Osho: Devamo, because you are not yet capable of allowing life to be your master. Because you don’t know how to listen, how to learn. Because you are incapable of learning, that’s why you need a master. The need arises out of your insensitivity, out of your unintelligence. If you are intelligent then life is enough. Then there are sermons in the stones, and every leaf of a tree is a message, and the river going to the ocean carries all the scriptures with it. You need not go to the Vedas and to the Koran and to the Bible, there is no need.
The whole existence is every moment singing the song of the divine. But you are not able to listen to it, you are not yet capable of opening yourself to it. Hence the need of a master. The master is only a beginning. He will teach you how to listen, he will teach you how to be open. He will give you love so that you can warm up – you have become too cold. Once you are warmed up a little, there is no need for a master, then the whole of life is the master. The master simply becomes a jumping-board.
You say: buddha did not have a master. That is wrong – Buddha had many masters. His last master was Alar Kalam, a very rare man. You say: jesus did not have a master. You don’t know. He was a disciple of a great master, John the Baptist; he was initiated by him. Buddha had many, Jesus had one, and I had millions. I have been learning from all possible sources – from men, from women, from trees, from mountains. I cannot show you a particular master, because there have been so many. I have been constantly learning and listening.
And you ask: ”Why do we need a master?” Your very question shows the need. If you cannot answer this simple question you will need a master. Why do you ask me? Why can’t you answer it yourself? Even this question has to be answered by somebody else: the need is there. But why has this question arisen? the need is certainly there, otherwise why should you be here? The need is there, but the reluctance to surrender is also there. Although you have become a sannyasin, still, deep down you are not yet surrendered.
Hence the question. You would like not to be a disciple. It hurts the ego, it is humiliating. You would like to be the master yourself; that is ego-satisfying. The question has not arisen because you don’t need a master; the need is there, the very question says the need is there, but somewhere deep down there is resistance. You don’t like it; you don’t like surrendering yourself, you don’t like to be bowing in trust to somebody. That hurts, that is painful.
To be a disciple needs guts. To be a disciple means one is courageous enough to dissolve oneself. It is no ordinary matter. And unless you are capable of becoming a disciple, you will never become a master. The very word ’disciple’ is beautiful; it comes from a root which means ’learning’. The disciple is one who is courageous enough to accept the fact that ”I don’t know, so I am ready to learn.
Then from wherever the light comes, I am open to it. I will not close my windows and my doors, I will allow the wind and the sun and the rain to come in. I am ready to go on this voyage into the unknown; it is uncharted territory.” A disciple simply means one who has decided to learn. It is a great commitment to learning. And it is natural that one should start from somewhere; from some point the journey has to start – from A, from B, from C. Let me be the point from where the journey starts.
The master is not the point where the journey ends, the master is the point from where you start the journey into the unknown. He will go with you only to the point where he feels now you can go alone. Then he will leave you of his own accord. And that is the criterion of a true master. You will not need him to leave, he will leave you of his own accord. If you leave, it will be a wrong step. If the desire to leave arises in you, that simply means you have not yet learned, you have not yet known the master.
When you know the master there is no question of leaving him, because there is nobody found whom you can leave. There has never been anybody, from the very beginning. When you enter into the being of the master you will find utter emptiness – a presence, certainly, but not a person whom you can leave. The disciple can never leave the master.
First he cannot leave because he is not yet capable of walking on his own, of being on his own. Secondly, he cannot leave; even when he becomes capable of going on his own he cannot leave, because there is nobody to leave. Now he knows. But the master leaves of his own accord. He starts dropping out of your existence, he starts disappearing more and more and more, because now you are ready to go on your own. The mother is happy when the child can walk without her support.
If the mother tries to go on supporting the child forever, then that mother does not love the child. Then that mother is pathological and neurotic. She is crippling the child, she will be a paralysis to the child. So is the case with a master. If a master wants you to always remain dependent on him then he is not a true master, he is pseudo and phoney. The master does not need you. If he needs you in some way, if he depends on you depending on him, that means he needs you.
That means somewhere your dependence on him is fulfilling his ego. He feels good: ”Look how many disciples I have got.” He goes on counting his disciples: ”I have so many disciples, I am a great master.” Certainly he will not allow you to leave. He will prevent you from leaving, because your going means one prop to his ego disappearing. He will be dependent on you. And the master who is dependent on you, how can he help you? He himself needs the help. he himself is in confusion, in darkness.
He himself is not yet capable of being alone. He has not arrived home. But the true master will always watch when to leave you. He will be always ready, whenever you are ready to be on your own, to leave you. He will not leave you before you are ready, that is true. And only HE can know when you are ready; you cannot know it. Just the other day, one sannyasin wrote me a letter saying that now he feels he is capable of being on his own, that now he can go on all alone. And he wants to drop out of sannyas.
