Initiation to a Master: The Ultimate Technique
When I say that man is asleep, this has to be understood. We are dreaming continually, twenty-four hours a day. In the night we are closed to the outward world, dreaming inside. In the day our senses are opened toward the outside world, but the dream continues inside. Close your eyes for a moment, and you can again be in a dream; it is a continuity inside. You are aware of the outside world, but that awareness is not without the dreaming mind; it is imposed on the dreaming mind, but inside the dream continues. That is why we are not seeing what is real even when we are supposedly awake.
We impose our dreams on reality. We never see what is; we always see our projections.
If I look at you and there is a dream in me, you will become an object of projection. I will project my dream on you, and whatever I understand about you will be mixed with my dream, with my projection. When I love you, you appear to me something quite different; when I do not love you, you appear to me completely different. You are not the same because I have just used you as a screen and projected my dreaming mind on you.
When I love you, the dream is different, so you appear different. When I do not love you, you are the same - the screen is the same, but the projection is different; now I am using you as a screen for another dream of mine. Again the dream can change. Again I can love you; then you will appear different to me. We never see what is; we are always seeing our own dream projected on what is.
I am not the same to each one of you: each one projects onto me something else. I am one only as far as I myself am concerned. And if I myself am dreaming, then even for me I am different each moment, because for each moment my interpretation will differ. But if I am awakened, then I am the same. Buddha said that the test of an enlightened one is that he is always the same, just like the sea water: anywhere, everywhere, it is salty.
You have around yourself a filmy enclosure of projections, ideas, notions, conceptions, interpretations. You are a projector going on and on, projecting things that are nowhere, only inside you, and the whole becomes a screen; so you can never be aware, by yourself, that you are in a deep sleep.
There was a Sufi saint, Hijira. An angel appeared in his dream and told him that he should save as much water as possible from the well, because the following morning all the water in the world was going to be poisoned by the devil and everyone who would drink it would become mad.
So the whole night the fakir saved as much water as possible. And the phenomenon really happened: everyone became mad the next morning. But no one knew the whole city had become mad. Only the fakir was not mad, but the whole city talked as if he had gone mad. He knew what had happened, but no one believed him, so he went on drinking his water and remained alone.
But he could not continue that way; the whole city was living in an altogether different world. No one listened to him, and finally there was a rumor that he would be caught and sent to prison. They said that he was mad.
One morning they came to get hold of him. Either he would be treated as if he was ill, or he would have to go to prison, but he could not be allowed freedom: he had become absolutely mad. What he said could not be understood; he spoke a different language.
The fakir was at a loss to understand. He tried to help the others to remember their past, but they had forgotten everything. They did not know anything of the past, anything about what existed before that maddening morning. They could not understand; the fakir had become incomprehensible to them.
They surrounded his house and caught hold of him. Then the fakir said, "Give me one moment more. I shall treat myself." He ran to the common well, drank the water, and became all right. Now the whole city was happy: the fakir was okay now; now he was not mad. Really, he had gone mad, but now he was part and parcel of a common world.
If everyone else is asleep, you will never even be aware that you are asleep. If everyone is mad and you are mad, you will never be aware of it.
By initiation it is meant that you have surrendered to someone who is awakened. You say, "I do not understand, I cannot understand. I am part of the world that is mad and asleep. I am dreaming all the time." This feeling can come even from a sleepy person, because the sleep is not always deep.
It wavers, becoming very deep at times and then coming up and becoming very shallow. Just like ordinary sleep is a fluctuation of so many levels, so many planes, the metaphysical sleep that I am talking about also fluctuates. Sometimes you are just on the border line, very near to the Buddha; then you can understand something of what Buddha is talking about, what he is saying. It will never be exactly what was said, but at least you have had a glimpse of the truth.
So a person who is on the border of metaphysical sleep will want to be initiated. He can hear something, he can understand something, he sees something. Everything is as if in a mist, but still, he feels something; so he can approach a person who is awakened and surrender himself. This much can be done by a sleepy person. This surrendering means he understands that something quite different from his sleep is happening. Somewhere he feels it. He cannot know it correctly, but he feels it.
Whenever a buddha passes, those who are on the border line of sleep can recognize that there is something different about this man. He behaves differently, he speaks differently, he lives differently, he walks differently; something has happened to him. Those who are on the border line can feel it; but they are asleep, and this borderline awareness is not permanent. They may fall back into sleep at any moment.
So before they fall into a deeper unconsciousness, they can surrender to the awakened one. This is initiation from the side of the initiated. He says, "I cannot do anything myself. I am helpless, and I know that if I do not surrender this moment, I may again go into deep sleep. Then it will be impossible to surrender." So there are moments that cannot be lost, and one who loses those moments may not be able to get them again for centuries, for lifetimes, because it is not in one's hands when one will come again to the border line. It happens for so many reasons that are beyond your control.
On the part of the initiated, initiation is a total letting go: a complete trust, a complete surrender. It can never be partial. If you surrender partially, you are not surrendering, you are deceiving yourself.
There can be no partial surrender, because in partial surrender you are withholding something, and that withholding may push you again into a deep sleep. That nonsurrendering part will prove fatal; any moment you may again be in deep sleep.
Surrender is always total. That is why trust was required and always will be required in initiation.
Trust is required as a total condition, as a total requirement. And the moment you surrender totally, things begin to change; now you cannot go back to your dream life. This surrendering shatters the whole projection, the whole projecting mind, because this projecting mind is tethered to the ego, it cannot live without the ego. The ego is the main center of it, the base. If you surrender, you have surrendered the very base. You have given up completely.
Initiation is just a person who is asleep asking for help to be awakened. He surrenders to one who is awake. It is very simple; the thing is not very complex. When you go to a Buddha, to a Jesus, or to a Mohammed and surrender yourself, what you are surrendering is your sleep, your dreams.
