The Master with three newcomersThere was once a good and kind spiritual Master. One day, when his disciples had gathered around him and he was about to start meditating, a young man came running up to him. "Master, Master," he cried, "I wish to become your disciple."
The Master said, "Now we are about to meditate. Sit down and meditate with us. Afterwards I shall speak to you."
"Oh Master, please tell me one thing," the young man said. "Please tell me, when you leave the body, can I become the spiritual head of this community? I wish to become your disciple only on the condition that you make me the leader of your spiritual community in your physical absence and when you leave the body."
Everybody was shocked. The Master said, "What about the person who has been the leader of my community for such a long time? And what about those who have helped me establish a strong spiritual community? Should they not be the leaders of my ashram in my physical absence?"
"Master, true, they have helped you immensely in founding the spiritual community. But I wish to tell you that since they are not God-realised souls as I am, they won't be able to run your spiritual community as well as I. You and I are both God-realised souls. You have to admit it." The Master gave him a meaningful smile, and the young man continued, "Master, since you are old, you will be leaving the body very soon. However, I am quite young, and I feel that in your absence I will be able to run your community much better than anyone else."
All the disciples laughed and laughed, but there were a few who would have been inwardly very happy if the Master had actually accepted this fellow as the head of his ashram, for they were jealous of the present leader of the community. Even though this young man seemed like such a silly fellow, they felt that anyone was preferable to their president. But outwardly everyone showed contempt and extreme disrespect for the young man.
The Master said, "Now don't waste our time any longer. Come and meditate with us. I will see what we can do for you after our meditation."
"Oh Master, there is another reason that I came here," the young man said. "For the last few months I have had a terrible stomach pain. Every day I have been suffering. So I came to ask you to kindly touch my stomach and cure my pain. First you must cure my stomach pain and then you can make me the leader of your centre. On this condition I will gladly become your disciple."
One of the Master's disciples said, "If you are a God-realised person, why do you need our Master's help? Why don't you use your own occult power to cure yourself?"
The young man said, "I am sorry, but I have come here to speak to my friend. I am a spiritual Master and he is a spiritual Master, so we are on the same level. It is beneath my dignity to speak to you people."
The Master said, "All right, since one God-realised soul needs the help of another God-realised soul, let me bless this young man," and he placed his hand on the young man's head.
"Why are you touching my head?" asked the young man. "My head is perfectly all right. It is only my stomach that is bothering me. So please touch my stomach if you want to cure my pain."
The Master said, "I don't have to touch your stomach. If I touch your head and bless you I will be able to cure you."
But the young man replied, "Is it beneath your dignity to touch my stomach? Is only my head divine, and not my stomach?"
The Master said, "Everything of yours is divine, but your head is your highest part. When you offer your highest part with humility to someone, then the Force acts most powerfully. I am bringing down Peace and Light from above to cure you. You have to be respectful and devoted to the higher Peace and higher Light that I am bringing down. That is why I want to bless your head. If you don't want me to touch your head, then you can leave this place."
The young man said, "All right, let me meditate with you and see if my stomach condition becomes better."
"And after we meditate," the Master said, "I will see if I can do anything about making you the head of my centre or of a newly formed centre, which I shall invite new seekers to join."
The disciples then said, "Master, you won't have to work hard for that. We shall go out and bring disciples according to his standard. He is a fool, and we will bring him all the fools of the world. He will have no trouble establishing a centre."
The young man became furious. "You are cutting jokes with a God-realised soul!" he shouted.
The disciples responded, "If you are a God-realised soul, then why do you have to come here and beg our Master to let you run his mission in his absence? Why don't you open your own ashram? And why do you have to cry to our Master about your stomach problem? Go to a doctor or cure yourself!"
The young man said, "I am going to meditate with you here, and at the end of the meditation your Master will say that I am going to take his place when he leaves the body."
The Master said, "All right, O great Yogi, God-realised soul, but please let us start to meditate."
Just as they began to meditate another young man rushed in. "Master, Master, I would like to be your disciple," he said. The Master asked him to sit and join the group, but the young man kept speaking. "Please tell me the exact day that I am going to realise God." The Master said he didn't know. "You do not know? Then what kind of Master are you? You claim to be a God-realised soul, and a God-realised soul certainly knows when another person is going to realise God."
The Master said, "You will realise God at God's choice Hour."
"But you don't know when God's choice Hour will dawn for me. So what kind of inseparable oneness do you have with God? I am not going to be your disciple."
The other disciples immediately cried out, "Who wants you to be our Master's disciple? Who needs you? Get out of here!"
"I won't get out," he said. "I am telling you the right thing. He who has realised God knows everything. So your Master must know when, sometime in the near future, I am going to realise God. He is refusing to tell out of mere jealousy."
