To be a disciple needs guts. To be a disciple means one is courageous enough to dissolve oneself. It is no ordinary matter. And unless you are capable of becoming a disciple, you will never become a master.
The very word disciple is beautiful; it comes from a root which means learning. The disciple is one who is courageous enough to accept the fact that “I don’t know, so I am ready to learn. Then from wherever the light comes, I am open to it. I will not close my windows and my doors. I will allow the wind and the sun and the rain to come in. I am ready to go on this voyage of the unknown; it is uncharted territory.”
A disciple simply means one who has decided to learn. It is a great commitment to learning. And it is natural that one should start from somewhere; from some point the journey has to start – from A, from B, from C.
Let me be the point from where the journey starts. The master is not the point where the journey ends; the master is the point from where you start the journey of the unknown. He will go with you only to the point till he feels now you can go alone. Then he will leave you on his own accord.
And that is the criterion of a true master. You will not need him to leave; he will leave you on his own accord. If you leave, it will be a wrong step. If the desire to leave arises in you, that simply means you have not yet learned, you have not yet known the master. When you know the master there is no question of leaving him because there is nobody found whom you can leave. There has never been anybody from the very beginning.
When you enter into the being of the master you will find utter emptiness – a presence, certainly, but not a person whom you can leave. The disciple can never leave the master. First, he cannot leave because he is not yet capable to walk on his own, to be on his own. Secondly, he cannot leave. Even when he becomes capable of going on his own, he cannot leave because there is nobody to leave. Now he knows.
But the master leaves on his own accord. He starts dropping out of your existence. He starts disappearing more and more and more because now you are ready to go on your own.
The mother is happy when the child can walk without her support. If the mother tries to go on supporting the child forever, then that mother does not love the child. Then that mother is pathological and neurotic. She is crippling the child; she will be a paralysis to the child.
Such is the case with a master. If a master wants you always to remain dependent on him then he is not a true master, he is pseudo, phony. The master does not need you. If he needs you in some way, if he depends that you should depend on him, that means he needs you. That means somewhere your dependence on him is fulfilling his ego. He feels good, “Look how many disciples I have got.” He goes on counting his disciples, “I have so many disciples, I am a great master.”