Classes of disciplesYou know the definition of a friend. Often in this world when we speak of our friends, we have to know that most of these friends are only our so-called friends, fair-weather friends. We call them friends, but there is really only one friend and that is our eternal Friend, the Supreme. Then we come to admirers. Admirers are those who may admire one particular quality of ours but, at the same time, they will criticise all our defects mercilessly. In the case of a spiritual Master, followers are those who try to follow the teaching of the Master according to their own light. When the Master says something, at times they understand the correct meaning and real significance, and at other times they are millions of miles away from the Master's truth. So it is very difficult to say who are genuine followers. Only the person who tries to follow the Master's teachings in all sincerity and earnestness will feel in the inmost recesses of his heart that he is a true follower.
Now we come to disciples: first class, second class and third class disciples. First let us think of the third class disciples. The third class disciples have very little to do with their spiritual Teacher or Guru. They are simply bloated with pride that they have a spiritual Master. They will go out in the street saying, "We have a Teacher, we have a Teacher," but they do not practise spirituality even for a second. They have a Guru, but they remain in the world of ignorance, in the world of utter stupidity. They feel that the Guru is somewhere else. They never try to enter into the Guru's consciousness. The Guru and his third class disciples are like North Pole and South Pole. But these disciples will say that they have a Teacher and so they are someone now. At the same time, they open their heart's door to all kinds of undivine suggestions, ideas and fantasies. These are the third class disciples.
Now let us come to the second class disciples. This kind of disciple, you can say, is fifty percent sincere and fifty percent insincere, or twenty-five percent sincere and seventy-five percent insincere. These disciples give a quarter or a half of their existence to the spiritual and inner life, to the Guru's mission or their own mission for the fulfilment of the Supreme's Will here on earth. Whenever they help the mission or their Guru's mission, there will always be a motive behind their help. They think that by helping they will get much more from the Centre, or from the Guru, or from the mission. There is always a motive.
Third class disciples don't have the time to think of whether they are getting or not getting anything. They are getting joy just because they have a Guru; they feel their goal is won. But they have nothing to do with the Guru or his mission. They are absolutely free in this way. Second class disciples accept the highest mission of the Master, but there is always a motive behind their acceptance. Also, they do not dare to embrace the words "liberation" and "Self-realisation". These words are too big for them. All that matters to them is their happiness in the material world. They think, "We will have many unpleasant experiences in the world, but by taking the help of the spiritual Master or by entering into the consciousness of a higher ideal, we will get blessings from the Supreme, from God." But they are afraid of entering into the sea. They just want to drink one drop and feel that is enough for them. I must say that they do have sincerity, even if it is not complete sincerity. Whenever they help they do it sincerely, most sincerely, but they have not accepted the divine life fully or unreservedly. They take it to some extent sincerely, but not with utmost love, concern, devotion and surrender. These divine qualities are not in their life.
First class disciples are the real pride of the Master, of the Supreme and of the Mission. They have totally obliterated the word 'demand' from their dictionary. They do not have anything of their own. They will do everything for the Supreme, for the Guru, for the Mission, with utmost dedication. They feel that it is the greatest privilege to be totally one with the Guru's universal and infinite Consciousness and the transcendental Blessing of the Supreme.
A first class disciple is one hundred percent with the Master's assessment of truth. For the first class disciple, the Master is the first and last word in his inner life and his outer life. The first class disciple accepts the Master wholeheartedly in everything. If a disciple is not like this, then no matter how high he is or how well he meditates, no matter what kind of dedicated service he has offered the Master, still he cannot be called a first class disciple.
Sri Ramachandra had a disciple whose name was Hanuman. When people used to ask Hanuman, "What day of the week is it today?" he would reply, "That is not my business. I do not know. I know only the word 'Rama, Rama'. I have not to think of other things." Like this, first class disciples totally merge into their Guru's consciousness and the Supreme's infinite Blessings.
One who is to make all kinds of possible and impossible sacrifices for the Master, for the Mission, for the Supreme, is a first class disciple. I remember an incident about one of my disciples. Fortunately or unfortunately, he is not here right now. About a year ago he was talking to the president of one of our Centres on the street. He said to the president, "You want me to be like you? When Guru says, 'Stand up,' you will stand up; when Guru says 'Sit down,' you will sit down; or if Guru says, 'Jump into the gutter,' you will do it. That kind of surrender you can make, but I can't do it." The president said to him, "I have come here only to make that kind of surrender. If Guru says 'Stand up,' I'll stand up; if he says, 'Sit down,' I'll sit down; if he says, 'Jump into the gutter,' I will do it." So the president is blessed with his divine wisdom and the other disciple is blessed with his own wisdom.
I have said that the first class disciples have no existence without the Guru. But the Guru also has no existence without the first class disciples, because the first class disciples have become totally one with the Guru's love, the Guru's blessings, the Guru's concern. So, as first class disciples do not exist without me, so also I do not exist without my first class disciples. I can never be separated from my first class disciples, but with the second and third class disciples it is a different story. The second class disciples partially enter into me and I enter into them. But their union is not complete; it is far from satisfactory. In the case of the third class disciples — God bless them — I do not know where they exist and I am in no way responsible for them.
First class disciples are always in the Supreme's Boat. They can never be separated from me and I can never be separated from them. Everybody has the same opportunity to grow into a first class disciple. You say that you have demands, or that you want your own existence. But will you lose anything by becoming a first class disciple? No, only you will enter into the Supreme. A tiny drop enters into the infinite ocean and dares to proclaim that it is the ocean itself. Similarly, the first class disciples have every right to call themselves my dearest, chosen disciples. I will be responsible for them, not only in this life, but through Eternity. I can have disciples not only on earth, but also in the other worlds.
So, dear ones, I am welcoming you and you are welcoming me. Something infinitely more significant than this, the Supreme is welcoming all of us here to live in Him, to grow in Him, to fulfil Him and to manifest Him in all that we do, all that we say, and all that we aspire to become. The Centre, the Mission is not ours; it is the Supreme's. But the Supreme, out of His infinite Bounty, tells us that it is ours. It is mine, it is yours, it is humanity's.