No master can betray love
TO THE WESTERN WORLD THE TERMS "FREEDOM" AND "THE MASTER" ARE VIRTUALLY MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE; FOR THOSE WHO HAVE MET YOU THIS IS WILDLY INACCURATE.
HOW DO YOU REDEFINE "FREEDOM" AND "THE MASTER" FOR THE WESTERN UNDERSTANDING?
Vadan and Iti, the Western world has not come in contact with the tremendous reality that happens in the meeting of a master and a disciple. Of course, it is not visible. It is just like love, but far greater and far deeper and far more mysterious.
The West has known saints and followers. The saints demand surrender, the saints demand faith.
And the moment you become faithful, you are no more; your whole individuality has been erased.
Then you are a Christian and you are a Jew, but you are not you. The phenomenon of the master and the disciple happened in the East in its golden days, when there were people like Lao Tzu and Zarathustra and Gautam Buddha. They created a totally new kind of relationship.
Everybody cannot paint like a Picasso; neither can everybody be a Michelangelo. The West has missed having a Gautam Buddha. Jesus is not at all a comparison to him. Jesus is simply a Jew, believing in all the Jewish dogmas. He is faithful - in fact, a little too much. Gautam Buddha is a rebel; he is not a follower of anyone. Neither is Lao Tzu a follower of anyone.
They don't have any scriptures, they don't have any belief systems. They have searched on their own, alone - risking, because they are moving away from the crowd on the lonely path, not knowing where this journey is going to end, but trusting their heart, experiencing small indications that peace is growing, that love is flowering, that a new fragrance has come to their being, that their eyes are no longer full of dust, of the past... A tremendous clarity and transparency and they know they are on the right path. There is no guide. And you will not meet anybody on the path to enquire how far the destination is.
It is a flight from the alone to the alone. But once a man finds a truth on his own, naturally he becomes aware that no organized religion is needed - it is a hindrance - that no priest, no mediators are needed; they will not allow you to reach to the truth. Such a man, who has found the truth, becomes a master. The difference is subtle and has to be understood. The disciple is not a follower; the disciple has simply fallen in love. You don't call lovers followers. Something has clicked in his being, in the presence of someone.
It is not a question of him being convinced about his ideas. It is not a conviction, it is not a conversion, it is a transformation. The moment a seeker comes in contact with one who has found, a great synchronicity happens. Looking into each others' eyes, without saying a word, something that they have never dreamt of suddenly becomes the greatest reality.
It is not belief, because belief is always in philosophies, in ideologies. It is not faith, because faith is in fictions for which nobody can find an argument or evidence - it is trust. What relates the master to the disciple is trust. Trust is the highest flowering of love. And how can love make anyone a slave?
The very fact that it is love that joins the master and the disciple is enough indication that the master will prepare every possibility for the disciple's freedom; otherwise, he will be betraying love and no master can betray love.
Love is the ultimate reality. He has to fulfill it in his actions, in his words, in his relations, in his silences. Whatever he does, he has to fulfill only one thing: that is his love. And if a person is groping in the dark, a disciple has come to him... only a priest can exploit him, a politician can exploit him. They are in search of followers - both the priest and the politician.
The politician and the priest are agreed on one point, that they need followers; only then can they become somebody. And they have divided their territories: the politician has taken the mundane world and the priest the spiritual. Between the two of them, they have made the whole of humanity slaves. They have destroyed everybody's freedom.
The greatest contribution has come from a few masters who managed not only their own freedom but also the freedom of those who loved them. It is simply inconceivable... If you love me, how can I enslave you? If you love me, then I will rejoice only in your freedom. When I see you opening your wings into the sky towards the unknown, the far away, the mysterious... that will be my joy; not that you are tethered to a certain dogma, creed, cult, religion, philosophy. These are all different names of chains, manufactured by different kinds of people. But their purpose is the same.
Because the West has not known masters, it has known popes, it has known prophets, it has known saviors, it has known saints. It is absolutely unaware that there is a dimension it has missed. And that dimension is the most valuable dimension. Because it has missed it, a great misunderstanding has arisen.
It happens... you know the beautiful parable of Aesop. A fox is trying, jumping as hard as possible, to reach the beautiful, ripe grapes hanging just above his head. But his jump is smaller than the height of the grapes. Tired, perspiring, having fallen many times, he looks around to see if anybody is watching.
A small rabbit, just hiding in a small bush, was watching. This was dangerous, this rabbit would spread the news all over. The fox walked away from the grapes. The rabbit followed and asked, "Uncle, just one question. What happened? Why could you not reach the grapes?"
