One of the palace dogs was hungry, so the King’s favourite minister placed some food before him and the King did the same. The dog did not touch the food offered to him by the minister, but he ate all the food given to him by the King.
The King asked the minister, “How is it that the dog did not touch your food, whereas he ate up all of my food?”
The Minister’s reply was, “Your Majesty, you should know that even a dog wants to remain faithful to his caste.”
In the spiritual life also, if a disciple gives something to another disciple, and if the Master gives him the same thing, there is a vast different between the two gifts. One disciple may try to inspire another disciple, and the Master may also offer inspiration to that disciple, but there is a great difference between the height of the Master and the height of the disciple offering his inspiration. When the Master enters into his full spiritual height, his inspiration will be infinitely more powerful than the inspiration that one disciple can offer to another.
The King and the minister offered practically the same food to the dog, but they each had a different consciousness. It is not a matter of pride or vanity or ego, but just because the King was the King, he had more light — let us call it dignity or divinity, some regal quality. The dog felt something special, something more significant in the food from the King. That is why he ate the King’s food, and not the minister’s.
A thief may tell you that you are not supposed to steal. A liar may tell you not to tell lies. But their words can never give you real inspiration, because they are coming from the wrong people: a liar tells hundreds of lies a day and a thief steals as often as he can. The thief and the liar are like parrots. Their words have no strength, no significance, because there is no inner conviction behind them. But if a spiritual Master tells you not to tell lies, immediately he injects strength and inspiration into you, so that you don’t tell lies, you cannot tell lies. And if he asks you not to steal, he will give you enough inspiration inwardly so that you will not want to steal anything.
I tell my disciples that they can help each other. If a man is low today, he can go to his wife and she will encourage him. And if his wife is low tomorrow, then he has to inspire her and uplift her. This is how it should be between husband and wife, and between brother and sister disciples.
But I don’t tell my disciples to go out into the street and start beating their drums and trying to inspire ordinary people. No! That is not inspiration; that is stupidity, trying to convince people that our belief is by far the best. The Centre is like a shop. Here we have Peace, we have Light, we have Bliss, we have divine Power. If people want these things, they can come to my shop and I will give them as much as they want. But if we go out into the street and try to drag people into the shop, even if they come in they will not appreciate what we have.
If I tell you to go and inspire people, then go. You will have my inner help. But if you try to inspire people on your own, without my knowledge and approval, they will laugh at you, they will ridicule you, they will insult you, abuse you, perhaps even strike you. In the name of spirituality you will only be consciously or unconsciously encouraging your own stupidity, and not your sincerity. And for that stupidity you will naturally be punished.
Everyone has a soul. If the soul is really trying to realise the Highest, to achieve the Goal, then it will always try to do what will enable it to make the fastest progress. Those who really want Light will take it whenever it is offered, and in as large a quantity as possible. No truly sincere and dedicated aspirant will prefer to make his spiritual journey alone without a guide to help him reach his destination sooner. He will take as much help as he can, both from his spiritual brothers and sisters and from his Master. And this Master, if he is a real Master, can offer the seeker inspiration, guidance and Light in boundless measure.