Gayan, the most important thing in spiritual guidance is that it should not be direct. The guided should not feel he is being guided. Whenever guidance is direct it brings a kind of slavery; the guided becomes dependent on the guide.
But to guide indirectly is very difficult. It is a kind of persuasion where the guided cannot feel at all that he is being told to do this, to do that. He is simply being given indications, with such love, that he likes to go in those directions in those moments. And he becomes aware that he has been guided on each step - carefully guided - but only when he has reached.
Now there is no problem and no fear. One who has arrived cannot be made dependent, he can only feel gratitude. The responses will be totally different.
If you guide a person directly he will resist it, because you are trying to mold his personality; you are taking away his freedom, making him move in a certain direction.
In the first place he will never reach, because with this reluctance, this resistance, there is, deep down, anger and rage. He is doing it - becoming dependent, accepting a certain spiritual slavery - for his own desires.
And these are the factors which will create resentment in him. They will not bridge him to the master; they will create a wall between the two. Reaching the goal is almost impossible.
This is a vicious circle: when you do everything that you are being told to do, outwardly you are obedient, ready to serve the master - outwardly grateful - but inwardly reluctant, resistant, angry.
And when doing everything that the master has said, and you don't reach... that is the point where these kinds of people turn into enemies. Rather than bringing gratitude into them, the whole process has only gathered more and more enmity.
But to guide a person without his being at all aware that he is being guided... it is just like when you smell perfume in the garden and you start moving towards it. You will not feel reluctant, resistant, inimical to the perfume - although it has guided you. In fact, spreading the perfume is nothing but spreading a net in which those who are capable will be caught and brought closer and closer.
They will recognize only after they have reached that they have been guided, that they have been guarded, cared for - and not a single word has been told to them to do this or not to do this. Their freedom has not been touched in any way. They have not been turned into slaves.
This has been my experience: it is very rare to find a master who can guide you in such a way, because it is with each step difficult, arduous. And the master has to be very conscious, very cautious that the disciple does not feel in any way lower than him. He has to take his hand in his own hand in such a way as if the disciple himself is taking the master's hand in his own hand. It is a tremendous art. He allures, he does not dictate.
So amongst masters you will find very rare masters who are perfect guides. And this is the definition of the perfect guide: he does not allow you to know that you are being guided. You come to realize it only at the very end of the journey - and suddenly there is great gratitude, gratitude for all the arduous roundabout ways the master has had to use just not to hurt you in any way, not to create any dependence. On the contrary, making you more and more free, he has functioned only as a friend.
But not all the disciples are capable of being guided in this way. I have been asked hundreds of times why women are attracted so much to my philosophy, my way of life. I have given some answers, but the real answer is: the woman is a more efficient disciple than the man, and she knows the delicacy of being guided without direct instructions. She does not function through the mind, which needs a direct, clear-cut catechism.
"Just tell me the Ten Commandments" - that is the language of man. But there are men also who have the same feeling heart as the women. They can become perfect disciples, but the percentage will be less than that of women.
And amongst the men, those who don't have a heart, who function through the mind, many may come close to the master - intellectually interested according to their prejudices - and may seem to have understood him well, better than anybody else... their intellectual understanding will be more clear.
The land of the heart is not the land of arithmetic or logic; it is poetry, it is music. You can enjoy it, but you cannot understand it.
I am reminded of one great English poet, Coleridge. Although he never completed more than seven poems in his whole life, he still became one of the greatest poets of the English language - because it is not the quantity that counts, it is the quality. When he died he left almost forty thousand incomplete poems.
His whole life, his friends were harassing him continuously: "You seem to be mad! You have such a treasure. Just a few poems have made you a great poet; if you could produce forty thousand poems of that quality, perhaps in the whole world there would be no competition against you - in the whole history of man, past, present and future. Why do you go on piling up incomplete poems?"
He said, "You don't understand; I cannot do it. Unless existence guides me so politely that I don't feel the guidance, that I don't feel the push and pull to do it, I am not going to do it. These poems are the poems of my freedom - existence becoming free through me. These poems will have to wait."
Sometimes a poem was just missing one line, and his poet friends said, "You can compose that line yourself."
He said, "It does not work that way. I have tried, but the quality is as distant as the sky is from the earth. I can deceive others, but I cannot deceive myself. I will wait; when existence comes - without forcing me, because I cannot do it under force - and it simply persuades me, encourages me, and I know only afterwards that I have been guided, then only will I complete a poem."
