Not spiritual guidance but spiritual presence
IS NOT SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE AN ABSOLUTE NECESSITY FOR HUMAN GROWTH?
There are no absolutes in real life - including this statement too. Life is full of exceptions; that's one of its most beautiful things. Exceptions mean freedom. Exceptions mean you are not in a concentration camp. The absolute is nothing but complete bondage and slavery.
In the beginning days of scientific research scientists were thinking that in science there are no exceptions. That was one of the great prides of science, because that makes it absolutely certain. If there are exceptions you cannot be certain about the rules - and science needs certainty to be the base.
For the last three hundred years science went on proving that there were no exceptions, finding absolute rules. But Albert Einstein and his theory of relativity destroyed the whole three-hundred- year-long efforts of hundreds of scientists in a single blow. The theory of relativity means that nothing is absolute, everything is relative, and there are exceptions everywhere.
It is one thing that you may not be able to find the exception; that shows your limitation. Your instruments may not be yet refined enough to catch the exception. It does not prove anything about the absoluteness of any rule - only the limitations of human mind. The finer your instruments become, the finer your approach to reality, the more you are simply mystified: there are exceptions, and exceptions to everything. Nothing is absolute. After Albert Einstein nothing is absolute.
This is something to rejoice in, because science was creating a world of dead rules, mechanical.
The whole concept of pre-Einsteinian science was that the world is a vast mechanism - that it is not an organism, but a mechanism.
A mechanism functions perfectly without any exceptions. It has no mind, how can it create exceptions? It simply goes on moving in the same rut. It never gets bored. It never feels to do something just for a change, something other than it has been doing always. There is no mind in it; hence, the machine can be absolute.
But an organism, a living being, cannot be absolute. It is a free agent. If it follows a certain rule, that is its decision. It can drop out, it can just go in the opposite direction. Hence, science never said that the world is an organism, but a vast mechanism.
But the theory of relativity disturbed the whole setup, and it has disturbed it forever. Never again will science be able to have the old certainty, because it has been found through the theory of relativity that as we go deeper into the inner world of the atom, a strange phenomenon is experienced.
When we go inside the atom there are three divisions: the electron, the neutron, and the positron. It was thought that they must be following a set discipline, just as we find in every material thing. But strangely enough, they are very individualistic. Sometimes they behave in one way, sometimes they don't behave in the same way.
And one thing that is of tremendous importance for you to remember is - it is just like when you are taking a bath, with the door closed, nude, enjoying the freedom of being alone, making faces before the mirror knowing that nobody is seeing you. But then suddenly you become aware of a noise near the door and you see two eyes looking through the keyhole. Suddenly you are no longer the same, you have changed. Now you cannot make faces before the mirror.
What has happened? An observer changed your behavior. We can understand this because you are a conscious human being and you were behaving in a certain way with the knowledge that nobody was watching. Once you see that somebody is watching, you start behaving the way you are supposed to behave.
Making faces before the mirror is very childish. There is nothing wrong about it; it is not a sin. It is your mirror, it is your face, you are not doing any harm to anybody. But certainly the observer instantly changes you. You start doing other things just to look busy, as if you are doing meaningful things. Just a moment before you were doing meaningless things, now you are doing meaningful things.
The same was discovered in the innermost core of the atom: the electrons behave differently when there is no observer. And the moment the scientist and his instruments make them aware that somebody is observing, they change their rules; a sudden transformation takes place.
This was very shocking to the scientists because electrons are supposed to be particles of electricity:
that's the meaning of electron. They are supposed to be material, but they are behaving with such great consciousness. And as the work progressed, many more things became noticeable.
You go from point A to point B - certainly you exist between point A and point B when you go from point A to point B. You must exist between the two; otherwise how can you reach point B? It was found that in the inner world of the atom this is not applicable. The electron moves from point A to point B but between the two he disappears; he is no more, he is non-existential. This is very absurd, illogical; it does not suit a good electron to do such a mischievous thing - that moving from point A to point B, in the middle you simply disappear, and no trace is found.
Because of this, science fiction became very prominent. In many languages that kind of fiction was written. And it seems possible - if electrons can disappear, why not you, because you are nothing but millions and millions of electrons, you are a crowd. And if a single electron can do such a thing, perhaps one day it will be possible .... And that is the only way that man can hope to reach some faraway star. Traveling by traditional bullock cart means won't do, you cannot reach.
