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Chapter 1: One Boat, Two Travelers

The master has to walk with the disciple, so that the disciple may walk with the master. And many times the master has to walk on a path where he should not have gone, he has to come close to the one whom he wants to change. That is why the sage says:

Together may we strive.
Brilliant be our knowing.

There is a spiritual discipline to know the truth, and there is quite another for transmitting that truth; they are different, totally different.

The Jainas have differentiated between the two. A kevali is one who has attained to the supreme wisdom; a tirthankara is one who has attained to the supreme wisdom and who is also a teacher, also a master - he is called a tirthankara. There is no other difference between a tirthankara and a kevali. A kevali has attained to wisdom, he has the ultimate understanding, but he is not a master. He cannot transfer, he cannot give it to others. He does not know how to give it to others.

Understand it this way. There are only a few people on the earth in whose life no poetry ever takes birth. Sometime or other a lyric echoes inside, takes birth in everyone. But there are very few poets. Many people have felt the murmuring of a song, but this does not make them musicians. Even if music is born inside you, it may be that you will not be able to sing it out loud. That is why, when listening to poetry, you feel that this is the poetry which should have come through me; this is the song I should have sung; this is the same tune which echoed within me, but I could not produce it. Looking at some painting you feel that you also wanted to paint it, but someone else painted it. In fact when you like a painting, it only means that if you could have, you would have painted it - it represents you, but you couldn’t do it.

Many times truth is attained, the ultimate wisdom unfolds, takes birth. But then how to communicate it to others? How to communicate it? How to convey it to others?

To be a master is a different matter. Only one who is ready to strive again along with the disciple can be a master. Only one who agrees to walk again along with the disciple from the very first steps, who agrees to start with the ABCs again, who can take the hand of the disciple and start from where he himself has no need to start can be a master. He who is standing at the destination and has the courage to again take the first step with the disciple, only he can become a master.

That is why the sage prays:

Together may we strive.
Brilliant be our knowing.

He continues to pray for both: Brilliant be our knowing.