There is no criterion available, so you have been surrendering to people who are cunning enough to pretend to be masters. A real master will be so humble that he cannot call himself a master. The very claim, “I am the master, and you are just a devotee, a disciple, a follower,” is nothing but pure egoistic assertion. And wherever the ego exists one thing is certain: you cannot get any help towards light, love, life.
Man is capable of spiritual growth – he has the potential. All that he needs to know is the right way. And anybody who can show you the right way – you can be grateful to him, you can be thankful to him. But what is the need to surrender?
I am reminded of a Tibetan story….
Milarepa, a great master, was searching for truth. The story is of the days when he had not found it. And people told him, “There is a certain master – all that is needed is absolute surrender.”
Milarepa went to the man and surrendered totally – he must have been a unique individual – and then other disciples of that master became very jealous of Milarepa because he started doing strange things. He would walk on water, he would go through fire and not be burned…And they all asked him, “What is your secret?”
He said, “You are senior disciples of the master, you must know. I have simply surrendered myself to him, so whenever I want to cross the river I simply remember the master and just say to him, ‘Take me to the other side,’ and I walk on the waters.”
The master heard – he could not believe it. He wanted to see. He told Milarepa to jump from a mountain peak into a thousand-foot-deep valley. Milarepa simply remembered the name of the master, and jumped.
They all were thinking, “We will not be able to find even bits and pieces of the man, the valley is so deep and so dangerous.”
But when they went there – it took hours for them to go down – Milarepa was sitting there in the lotus posture, so blissfully.
The master said, “Just my name helps you…?”
And naturally, and logically, he thought, “If my name helps him so much I must be a great master.” And he thought, “If my name helps him, then what miracles can I not do?”
He tried to walk on the water, and he started drowning and had to be saved by his disciples. That moment Milarepa saw his own master drowning, and the whole idea of surrender to a fake, to a fraud, disappeared. He said to the master, “At least you should not have done it in front of us. You have destroyed our trust, our surrender. You have destroyed us so deeply that now it will be difficult for us to trust in anyone. You have made us skeptical. I came to you in innocence, and I am going absolutely corrupted.”