This can become a dependency. If someone is eager to be a guru and if someone is eager to find a guru, this state of dependency can happen. So do not make the mistake of becoming a disciple or making somebody your guru. But if there is no question of a guru or a disciple, there is no fear of dependency. Then the person from whom you are taking help is simply a part of your own self who has traveled ahead on the path. Then who is the guru and who is the disciple?
I often tell the story that Buddha told of one of his previous lives. He said, “I was an ignorant person in my previous life. A wise person had attained enlightenment, so I went to see him. I bowed down to touch his feet in reverence. But no sooner had I lifted myself up than I found to my astonishment that the old man had bent to touch my feet.
“‘What are you doing?’ I exclaimed. ‘That I should touch your feet is right and proper, but it is not fitting that you should touch mine.’
“The old man said, ‘If you touch my feet and I do not touch yours it would be a great mistake, because I am nothing but a part of you, a few steps ahead of you. And when I bow at your feet I remind you that you did well to touch mine. But do not be under the misconception that you and I are two. Also, do not make the mistake of thinking that I am wise and you are ignorant. It is a matter of time. A little more time and you too will be enlightened. It is just as when my right foot comes forward, the left remains behind to follow; actually, the left foot remains behind in order that the right may go forward.’”
The relationship of guru and disciple is harmful. However, a nonrelated relating between a guru and the disciple is very beneficial. Nonrelated means there are not two; relationship is where there are two. We can understand if a disciple feels the guru to be a separate entity from him because the disciple is ignorant. But if the guru also feels the same, that is too much. Then it means that the blind is leading the blind – and the blind man who is leading is more dangerous, because the second blind man has total trust in him.
There is no spiritual meaning to a guru-disciple relationship. Actually, all relationships are about power, they are all relationships of power politics. Someone is a father, someone is a son; if this were a relationship of love it would be a different matter. Then the father would not be conscious of his being the father, nor the son of being a son. Then the son would be the preceding form of the father and the father would be the subsequent form of the son – and this is the truth of the matter.