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Chapter 19: Infinite Patience

That’s why the woman went to Arif. Arif means the knowledgeable one. He is not a master, he is a teacher. Teachers are many, masters very rare and very few. That’s why Sabar said, “You will have to go around the whole earth, you will have to travel the whole world. Then too, if you can find the master again, it will be a rare fortune.”

You will meet many teachers; they exist everywhere. And they have great appeal too, because they never demand. On the contrary, they supply, they give you information, they make you more knowledgeable. Arif means one who is very knowledgeable, a learned man who knows the scriptures, knows doctrines, dogmas, can explain difficult problems of theology, can go into subtleties, into very deep, logical complexities of systems. But information can never satisfy. It is as futile as informing a hungry person about bread: it is about and about, the bread is never supplied. Great talk about the bread, but how can bread, just by being talked about, be satisfying? The talk of the lamp will not create light.

So soon the woman must have become frustrated. She must have gathered a great knowledge, but she must have become frustrated. She moved.

That’s how people go on moving from one teacher to another teacher. Even if they come across a master, there is every possibility of missing the master - because they come with expectations. And no master ever fulfills anybody’s expectations; that is an absolute criterion. If somebody fulfills your expectations he is a teacher. In fact he is a follower of yours - he is fulfilling your expectations. The real master never fulfills your expectations. On the contrary, he goes on destroying your expectations. Whatsoever you expect, he will never do; he will just do the contrary. Why? - because if he fulfills your expectations he will never be able to change you.

You have to be changed, utterly changed. You have to be burnt, in toto. Your expectations come from your mind; your mind has to be destroyed. Only then and only then is God possible. So how can a real master fulfill your expectations?

People go on changing from one teacher to another. A few days they are on a honeymoon with one teacher, and then as every honeymoon fades away, after a few days they are finished. When they first come across a teacher they are very enchanted; it seems as if now the time has come for fulfillment of their desire. But soon knowledge is supplied, and knowledge cannot quench your thirst.

The woman must have felt frustrated, so she went to another, Hakim the Sage. Hakim means the man who has character, arif means the man who has knowledge. Now she is finished with knowledge. She has seen a learned scholar but what is that to do? Now she wants some man who is not only knowledgeable, but who has practiced, who has something in his character to say that he knows.