Chapter 19: Pick Up the Roses and Avoid the Thorns
The old master was using the disciples for his own egoistic ends. The masters in the past used to brag about how many disciples they had. The number of the disciples decided the greatness of the master. The master was also dependent in a certain sense on the disciples. It is something to be understood that you cannot make anybody dependent without yourself becoming dependent too. And the same is true if you are independent, you would love to make everybody independent. Because independent individuality has such beauty and grace, such joy, such freedom to fly in the sky with no boundaries and no chains, with no conditions, no expectations, that a master would love his disciples to be ultimately free, free even of himself.
Zarathustra has said to his disciples: “Beware of me.” That small statement contains great meaning, because a disciple can renounce everything to be one with the master, to come closer and closer to the master; he can even sacrifice himself. But in this sacrificing he will enjoy a certain unburdening, because now he is no longer responsible. The whole responsibility is on the shoulders of the master. The disciple has become a sheep and the master has become the shepherd. Now the shepherd will take care.
One can think in this way that the sheep has attained a certain freedom - freedom from responsibility. But becoming a sheep, even if you become free, your freedom has no meaning. It is fear; it is irresponsibility. In a deeper sense you have lost yourself to gain something. It is not out of love that you have surrendered to the master; out of love there is no surrender, there is no need.
Love is a far bigger phenomenon than any surrender. Surrender is of the mind and surrender is an effort. Love is of the heart and it is not an effort. You suddenly find yourself in love with someone. Even if you try to be in love with someone you cannot succeed. No effort is going to be successful. Love comes just like the spring comes, and when love comes it brings many flowers.
There have been two kinds of masters. The majority of the masters in the past demanded surrender, total surrender. It was a kind of spiritual slavery. The master was enjoying a great ego, and the disciple was enjoying a great unburdening from all responsibilities. Now the master is going to save him. Now the master is his salvation, liberation, enlightenment. All that he could do he has surrendered himself. He has become an absolute yes.
To me this kind of relationship was not healthy, something was basically wrong. Because of this situation in the past one man stands separate from the whole crowd of masters, and that is J. Krishnamurti. He denied he was a master and he refused to accept anybody as a disciple; this was another extreme. The other masters were demanding absolute surrender. J. Krishnamurti has lived with masters who have asked absolute surrender from him, and as he became more and more mature he saw the whole game: the master enjoys the ego, the disciple enjoys irresponsibility. But neither the master is a true master nor the disciple is a true disciple; both are exploiting each other.
There is no question of love when there is exploitation. Krishnamurti refused to be master of anyone and he refused to allow anyone to think that he is a disciple. He has taken a great step but he has moved to the very extreme. And always remember: if one extreme is wrong the other extreme cannot be right. The right is always somewhere exactly in the middle, the golden mean. Only in the middle is there balance, and only in the middle, exactly in the middle, is there transcendence of the polarities, of the opposites.