There is a great difference. They are poles apart. Surrendering to a master is something of the heart, it is a love affair, it is not an intellectual conviction. It is not that you are convinced intellectually that what the master is saying is right. It is not philosophical. What the master is saying may be absurd – in fact, it is bound to be absurd, because he speaks from a totally different kind of vision, from the peak where opposites meet, where the ultimate synthesis has happened, where life and death are one, where man and woman are one, where negative and positive are one. Hence whatsoever he says is bound to be paradoxical.
Surrendering to a master means you have felt his grace. It is not a question of his knowledgeability. He may not be knowledgeable at all. Jesus was not knowledgeable. Mohammed was not even able to read or write, he was not even able to sign his own name. But thousands fell in deep love with the man. He had no logical acumen. If you go into the Koran you will not find great philosophy – simple statements which can be refuted very easily. But the man must have had something totally different. So many people gravitated towards him. Now you cannot see gravitation; it is an energy, it is a force, invisible. It is a communion, heart-to-heart. The master’s presence overwhelms you, then surrender happens.
It is not something that you do. You cannot do surrender, remember. Surrender done is not surrender at all, because you can withdraw. Any day you can say, “I take back my surrender.” Surrender is something that happens. Sometimes it happens even in spite of you, you never wanted it to happen, you resisted it. People resist to the very end; when it becomes impossible to resist, only then do they surrender, because surrender goes against the ego, it shatters your ego. The very idea of surrendering to someone is against your whole upbringing, your whole education, your whole psychology. You are brought up with the idea of having a strong ego.
Surrender means you are dropping your whole upbringing, you are pushing aside all your knowledge, you are bypassing your mind, you are allowing the heart to say “Yes!” – a total yes. It is a happening, not a doing. It is just like falling in love.
What is the difference between falling in love and marriage, an arranged marriage? Exactly that is the difference between surrendering to a master and following a master. Surrendering to a master is like falling in love. The force is irresistible. You are behaving like a madman. The master is mad, now you are becoming mad. The master is like a flame, and you are moving towards the flame like a moth, to your own death.
Following a master is a safe phenomenon, like an arranged marriage. You are moving on safe ground. You think about everything – about the family of the woman or the man, about their economic status, about their social prestige, about everything except love. It is a calculated phenomenon. There is no risk in it. And not to take any chances you go to the astrologer so that he can even predict the future, how things will be going in the future: “Will I be sailing safely?”
You make everything safe before you take the plunge. It is not a jump, it is a calculated step. And that’s what following a master is. It is intellectual, it is of the mind, it is of the head. You are trying to understand intellectually, logically what he is saying. Does it appeal to you?