It is a great challenge, because when you accept the buddha as a friend, there are two possibilities: either you have to pull the buddha down to the state where you are, or you have to rise to the state where the buddha is. The challenge is that you cannot pull the buddha back down to the state where you are; that is simply impossible. You cannot in any way bring him down to the darkness and to the depth and to the blindness where you live. You will have to rise to his sunlit peaks. It is a tremendous challenge.
And in rising to become capable of really being a friend of the awakened one, you will have to drop many things on the way – those same things which were expected to be dropped by surrender. You will have to drop all kinds of burdens. The higher you go, the less burdened you will have to be. At the highest peak of consciousness you reach just naked, like an innocent child – not even with clothes. Even that is too much of a burden.
I have called you my friends…the same challenge.
And exactly after twenty-five centuries, Gautam Buddha is not back in one sense, but is back in another sense. Whenever, wherever anybody becomes awakened, it is the same taste, the same sweetness, the same joy, the same bliss, the same silence.
Can you tell any difference between the light of two candles? Light is simply light – to which candle it belongs is immaterial. Its function is to destroy darkness – that’s the only meaning of light.
So whoever becomes light has now the responsibility to raise humanity from the old, traditional way of surrendering to a master, because that has created many kinds of spiritual slaveries around the world. It has not enlightened man, it has darkened his soul.
The very effort of becoming a friend…and something starts changing in you, because you are trying to reach the moon. The moon cannot come to you, but you can reach the moon. The moon can give the invitation. The moon can call your very being – provoke you, challenge you, inspire you – but it cannot come to you. You have to travel the whole path.
And it is easier and it is simpler when the master is a friend, because now between you and the master the relationship is of love.
Friendship is the purest love.
It is the highest form of love where nothing is asked for, no condition, where one simply enjoys giving. One gets much – but that is secondary, and that happens of its own accord.
To create a state of love between the master and the disciple means we are avoiding the device of surrender; instead we are making the disciple responsible. Surrender becomes, in most of the cases, an irresponsibility…because the disciple thinks, “I have surrendered to the master – now it is his responsibility to change me, to transform me, to take me to the heights where he belongs.” He starts thinking in terms of the master as the savior, that “I have found the savior; now I will believe and have faith in him and he is to save me.”