I said, ”That’s perfectly okay.” Now he wants to see me. I said, ”Why?” He wrote a letter to get last instructions from me. Now, what kind of readiness is this? If you still need instructions from me, then what kind of readiness is this to be on your own? When you are ready I will tell you that you are ready. And the paradox is, I will tell you, ”Drop the sannyas!” and you will not drop it. How can you drop it? It is the sannyas that has brought you so far.
When Sariputta became an enlightened person in his own right, Buddha told him, ”Now there is no need to bow down to me. You are in the same exalted state as I am.” but Sariputta continued to bow down just the same, with no difference. Just as on the first day he had come, years before, and touched Buddha’s feet, he continued to touch them. And Buddha would say to him again and again, ”Sariputta, now there is no need!” And he wouldn’t listen.
One day Buddha asked him, ”Why don’t you listen to me?” Sariputta said, ”Now I am a Buddha in my own right. why should I listen to you? This is something tremendously beautiful. And how can I stop bowing to you and touching your feet? It is a sweet nostalgia, it is sweet memory. It is through these feet I have come to this point; it is sheer gratitude.”
Buddha sent Sariputta away. He told him, ”Now go. There are millions of people stumbling in darkness: help them.” and Sariputta was crying and he said, ”No, don’t tell me to go anywhere.”
And Buddha said, ”Now you are a buddha in your own right, and it doesn’t suit a buddha to cry. You are capable of going on your own.”
And Sariputta said, ”There are no conditions on a buddha; he can cry, he can laugh. There are no conditions on a buddha, his existence is unconditional.”
But he had to go, the master was insistent. He went. But every day, wherever he was, he would bow down in the direction where Buddha was. Every morning, every evening, his disciples would ask, ”To whom are you bowing down?”
He said, ”Buddha must be there in the east. I have information that he must be in a certain town today, so I am bowing down in that direction where he is.”
This is becoming a buddha in your own right. Now here you are, and you write to me saying, ”I have arrived; now I can move on my own.”
So I said, ”Okay, move!” Now why should you need last instructions from me? If you still need instructions then dropping the sannyas is not because you are ready but just because you are going back. For four months you were here; it is easy to be in orange here. Now the sannyasin is going back to Germany; it will be difficult there. And there must have been a cunning strategy behind it. You must have planned it already, before you took sannyas, that for four months while you are here you will be a sannyasin.
And when you are leaving you can always say, ”Now I am ready to be on my own, so I can leave.”
Then why the need for last instructions? When a disciple is ready I will tell you, ”Now you can move on your own.” You need not tell me; your telling me is pointless.
You ask me, why do we need a master?
There must be some pain inside. Just the idea that you are a disciple, that you have to be in somebody else’s hands, totally surrendered, is against the ego. And that’s why you need a master. The master is a device so that you can drop your ego. The master is just a strategy, a situation. It will be very difficult to drop the ego on your own. Who will drop whom? How will you drop your ego on your own? It will be almost impossible. The master is just a device: you can trust the master in deep love, and you can put the ego aside.
Otherwise you don’t have anything else but the ego – if you put that aside, you will fall into utter emptiness. And you will not be able to fall into that abysmal, bottomless emptiness. You will become very much afraid, you will again cling to anything that you can find around you. And the ego is the closest. It will be impossible for you to go into nothingness unless somebody is there calling you forth – from your very nothingness, somebody calling you forth, ”Come on! Don’t be afraid.”
Once you have learned that dropping the ego is not death, once you have learned and tasted that dropping the ego is real life, that real life begins only when the ego is dropped – when you have tasted that, there will be no need of the master. but it will not be so easy to leave the master. How can you leave somebody who has been such a transformation to you? The very idea is stupid. And there is nobody to leave; nobody is clinging to you. In fact between the master and the disciple, the relationship is one-way.
The master has no relationship with you. Listen well: don’t be shocked. The master has no relationship with you. It is only You who need a relationship; it is just in your mind that the master exists. Otherwise there is nobody there. One day when you know the truth, the master will have disappeared. The disciple disappears when he surrenders to the master. And when he knows nothingness, the master disappears. There’s nobody leaving and nobody to be left. In that utter purity is nirvana, is enlightenment. But it is painful. Growth is painful, and the greatest pain comes when you have to drop your idea of the self.
Said one oyster to a neighboring oyster, ”I have a very great pain within me. It is heavy and round and I am in distress.”
And the other oyster replied with haughty complacence, ”Praise be to the heavens and to the sea, I have no pain within me. I am well and whole both within and without.”
At that moment a crab was passing by and heard the two oysters, and he said to the one who was well and whole both within and without, ”Yes, you are well and whole; but the pain that your neighbor bears is a pearl of exceeding beauty.”