Even to reach the nearest star will take you four years traveling at the speed of light, and that too only if we can manage to create a vehicle which can move with the speed of light - which is impossible because anything moving with the speed of light becomes light. At that speed the heat is so much, the friction at that speed is such that everything becomes fire. No kind of metal exists which can resist that speed and remain itself.
The speed is very tremendous. In one second, one hundred and eighty-six thousand miles - in one second! Multiply it by sixty, that is in one minute; multiply it again by sixty, that is in one hour. This way go on multiplying to find the distance traveled in one year: that is one light year. The nearest star is four light years away! With such a speed .... First, there is a barrier: such a speed is not possible. Your vehicle, you, and everything would become light. By the time you reached that star you would be just rays of light and nothing else.
Scientists, and particularly scientific novelists, became very enchanted with the idea that the electron can disappear in the middle, between two points. That gave them a beautiful myth for the future:
that we can make a machine in which the man enters and disappears - just like the electrons. We have just to find out how they manage to disappear. What is their mode of disappearance?
Once we have found their methods of disappearing from one point and then appearing again at another point, then there is no problem. Then man can disappear from the earth and can appear on the moon, on Mars, or anywhere in the whole universe. Then time is no problem. Here you disappear, and there you appear. In the middle there is nowhere that you can be found.
This looks very fictitious. Yes, as far as man is concerned, right now it looks fictitious, but the electrons have been doing it all along. They are still doing it. Their behavior destroys the whole certainty of science. It destroyed the whole Aristotelian logic and Euclidian geometry, it destroyed Bacon's rules - it destroyed everything.
It opened a new dimension of utter freedom. And if even matter is so free, what about consciousness? Then consciousness is pure freedom.
So the first thing about your question I want to tell you is, there is nothing absolute. Everything is relative.
"Absolute" is a weighty word. It gives you a certain confidence. Politicians use such words to create confidence, certainty. But I cannot use such words, I am not a politician. I would prefer to use a more humble word: "relative". It does not give you the feel of certainty. But certainty is needed only by people who are uncertain, certainty is the need of weaklings. People who are at ease have no need for certainty. They can very well understand the word "relative" and its implications.
There is a story: one day a man came to Gautam Buddha just in the morning, and asked him, "Does God exist?" Buddha looked at the man for a moment, and then said, "Yes." The man could not believe it because he had heard that Buddha does not believe in God. Now, what to make of his yes?
Even his disciples, the closest disciples ... Ananda was with him, he was shocked. Buddha had never said so certainly, without any ifs and buts, a simple yes - to God! He had, his whole life been fighting against the idea of God. But there was a settlement between Buddha and Ananda .... Ananda was Buddha's elder cousin-brother. When he was taking sannyas, Ananda had asked beforehand, "You have to promise me a few things. Right now I am your elder brother. After taking sannyas I will be your disciple: then whatsoever you say I will have to do, but right now I can demand something and you will have to do it."
Buddha said, "I know you. You cannot ask anything which will put your younger brother in any difficulty. You can ask."
Ananda said, "They are not big things, just simple things. One is that every night before going to sleep, if I want to ask something, you will have to answer, you can't say, 'I am tired, and the whole day's journey, and so many people and so many meetings ....' You will have to answer. Yes, I will never ask in the day, I will not disturb you the whole day, but I am a human being and I am not enlightened: certain questions may arise."
Buddha said, "That is accepted."
In the same way Ananda asked two more things: "One is that you will never tell me to go anywhere else; I will always be with you, to serve you till my last breath. You will not tell me, 'Now you go and spread my message,' just the way you send others. You cannot send me."
Buddha said, "Okay, that's not a problem."
And third, Ananda said, "If I ask you to give some time to somebody, at any hour - it may be a very odd hour, in the middle of the night - you will have to meet the person. That much privilege you have to give me."
Buddha said, "That too is okay because I know you."
Ananda was very much puzzled by Buddha's answer that yes, God exists, but he could not ask in the day, he had to wait for the night. In the afternoon, another man came and asked the same question:
"Is there a God?" And Buddha said, "No, not at all."
Now, things became more complicated - Ananda was almost in a state of falling apart. But this was nothing. By the evening, a third man came; and he sat by the side and he asked Buddha, "Will you say something about God?"
