“Master, this morning I had a long discussion with three of my spiritual brothers. My friends have such blind faith in you. I was simply disgusted at the whole thing. I do not know whether I should laugh at their stupidity or hate their insincerity. Their assertions about your spiritual dispensations are simply absurd. They are such silly flatterers! They have such faith in you that they feel you cannot do or say anything wrong. They feel it is God who says and does everything through you. When I argued with them, all three insulted me mercilessly. Master, I really hate their blind faith. Do you approve of such faith?”
“Ratan, faith is blind, and it always has to be blind. But you have to know what is meant by blind faith. Blind faith means one-pointed faith, concentrated and unswerving faith. If a disciple does not have that kind of faith, then it is simply impossible for the Master to act through him successfully all the time.”
“Oh, now it is clear to me. What you want is not actually sincere and devoted disciples, but a gang of wild flatterers. Almost all your disciples are clever flatterers. But I shall have faith in you for the things that you can do, not for the things that you cannot do. Do you want to hear something funny, Master? Those three brilliant disciples of yours told me this morning that their faith does not depend on what you can or cannot do, for according to them, there is nothing you cannot do. If you do not do something, it is simply because you do not care to do it or you do not need to do it. They are such silly fellows!
“They asked me if I had read the Bible. I laughed at their absurd question. I am sure I have read the Bible many more times than they have. I have studied it thoroughly from beginning to end. They asked me whether I believed in the Christ’s utterance, ‘Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.’ I told them that I do not believe in this utterance. Unless and until I see a thing with my naked eyes, I do not believe in its existence.
“Then that rascal Shyamal asked me, ‘Can you see Rome from here with your naked eyes?’ I said, ‘No!’ He then asked, ‘Can you see your own heart with your naked eyes right now? Can you see the thousands of subtle nerves inside your own body?’ Again I had to say, ‘No.’ But Master, I wish to tell you that these arguments are so silly. Although I lost to Shyamal this morning, I shall never accept anything just from hearsay. I need firsthand proof. I need justification for the reality of everything. Now, Master, please do me a favour. Will you kindly say a few absurd things that your great disciple Shyamal will not be able to justify or defend?”
“Why? Why should I do that?”
“Master, I am pleading with you. This morning he humiliated me badly. Now I want him to be humiliated at least once. And if he is humiliated by you, I don’t think it will hurt him much. After all, Master, it is you who have taught us that pride is immediately followed by humiliation.”
“But Ratan, Shyamal has not shown you any pride. He has only told you the truth, the absolute truth,
“Master, I know it is simply useless for me to say anything against Shyamal. But would you not, out of your infinite kindness, give me a little pleasure and satisfaction by smashing his pride just this once?”
“Ratan, I tell you, the question of pride does not arise in Shyamal’s case. But if you want me to play a game in front of you, I will do so. I shall ask those with whom you had this sad dispute to come to me. Then I shall say two most significant things which will have to be justified. And I shall be proud of the person or persons who can justify me.”
“I know your proud disciple Shyamal will immediately justify you. But I beg of you, Master, to say something extremely absurd so that he will not be able to justify you at all.”
“I tell you, Ratan, no matter how absurd the things that I say, Shyamal will be able to justify them.”
“Let me see, Master.”
“Then go and invite your friends. Bring them to me.”
Ratan brought his three friends, and all four disciples sat before the Master. The Master said, “My children, I will give you two special messages. You have to justify them and prove that they are or can be true. The first message is this: Last night, Gokul, your father committed suicide.”
Immediately Ratan jumped up with great joy and said to Shyamal in a mocking manner, “O great philosopher, O great devotee of the Master, now justify the Master’s message! Last night we had supper at Gokul’s place, and his father also dined with us. I can bring his father here right now. So you can see what kind of statement our Master has made. And you fools still have faith in him!”
Shyamal flew into a rage and said, “Shut up, Ratan! Our Master always tells the truth. It is said in the Indian scriptures that if you want to commit suicide you don’t have to do it physically. Just brag about your glorious achievements and all the things that only you could have done. That kind of pride is itself an act of suicide. You heard what Gokul’s father said to us yesterday. He told us that he was so disappointed in his children’s lives that he wanted to commit suicide. Then, for two hours he bragged about the accomplishments and achievements in his own life. He did not allow us even to open our mouths. In pindrop silence and with wide astonishment we heard all about his grandiose triumphs in life. So you see, Ratan, he did commit suicide, for that kind of pride is nothing short of suicide.
The Master and the other two disciples immediately gave Shyamal a powerful round of applause. Then the Master said, “I have one more statement to make, and it is this: I realised God at the age of forty-two.”
Immediately Ratan jumped up again, joyfully. He said, “Master, now you are caught. In your autobiography you say that you realised God at the age of nine. Shall we believe in your biography or in your present statement? Either you told us a lie then, or you are telling us a lie today.”
Shyamal cried, “Shut up, Ratan! How dare you call our Master a liar? You fool! Our Master cannot tell a lie. Let me inject some wisdom into your barren mind. True, in our Master’s autobiography he says that he realised God at the age of nine, whereas now our Master is saying that he realised God at the age of forty-two. What he means is this: at the age of forty-two he opened his ashram and accepted many disciples, and thus realised God in another way. At the age of nine his God-realisation was only for himself, but at the age of forty-two his God-realisation is for us — for fools like you and me.
The Master and the two disciples again gave Shyamal most enthusiastic applause, and Ratan buried his head in his hands in utter shame. Then the Master asked Shyamal to sit in front of him. He said, “Shyamal, I am so proud of you. This is how a disciple should justify his Master at every moment. The Master, too, justifies his disciples in every way. I shall tell you how he does this.
“In the Supreme Court of the Supreme, when ignorance and a disciple are brought together, ignorance tells the Supreme Judge, ‘This fellow was with me for millions of years, and I fed him all the time. But now he has left me. He does not even recognise me. And he tells me that I am suing him unjustly.’
“At this point the Master plays the role of a lawyer and supports the disciple. He says to the Supreme, ‘O Supreme, the past is dust. We see no trace of ignorance in this man. He is all perfection. Your philosophy states that the important thing is not what one was, but what one is and what one eventually becomes. Ignorance no longer has any claim on this man.’ On hearing this the Supreme takes the side of the disciple and dismisses the case.”
Shyamal asked the Master, “Do you always defend your disciples against ignorance in the Court of the Supreme?”
“Yes, I always do it, and I do it gladly and devotedly.”
“What does the Supreme think of you? Does He not think that you are partial to your disciples?”
“No, not in the least. On the contrary, the more I defend the cause of my disciples, the dearer I become to Him, for it was the Supreme who commanded me to become part and parcel of the disciples’ ignorance and thus make them feel that if I could realise God in spite of all obstacles, they too can realise Him. The more I support and justify my disciples, the more I cover up their ignorance-life, the sooner I get the opportunity to illumine them, and the prouder God becomes of me for the total dedicated service which He Himself demanded from my life.”
Ratan politely pushed Shyamal aside and sat in front of the Master and said, “Master, I am one of those unfortunate disciples. You have to justify and defend me, too, when I stand facing ignorance in the Court of the Supreme. Master, you are my tutor and you are my lawyer.”
The Master said, “I am neither your tutor nor your lawyer, Ratan. In the light of the highest Truth, I am only your lover — a divine lover, an eternal lover of your heart’s aspiring cry.
WM 5. 25 January 1974↩