Often joyously I hear you saying contradictory things, and emphasizing that everything just has its polar opposite to be complete. But the other morning I got into trouble when you were talking about offering your friendship to your sannyasins.
I understood that some of them have taken this long-wanted opportunity for their self-aggrandizement, and haven’t been aware of the fact that they were basically resentful and angry towards you at being mere disciples.
My understanding was totally different, when you were telling us in Kulu and Kathmandu that as far as you were concerned, you didn’t have any disciples anymore, and now it was up to us to drop discipleship. To me your offer of friendship was just overwhelming, and I felt more reverence and love towards you than ever before, and very very grateful. I felt a very delicate, sensitive and precious kind of intimacy starting to grow between me and you, as my master.
Now you say that all this was just a device to get rid of egoists, and that they enjoyed this offer of yours. I don’t understand anymore. Did I get it all wrong? Where am I hooked?
The question is from Premda.
His situation is different from those who were waiting for such an opportunity for their own ego-fulfillment. He is new. He has not known the phase of discipleship at all, so when friendship was offered it was not a nourishment to his ego; it went directly to his heart because he has no resentment, no anger at being a disciple.
This became a joyous intimacy and a loving growth for him. Now he is feeling more reverence, more love, more respect. This will bring in him the wonderful experience of discipleship. So the situation is so different that there is no question of contradiction.
The people who have been with me for ten years, twelve years, and were hankering deep down to become masters themselves were certainly feeling resentful towards me. And when I offered friendship, it was not a gratitude or reverence that grew in their heart but a deep and long-awaiting ego that was fulfilled.
Now they could declare that they have the same status as I have, that their experience is the same as my experience. So my declaration of friendship was to them the end of their discipleship – and not the beginning of friendship either; it was simply the end of the road.
But to Premda the situation is different. He has not been around me for many years, and he has not for a single moment thought of being a master. His whole desire has been to be closer to me, to be intimate with me. So when I declared that I am your friend, this desire was fulfilled, and it has created a loving intimacy and reverence. And you can see it from the question. I call myself your friend, but he says he started feeling a reverence towards the master.