From TSL Encyclopedia
El Morya speaks about the guru-chela relationship in his book The Chela and the Path:
Chela is a term meaning student or disciple of a religious teacher. It is derived from the Hindi celā, which is taken from the Sanskrit ceta, meaning slave. In the Eastern tradition of chelaship, recognized for thousands of years as the way of self-mastery and enlightenment, one desiring to have the mysteries of universal law imparted to him applies to the Teacher, known as the Guru, considered to be a Master (through the ages the real gurus have included both ascended and unascended Masters) to serve that Teacher until he is found worthy to receive the keys to his own inner reality.
In the Eastern tradition, the chela is the slave of his Master for a good reason—not for the loss of his true identity, but for the replacement of the pseudoimage with the Real Image of selfhood. The chela, by submission, day by day is weaving into consciousness the threads of the garment of his Master. The Master’s garment (as the much sought-after robe of the Christ) is synonymous with the Master’s consciousness.
In return for illumined obedience and self-sacrificing love, the chela receives increments of the Master’s attainment—of the Master’s own realization of his Real Self. Through the acceptance of the word of the Master as inviolate, the chela has imparted to him the Christ consciousness of his Master, which in turn is the means whereby the base elements of the chela’s subconscious and the momentums of his untransmuted karma are melted by the fervent heat of the sacred fire which comprises the Master’s consciousness. Thus, by freely and willingly setting aside the momentums of his human consciousness, the chela discovers that these are soon replaced by his Teacher’s mastery, which, when he makes it his own, serves as the magnet to magnetize his own higher consciousness and attainment.
The true Teacher teaches the chela how to come to grips with his karma—past, present, and future. He shows him how to study the law of causation in his own life and to trace undesirable conditions of the present to the core of past actions and interactions with individuals, family members, and the world at large. Thus the reactions of the past produce the ramifications of the present; and step by step the chela is taught to withdraw from the fabric of consciousness the blackened threads of unwise sowings of the past, that he might reap a more abundant harvest in the karma of the future.
To do this the chela must transcend the former state of consciousness; else he will repeat the same mistakes. To transcend that state, he must break through the paper bag of his own finite awareness—the cul-de-sac of mortal reason in which he has been floundering for centuries of incarnations. Thus when the pupil is ready for the breakthrough, the Teacher appears.
The Master Kuthumi once wrote to a would-be chela about “forcing” the Master to receive him. For, you see, by cosmic law the Ascended Masters must take on as their chelas those who move and act in conformity with the will of God on the path of self-discipline and self-immolation. When the chela, by unflinching service, shows himself to be indeed a “slave” of the diamond-shining mind of God, refusing to bow down to other idols of lesser selfhood, he finds himself standing face to face with either an ascended or unascended Master of the Great White Brotherhood or one of our embodied representatives who will provide him with certain teachings and practical steps to attain the goal of reunion whereby the outer consciousness meshes with the inner consciousness and the soul expresses the full potential of its innate Godhood.
As is often the case, the Ascended Masters remain behind the veil, which means simply that because of a lack of surrender or a lack of development in the chela, they retain a certain anonymity and prefer to remain elusive to the outer consciousness, almost playing hide-and-seek with the chela. And this is a means of keeping the chela in hot pursuit of the Guru; for it is the striving—the intense striving—for oneness that is the mark of the overcomer.
As you meditate upon your place upon the path, upon the circumstances of your life—what you are, what you desire to be, where you are and where you desire to be—consider that love is the fulfilling of the law of the path of chelaship. And if you would enter that path as the shortcut to self-awareness, you must be fearless in your acceptance of his word “He who seeks to save his life shall lose it; but he who loses his life for my sake shall find it.” Morya summons chelas of the sacred fire who would become adepts, followers who would become friends of Christ, exponents of the word of living truth, imitators of the Master, and finally the heart, head, and hand of our cosmic retinue.
We seek planetary alignment. We seek to overshadow, to become one with, to work through—yea, to pour the essence of our selfhood into hearts uplifted, the chalice of consciousness raised on high. We demand the all of those to whom we would give our all. The question is, Are you ready to exchange your lesser self for our Greater Self? The path that offers much requires much. As you say in the world, you get what you pay for. The price is high, but then you are purchasing the ultimate reality.
For more information
- Matt. 16:25; Mark 8:35; Luke 9:24.
- El Morya, The Chela and the Path: Keys to Soul Mastery in the Aquarian Age, chapter 2.