and ecstasy.
Because the third type of Masters are in and out of ecstasy at the same time, like Jesus or Buddha, it is difficult to detect them. They look like ordinary people. This is the danger of being a third degree Master. The first kind of teacher, everybody knows you, reveres you, thousands of people follow you. The second type of teacher, everyone knows and bows to their feet. You may know it or not because you are in ecstasy all the time and people can see. But the third type, like Jesus or Buddha, people may throw stones at them, nail them, scold them and kill them, because many people could not believe that they are the sons of God, that they are the Salvation, the Light and the Way of the world, when they are in the physical body and acting like most ordinary men.
So, those who go around and share their secret of the Kingdom of God to people, like Jesus or Buddha did, are in ecstasy and out of ecstasy. Because, when you are preaching, your real Self is in Samadhi, but your physical self still suffers, still knows pain and sorrow. Now, the second type of Masters feel no pain in their bodies, no worry, no anxiety, only bliss, all the misery disappears, and there is no word in this language to describe this state. If you belong to the first and second category, people will recognise you and follow you. But the danger in being a Master of the third type is that they look like ordinary people, and people might throw stones at them, even kill them because they don't believe that they are the way to salvation.
Excerpt from audio tape: "Find a Proper Master", UCLA, CA, USA, 891020