Only one monk and the young man reached the monastery. The young man said, “I have passed through an immense experience. I had never thought that proverbs are so accurately true.”
The old master said, “I knew he would send at least one hundred people because I had asked for one.”
The young man said, “But you never mentioned it to me.”
The old man said, “There was no need to mention it. This is how things go on happening in this world. We are fortunate that at least one has arrived. There is no certainty; there are so many by-paths, so many allurements, and once you have gone astray it is not easy to come back to the right path.”
The crowd consists of people who have all gone astray. Once in a while a courageous person comes out of the crowd and starts searching a path of his own. It needs daring, it needs courage, it needs intelligence. It needs trust in yourself, and also a deep understanding that you will be condemned by the crowd.
The crowd never likes people to be individuals. Individuals irritate the crowd very much. The crowd wants you just to be a part of the crowd, a Hindu, a Mohammedan, a Christian. The moment you declare that “I am myself; neither a Hindu nor a Christian nor a Buddhist, and I am going to search on my own the truth of my being,” all the crowds around you will become antagonistic.
There is a deep psychology behind it. Your standing aloof and alone and moving in the direction of the unknown – without any companion, without any guide – irritates the mind of the crowd, because you are showing them that they are cowards clinging to each other like sheep, not moving like lions.
But the truth is not for the sheep. The sheep is not courageous enough to allow truth to reveal its mysteries and its glories to the mind of a sheep. The glories are so immense, so boundless, the mysteries are so infinite, that only the heart of the lion can rejoice, can dance, can sing.
Yes, there are moments when even the heart of the lion trembles, feels fear, because the path is so alone. And it goes on becoming narrower. As you are reaching higher and the path is becoming narrower, naturally, to look by the side…your whole being goes into a trembling. Just a single wrong step and you will be finished. On both sides are such depths….
But strangely enough, although the path is of the razor’s edge, nobody has fallen from it. Everybody has felt the fear, but existence supports those who are in search of truth. Its support is unconditional.
Existence does not support those who are nothing but living lies. They may have great power, but their own power will destroy them. Many civilizations have existed on the earth and they destroyed themselves by their own power. We are not the first civilization in the world. Atlantis drowned – perhaps the people of Atlantis had reached a far higher civilization than we have.