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 inquire 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.