Stand up then!There was once a minister who used to amuse the King and all the court with his jokes. The Prime Minister and the other ministers were jealous of him because he was the King’s favourite. The King was extremely fond of him.
One day, in front of the King, the Prime Minister said to the King’s favourite, “Well now, the King and I have decided to give you a job. We feel that you will be able to do this job better than anybody else.”
The minister asked, “May I know what the job is?”
“From now on you will be the master of all the dogs in the Kingdom. You will be in charge of them, and they will have to obey you.”
Immediately the minister said, “Since you have given me this post, let me ask you to stand up. I am the master of all the dogs in the Kingdom, and you also belong to that group, so you have to listen to me. Stand up then!”
The King was most amused by this reply.
What do we learn from this story? There are some disciples who have been with us for three or four years, and there are others who have come very recently. The old disciples often become jealous of the new ones, because they feel that the new disciples are becoming close to the Guru. In various ways they try to mock them, and sometimes they snub them directly or indirectly.
But I wish to tell you that each of these newcomers also has a soul. If they are hurt by the insults of the old or close disciples, I totally identify myself with their sufferings. But I will never identify myself with the suffering of the old disciples when the newcomers retaliate. If my old disciples make fun of the new ones, or insult and snub them, or try to show their authority or superiority and lord it over them, naturally they will be badly treated by the newcomers. At that time I will not interfere. We cannot accept misbehaviour from any disciple no matter how long he has been with us. At that time I will be helpless, just as the King was helpless when the Prime Minister made fun of the other minister and was then insulted in return.
Instead of hurting others, try to make them your friends. If you have a position in the Centre, instead of looking down on the ones who do not have any position, you should try to make them feel that they could easily have your post, that they could do your job equally well or even far better than you do. When you are modest and humble you will receive more love, more respect from the newcomers and from those who do not have any post. You also have to be very careful when you joke with others. In your jokes you sometimes unconsciously humiliate others, even though that is not your intention. Only innocent, harmless jokes are good, both in the spiritual life and in the ordinary life.
It is not when you come to the Centre, but how fast you run that is important. Your progress depends on your inner faith and your inner love for me. If you are among the first disciples but are not doing well, is it the fault of the newcomers who are running very fast that they will reach the Goal before you? Again, those who came long ago and are still doing well will naturally reach their Goal sooner. But just because you came four or five or ten years ago, that does not mean you will reach the Goal faster if you are not as sincere, as devoted, as aspiring as the newer disciples. It is through love, devotion and surrender that one becomes close to his Master. It is through progress, true inner progress, that you become close to me. It is not a question of when you come into my life.