Buddha looked at him, closed his eyes and remained silent. The man also closed his eyes. They sat in silence for half an hour; then the man touched Buddha's feet and said, "Thank you for your answer," and went away.
Now, it was too much. Everybody gone - the time was passing so slowly and Ananda was boiling; and when everybody was gone, he simply jumped up. He said, "This is too much! You should take care, at least, of us poor people too. Those three persons don't know all the three answers, they only know one answer. But we are with you, we have heard all the three answers. You should think of us too, we have been going crazy. If this is going to go on, what will happen to us?"
Buddha said, "You should remember one thing. First, those questions were not your questions, those answers were not given to you. Why should you jump into it? It is none of your business. It was something between me and those three people."
Ananda said, "That I can understand. It is not my question, and you have not answered me. But I have ears and I can hear; I heard the question, I heard the answer. And all the three answers are contradiction upon contradiction. First you say yes, then you say no; and then you remain silent, you don't say anything. And that great guy touched your feet and said, 'Thank you for your answer.' And we are sitting there and there has been no answer at all!"
Buddha said, "You think about life in terms of absolutes, that's your trouble. Life is relative. To that man, the answer was yes; it was relative to him, related to the implications of his questions, his being, his life. That man to whom I said yes was an atheist; he does not believe in God, and I do not want to support his stupid atheism. He goes on proclaiming there is no God. Even if a small space is left unexplored ... perhaps in that space God exists. You can say with absoluteness there is no God when you have explored all existence. That is possible only in ultimate samadhi.
"And that man was simply believing that there was no God - he had no existential experience of there being no God. I had to shatter him, I had to bring him down to earth. I had to hit him hard on the head. My yes was relative to that person, to his whole personality. His question was not just words. The same question from somebody else may have received another answer.
And that's what happened when I said to the other person, no. The question was the same, the words were the same - but the man behind those words was different. So the relationship between the words and the implications had changed. It is relative. The second man was as much an idiot as was the first, but on the opposite pole: he believed there is God. And he had come to get my support for his belief. I don't support anybody's belief because belief as such is the barrier. It does not matter what belief it is, true or false. No belief is true, no belief is false; all beliefs are simply idiotic. I had to say to that man, no.
"And the third man had come with no belief. He had not asked me, 'Is there a God?' No, he had come with an open heart, with no mind, no belief, no ideology. He was really a sane man, intelligent.
He asked me, 'Would you say something about God?' He was not in search of somebody's support for his belief system, he was not in search of a faith, he was not asking with a prejudiced mind. And he was asking about my experience: 'Would you say something about God?'
"I could see that this man has no belief, this way or that; he is innocent. With such an innocent person, language is meaningless. I cannot say yes, I cannot say no; only silence is the answer. So I closed my eyes and remained silent.
"And my feeling about the man proved to be true. He closed his eyes - seeing me close my eyes, he closed his eyes. He understood my answer: Be silent, go in. He remained in silence for half an hour with me and he received the answer - that God is not a theory, a belief, that you have to be for or against.
"That's why he thanked me for the answer, and you are puzzled for what answer he thanked me. He received the answer that silence is divine, and to be silent is to be godly; there is no other god than silence. And he went tremendously fulfilled, contented. He has found the answer.
"I have not given him the answer, he has found the answer. I have simply allowed him to have a taste of my presence."
I am telling this story for two reasons; one, to illustrate that nothing is absolute. You are asking me, is it absolutely necessary to have spiritual guidance? It all depends, nothing is absolute.
For the first man, there was no need for any guidance. He had not come for any guidance. So was the case with the second man; although he was opposite to the first, he had not come for any guidance. He wanted a ready-made answer. Those two were not seekers. They wanted somebody else to take their responsibility. They were parasites, suckers. They wanted to throw their burdens onto somebody else's shoulders.
"But the third man was a seeker. He had not asked for guidance, but he received it. I had not given it to him."
It is not necessarily so, that you can receive only that which is given to you. There are so many ways to receive it. You can steal it, you can borrow it, you can simply find it on the street - it may have fallen from somebody's pocket.
Gurdjieff actually used to say to his disciples that unless you are ready to steal the truth from the Master he is not going to give it to you. He will only give it to you when he sees that now you have come to the limit of your tolerance; now if he is not going to give it to you, you are going to kill him.
Only then will he give it; only then are you capable of receiving it.
