Chapter 17: Wake up the Slave
What are those three parts of the principal cause? In the tradition of Buddha there are three famous shelters: buddham sharanam gachchhami: I go to the feet of the buddha, I surrender myself to the buddha. Sangham sharanam gachchhami: I go to the feet of the commune, I surrender myself to the buddhafield. Dhammam sharanam gachchhami: I surrender myself to the ultimate law which is personified by the buddha and is searched for by the commune, which has become actual in the buddha and is an inquiry in the commune. These three are the most important things for a seeker: the master, the commune, and the Dhamma, Tao, Logos, the ultimate law.
Unless you are in contact with one who has already realized, it is almost impossible for you to grow. The hindrances are millions, the pitfalls many, the false doors many, the temptations are many; there is every possibility of going astray. Unless you are in the company of someone who knows the way, who has traveled the way, who has arrived, it is almost impossible for you to reach. Unless your hands are in the hands of someone whom you can trust and surrender to, you are bound to go astray. The mind creates so many temptations - so alluring they are, so magnetic is their power - that unless you are in the power-field of someone whose magnetism is far more powerful than any other kind of temptation, it is impossible to reach. That is the meaning of disciplehood.
Buddham sharanam gachchhami: I surrender to the master.
The master is such a magnetic force that your surrender to the master becomes your protection; hence it is called the shelter. Then you are secure, then you are guarded, then you are protected. Then your hand is in those hands which know where to take you, what direction to give to you.
And the second thing is the commune. Each buddha creates a commune, because without a commune a buddha cannot function. A commune means his energy field, a commune means the people who have become joined with him, a commune means an alternate society to the ordinary mundane society which goes after spurious comforts - it is there, available to everybody.
A small oasis in the desert of the world is what is meant by a commune created by a Buddha. A small oasis in which life is lived with a totally different gestalt, with a totally different vision, with a totally different goal. Where life is lived with purpose, meaning, where life is lived with method - even though to the outsiders it may look like madness, but that madness has a method in it. Where life is lived prayerfully, alert, aware, awake; where life is not just accidental, where life starts becoming more and more a growth in a certain direction, towards a certain destination; where life is no more like driftwood.