You cannot surrender anything more, because you are nothing more. You surrender this; your sleep, your dreaming, your whole nonsense of the past you surrender.
So from the initiated it is a surrendering of the past, and from the one who initiates you it is a responsibility for the future. He becomes responsible - and only he can be responsible; you can never be responsible. How can one who is asleep be responsible? Responsibility comes with awakening.
This is really a fundamental law of life: one who is asleep is not responsible even for himself, and one who is awakened is responsible even for others. If you come to him and surrender to him, then he becomes particularly responsible for you. So Krishna could say to Arjuna, "Leave everything.
Come to me; surrender at my feet," and Jesus could say, "I am the truth, I am the door, I am the gate. Come to me, pass through me. I will be the witness on the last day of your judgment. I will answer for you."
This is all analogical. Every day is the day of judgment, and every moment is the moment of judgment. There is not going to be any last day. These are just the terms that could be understood by the people to whom Jesus was speaking. He was saying, "I will be responsible for you, and I will answer for you when the divine asks. I will be there as a witness. Surrender to me; I will be your witness."
This is a great responsibility. No one who is asleep can take it because even to be responsible for yourself becomes difficult in sleep. You can be responsible for others only when you no longer need to be responsible for yourself, when you are unburdened completely, when you are no more. So only one who is no more can initiate you; otherwise, no one can initiate you. No particular individual can initiate anyone, and if that happens - and it happens so many times, it is happening every day; those who are themselves asleep initiate others who are asleep, the blind leading the blind, both fall into the ditch.
No one who is asleep can initiate anyone, but the ego wants to initiate. This egoistic attitude has proved fatal and very dangerous. The whole initiation, the whole mystery of it, the whole beauty of it, became ugly because of those who were not entitled to initiate. Only one who has no ego inside, who has no sleep inside, who has no dream inside, can initiate; otherwise, initiation is the greatest sin.
In the old days, to take initiation was not easy; it was the most difficult thing. One had to wait for years to be initiated; even for his whole life one might wait. This waiting was a testing ground, it was a discipline.
For example, Sufis would only initiate you when you had waited for a particular period. You had to wait, without questioning, for the moment when the teacher himself would say that it was time. The teacher might be a shoemaker. If you wanted to be initiated, you would have to help him for years in shoemaking. And not even the relevance of the shoemaking could be questioned. So for five years you would just be waiting, helping the teacher in shoemaking. He would never talk of prayer or meditation, he would never talk of anything except shoemaking. You have waited for five years...
but this is a meditation. And it is no ordinary meditation; you would be cleansed through it.
This simple waiting, this unquestioned waiting, would make the ground ready for complete surrender.
Only after a long waiting could initiation happen, but then surrender was easy and the master could take responsibility for the disciple.
Now the whole thing has become different. No one is ready to wait. We have become so time conscious that we cannot wait for a single moment. And because of this time consciousness, initiation has become impossible. You cannot be initiated. You run past Buddha and you ask him, "Will you initiate me?" You are running; you meet Buddha on the street while running. Even during this utterance of four or five words you have been running.
This whole running of the modern mind is because of the fear of death. For the first time man is so fearful of death, because for the first time man has become absolutely unaware of the deathless. We are only conscious of the body that is going to die; we are not conscious of the inner consciousness that is deathless.
In ancient days there were people who were conscious of the deathless, and because of their consciousness, their deathlessness, they created an atmosphere in which there was no hurry. Then initiation was easy. Then waiting was easy; then surrender was easy. Then for the master to assume responsibility for the disciple was easy. These things have all become difficult now, but still, there is no alternative: initiation is needed.
If you are in a hurry, I will give initiation to you in your running state, because otherwise there will be no initiation. I cannot ask you to wait as a precondition. I must initiate you first and then prolong your waiting in so many ways; through so many devices, I will persuade you to wait. If I tell you first, "Wait five years and then I will initiate you," you cannot wait, but if I initiate you this very moment then I will be able to create devices for your waiting.
So let it be like this; it makes no difference, the process will be the same. Because you cannot wait, I change; I will allow you to wait afterward. I will create so many devices, so many techniques just to make you wait. Because you cannot wait unoccupied, I will create techniques for you, I will give you something to play with. You can play with these techniques; it will become a waiting. Then you will be ready for a second initiation, which would have been the first in the old days. The first initiation is a formal one; the second one will be informal, it will be like a happening. You will not ask me, I will not give you. It will happen - in the innermost being it will happen. And you will know it when it happens.
Surrender from the disciple, responsibility from the master: that is the bridge. And whenever you are able to surrender, the master will come. The master is there. Masters have always been in existence. The world has never lacked masters, it has always lacked disciples. But no master can begin anything unless someone surrenders. So whenever you have a moment to surrender, do not lose it. Even if you do not find anyone to whom to surrender, then just surrender to existence. But whenever there is a moment to surrender, do not lose it, because then you are on the border line, you are in between sleep and waking. Just surrender!
If you can find someone to whom to surrender that is good, but if you cannot find anyone, just surrender to the universe, and the master will appear, he will come. He comes whenever there is surrender. You become vacant, you become empty, and the spiritual force rushes toward you and fills you.
So always remember that whenever you feel like surrendering, do not lose the moment. It may not come again or it may come only after centuries and lives have been unnecessarily wasted.
Whenever the moment comes, just surrender.
Surrender to the divine, to anything - even to a tree - because the real thing is not to whom you surrender: the real thing is surrendering. Surrender to a tree, and the tree will become a master to you. Surrender to a stone, and the stone will become a god. The real thing is surrendering. And whenever there is surrendering, one always appears who becomes responsible for you. This is what is meant by initiation.