Chapter 17: I Am This!
What are they really saying? - as if an answer can be given to you whether God is or is not. As if there is no necessity for any preparation to receive an answer to this question. As if this is some routine question about some day-to-day dealing, like asking a shopkeeper, “Have you got a packet of cigarettes?”
Is there a God? To ask this, years of awaiting are necessary; to ask this a sort of fitness and worthiness are necessary. A right kind of mind has to be created so that when the answer comes one may be able to hear it, understand it.
This story is of a time when a disciple used to just sit near the master for many years. Just sitting, just watching the master.if the master said something, he listened to it but did not ask. He would ask only when he was convinced that he was in tune with the master, when he felt that some inner relationship between them has developed, when a bridge between them was established: “Whatsoever the master says now will not stop at my ears, it will sink deep into my heart.”
Until a connection is established with your heart and the heart of the master there is no sense in saying anything to you. But this Upanishad must have been told in such a moment. This is why this sutra says intimacy with a master can become a spiritual discipline. But we are unaware of any such thing today. Today we have no intimacy even with those whom we love very much. We feel a distance even from those who may be very close to us. Today everybody has become closed within themselves, and the reason for this is doubt. How could intimacy happen with those about whom one has doubt? Intimacy can happen only with those about whom one has no doubt. Doubt closes the doors, locks itself up within; it needs security.
Trust is insecurity. Trust does not need security. The very meaning of trust is: “If you push me into a ditch, I will fall happily into it. If you are throwing me into a ditch there must be some secret reason for it.”
What matters is not the ditch but who is throwing you into it. If the master was pushing the disciple into a ditch, a disciple from the days of the Upanishads would simply touch the feet of the master and fall happily into it. The question is not that it is a ditch, the question is who is the person throwing you.
If someone whom you have loved so much, one with whom such an intimacy has happened, is pushing you into the ditch, it must be for some benefit and for your welfare: this attitude is called trust. When something is listened to with this attitude it sinks down to one’s innermost being. And then no other spiritual discipline is necessary.
Spiritual disciplines are actually a way of compensating for the lack of trust. That empty space, which is there because of the absence of trust, has to be filled by means of spiritual endeavors. They are substitutes; otherwise they are not necessary, because the very viewpoint of the Upanishads is that whatsoever is to be achieved is already there within you. There is no question of seeking and searching, no effort is necessary, because what is to be achieved is already the case - you have only to look towards it.