Once it happened in the London University... the professor who was teaching literature came across a line of Coleridge which he could not make any sense of. And he was a sincere man; he said to his students, "I cannot give any reasonable explanation for it. And I don't want to deceive you. Coleridge lives just in my neighborhood; he is old, but being his neighbor, I am still allowed to see him and meet him. I will go to him and ask him myself what the meaning of this line is."
He went to Coleridge the next day and asked him. Coleridge looked at the whole poem and he said, "There is meaning in it. When I wrote it two persons knew the meaning. Now only one knows."
Hearing him say that only two persons knew the meaning, the professor became afraid: where was he going to find those two persons? And when Coleridge said, "Now, only one knows," then the professor became even more afraid. There was only one hope; he said, "But that one must be you?"
Coleridge said, "No. When I wrote this I knew it, God knew it. Now, only God knows; I don't know. It is a beautiful line; alas, I have no way of remembering. In fact, I have not written it."
His name for existence is God, that's all - there is no difference. He is saying, "I have not written it. The writing was done by me, but a bigger, vaster energy was persuading me, encouraging me to write it down. I was used as an instrument, a medium."
This word 'medium' reminds me of what Gayan is saying, that dancing, singing around me, she had become completely lost in the dancing, in the singing, and she had no idea at all that she was being guided. I have never mentioned any guidance; I had left it to her. The way she wants to dance, she can dance. But I was there.
She was dancing around me, so she could not remain out of my presence. And my presence was persuading her to go further and further, deeper and deeper. Unsaid, unheard... but the guidance was there. Now she remembers, retrospectively, the tremendous experience she has gone through, which has changed her forever. She cannot fall back; she can go ahead, but not backwards.
In the beginning she must have thought that it was just simply decorative: "In a darshan, dancing must be just decorative." But slowly, slowly she got into it. If I had said that there are guidelines to be followed, she would not have been able to be totally in it; those guidelines would have been a disturbance.
Whether man or woman, the way of truth is the way of the heart. And the way of the heart cannot be taught, it can only be inspired, thrilled, excited, to go on a new exploration... invited, but not ordered.
She has brought a beautiful question which will help many. The words 'order' and 'guidance' and 'commandments' - they are all mind words. The heart has no parallel words; it knows only inspiration, becoming aflame, not knowing why... but it is so juicy, of such a grand beauty that the heart goes on following it.
But many of the religions have destroyed the way of the heart because there were not many masters who could manage it. It is a fine art, superfine. It was easy to manage teachers, teachings, guidance, discipline for the mind - but the mind has nothing at all to do with religion.
Once, I was coming home from the river, and there was a boy who must have been an idiot; he was trying to pull a cow back towards home. The cow must have gone to the river and was not willing to go back home - and she was much more powerful than the boy. And he was trying hard.
I stood there and watched. Instead of the boy pulling the cow, the cow was pulling the boy towards the river. And he was shouting and asking people to help: "This cow is going mad!"
I said, "Nobody is going mad; it is simply that you don't know how to bring a cow home."
He said, "How do you bring a cow home?"
I said, "Drop this rope, and instead of the rope, take some green grass in your hands, move ahead of the cow, and the cow will follow. That is persuasion; you are not forcing. The cow is free; she can go to the river or anywhere she wants... but with this green grass in front of her, she cannot go anywhere."
Guidance is exactly like that. You have to inspire, not instigate. You have to be very polite and humble, not even giving a hint that the other person is being ordered to do something. You have to be inviting, requesting, and let the person come into the field of energy where things start taking place on their own.
With men the problem is that many cannot manage the language of the heart. Sooner or later they fall out. And when they fall out, then a trouble is there. People start asking them, "Why have you left?" And the mind never wants to say, "I don't know." The mind may have to create lies, allegations to justify itself: "I had to leave because that was not the right place."
The reality is you were not in the right shape. You tried to manage the work that can be done only by the heart by something else - by the mind. You failed. In the beginning you will succeed, but soon there will come a point where you will have to turn towards the heart, because the mind can go on, round and round, but it never reaches to the center.
