Chapter 4: Straight to Freedom
The myth is beautiful. It says many things. One: amongst millions of people, only once does it happen that a man becomes enlightened. To become enlightened is difficult, but there is a greater difficulty that I would like to tell you about. Amongst millions, one person becomes enlightened, and amongst thousands of enlightened persons, one person becomes a master. To become a master is almost impossible. To become enlightened you have to work with yourself, your barriers, your hindrances - but your own. To become a master you have to work with others’ barriers, hindrances. To work with oneself it is so difficult. To work with somebody else is almost impossible.
Many buddhas have existed, but once in a while a buddha becomes a master. The name of Gautama the Buddha is famous just because of his being a master. Millions of buddhas preceded him, but they were not masters.
It happened: One day somebody asked Buddha, “You have almost fifty thousand sannyasins around you - how many of them have become like you?” Buddha is reported to have said that many had. But the questioner was puzzled. He said, “If many of them have become like you, why does nobody know about them?”
Buddha said, “They have become enlightened, but they are not masters. They are just like me, they exist on the same plane of being - that is one thing. But to persuade another to bring his consciousness to the same plane is a difficult art.”
To persuade the other towards higher peaks of being is almost impossible, because the other will create all sorts of resistances. And the more you try to bring him up, the more his ego will be there to resist. And the ego will enjoy falling down more and more. The ego will be the enemy. And the other is identified with his own ego, he thinks he is the ego. So when a master tries to transform or help, you create all sorts of barriers in order not to be helped.
Teachers are many, masters few. Teachers are very cheap; you can get them a rupee a dozen - because to be a teacher is nothing. You need a little intellectual capacity to understand things, a little capacity to explain things - if you are a little articulate you can become a teacher. Scriptures are there: you can memorize them. With a little practice you can attain to a certain logical penetration into things. You can silence people, you can prove things. And many will be attracted because people live in their intellectual center - they live in their heads.
A teacher is a head-oriented person, more heady than you. He can impress you, but that impression will not lead you anywhere. You will remain in the same rut. He himself is nowhere. A teacher is a man who teaches without knowing what he is teaching. A teacher is a man who talks about things he has not known, who talks about worlds with no experience. He has not tasted anything of the unknown. He may have tasted many things of the Vedas, the Koran, the Bible, the Upanishads; he may have gathered much knowledge, but knowing he has none. But you can adjust to a teacher very easily because he is of the same type; he belongs to the same level of being as you, to the same plane. Teachers become very, very influential. They lead great movements; millions are attracted to them - because they talk the same language that you can understand.