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Chapter 1: One Boat, Two Travelers

If the unlit candle is afraid, keeping a distance, not coming close to the lit candle and if somehow, when the flame comes close to it, it moves farther away and is afraid, then it becomes difficult. So the sage says: Together may we strive.

He does not say that only the disciple is to make the effort. That would have seemed appropriate, wouldn’t it? - that would have been enough. All so-called gurus ask the disciple to work hard, to make an effort. No so-called guru says that we should strive together - because it is not only that the disciple is to be near the master, it is more important for the master to be available to the disciple. Even if the unlit candle comes very close but the lit candle is conceited and arrogant and not willing to move with the gust of the wind, then too nothing will happen.

If a master feels himself to be a master then nothing will happen, because even though he is ready to give, he is not ready to be together with the disciple, and it cannot be given without being together.

That is why, when the old seekers went in search, the place where they lived with the master was called the gurukul, the family of the master. This was the master’s family; the seeker just became a member of the family. He became one, joined with the family. But this closeness is two-sided; every closeness is two-sided. That is why the master says: “We strive together, make effort, work hard, meditate together.”

This is a great sadhana, a great spiritual discipline for the master also. Every person who knows cannot be a master. Try to understand it. Many people in this world know, but they cannot help others to know. To know is not so difficult.

One day, someone came to Buddha and asked him, “You have had ten thousand monks with you for years and you have been teaching them, leading them on the path of sadhana, meditation. How many have attained to your state? How many have become buddhas?” Naturally, it is a relevant question. It is the test of a buddha to see how many buddhas he has created.

Buddha answered that many of them have attained to buddhahood.

The man said, “No one seems to be a buddha.”

Buddha replied, “Because they are not masters.”

To become awakened is one thing and to help others to awaken is quite another. It is not necessary that the awakened one always helps others to awaken, because if the awakened one is to awaken the other he has to descend from his heights and stand with the other in his dark valley; he has to be near the people who are groping, taking their hand in his own hand. Many times he has to walk a little distance with them on their path where there is nothing but hell. So if he walks a little distance with you now, holding your hand, only then will there be a possibility of a trust arising in you that tomorrow, if he invites you on his path, then you will be willing to accompany him.