But Buddha is saying a different, totally different thing. He is saying, "I have not given it to him but he has received it. I was simply present, available - just like a river flows, and if you are thirsty you drink. The river does not give the water to you, does not invite you. You have to bend down and make a cup with your hands to take the water. The river is available. If you are an idiot you can go on standing on the bank of the river for your whole life - thirsty, cursing the river, "It goes on flowing with so much water, and I am thirsty and standing here, and nobody takes care of me!"
You will have to allow the presence of the Master to flow into you. You will have to be open, vulnerable. That man in his silence was vulnerable. He left all his windows and doors open to let the breeze blow. And when you are so close to a Master like Gautam Buddha, you will be filled by his presence, his waves will go on shattering on your shores. Nothing is being given, but much has been taken in.
You ask me: Is it not absolutely necessary to have spiritual guidance? It raises so many questions.
Let us try to understand the implication of different words in it. Spiritual guidance ... what spiritual guidance? stand on your head? fast every alternate day? go on changing a mantra? ... What is spiritual guidance?
Guidance is possible, guides exist. When you go to visit an historical place, ruins, then there are guides who tell you what used to be a palace and is now a ruin. I used to go to many places, just traveling around India, talking to people, finding my people. On the way there were so many ruins - India is such an old and ancient country, there are so many places.
Sarnath is near Varanasi, where Buddha gave his first sermon. I was staying with a doctor friend who was very insistent that I should go. "Sarnath is so close, just a half-hour ride." He was willing to take me, and he knew the best guide, so he would make every arrangement. And he could take me around the ruins of the temples - the places where Buddha lived, where he sat, where he spoke for the first time.
And now many new temples have arisen because of Buddha. All the countries of the East have made their temples and their guest houses, because people from Japan, people from China, people from Tibet, people from Burma, people from Ceylon, from all over Asia, continuously go on coming on a pilgrimage - and Sarnath is one of the places where they are bound to come. All these countries have made big places, big temples, so Sarnath is not just ruins. On one hand it is the ruins of twenty-five centuries, and in these twenty-five centuries, many Buddhist kings have made temples and they have gone into ruins. Now new countries go on making temples.
So I said, "If you insist I will go."
The best guide happened to be one of the Buddhist monks, Jagdish Kashyap. He is a learned man, and finally became the head of the Buddhist research institute. But at that time he was the guide for the kings from Buddhist countries, queens, ambassadors, big shots. He took me around, and he started saying things that he must have been saying every day to people who were coming. He said, "This is the place where Buddha sat and gave his first sermon."
I asked him, "Do you have any inner certainty about it?"
He said, "Inner certainty? It is an historical fact."
I said, "I am not concerned about history. I am asking you, do you have any inner certainty? Have you sat in this place and felt that a man like Buddha may have sat in this place? Have you felt any vibe?"
He said, "My God, these ... I am a GUIDE!"
But I said, "Otherwise, what historical proof can you give? For centuries it has been said King Ashoka has made a pillar and written that this is the place. But he himself lived five hundred years after Buddha. Gossips change with five minutes ... five hundred years! This pillar is not an historical fact; it was made five hundred years after. You give me something solid."
He said, "You are a difficult person. Come with me to my house and have a cup of tea."
I said, "That seems far better than your historical proofs."
Sitting in his house was such a difficulty. Just to drink one cup of tea was difficult - so many mosquitoes, and so big I have never seen. In India there are great places where there are really giant mosquitoes, but nothing compared to Sarnath. Just drinking tea, I told him, "You say Buddha gave his first sermon here."
He said, "Yes."
And I said, "You told me on the way that in another city in Vasali, he gave forty sermons."
I said, "Why didn't he come to Sarnath again?"
He said, "How can I answer why he ... that was up to him, whether he wanted to come back or not.
You ask strange questions."
I said, "No, because I have the answer."
He said, "You have the answer ... why he didn't come twice?"
I said, "Because of the mosquitoes. I am also not going to come twice. Finished! And I call this proof; there is no need for any historical proof. These mosquitoes are enough to prove that any intelligent person would not come here again. And you must be an idiot that you go on living here."
Guides are good in ruins, historical places; but you are not an historical place, you are not a ruin.
You are a living being. You are not a ruin. You are a living being. You are here, now, present. You don't need guidance - you need presence. And try to understand the difference.
