Chapter 6: Beginning a New Path
The first question:
Do you receive instructions from any master of masters?
I am not on any ancient path, so a few things have to be understood. I am not like Mahavira, who was the end of a long series of twenty-four tirthankaras - he was the twenty-fourth. In the past, twenty-three had become masters of masters, gods, on the same path, the same method, the same way of life, the same technique.
The first was Rishabh and the last was Mahavira. Rishabh had nobody in the past to look to. I am not like Mahavira but like Rishabh. I am a beginning of a tradition, not the end. Many more will be coming on the same path. So I cannot look to anybody for instructions; that’s not possible. A tradition is born and then a tradition dies, just as persons are born and persons die. I am the beginning, not the end. When somebody is in the middle of the series or at the end, he gets instructions from the master of masters.
The reason why I am not on any path? I have worked with many masters, but I have never been a disciple. I was a wanderer, wandering through many lives, crisscrossing many traditions, being with many groups, schools, methods, but never belonging to anybody. I was received with love, but I was never a part - a guest at the most, on an overnight stay. That’s why I learned so much. You cannot learn so much on one path; that’s impossible. If you move on one path, you know everything about it but nothing about anything else. Your whole being is absorbed in it. That has not been my way. I have been like a bee from one flower to another, gathering many fragrances. That’s why I can be at ease with Zen, can be at ease with Jesus, can be at ease with Jews, can be at ease with Mohammedans, can be at ease with Patanjali - diverse ways, sometimes diametrically opposite.
But to me, a hidden harmony exists. That’s why people who follow one path are unable to understand me. They are simply baffled, bewildered. They know a particular logic, a particular pattern. If the thing fits into their pattern, it is right. If it doesn’t fit, it is wrong. They have a very limited criterion. To me no criteria exist. Because I have been with so many patterns I can be at ease anywhere. Nobody is alien to me and I am not a stranger to anybody. But this creates a problem. I am not a stranger to anybody, but everybody becomes a stranger to me - this has to be so.
If you belong to no particular sect, then everybody thinks of you as if you are the enemy. Hindus will be against me, Christians will be against me, Jews will be against me, Jainas will be against me - and I am against nobody. Because they cannot find their pattern in me, they will be against me.