Go alone

There was a great spiritual Master who quite often used to make predictions to his disciples. His predictions were not only good and inspiring, but true. From his faultless predictions he became very well known in his country.

There came a time when he took a vow of silence and for months did not speak at all. He would only write down what he wanted to say to his disciples and friends. Any instructions he had to offer would be in writing.

One evening, two seekers who were friends came to visit him from a distant village. One of them was merely a curiosity-monger who had no sincere aspiration, while the other had most sincere aspiration. It happened that they arrived at a time when the Master had been keeping his eyes closed for the last few days, in addition to remaining silent. They did not know of the Master’s second vow until they arrived at his Ashram.

When they approached the Master they saw a big queue of seekers. One by one they approached the Master, who was seated with his eyes closed, in silence. Some of his close disciples were standing by him. Each seeker was allowed to see the Master for only two or three seconds and then the close disciples standing by his side would signal when each one was to leave the Master. Before the two particular seekers, the two close friends, there were a few hundred seekers. All had their turn. The Master neither opened his eyes nor said a word to any of the seekers.

But when the two came and stood in front of the Master, he immediately opened his eyes. His close disciples were very surprised. They said to themselves: “The Master broke his promise to keep his eyes closed.” To their utter astonishment, he also broke the vow of silence.

He spoke to the two seeker-friends: “Go alone. Go alone. Go alone.”

Then the attendants indicated their time was over. The two friends left the Master and immediately he closed his eyes and resumed his silence. Now many more seekers came to the Master for his silent blessing and left.

The curiosity-monger was laughing hilariously on their way back. He said to his friend, “Look, what kind of teacher is he? He was supposed to be silent and have his eyes closed. He spoke to us and he opened his eyes before us. He has broken his own promises.”

The curiosity-monger became very, very angry with the Master. He said to his close friend, “We have been life-long friends. Now why does he ask us to go alone, go alone? He wants to break up our friendship. Why, he is cruel. I will never, never go to him again. You know that I would give my life for you and I am sure you also would do the same for me. We can easily make any sacrifices for each other, yet he wants our separation. ‘Go alone, go alone!’ I will never see his face again. We will always stay together.”

It was evening as they made their way back home and they thought they would take a short-cut. On their way they suddenly came to a pool in a paddy field with a tiny bridge over it. It was a very shaky, delicate bamboo bridge which they had to cross. As the two were such very close friends, they thought they would go together, one behind the other. So they stood on the little bridge together, but it seemed about to collapse because it was so tiny and narrow that it could not hold two persons at a time.

All of a sudden they saw a farmer near the bridge. He cried out to them: “O gentlemen, you both seem to be wise men. What are you doing? It isn’t safe for you like that. Please cross the bridge one by one. Go alone. If you go alone this bridge will not collapse.” The curiosity-monger was adamant. He jokingly said, “Now we have got another Yogi here. About an hour ago one Yogi said ‘Go alone,’ and now this farmer-yogi is asking us to go alone.” Then he started abusing the farmer. “Listen, it is none of your business. We are the closest friends. We will die together, we will go together even if we are to break our legs and our heads. You fool! We would rather die together than go alone. We will not allow ourselves to be separated. No, not even death can separate us.”

The sincere seeker suddenly felt bewildered. What should he do? Here, because of the strength of their friendship, his companion. was saying that even if they were to break their legs, even if they were to die, they would go together because they could never be separated.

The curiosity-monger continued to insult and abuse the farmer who had given them the advice to go alone. But the farmer replied “You can scold me, you can insult me, you can do anything you want, but I wish to tell you a few things. If you cross this bridge one by one, alone, it will take only a few minutes. Then you can go on again with your closeness and friendship. You can give all your warmth, all your concern to each other. Why do you want to embrace death when you can escape it? First you escape death, then you cross over and there you can resume your closeness, your inseparable oneness. Why don’t you use your wisdom, O gentlemen?”

The curiosity-monger became furious. He was ready to strike the farmer and shouted, “Go away or I shall break your head. I do not need your precious advice. I want to be with my friend all the time. If we die, we will die together. We don’t want your wise counsel. We already went together to a Yogi and he told us to go alone. He has ruined all my inspiration and aspiration. Now you farmer, you have become another Yogi. You are saying the same thing. I don’t need you. Off with you.”

All this while something was happening inside the heart of the sincere seeker and he began to perceive something divine in the farmer. While he watched, fascinated, he saw the farmer’s eyes disappearing into the bluest sky. “Please give me more advice,” he asked the farmer with utmost sincerity.

But the curiosity-monger simply wanted to make fun of the farmer. He said, “Yes, yes, we need your advice, go on, go on.”

The farmer said, “Look, both of you are spiritual seekers. You know that in the spiritual life all should go together. You two wanted to go together. But what happens when one is tired, when one is unwilling to go farther? The one that is stronger and more competent should go on. He should continue to walk along the road to reach the goal and bring back more light, peace and bliss to offer to the one who is tired, or who is reluctant to go farther. In order to inspire others more powerfully and convincingly one has to go farther and get more inspiration, more light from the Golden Beyond. Here, the two of you are one, but at the same time, I see that you are only curious about the spiritual life while he is truly serious and sincere. Under these circumstances you cannot go together. If he waits for you indefinitely, his spiritual life will be totally ruined. He will waste his precious time. And if you stay with someone who is in the spiritual life who is all aspiration while you are all curiosity, you will not benefit from him because your curiosity is not going to draw any of his spiritual qualities. So you will be wasting your own precious time by staying with him. You should go on with your own life. Right now you are not ready for the spiritual life. You are just curious. You should follow your life as a householder, your ordinary life. There you will get your own type of satisfaction by staying with your children, with the members of your family, with your friends and neighbours. Although it is not divine satisfaction — far from it — you will get some satisfaction by mixing with people of your own level. And your friend will have real satisfaction by mixing with sincere seekers of his own level. So, if you go alone without him, you will have satisfaction at your earthly level and if he goes alone, he will have satisfaction according to his spiritual standard. So, go alone, go alone, go alone.”

When the farmer said, “Go alone” for the third time his face changed into the face of the Yogi who had told them to go alone.

The sincere seeker touched the feet of the farmer, who was the real Yogi. But the curiosity-monger said, “You have ruined our friendship. You have ruined my life.” And in his anger he struck the Teacher with all his might.

In return the Master gave him a broad smile. He compassionately said, “You have given me a blow but from now on you will be doing the right thing. That is why I am happy with you. I am sure that you will be following the right path according to your present needs.” And to the sincere seeker he said, “I am proud of you. You have touched my feet and you are ready to follow the spiritual life. You will be following the right path, the spiritual path, your soul’s own path. So you have truly pleased me. Both of you have pleased me, each in his own way. Go alone. Go alone. Go alone.”

From:Sri Chinmoy,AUM — Vol. 7, No. 2, 27 Sep. 1971, AUM Centre Press, 1971
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