In guidance you are given certain rules: Do this, don't do that - ten commandments. But you can follow those rules, you can follow those commandments; you will be just an imitator and nothing else. You may become very disciplined but inside you will remain as hollow as ever.
I had a friend who was a homeopathic doctor. Now homeopathic doctors are almost starving, nobody goes to them. Or sometimes people go to them when they have tried everywhere else and are just on the last hope, ready to die, knowing perfectly well .... This homeopathic doctor used to live next door to me, and whenever I saw a patient coming to him, I said, "This man is dying. If he is not, why is he going to the homeopathic doctor?"
I used to keep a record, and I found that anybody who came to him died within a few weeks. And I showed him the record. I said, "I have been keeping a record for you. You are some great doctor!
Anybody who comes to you, you don't let him live more than four weeks. That is the longest span you give."
He said, "You mean I killed him?"
I said, "No, I don't mean that, I mean they come here only when they are dying. Before that nobody thinks of homeopathy as a pathy or any scientific treatment. People just laugh at it. The moment I introduce you to somebody and say, 'He is a homeopathic doctor,' they start smiling."
He was a poor man - because if patients are not coming, and those who come, die, it becomes notorious all around: "Don't go to that doctor. Once a man goes to that doctor, then his fate is sealed." And he said, "The trouble is that not only do they die, they don't give me the fees! Before giving me the fees they are gone."
He showed me one day, his post office account: one hundred and thirty-six rupees. He said, "Once these one hundred and thirty-six rupees are finished, what do you think I should do?"
I said, "Why wait for your one hundred and thirty-six rupees to be finished? Take them out, enjoy, and become a sannyasin."
First he thought that I was joking, but then he said, "The idea is right. Why should I wait? At least once in my life I can enjoy for two, three days whatever I want and then become a sannyasin. This is a good idea." So he became a sannyasin.
After ten or twelve years passed ... I had no news about him, what had happened to him, where he went - just one day, when I was passing near Gwalior somebody told me that one sannyasin lives in the nearby forest. I asked the name, and I said, "Are you certain?"
He said, "I am absolutely certain - I go there. He is a very nice man, and he is a great homeopathic doctor. I am almost a disciple to him."
I said, "I must go and see" - so I went. He was living in a small house. The window was open because he was in the forest, and he was naked, walking inside the room. I saw him from the outside, walking inside the room. I saw him from the outside, walking naked. I knocked on the door.
He came with a towel wrapped around. I said, "Why did you do this?"
He said, "Did you see me walking naked, from outside?"
I said, "I have seen you, you can put aside your towel. There is no need."
"No," he said, "not now - slowly slowly."
I said, "What do you mean?"
He said, "I am disciplining myself. That is my goal, to become a nude monk." That is the highest goal, to become a nude monk; and he was practicing for it by walking nude, then going into the city with just the towel on. Then one day, just by chance, the towel slips ... slowly, slowly.
I said, "I can understand. You are following a right methodology - but this will not make you a real sannyasin, this will make you only a practiced circus man."
What can you practice? Can you practice love? Yes, you can do all the actions of love; you can hug somebody, but it does not mean that it is love. It may be just a wolf's hug. Yes, in love, people hug, but that does not apply vice-versa, that when you hug you are in love. Yes, when people love they have certain expressions for each other. That does not mean that by repeating those expressions you are in love.
This is something very essential to understand: when a person like Mahavira became nude, it was not practice; he had not practiced it. He was a king. He distributed all his property, land, money; whatsoever he had, he distributed it all to the masses, to the people. With just a shawl around he left town. But when he was just leaving the town, he met a beggar who was crippled, who was trying to come to the town because he had heard that Mahavira was distributing things. But he was crippled, so he was just dragging himself, without legs. And he was late, so he met mahavira when Mahavira was getting out of the city.
He said, "I was coming, but I am without legs so I could not reach in time. You are leaving, and the poorest man of your kingdom has not received anything."
Now Mahavira said, "I have not got anything else except this shawl, but it is very precious studded with diamonds." So he tore half and gave half to the beggar. He said, "This will be enough for your whole life and I will manage with the other half." So now it remained just like a towel wrapped around him.
As Mahavira was entering the forest, a rosebush caught hold of the half that was his shawl. He suddenly found himself naked. He thought to take the shawl back from the rosebush, but then he thought, "What is the point? Sooner or later I am going to lose this shawl. It is so precious that even while I am asleep I will have to take care of it. It is better the rosebush has taken its share and freed me completely. Now I have nothing to fear - nothing can be stolen. And I am left exactly as I was born."