And those who are very deeply grounded in the intellect cannot leave it; it is their investment, their whole lifelong investment. So rather than coming to growth, to gratitude, they fall out - empty, angry, ungrateful, saying things which if they had even thought twice, they would not have said. And all that they are saying really goes against them, because what were you doing for ten years with this man? It took you ten years to find out that this is the wrong place? Then, even in ten lives you are not going to find the right place. You are simply retarded.
To have a soft heart, in a man or a woman, is of immense value in the growth of, the evolution of, your consciousness.
Hermann Hesse is one of the Western minds who has come very close to the Eastern way of looking at things. Perhaps there is no other man of his quality who understands the East better. This story is an indication of his understanding of the Eastern wisdom about love.
The first wish the mother asks is that her child should be loved by all. Looking at the words you will not understand what is hidden behind them. He becomes a young man, he has everything, he is beautiful. Although he is not well-mannered, he is spoilt because everybody loves him unconditionally. But he is not satisfied. As he goes on becoming more mature, the situation comes to a point where he wants to commit suicide.
This is the whole history of all those who want to be loved. Why is he in so much despair? He should be happy. What more can you ask? - everybody loves you, in spite of you. But to the perceiving eye there is something: when you are loved by everybody you become an object of love. You lose your individuality, you lose your integrity, you lose your subjectivity. You become an object. Everybody loves you like a beautiful piece of art - and nobody wants to become an object.
That's what his mother forgot. That's what millions of people in the world have forgotten. The wish looks perfectly good, but its implications are very dangerous. First, it reduces you from the high status of a subjective consciousness into an objective reality. Everybody loves you without bothering whether you are worthy of it or not. And you are not worthy of it; it is because of the blessing of the old wise man that they are loving you. Their love has spoiled you; you are not of any worth. You understand it, that you are not worthy, but still people are loving you. A great guilt arises in you that something has gone wrong.
Love has to be earned. Unearned love is just like a beggar - without earning anything, spreading his begging bowl before you. Man wants everything to be earned; he wants to be worthy of it. He should not be just a beggar. He is reduced to an object, he is reduced to a beggar. And the boy had no love for anybody, because that was not part of the wish. So you can see: he cannot understand love either.
The fire should be burning on both sides simultaneously.
He has no fire; he is utterly cold, ice-cold. He has never loved anybody. And you can understand the misery of a person who has never loved - because he does not know what love is. According to the blessing everybody is loving him, but according to his understanding, nobody has loved him because he does not know the feel of love. He has never loved anybody - how can he know it?
So all that love surrounding him is just meaningless. As far as he is concerned nobody has loved him. And he is not aware of the wish of his old mother, of the blessing of the old sage. And even if he had been aware, it would not have made any difference.
To understand love, first you should be loving.
Only then can you understand love.
Millions of people are suffering: they want to be loved, but they don't know how to love. And love cannot exist as a monologue; it is a dialogue, a very harmonious dialogue.
So much love being showered on the man, and still he decides to commit suicide... because it is not what people give to you that satisfies, it is what you give to people that satisfies. It is not by being a beggar that you can be contented, it is by being an emperor, and love makes you an emperor when you give. And you can give so much, inexhaustibly, that the more you give, the more refined, the more cultured, the more perfumed your love becomes - the more there is contentment.
But that poor fellow was in a difficult situation. Everybody was loving him and he did not know what love is. Just fed up with this love he decides to commit suicide. The old sage appears again because the sage knew that that was going to be. The mother had asked something - according to her a great wish but not according to the sage. He knew this wish would lead to suicide. He says, "I can give you one wish." And you can see immediately what the boy asks for, because that is what he is lacking.
The story is tremendously methodological. On the surface you may not understand it, but underneath everything is so well-connected. The second wish proves what I have been telling you.
He asks that he does not want others to love him, he wants to love others. In that, he is showing that the first wish is meaningless without this second wish. He wants to love everyone.
But the story here may seem strange to you, that as the wish is granted, the young and beautiful man changes into an ugly and old man. It indicates that it is only in old age that people come to understand what they missed in their life: they never loved. In their whole life they wanted others to love them, and were miserable. They always wanted to get more and more love; they were greedy.
At the end, when people start forgetting them because they have become old and ugly, they have a look at their whole life, at what was missing; and the revelation - they never gave, they only wanted.
Ordinarily, it is too late. Now, even to find people to receive love from them will not be possible.
