Chapter 3: Transcending the Transcendental
If you want to understand Buddha, Lao Tzu, Ko Hsuan, Kabir, Nanak, you will have to learn how to read between the lines. You will have to learn how to understand silence and the music of silence. You will have to be silent. It is a totally different kind of learning - in fact, it is unlearning. Whatsoever you know you will have to drop. You will have to drop all your beliefs, ideologies, philosophies. All that has been given to you by your teachers from the kg to the university level, you will have to get rid of it, you will have to transcend it. You will have to transcend all your teachers, only then you will be able to understand a master. A master is against all teachers.
The East has not respected teachers; its total respect goes to the masters. The teachers are utilitarian; they are experts. If something goes wrong in your bathroom you call the plumber. He knows more than you as far as plumbing is concerned, but that is no reason to pay him great respect and call him “venerable”. Something goes wrong with your body, you call the doctor. He is another kind of plumber: he fixes your body. If you want to learn mathematics you go to a teacher.
You go to a master only when you are tired of all this utilitarian existence. When you have come to see that there is something more, when you have felt a deep urge, a great longing, to know that which is non-utilitarian, which has intrinsic value, which can neither be sold nor purchased, which has no price but immense value, when you have come to feel the existence of the mysterious, of the miraculous, then only you are capable of contacting a master.
In fact, the ancient Egyptian scriptures say: When the disciple is ready the master appears himself. And when the disciple is ready? When he is tired of the utilitarian world. In the world everything has a utility; but God has no utility, truth has no utility, love has no utility, bliss has no utility, beauty has no utility. What is the utility of a rose Flower? An atom bomb has utility, a sword has utility. What is the utility of a beautiful sunset? There is no utility in it. Only when you start feeling the longing for the non-utilitarian you are capable of being with a master; otherwise you will go on moving from one teacher to another teacher.
To be with a master needs tremendous preparation. And the greatest thing required is the longing for the unknown, the longing for that which is not of this world. The longing seems to be almost mad to those who are concerned with money, power, prestige. They will think you have gone crazy if you become interested in meditation, if you become interested in silence. if you become interested in a master. But the East has paid tremendous respect to the masters.
Ko Hsuan starts each sutra with these beautiful words:
The Venerable Master said.
He does not mention the name of the master. In fact, names are of no use as far as a master is concerned because a single master represents all the masters of the past, of the present, and of the future, too, because the taste of a master is the same. Whether you come close to a Buddha or to a Mahavira or to a Moses or to Mohammed, it makes no difference. You will have the same taste, the same ecstasy, the same perfume. The same joy will pervade you; the same dance will start happening in your heart.