Part I — One lives, one dies

Affection from the Master or the disciples?1

"Master, why am I unhappy? I pray and meditate every day, and I listen to you always, yet I am unhappy."

"Son, you pray and meditate every day, but you do not do it soulfully. You listen to me, but you do not do it cheerfully."

"Master, one of the reasons for my unhappiness I am embarrassed to tell you."

"Son, don't feel embarrassed. If you don't give me your embarrassment, how will your embarrassment be perfected and illumined?"

"Then I shall tell you, Master. You know, there was a time when I cried and cried to become your dearest disciple. Now that I have become your dearest disciple, I feel that others should appreciate and admire me. But alas, instead of appreciating me, they hate me. I know they are all jealous of me."

"Sanjit, make up your mind. Do you want my affection and love, or do you want appreciation and admiration from the world?"

"Master, undoubtedly I want your affection and your love. But Master, would it not be even better if I could get striking appreciation and admiration from my brother and sister disciples as well?"

"You are a fool, Sanjit. There is no disciple who would not like to be my dearest disciple. But, at the same time, there are at least a few hundred disciples who will not care for others' appreciation and admiration as long as they get constant love and affection from me. You are my dearest, and you want my constant love, affection and concern; but at the same time you want appreciation from the outer world."

Sanjit felt miserable. He said, "Master, forgive me. I shall never bring up this matter again."

"Sanjit, my dearest son, it is true that one likes to be appreciated and liked by all, both by the Master and by the disciples. But I tell you, if I were asked by someone whether I would like to be appreciated and admired by a wise man or by two hundred fools, immediately I would say that I would prefer to be appreciated and admired by one wise man. Then, if I were asked whether I would like to be appreciated and adored both by the wise man and by the two hundred fools, immediately I would say, 'No, no! I want to be appreciated only by the wise man, and not by the fools.' When a wise man appreciates you, his strength enters into you as a solid, dynamic force. The appreciation of the fools is also a kind of strength, but this strength is ignorance-strength. When a fool appreciates and adores you, his ignorance-strength enters into you as a heavy, lethargic force. So I tell you, I will never care for the appreciation and admiration of fools.

"Also, very often appreciation and adoration from others, even from brother and sister disciples, is not sincere at all. They may flatter you just so that they can become closer to me on your recommendation. Many times it has happened that spiritual Masters have made others close to them when their dearest ones have shown considerable fondness for them. Then these disciples adopted foul means and in many undivine ways they pushed the dearest ones aside. Now who is the fool? Your stupid hunger for appreciation and admiration from all and sundry just enables others to catch and devour you. If you care for appreciation from ignorant people, you have to feel that you are virtually embracing a snake or a tiger.

"But among disciples who are not as close to me as you are, there may be some who are not jealous of you, but who want to imitate you because they feel that you are meditating well, or that you are serving me well, or that in some way you are pleasing me most powerfully. If they try to imitate you, that is not bad at all. They imitate you, not out of jealousy, but out of their own necessity for inner progress. If a disciple who has not been meditating at all in the morning knows that you meditate every morning at five o'clock, then if he also begins to meditate at that hour — not to compete with you or to take you away from me, but just to feed his hunger to become good and divine like you — then he is doing absolutely the right thing. The Master needs many, many divine soldiers who will fight against the undivine forces. One instrument is not enough.

"If you, on your part, show affection, concern and love to others — not out of a sense of superiority, but out of a sincere feeling for the members of your own spiritual family — then I assure you that you will have no cause for worries and anxieties. Your sincere feeling of oneness with them will make you infinitely stronger than you are now. The sincerity of your oneness with your spiritual brothers and sisters will make you a true captain of my divine army.

"But if you cry for appreciation and admiration from others and you do not get it, then you just weaken yourself. And if they give you insincere appreciation and admiration, then their jealousy-arrows will enter into you and weaken you. If you are really wise and divine, then you will say, 'It matters not who is closest to the Master, or whether that person is appreciated by others; all that matters is whether the Master's will is fulfilled on earth. If you can develop that kind of devoted, surrendered attitude to the Master's dispensation, then the Master will eternally claim you as his dearest, best and most perfect disciple. So, my dear Sanjit, have I made it clear to you?"

Sanjit bowed down to his Master with folded hands and said, "Master, make of me your absolutely surrendered disciple. I know I will get the greatest joy only by becoming your unconditionally surrendered disciple, and not by becoming your best disciple.”

The Master said, "You are a fool, my Sanjit. The absolutely surrendered disciple will eternally remain my best disciple. If you become my absolutely unconditionally surrendered disciple, automatically you will become by far my best disciple. There can be no difference between my best disciple and my most unconditionally surrendered disciple. In order to become an unconditionally surrendered disciple, always put your Master's need first and foremost in your life, and always take your Master's need as the only need for yourself and for all."

OL 1. 6 February 1974.