The disciple is in a deep pain, because the ego is to be dropped and it is not easy. The ego is not like a garment that you can put off easily. The ego is like your skin, it has to be peeled and it is painful. You have lived with the ego for so many many lives. You have changed bodies many times, but the ego is the same. It has persisted as a continuous thing in you, it is very ancient. To drop it is not easy; it is arduous, it is great agony.
But only out of this agony is ecstasy born – a pearl of exceeding beauty, a state of consciousness of utter benediction. But in the beginning you will feel, ”I have a very great pain within me. It is heavy and round and I am in distress.” And those who don’t know the pain of disciplehood will tell you, ”Praise be to the heavens and to the sea, I have no pain within me. I am well and whole both within and without.”
You can go and look around: there are millions of people who have no idea what it means to be a disciple, who have never tasted anything of disciplehood, who have never surrendered to anybody, who have never loved somebody so deeply that they are ready to die form him, who have never loved anybody so intimately that they disappear into that intimacy, that they melt into that intimacy. They will tell you that you are a little bit abnormal: ”There is no need to be a disciple, and there is no need to be a master.
Look at us! We are whole, within and without. We don’t need a master, so why should you need a master?”
And yes, they are whole within and without, and healthy. But their health is valueless and their wholeness is of a very low order, their wholeness is very mundane. And one who wants to attain to the sacred realm will have to pass through pain – the pain of losing the mundane, the pain of being nowhere, the pain of being in limbo, the pain of losing that which you know and yet not gainingthat which you desire to know.
When you are just in the middle, that’s where the disciple is. He is dropping that which is known, perfectly known, and trying to enter into something of which he is absolutely unaware what exactly it is. He is going into the unknown: dropping the secure for the insecure, dropping the safe for the unsafe, dropping the so-called sanity and becoming insane. That’s what the Sufis say: Unless you become mad for God, you will not attain to him. Madness is a must.The disciple is mad.
He has fallen in love with a master, and love makes one mad. Now nobody is going to understand you; you will be utterly incapable of logically p roving to somebody what you are doing. And it is not that you don’t know logic. My sannyasins are from the most educated classes of the world. We have all kinds of people – artists, painters, professors, scientists, psychologists, therapists, doctors, engineers – all well educated. It is not that they don’t know how to argue; they are very clever in arguing.
But now something has happened which is beyond argument. And talking about your master and about the love that has arisen in you, you will look almost foolish before anybody. It is painful. But only through this pain does growth happen. This is a growth pain, and a growth pain is far more valuable than the health which does not allow growth. To be abnormal and mad is far better if growth comes through it than to be normal and sane if no growth comes through it.
The whole point is growth: you should not remain what you are. You should not remain the seed, you should burst forth into thousands of flowers. But before that the seed has to die in the soil. The master is just a climate, a soil, in which the disciple dies. Trusting, he falls into the soil and dies. There is no way of guaranteeing your future, what will happen. How can you guarantee a seed that ”It is absolutely certain that a sprout will come when you are gone.
There will be great foliage and greenery and red flowers, and there will be grat joy when you have died.”
But the seed will say, ”How can I be convinced about it? Because I will not be there to witness it. What guarantee is there? Who knows? I may simply die and nothing may happen.” What can be said to the seed? It is impossible to convince the seed. But the seed falls in love with a tree which has already grown – that which was hidden has become manifest.
The seed falls in love with the flowers and the fragrance of the tree, and the seed asks, ”What is the way? How can I become like you?” That’s what the meaning of being a disciple is. You come close to a Buddha and you see the flowers and the fragrance and you ask the Buddha, ”How can I become like you?”
And Buddha says, ”I died, that’s how I became like this. You must also die.”
And seeing the Buddha and the fragrance and the silence and the calmness, a trust arises, a love arises. And the seed risks: the seed dies by the side of the great tree. And one day there is a sprout. But there is no logical way to convince anybody, unless you are already convinced through your love. So it is not a question of my convincing you to become disciples; there is no way to do it. It is by your being convinced through your own love that you become a disciple. And yes, it is painful, Devamo.
But all growth is painful. Go through this pain. Let this ego be gone completely, howsoever painful it is. It is better to be miserable in insecurity than to be miserable in security, because one who is miserable in security
will not grow. And growth is the highest value there is. Man is potential God: the God has to be realized. And much will have to be dropped. You will have to be unburdened of much, only then can you reach to that sunlit peak.
The higher you go, the more will have to be dropped, because everything will become a weight on you and a hindrance on the journey. You can reach to the peak only when all that you were has been dropped on the way. You will reach to the peak only as a nothingness, a nobody. And it is painful, I know it. And I’m trying
to create a climate here, an energyfield, so that you can go through the pain as joyously as possible.
Source: from book “Unio Mystica, Volume 1“ by Osho