The fox was very angry. He said, "I suspected, the moment I saw you, that you were going to create rumors about me. I have not chosen to take those grapes because they are not ripe. And if I hear anybody talking about those grapes, I will kill you, because you are the only witness."
It is a small parable, but it contains immense meaning: that which you cannot reach you start condemning - the grapes are not ripe.
Vadan and Iti are asking, "To the Western world the terms 'freedom' and 'the master' are virtually mutually exclusive; for those who have met you this is wildly inaccurate. How do you redefine 'freedom' and 'the master' for the Western understanding?"
The word 'master' creates confusion. It gives you the idea that you have become a slave, somebody has become your master. In the East, the word is used in the sense that you have become master of yourself, that you are no longer a slave, that you have attained freedom. Different languages, grown in different climates by different people, different experiences, are bound to create such kinds of confusion.
To be master of oneself has never been a goal in the Western consciousness - it has always been how to conquer others, how to be a master of others. It is difficult to translate many Eastern words into Western language. The same difficulty is there if you want to translate quantum physics into Eastern languages; you will not find the right words, because before language comes in, the experience has to be there. Experience creates language.
And if you try, very funny things are bound to happen. The eastern word for master is acharya. The word 'acharya' means one who lives his life authentically, according to his own consciousness and awareness. And if you come close to such a person, what can he give to you? Being with him, you will learn only one thing: how to live in freedom, awareness, in deep integrity and dignity. We are using the word 'master' for acharya.
The word 'disciple' is more fortunate, because the eastern word shishya and the word 'disciple' have exactly the same meanings - for different reasons, but the meanings are the same. The disciple is one who is trying to learn something. The root meaning of the word 'disciple' is the same as the root meaning of the word 'discipline'. It means, preparing yourself to learn, to understand. It is perfectly good as it is; it can be used.
As far as the word 'master' is concerned... The disciple has just fallen in love with the man and wants to learn the same freedom, the same sincerity, the same integrity, the same height of consciousness.
The question of surrender does not arise, and the question of belief does not arise. In the presence of the master, in the climate of the master, disciples start growing into new dimensions, which they did not know they were carrying within themselves as potentials.
The master does not give them anything except his love - that too it cannot be said he gives. It is simply showering, just the way the sun showers its rays on all the flowers, on all the birds, on all the animals; whoever comes close to the master is showered with love.
If you are searching, if you are ready to learn, if you are not already learned, if you are not already prejudiced, if you are not already faithful, if you have not sold your soul already to some theology, to some religion, to some ideology, then just being close to the master, something starts transpiring.
It is a transmission of the lamp. That's how it has been known in the East: a transmission of light from one heart, which has come to its own fire, to another heart which is groping in darkness.
Just coming closer... Think of two candles, one lit and one unlit, coming closer and closer. A moment comes when you will be suddenly amazed - both candles are lit. The flame has jumped to the other candle. Just a certain proximity... Love creates that proximity, and the flame jumps from one heart to another heart. There is no question of anybody surrendering, there is no question of anybody believing.
But your question is significant, because even in the East you will not ordinarily find the master I am defining. The East has fallen deep into darkness. The days of Gautam Buddha are no longer a reality, but just a beautiful memory, a dream that perhaps happened or perhaps somebody dreamt.
One morning a great king, Prasenjita, came to Gautam Buddha. He had in one of his hands a beautiful lotus flower and in the other hand one of the most precious diamonds of those days. He had come because his wife was persistent, "When Gautam Buddha is here, you waste your time with idiots, talking about unnecessary things".
From her very childhood she had been going to Gautam Buddha; then she got married. Prasenjita had no inclination of that kind but because she was so insistent he said, "It is worth at least one visit to go and see what kind of man this is." But he was a man of very great ego, so he took out the most precious diamond from his treasure to present to Gautam Buddha.
He did not want to go there just as an ordinary man. Everybody had to know... In fact he wanted everybody to know, "Who is greater - Gautam Buddha or Prasenjita?" That diamond was so precious that many fights had happened, wars had happened over it.
His wife laughed and she said, "You are absolutely unaware of the man I'm taking you to. It is better that you take a flower rather than a stone to present to him." He could not understand, but he said, "There is no harm, I can take both. Let us see."
When he reached there, he offered his diamond, which he was carrying in one of his hands, and Buddha said simply, "Drop it!" Naturally, what can you do? He dropped it. He thought that perhaps his wife was right. In the other hand he was carrying the lotus, and as he tried to offer the lotus, Buddha said, "Drop it!"