And you have in all languages, "the dirty old man" - in all languages the same expression - because in old age, when he is no longer young and no longer beautiful and everything has turned ugly and he is ready to die, the understanding arises that he missed one thing. That's why his whole life has been empty and meaningless; he never loved, he never gave. So now he wants to love people. But who wants to love an old and ugly man? He is disgusting. His love looks like lust - not love but the lust of a dying man.
So the story is significant in that as the young man receives the blessing of the old sage, suddenly he becomes old and ugly. He is granted the wish to love. The whole story is about humanity: now he can love, but nobody will receive his love; now he can give, but everybody will be escaping from him. He will be disgusting. Talking about love is a faraway thing; nobody wants even to sit with him.
He is half dead and he wants to love you. And naturally he will want to love the young, the beautiful, and obviously he will be denied.
He has moved from one extreme of the pendulum to the other extreme of the pendulum; either by itself is only half, and no extreme can be fulfilling. Seeing the situation that neither was he satisfied when people were showering their love on him, nor was he satisfied by loving people - because now it is difficult to find people to love - he goes on a pilgrimage, and for the last time he meets the sage.
The sage knew, because this is the dialectic: the mother had chosen one part, which proved wrong; he had chosen the other part, which is going to prove wrong. Both together they can prove right, but not separately.
But now, seeing that both have failed, he has come to a kind of transcendence and sees that all dualities fail. And when he meets the old man, the old man hugs him and he becomes just like an innocent child - exactly the same child that the mother had brought to the old sage to be blessed.
Life has done a whole circle; he is back again as a small child.
That too is very significant, because each of life's failures brings you a little understanding, a little transcendence. It is that little understanding and that little transcendence of dualities that gives you a new birth after death - again as an innocent child; again, an opportunity not to fall into the same old trap. But people go on falling into the same old trap again and again; it becomes habitual.
The innocence of childhood will come after each failure of the extreme - after the failure of both extremes. But you may start again the whole game....
In the East they are right in saying that circles of life go on moving in the same rut with the same failures, into the same ditches with the same miseries - and nobody seems to learn anything. If somebody really learns, and the transcendence beyond duality is no longer the blessing of a saint but your very understanding - it arises out of your own being - then there is no longer any need for a new birth.
This is what I call enlightenment - the understanding that all extremes fail. Remain in the middle, exactly in the middle, where the pendulum stops and the clock stops, where time stops - no movement, no desire, no goal, nowhere to go, but just to be here now.
Now that this innocence is arising out of you, this presence is born out of you, you will not need another birth. Your education in the world is finished. Now you can be accepted in the wider existence, with all the awakened ones.
The story is certainly very beautiful; try to go deeper into its implications. And there are thousands of stories like this, which people simply read like stories. Almost always they are in the books of children, who cannot understand anything; they simply read the story.
These stories are needed to be read by those who are meditating, who are no longer childish, who have a certain maturity, so that they can open the hidden meaning of the story.
Wherever you find such stories, you can bring them to me. They contain the wisdom of the ages.
No. If the right changes are happening, then the answer is no. If you are feeling good, if you are feeling that you are in a symphony, then the answer is no. But if things are going wrong - changes are happening, but you are becoming worse - then yes, you have to think about them.
Remember, thinking is needed only when things are going worse. When things are going towards higher states of being, thinking is a disturbance.
It is almost like this: if you are healthy you don't ask if you should go to the doctor to be examined because you are feeling too healthy, too much in a well-being. The answer would be no. But if you are feeling sick, the answer would be, "Yes, go to the doctor."
So my answer depends on your feeling. If you are feeling that you are growing, becoming more silent, more peaceful, more loving, more compassionate, gaining higher values, reaching towards the stars, then there is no need to think about what changes are happening and why they are happening, because all that thinking will be a disturbance - it will stop the growth. Then, just forget about thinking; put your whole and total energy into growing.
But if you feel that something is going wrong - you are more tense, more in an-guish, more in misery, more in despair - then certainly you should think about what the reason is, why you are falling back rather than growing up.
There is no need.... I can understand the desire to describe your feelings. You have devoted your whole life to me; you have given yourself to me totally. Naturally, the desire is bound to arise to describe what kind of man you have come across.
All words will look inadequate.
But there is no need at all - because I can see in your eyes, I can see in your tears, I can see in your laughter, I can see in your silence all that you want to say... and that you cannot say it.