Two hours passed, three hours passed. Wu looked and looked. For the first time he looked inside. In fact if you look inside and you can remain alert, just for forty-eight minutes…. That is the limit. The ego can go on eluding you only for forty-eight minutes, not more than that. This has been the experience of all the buddhas down the ages. Now, don’t ask why forty-eight minutes, because that’s impossible to answer. It is just like at a hundred degrees water evaporates, nobody asks why. Why not at ninety-nine degrees? Why not at a hundred and one degrees? There is no question about it, it is simply so, the law of nature. At a hundred degrees water evaporates. Exactly like that, if you can remain alert and watchful continuously without wavering, for forty-eight minutes, your whole inner being becomes so quiet, so silent, so peaceful, so alert. For the first time there is clarity, transparent clarity. You can see everything that is there.
And Wu looked and looked and looked and could not find any ego – because ego cannot be found. It is fictitious, it is just your idea, it has no substance in it. It is not even a shadow, what to say about substance? It exists only because you have not looked in. Looking in, your light is discovered – which is always there, you just have to look in and find it. He was looking for the ego but he found the light, because the ego is not there and the light is there. He had gone to search for the ego but he found the light. And once the light was found there was no darkness.
Three hours passed and then the sun was rising, and Wu’s face was transformed. He had a new beauty, a new grace. Bodhidharma laughed and he said, “Now, open your eyes. You have not been able to find it…so I have finished it forever.”
Wu opened his eyes, touched Bodhidharma’s feet and said, “Master, you have not done anything and yet you have finished it.” That’s the miracle of a master; he never does a thing, and yet the ultimate miracle happens in his presence. His presence is the miracle, his presence has the magical quality.
You need not drop the ego. Just look in, search for where it is – first find it. Don’t worry about self-nature right now. Just go in, search for the ego, and you will not find it; instead you will find your self-nature, luminous, fragrant like a lotus flower. One never comes across such beauty anywhere else. It is the most beautiful experience of life. And once you have seen your own lotus of light, your own lotus blossoming, the ego is finished forever. Then you will not ask such meaningless questions.
“How to distinguish,” you say, “between what is the ego and what is my true nature?”
Either the ego is there, then the true nature is not known; or the true nature is known, then there is no ego left. You cannot have both, hence you cannot make any distinctions; you cannot distinguish them, they can’t both be present together. Only one can be present.
Right now, whatsoever you are is ego, so don’t be worried about distinguishing. If there were no ego the question would not have arisen at all. Self-nature knows no questions, self-nature is ecstasy, not a problem.
The second question:
Please tell me what the difference is between surrendering to a master and following a master?