He dropped that too, and became a little afraid: the man seems to be insane, but ten thousand disciples... And he stood there thinking that the people must be thinking he is stupid. And Buddha said the third time, "Don't you listen to me? Drop it!!" Prasenjita said, "He is really gone. Now I have dropped the diamond, I have dropped the lotus; now I don't have anything."
And at that very moment, Sariputta, an old disciple of Gautam Buddha, started laughing. His laughter turned Prasenjita towards him, and he asked him, "Why are you laughing?"
He said, "You don't understand the language. He is not saying drop the diamond, he is not saying drop the lotus. He is saying drop yourself, drop the ego. You can have the diamond and you can have the lotus, but drop the ego. Don't take it back."
Those were beautiful days. Suddenly a new sky opened to Prasenjita. He dropped himself at Gautam Buddha's feet in utter humbleness, and he never left. He became part of the great caravan that used to follow Gautam Buddha. He forgot all about his kingdom, forgot about everything. The only thing that remained was this beautiful man, this tremendous grace, this invisible magnetism, these eyes and this silence. And he was gripped by all this.
It is not a question of belief. It is not a question of conversion, argumentation, it is a question of the highest quality of love.
It is rare to find a master today, and there are many pretenders. One of the things that can be said about the pretenders is that you can recognize them immediately. The moment they ask you to believe in anything, the moment they ask you to follow a certain rule, regulation, the moment they ask you to have faith in them... never doubt, never question, have indubitable faith - these are the indications of the pretenders. Wherever you find these, escape from the place as fast as you can.
But these people are all over the world, not only in the West but in the East too. It is very rare that you come across a master who gives you dignity, who gives you love, who gives you freedom; who does not create any bondage for you, and who does not make any contract, and who does not want you to be a shadow of him - he wants you to be yourself. The moment you can find a man like this, the greatest moment of your life has arrived. Don't miss it. Pretenders are many, but authentic masters are immensely rare.
It is unfortunate of our age, of our times, that we have forgotten a certain dimension completely - not only in the West. In the West they never discovered it, but in the East we discovered it and lost it.
And if there are no more masters who have attained to their ultimate potential, who have become a God unto themselves, then it is very difficult for disciples who are groping in darkness, in blindness, in all kinds of diversions, to find their own dignity, their own self.
My effort here is not to create disciples - that is just the preface - but to create masters, as many masters as possible. The world needs immensely, urgently, many people of awareness, of love, of freedom, of sincerity. Only these people can create a certain spiritual atmosphere that can prevent this world from being destroyed by the suicidal forces - which are very powerful, but not more powerful than love.
IS IT POSSIBLE FOR A MASTER TO TAKE THE PAIN OF HIS DISCIPLES IN HELPING THEM TO UNDERSTAND THEIR ENLIGHTENMENT, AND IN THE PROCESS CAUSE HIS BODY TO BECOME SICK?
Amrito, it is possible for a master to take the pain of his disciples in helping them to understand their enlightenment, and in the process cause his body to become sick. Theoretically it is possible, but practically it is not.
When I say, theoretically it is possible, I mean, there is no barrier in its happening. But the problem is that the moment the master becomes enlightened, his grip over his own body comes to the minimum. Most of the people who have become enlightened have died either immediately or within a few minutes or a few hours. The experience is so great, and the shock to the system of the body is unabsorbable. Out of thousands, perhaps a few have survived. And there are reasons why they survived.
But they suffered tremendously from sicknesses. These are not sicknesses taken away from disciples, these are sicknesses intrinsic to the experience of enlightenment. Enlightenment means suddenly becoming aware that you are not the body, and a distance is created. The old identity that, "I am the body," was keeping you together. You start falling apart. Mostly, the shock is so much that people have died.
But it has not been discussed because to discuss it... People have thought, "Rarely does somebody become interested in enlightenment. And if you tell them that enlightenment means that you will have to suffer afterwards, then anybody will simply say, 'Then why should we become enlightened?
We are good as we are.'" That part has not been disclosed. But I don't want to keep anything secret, because I know my people can die celebrating, laughing, rejoicing. Death is not a fear to them.
Just today, Anubuddha was massaging me, because my hand has been in terrible pain for many weeks. He said, "You seem to be aware of every pain point, wherever I touch. I have never seen anybody..." And he is our best body worker - very sensitive, very alert, very loving, and very successful.
