It is possible to grow without having a master, but the journey will be very long, very uncertain. It may take lives to arrive at some certainty of the path.
Nobody sailing in a boat around the world will ask the question, “Is it possible to go on the journey without a map?” Of course you can go…The map does not insist, “I have to be with you.” No pilot flying around the world will go without a map, without a guide – although the guide and the map are not necessary, he can go without them.
The past of humanity has unnecessarily made the master somebody very superior. That creates the idea in your mind: Why accept anybody as superior to you? It hurts your ego to accept a master. But as far as I am concerned, the master is only a guide.
Even if you go to see the ruins of the golden days of the Greek civilization, you take a guide with you. The guide is not superior to you; he simply knows more about the terrain, he can be helpful.
The master is only a guide, a map. He can make your journey small, he can make your journey less arduous, he can help you to reach even in this life – no need to wait for another life. And the strangest thing is that he is not asking anything for his advice, you are not paying him anything for his advice. He enjoys showing the path to people, just as the gardener enjoys when the flowers blossom; something in his heart also blossoms.
To say it exactly, with each disciple becoming enlightened the master again becomes enlightened; again the whole experience is refreshed. And the more disciples become enlightened…without taking anything from you, the master is getting enough from existence itself. The master only gives to you, he does not take anything from you. Why should you be afraid of someone who can help without charging you anything?
But the yellow journalism goes on spreading lies. Just the other day I heard that I take twenty-five hundred dollars from each person who becomes a sannyasin – that is the fee. I thought, “That is a great idea!” I have lost millions of dollars. I have not taken even one cent from anybody. There are people who are selling even spirituality; beware of them. Spirituality is not for sale; it can be shared, but it cannot be sold.
But it is still your decision. If you want to go alone, that is perfectly good – but whether you will reach or not, I cannot say anything about it. Because I know your mind…Somebody goes to his land, his own country, telling me that he is going to finish incomplete things and will be here within two months. I wait for him. Two months pass, three months pass, two years pass…