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Chapter 9: Initiation to a Master: The Ultimate Technique

This is really a fundamental law of life: one who is asleep is not responsible even for himself, and one who is awakened is responsible even for others. If you come to him and surrender to him, then he becomes particularly responsible for you. So Krishna could say to Arjuna, “Leave everything. Come to me; surrender at my feet,” and Jesus could say, “I am the truth, I am the door, I am the gate. Come to me, pass through me. I will be the witness on the last day of your judgment. I will answer for you.”

This is all analogical. Every day is the day of judgment, and every moment is the moment of judgment. There is not going to be any last day. These are just the terms that could be understood by the people to whom Jesus was speaking. He was saying, “I will be responsible for you, and I will answer for you when the divine asks. I will be there as a witness. Surrender to me; I will be your witness.”

This is a great responsibility. No one who is asleep can take it because even to be responsible for yourself becomes difficult in sleep. You can be responsible for others only when you no longer need to be responsible for yourself, when you are unburdened completely, when you are no more. So only one who is no more can initiate you; otherwise, no one can initiate you. No particular individual can initiate anyone, and if that happens - and it happens so many times, it is happening every day; those who are themselves asleep initiate others who are asleep, the blind leading the blind, both fall into the ditch.

No one who is asleep can initiate anyone, but the ego wants to initiate. This egoistic attitude has proved fatal and very dangerous. The whole initiation, the whole mystery of it, the whole beauty of it, became ugly because of those who were not entitled to initiate. Only one who has no ego inside, who has no sleep inside, who has no dream inside, can initiate; otherwise, initiation is the greatest sin.

In the old days, to take initiation was not easy; it was the most difficult thing. One had to wait for years to be initiated; even for his whole life one might wait. This waiting was a testing ground, it was a discipline.

For example, Sufis would only initiate you when you had waited for a particular period. You had to wait, without questioning, for the moment when the teacher himself would say that it was time. The teacher might be a shoemaker. If you wanted to be initiated, you would have to help him for years in shoemaking. And not even the relevance of the shoemaking could be questioned. So for five years you would just be waiting, helping the teacher in shoemaking. He would never talk of prayer or meditation, he would never talk of anything except shoemaking. You have waited for five years. but this is a meditation. And it is no ordinary meditation; you would be cleansed through it.

This simple waiting, this unquestioned waiting, would make the ground ready for complete surrender. Only after a long waiting could initiation happen, but then surrender was easy and the master could take responsibility for the disciple.

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