His work is that ordinary people, who are identified with the body, should become more aware, if there is some pain or not. "But you are not identified with the body. Then how do you become aware? And so minutely?" Because I go on telling him, "This is the right point, this is where you should work." Nobody may have told him before, because you don't tell the body worker - he is the expert, not you.
And I go on telling him, "You missed a point just now." And he has to go back and he finds it. So he was asking... I told him, "After the massage." But then I forgot, so I said, "It is better to tell it now."
Once you are enlightened, a distance starts creating itself between you and your identity with the body. That does not mean that death is inevitable. It only means that now you will not be able to control the body in the same way you used to control it in the past. But it does not prevent your awareness; it gives you more awareness. You become a witness.
Just as he is working on my body... for him it is only guess work, whether some point is a pain point or not. To me it is not guess work; I am seeing from within that it is a pain point.
Awareness comes with enlightenment, but awareness brings its own problems. Ramakrishna died of cancer, Maharishi Raman died of cancer, J. Krishnamurti suffered for forty years continuously with a terrific migraine. The migraine was so much, twenty-four hours a day, that he said, "Sometimes I feel like hitting my head against the wall and crushing it. The pain is unbearable."
Amrito, your question is created by the disciples, because disciples cannot understand - "J.
Krishnamurti suffering from migraine? No, it cannot be. There must be some hidden reason.
He must have taken the migraines of many, many disciples." And then they feel satisfied - a right explanation has been found.
Ramakrishna suffered from cancer, and his disciples go on writing that he had taken the cancer of some disciple. But even if you take the cancer of some disciple, that disciple is not going to become enlightened, so what is the point? The poor fellow was suffering with cancer. At least there was something - you have taken even that.
In fact, if your body sicknesses can be taken by enlightened people, you will not think of becoming enlightened. It is better to be unenlightened and let the enlightened people take care of your sicknesses, and meanwhile enjoy - unless accidentally you become enlightened, because then you cannot go back. That's what I mean when I say, theoretically it is possible. That needs some explanation.
You have two words in English, 'sympathy' and 'empathy'. Sympathy is when you feel superficially:
somebody is miserable, somebody is sick and you feel sympathetic. You sit by the side, cry a little and then go on to the movies. What else to do? Your eyes are more clean, and now... Empathy means that you become so one with the person that sicknesses or anything can be transferred.
It happened in Ramakrishna's life. And I take Ramakrishna's story because others are very ancient, maybe just parables. Ramakrishna's was just in the last century. And there were hundreds of eye- witnesses, reports and not a single denial of the fact, what had happened.
Ramakrishna was going in the Ganges in a boat to the other side - a few disciples were with him.
Suddenly he started saying, "Don't beat me, don't beat me, it hurts! I say don't beat me!" And tears started coming to his eyes. And the disciples said, "But nobody is beating you. Is this a new game you are playing? We have seen many things you have done, but this is absolutely new."
But he was really crying and weeping and shouting, "Help me, save me! They will kill me!" The disciples said, "But what should we do? Because nobody is beating you, nobody is killing you."
When they reached the other shore, they found a sudra - one of the untouchables, the lowest Hindu category of people, who are not treated like human beings - was being beaten by his master, by his owner, because he had made some mistake. That man was half nude, and there was blood on his back and lines from the lashes.
Ramakrishna's people suddenly took away his shirt, and they could not believe it - the backs were both exactly the same: blood oozing... And Ramakrishna said, "I was telling you, but you did not listen. They were beating me."
Then they looked at that man who was lying almost unconscious. He was a sudra but for Ramakrishna this stupid and criminal categorization of society did not exist. That sudra used to come to Ramakrishna, he was one of his devotees. Even Ramakrishna's own people used to say, "This sudra should not be allowed."
Ramakrishna said, "Then I should not be allowed either, because I don't see any difference.
Everybody is born a sudra. Then if he becomes enlightened he can be a brahmin. If he becomes a warrior, he can be a chhatriya. If he becomes a businessman, he can be a vaishya. And if he remains in the lower kind of work - shoemaker, butcher, fisherman - then he should be a sudra.
But as far as birth is concerned, everybody is born a sudra. It is the lifestyle and the raising of consciousness that can make a difference."
But this is not the definition of the Hindus, it is not the definition of manusmriti, the Hindu holy scripture that divides society into four classes. According to the scripture, everybody is born as a brahmin or as a chhatriya or as a sudra or as a vaishya. It is not action, it is birth that decides.
Neither Mahavira believed it, nor Gautam Buddha believed it, nor Ramakrishna.