Everybody laughed and laughed, and the Master, with a smile, said, "Well, since I am too jealous to tell you when you are going to realise God, then you had better go to some other Master. He will surely tell you." But the young man refused to leave. Finally the Master said, "All right, I shall tell you about your future, but first I shall tell you about your immediate past and your present. I will tell you only a few incidents about your past life. What you did a few years ago, what you did just yesterday." The man immediately jumped up and started to run away. The Master said, "No, no! Don't run away! Just come and meditate with me, and I will tell you about your God-realisation. Only first I will tell what you did yesterday and what kind of life you are leading now." But the man did not return, and the Master laughingly exclaimed, "Rascal, rascal, rascal!" Again the Master and his disciples were about to meditate, when a third man came in. "I see you are about to meditate," he said. "Master, please forgive me, but I wish to ask you something. I wish to be your disciple."
The Master replied, "Then come and meditate with us. After the meditation, I will let you know whether I can accept you as my disciple."
But the man said, "Master, first of all, you have to know whether I accept you or not. I will accept you only if you make me your dearest disciple. I can serve you in so many ways. I have thousands and thousands of rupees. I also have a big family and all the members of my family will be at your service. My wife is a very good cook and she will cook most delicious meals for you. My father is a great lawyer, and he will be able to help you if you have any legal problems. My mother is a famous singer, so she will sing for you and bring other famous people to you. Furthermore, I have three sons and three daughters who are all grown up. They, too, will serve you in every way. So I will help your mission in hundreds of ways if you make me your dearest disciple."
The Master said, "I tell you, hundreds of ways I do not want. All ways are good, but for me the most important way is to give me your heart. If you can give me your heart, I do not need money, I do not need all kinds of material capacities. I need only the disciples' hearts. If I receive your heart I will be able to manifest all other qualities in and through it."
The man said, "Impossible! Just from the heart you will be able to make everybody a good disciple?"
"Yes. And my best disciple need not be one who will be well-organised or have earthly capacities and material possessions. No! A person who has won the admiration of the world need not be my greatest disciple. My greatest disciple will be the one who is devoted to me wholeheartedly, the one who makes unconditional surrender to me. That person can have earthly name and fame also, but what really matters to me is his heart, his love, his humility, his devotion, his surrender."
The man said, "Well, I have all of those good qualities. Just give me a chance. Just tell me that you will make me your dearest disciple, and I will give you money, devoted service, love, everything."
"First do the things that you have said and then I will make you my dearest disciple," the Master declared.
"Oh, you want me to give you all my money, and then you will kick me out. You won't recognise me at all."
The Master replied, "Do you think that I am a fool? If I don't get your service, your spiritual wealth, then why should I make you my dearest disciple? Again and again I keep telling you, it is not the material wealth that can make someone my dearest disciple. My dearest disciple will be the person whose life is dedicated at every moment only to serving me, pleasing me, fulfilling me, manifesting me unconditionally."
"I can take up the challenge," the man said. "The only thing is, I am afraid that you will not keep your promise. When I do everything for you, you will still be partial and still keep closest to you the person whom you have already accepted as your dearest disciple."
The Master said, "If you don't believe me, then how am I going to believe you? The world depends on the strength of mutual belief. You don't believe me and I don't believe you. So let us remain in the world of unbelief and disbelief. But please allow me to meditate. I have already been interrupted three times today so now I wish to tell you either to sit down and meditate with us or to go home."
The young man said, "I have come here to examine you and to examine your disciples. I tell you, the world is not going to accept you because you are not accepting me, the right person, to be your dearest disciple."
The Master said, "If I accept you as my dearest disciple, what will happen to the one who is already my dearest disciple?"
"Oh, that is no problem. If I become your dearest disciple, I can make that person my dearest disciple."
This was too much. The person who was the Master's dearest disciple came up and said, "For God's sake, shut up or get out of here! I am the Master's dearest disciple and I tell you, if you want to be the dearest disciple of someone, then be my dearest disciple. I won't ask anything of you. Just let us meditate, and I will make you my dearest disciple without fail."
The intruder got furious and said, "Is this what your Master has taught you — this kind of callousness and stupidity? I have so many good qualities to give to the world, but what do you have? Nothing! The only thing that you have is the fact that the Master has made you his dearest disciple."
"Yes," the Master said. "I made him my dearest and I will keep him my dearest. My dearest disciple is whomever I make the dearest, not whoever thinks he deserves to be dearest. Everybody may feel that he is dearest to the Master. If a disciple feels that he is the nearest and dearest in the inner world, then naturally that person will make the greatest progress. But if someone claims that he should be the leader or that he should be the closest to the Master because he has many more good qualities than the ones who now hold these positions, he is sadly mistaken. In all cases it is the Master who makes the choice for his own reasons. Finally, why does the Master make someone his dearest disciple? He makes him his dearest disciple either because he has made unconditional surrender to the Master or because his surrender far surpasses the surrender made by others."
All the three intruders received a real lesson from the spiritual Master that day.
February 9, 1974
Editors note: statement added
A real Guru is the selfless, dedicated and eternal beggar who begs omnipotence and omnipresence from God to feed his unconsciously hungry and consciously aspiring disciples, in perfect conformity with their souls' needs.