This is not practice, this is simple understanding.
Now this man was practicing for twelve years, slowly slowly reducing his clothes: four, three, two one. Now he had come to a towel; and in the house he was naked, outside the house, he wore the towel. And the villagers all around knew him as naked. He was really making them see, that's why he kept the windows open. This was his practice.
He would become a nude sannyasin one day and would be very famous and people would worship him because he had renounced everything.
And it happened that I was in Patiala, in Punjab, eight years after meeting him in the towel, in the forest. He had become very famous, thousands of people used to gather to listen to him. The king of Patiala, who was my host, told me that a great saint had come. I said, "I know the saint, and I know that he is great."
The king said, "No, it is ... I am not talking non-seriously, he is really a great saint. He has renounced everything."
I said, "I know how much he has renounced: one hundred and thirty-six rupees."
He said, "How do you know the exact amount?"
I said, "You can ask him: one hundred and thirty-six rupees was in his post office account."
He invited the great saint. I was in another room, and I said, "First you ask him; if he refuses to say then I will come in."
So first the king asked, "How much did you renounce?"
And the man, in a saintly way, said, "Who cares? Who remembers how much it was? But I renounced it all. It is all useless, it is just a burden. I will suggest that you too, renounce this kingdom, this Patiala kingdom. It is so peaceful and so silent when you renounce the worldly things."
Then I came in, and he ... it was worth seeing! he suddenly stood up, and he said, "From where have you come?"
I said, "I was here and was listening to your great spiritual things. What about one hundred and thirty- six rupees? Have your forgotten? Could you not be true and say to the king, 'I have renounced one hundred and thirty-six rupees'?"
The king said to the man, "You are known as a great saint."
I said, "He is a great homeopathic doctor too. And he had to renounce the world, it is not that he wanted to renounce it. And he renounced it on my advice. He had to renounce because every patient coming to him was dying. He had become so notorious, there was no other way. The world had rejected him. I suggested to him that it is better to renounce the world than to be rejected by the world; why miss such an opportunity?"
There were tears in the man's eyes and he said, "I am very sorry that I was not telling the truth, but the truth is that I am also living a complete lie: I am not a saint at all - it is all practiced."
And I told him, "I have told you that practice will not make you a saint. Saintliness comes out of understanding, not out of practice. It is the flowering of your intelligence, not a certain discipline."
So what kind of guidance can you get? No real Master gives guidance. Those who give guidance simply show that they are not Masters at all. And there are millions around the world who are guiding people. In every religion, rabbis, priests, monks, are guiding people, helping people to grow spiritually. Nobody even bothers to ask himself: Has any REAL Master ever given guidance?
Bayazid, a Sufi mystic, remained with his Master, Junnaid, for twelve years. When he came, Junnaid told him to sit down. Every day he would come and Junnaid would say, "Sit down." Many would come and talk, and this and that, but Junnaid never asked anything about him. In the evening, when Junnaid withdrew into his silent room, Bayazid would get up and leave. It continued for twelve years.
Every day Bayazid would come and immediately Junnaid would say, "Sit down."
After twelve years Junnaid looked at him and said, "Those fools have been wasting their time and my time. What about you?"
Bayazid said, "I am immensely happy just with your saying, 'Sit down.' And slowly slowly, slowly slowly, everything in me has settled. It is not only me just physically sitting. Spiritually inside me everything has settled. There is no turmoil, no question. You have given me so much. I cannot, in any way, repay it."
But Junnaid said, "I have not done anything - I was simply saying, 'Sit down.' Do you think that is something for which you have to be grateful to me? Anybody in your place would have killed me!
Twelve years! and nothing but, 'Sit down' every day! The whole day sitting there, and again the next day, the same story."
But Bayazid said, "That is not the question. I am not saying anything about your giving, or not giving.
Just sitting by your side I was getting it. I don't know whether you were giving it or not, but just sitting by your side I was getting it. It was simply flowing in me."
Spiritual guidance is nonsense.
Spiritual presence is the way of a real Master. And it does not need you to sit down for twelve years.
That happened in the case of Bayazid - all cases are different. It may happen just by a look into your eyes. It may happen just by a touch on your head. So there is no fixed pattern of guidance with a real Master. And I am talking about pseudo-teachers.
