Chapter 12: The Other Shore
Patanjali is a perfect master. Whatsoever he has done as far as Yoga is concerned seems to be the crescendo. Five thousand years have passed but his Sutras are as fresh as this morning’s roseflowers. They don’t become old, they can’t become old. Nothing has been able to supersede his Sutras. And thousands of books on Yoga have been written in these five thousand years, but no other book has been able to impart that glow, that aliveness, that perfection. Patanjali is a perfect master; others are only apprentices. No book reaches that perfection.
The same is true about Lao Tzu: his Tao, his approach to the ultimate truth seems to be impossible to improve upon. It very rarely happens that a person gives you the total perfection of a thing, but it happens.
It happens in other arts: Michelangelo cannot be improved upon, Leonardo da Vinci cannot be improved upon, Shakespeare cannot be improved upon. Kalidas cannot be improved upon - these are perfect masters There are thousands of painters, but there is something which makes Vincent van Gogh a perfect painter. Nobody comes close to him; they lag far behind. What is it that makes him perfect? It is impossible to improve upon him. Whatsoever you do will destroy its beauty, it will bring it, lower; as if the whole dimension has become exhausted and you have come to a full point.
There have been only very few perfect masters. Hindus call them avataras, Jainas call them tirthankaras, Buddhists call them buddhas. In the Western world, Jesus is a perfect master, Moses is a perfect master, Eckehart is a perfect master, Francis is a perfect master. Whatsoever they have done, they have done it so totally that they have reached to the very end of that dimension. Now there is nothing more to do about it, everything is complete.
The teacher is dangerous because not only can he deceive others, he can become deceived himself.
I am tremendously happy that Kamal and Vedant were not deceived. They proved more intelligent than Satprem or Somendra - they are getting deceived. Because something starts happening in other people, you need not presume that it is because of you; it may be just their faith. You may not be a part of it at all; it may be just their own auto-hypnotic state.
The great teacher has a beauty because he himself is aware and makes others always aware that “Nothing can happen through me because nothing has happened to me. Learn as much as you can learn from me as a student, but I am not a master and you are not a disciple.” Great courage is needed to be a great master, and only if a great teacher becomes a master is he capable of helping, because he has learned all the techniques to help. Now the experience is there; he can pour out that experience and use all his old techniques.
Otherwise there are many enlightened people who simply become masters That’s the difference between the arhatas and the bodhisattvas. Arhatas are just masters, enlightened people. Nothing is lacking in them as far as their experience is concerned; it is the same as the experience of the bodhisattva. The only thing that is different is that the bodhisattva is capable of accepting disciples, the arhata is not capable.