Why the Master won't speak about other Masters

There was once a well-known spiritual Master who had a few thousand disciples whom he was extremely fond of and who were also very proud of him. The Master had given talks at various places and had answered thousands of questions after his talks.

Many times the disciples of other Masters came to listen to his talks. At times they showed him tremendous respect, but at other times they created problems for him. Frequently they would deface this Master's picture or posters announcing his talk, or paste posters of their own Master right on top of his. A few times, before his talk began, they distributed pamphlets about their own Masters at the entrance. Sometimes they distributed pamphlets attacking this Master at his own talks. At times they asked him questions about their own Master, but he was wise enough to avoid such questions. He always told them that they knew more about their own Master than he did.

At one particular meeting a disciple of another Master asked this Master, What is your opinion about Master X?"

The Master replied, "I see you are wearing his picture. That means you are a member of his family; you are his son. Won't a son know more about his father than a stranger does? I am like a stranger to your family, so how can you expect me to know about its members? I do not know what you have in your house. I know only what I have in my house. Since I have not been to your house, naturally whatever I say about it will be wrong. And even if I had visited your house once or twice, my description of it still would probably be all wrong. I am the wrong person to tell you anything about your Master. You can and will have every right to challenge my knowledge of your spiritual Father."

The young seeker said to the Master, "Then why do you claim to be a God-realised soul?"

The Master asked, "When did I say I was God-realised?"

"All right," said the seeker, "you have not told anybody that you are God-realised, but all your disciples without exception claim that you are a God-realised soul of the highest order. But if you are really a God-realised soul, then you are bound to know everything about my Master — how great he is, how kind he is, how earth treasures him and how much pride Heaven has in him. All this you are bound to know if you are a real spiritual Master. If you are a fake, naturally you will not know anything about my spiritual Master, who has no equal either in Heaven or on earth."

With a broad smile, the Master said to the seeker, "I don't deny that your Master is by far the best Master on earth. I am glad that you have found such a great Master as your own. At the same time, I am very glad that you are not a disciple of mine. If I had accepted you as one of my disciples, by this time my boat would have sunk."

The young man said, "Now that you have insulted me, I wish you to be totally sincere and say that my Master is by far the best."

The Master replied, "I have no objection to saying that your Master is by far the best, and I have already done so. Why are you not satisfied?"

The seeker said, "I don't feel any conviction in your words."

The Master said, "Do you want me to act like a wise man or like a fool?"

"Since you are a spiritual Master, I do expect you to act like a wise man and not like a fool," replied the seeker.

"In that case, you must be satisfied with my answer," said the Master. "I am acting like a real wise man. You asked me about your Master, and my answer was that I do not know. If my answer had been different, if I had said that I knew all about your Master but would not tell, you would have created problems for me and for yourself. You would have immediately said to yourself, 'He does not want to tell me anything about my Master either because he knows my Master is unrealised or because he knows my Master is great and he is jealous of him.' But in either case you would have been disappointed. Doubt, suspicion and other undivine qualities would have entered into you with regard to your own Master. However, if I say I do not know about your Master, you are apt to forgive my ignorance; therefore, it is always safer and wiser for both of us if I say I do not know about your Master. In this case, ignorance is real bliss. 'I do not know' is by far the best answer."

15 July, 1974