Here, to bow down to a master’s feet is a tremendous blissfulness, because those are the moments when you have put your ego aside. For those few moments you are pure being, and to be pure being is to be pure bliss.
But for the Western disciple there is a difficulty. He has been told to keep his head high. He has been educated not to surrender, in any case; it is better to die than to surrender. His whole education is nursing the ego in the name of individuality. And this is simply a deception, because individuality is a totally different phenomenon – it has nothing to do with ego. In fact the more ego you have, the less individuality you will have. If you are full of the ego, there is no space for individuality.
The ego is afraid to bow down. The individuality is not afraid, because the individuality feels enriched – it loses nothing, it gains. Flowers of blessings shower on it; it feels a newness, a coolness, a silence descending upon it. But for the ego it is death. For the individuality, it is becoming really alive.
The West has been deceived by its religions, by its educators, by its politicians to believe that “Ego is your individuality; sharpen your ego.” And certainly it helps in the market place; it helps you to fight, to compete mercilessly. It allows for a cutthroat competition. It does not matter what means you choose: your ego should be fulfilled; then everything is right.
It is not strange that two world wars have happened in this century in the West, and the West is preparing for a third world war too. It is not strange that in all the centuries of the Middle Ages the West was continually killing, murdering, burning living people in the name of God, in the name of love. It was easy for the West to spread its imperialistic desires all over the world.
In the future, minds who have known something of meditation, reading about the past, will be surprised that countries like India – so vast – were so easily conquered.
The credit does not go to the conquerors remember. The credit goes to the defeated, the conquered – because these people have lived in a totally different atmosphere, a different milieu; they have been nourished on different vibrations. Fighting and killing for land, for money, was not in their minds. They were conquered not because they were not brave enough; they were conquered because they were not foolish enough to fight. They allowed the way; they said, “A few idiots have got this idea to conquer the whole world – let them conquer. What are you going to gain by conquering, the whole world?” A totally different approach to life: that the very idea of conquering is ugly, inhuman.
But to the Alexanders, to the Napoleons, to the Hitlers, to conquer was the greatest thing in life; there was nothing more.
India knows much more. India knows that there is certainly a way of conquering – but it is not concerned with conquering others, it is concerned with conquering oneself.