There was so much disturbance that Ramakrishna told the sudra, "When nobody is there... By the evening all these people go away" - he used to live outside Calcutta, near the Ganges - "and you can come then. You live on the other side, so if you cannot come, I can come. We can have a little chit-chat. And you play the flute so beautifully... you can play the flute."
The man was immensely in love with Ramakrishna and Ramakrishna showered his whole heart on him. What happened on that day was empathy: so much at-oneness that the same experience starts happening to both persons. That's why I say, theoretically it is possible. And once in a while it has happened, not because consciously enlightened people take other people's sicknesses and diseases on themselves, but accidentally, just like in the case of Ramakrishna.
The reality is that the enlightened person is somehow pulling together his body. He has lost all desires, all ambitions. He has no impetus for tomorrow. Even to breathe one more breath he has no reason for. So a great gap goes on growing. Awareness becomes more and more clean and clear, he can witness his own body from inside, but a witness is only a witness; he cannot do anything.
So all these stories that are being spread around, that some master took away a disease, are just an explanation to protect the so-called master. But how can a master fall sick? In fact, the master can fall sick more than anybody else, because he has separated himself from his body. The old clinging, the old grip is gone. Now it is a miracle that he goes on living for a few days. Hence he lives in a very calculated way.
You can see me: I live in such a calculated way that all that I do is speak to you. I have saved all my breath just to give you a sense of the eternal and an experience of the ultimate. And mostly I am asleep. You cannot find a more lazy man in the world.
Just today my secretary, Hasya, was saying, "I am sending the information to THE GUINNESS BOOK OF RECORDS that my master has four hundred books to his name." And she was asking me other things also. I wanted to tell her, but I thought it was better not to say, that the miracle is that this man sleeps almost twenty hours a day and has managed four hundred books... And he is the laziest man in the world - about that you can be certain; nobody can compete with me. You can send a challenge, to see if there is anybody.
Just a few days before, one sannyasin had asked that when I look at her she feels so loved, can I wink my eye? I said, "In my whole life I have not winked my eye. I can close both my eyes or I can open both." In fact, I am not doing the opening and closing, it happens on its own. But I don't think that it can happen on its own that one remains closed and one open. That is not possible.
Sitting in my dark room, I tried - perhaps... But each time either both are open or both are closed - and I am not doing anything, they are going on their own!
And then she said, "At least you can move your big toe." I said, "It is possible - theoretically possible, but practically impossible. I have never done such a thing in my life. And at this stage, now, to start moving the toe will be too childish. And you know perfectly well, I don't move my leg." That is the difficulty poor Anubuddha has while massaging, because I don't move. I have told him, "You can do anything you want, but don't ask me... just don't say, 'Do this, do that.' That I cannot do. If you can exercise for me, good."
My grandfather was very much interested in all kinds of gymnastics and he was always telling me to exercise. I said, "For what? Everybody dies, whether you exercise or not. And unnecessarily, suddenly getting tired before entering your grave... why not rest fully? Slip into your grave!"
He said, "You talk nonsense. If you exercise, you can live a few years longer."
I said, "For what? To exercise more?" It is a strange idea: live a few years more, and for what? - to exercise. I dropped it.
He said, "You are incurable."
Before he was dying I told him, "Look, I have told you: exercise or no exercise, everybody has to die.
When the ultimate destiny comes on its own, why unnecessarily walk to it?"
He said, "At least at the time of my death don't disturb me!"
Now something nonserious....
A drunk is hauled in off the street and taken before the magistrate, who asks him to explain his drunken behavior.
"Well," says the drunk, "I had ten bottles of whiskey in my cellar and was told by my wife to empty the contents of each and every bottle down the sink, or I'd be in trouble.
"So I withdrew the cork from the first bottle and poured the contents down the sink, with the exception of one glass, which I drank.
"I took the cork from the second bottle and did likewise with it, except for one glass, which I drank.
"I then withdrew the cork from the third bottle and poured the whiskey down the sink, which I drank.
"I pulled the cork from the fourth bottle down the sink, and poured the bottle from the cork of the next and drank one sink out of it and threw the rest down the glass.
"I pulled the sink out of the next glass and poured the cork down the bottle. Then I corked the sink with the glasses, bottled the drink and drank the pour.
"When I had everything emptied, I steadied the house with my hand, counted the glasses, corks, bottles and sinks with the other hand, which were twenty-nine, and as the house came by, I counted them again and finally had all the houses in one bottle, which I drank.
"I'm not under the affluence of incohol, as some tinkle peep I am. I'm not half as thunk as you might drink.
"I fool so feelish, I don't know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get."
Yes, Beloved Master.