With a real Master anything can become a transfer of energy.
All that is needed is your availability.
All that is needed is your indefensibility.
Ordinarily everybody is defending himself. That's how you have been brought up in the world: be defensive, be alert, because the whole world is your enemy. And if you are not defensive, you will be crushed. In fact, people like Machiavelli say that the best way to defend is to attack. If you really want to defend yourself, before anybody attacks you, you attack. That's the best way of defense.
And certainly it is.
If you are in search of defense then don't wait for somebody to attack you; it is better you attack.
Make the other person defensive and you will be one step ahead. That is better for your defense.
Machiavelli is the real teacher of all your spiritual guides. They are not helping you to drop your defenses.
Now this Junnaid saying to Bayazid, "Sit down" - and then not even looking at him for the whole day .... It must have been difficult in the beginning, almost unbearable. When Bayazid was leaving after twelve years, paying his tributes, gratitudes, touching his Master's feet, who has never said anything other than "Sit down," he asked Junnaid, "Will you tell me something about YOUR Master, just as a parting message?"
Junnaid said, "It was not much different from what has happened between me and you. It was a little more difficult. For six years he would not allow me in his room; I had to stand outside. Anybody .... What do you say? - Harry, Tom, Dick? or Dick, Tom, Harry? These three names are so difficult.
I can never manage to remember who is first, who is second, who is third. Tom ... Dick and Harry ... Okay, I will try to remember that Harry is last: Tom, Dick, Harry. So all Toms, all Dicks, and all Harrys were allowed in. Just Junnaid was not; for six years he remained outside.
"After six years the Master himself came outside, took my hand in his own hand, and said, 'Please come in.' Then for six years again, there was silence. I was allowed in, and I used to come and sit, and wait for any guidance. After six years he looked at me and smiled; and then for six years again he forgot about me completely.
"It took eighteen years. After eighteen years, he called me close, and hugged me, and kissed me on my forehead; and that very moment something happened. I don't know how and what it was, but something in me died, and I was completely renewed - a renewal. I looked all around; I had the same eyes, but everything looked new, fresh, alive - the whole existence became a beauty. And just the way you are feeling grateful to me, although I have not done anything, I also had felt grateful to him. He said, 'I have not done anything. Your patience for six years standing outside earned my coming out and taking you in. You deserved it, you were ready for it, to come in.
"'For six years I did not pay any attention to you,' he said, 'but I never felt a single moment of depression in you, hopelessness in you, anger in you, or hostility towards me, that a man who was keeping you sitting for twelve years, wasting your life .... That's why I smiled. I smiled to give you a sign that you were coming closer, just to give you a little encouragement.'"
Six years of standing outside, and he calls it a little encouragement! Six years of sitting and he calls it a little encouragement - a smile. But with a true Master these small things are not small.
Remember, everything is relative. Its meaning, its depth, changes with the person.
When a Master smiles it is not just an ordinary smile.
And it was understood. Then another six years passed, and Junnaid's Master said, "I have not called you on my own, I had to call you close to me. It was something irresistible. You have managed such an openness, such a great trust that I am grateful to you. You need not be grateful to me; I had to call you. In fact I have been too hard on you and I simply kissed you so that you could forgive me all those eighteen years of hardship."
A true Master looks at things in a totally different way. But that kiss transformed Junnaid ....
In the human being's growth, the presence of the Master is needed, but not any spiritual guidance.
All guidance is bogus. It is exploitation.
The real thing never comes through practice, through discipline.
The real thing only happens between two living flames.
All that is needed is that those two living flames should come closer.
Now, coming closer is not a discipline.
It is a love affair, it is not a practice.
That's why I say that religion is a love affair, a love affair with existence itself.
Be silent, be available, trust - because you have nothing to lose.
And then one day - of course it is unpredictable when, one never knows because things are so relative. It may happen in this moment, it may take years, but it doesn't matter.
Once you have detected a real Master, once you have had a little glimpse of an authentic man, then it does not matter when it happens. It does not matter even whether it happens or not.
In finding the Master it has happened already.
Now it is only a question of when you realize it, when you recognize it. You may take a little time, you may take a long time - but it is immaterial.
I repeat: In finding the Master it has happened.
Now take your time, and whenever you want to recognize - recognize this life, next life ... time is immaterial.