Chapter 16: Surprise Me!
The first question:
Who needs God when we are blessed with the beautiful feet of a beautiful master to sit under?
You fool! That is the surest way to find godliness - one cannot miss. The master is only a window. The master simply opens into godliness, just as the window opens into the sky. What you see in the master is not of the master himself - he is no more. What you see through the window is not of the window; it is of the sky, the stars, the sunrise, a bird on the wing, the flowers. Whatsoever you see through the window has nothing to do with the window; the window is only an opening. The master is only a way.
If one can surrender, if one can trust the master, one has surrendered to existence, one has trusted existence. And sooner or later one is bound to come out under the sky. One will remain grateful to the master forever because without the window there was no sky, there were only walls. But one has to go through the master and go beyond. One should not cling to the window; the window frame should not become a hindrance.
Hence the perfect master is one who helps you to surrender through him to existence, not to him. Of course, in the beginning it appears as if you are surrendering to the window because you don’t have any other acquaintance with the sky; you may even start worshipping the frame of the window. That is what has happened again and again in the history of human consciousness.
Buddha is a window, so is Mahavira, so is Christ, so is Mohammed. But then you forget about the sky. You close your eyes and you start worshipping the window. You have missed the point.
I am not to be worshipped.
The real master’s work is to become gradually useless for the disciple. Buddha says: If you meet me on the way, kill me immediately. The master would not like to stand between you and the divine, and if the master wants to stand between you and the divine he is not a master at all. If he teaches you clinging, then he is teaching you the world; if he teaches you unclinging, then he teaches you godliness.
The function of a master is really a very delicate one, because in the beginning he has to help you to surrender to him, knowing the danger - but the risk has to be taken. As the disciple comes closer, as he becomes a devotee, the master helps him to understand the point.