No man of understanding can follow rules strictly. Only people who are dead can follow rules strictly because no rule is for you; you are your own rule. Understand, learn from others just to find your own rule, but remember, never impose that rule on anybody else – that is violence. Your so-called mahatmas go on enforcing rules on others because through rules they kill and destroy, and they enjoy violence. Their violence is very subtle; they don’t kill you directly, they kill you very indirectly. If somebody attacks you directly you can defend yourself. When somebody attacks you indirectly – for your own sake – you become completely a victim, you cannot even defend yourself.
Many gurus are nothing but violence, but their violence is subtle. So whenever you come near a man who wants to impose his rules on your life, wants to give you a fixed frame, wants to give you a window to look at the truth through, escape from him, there is danger. A real master will not give you a window to look at the truth through, he will bring you out under the sky. He will not give you a pattern to live by, he will simply give you the feeling, the understanding, and understanding will help you to move. Understanding is free and your own.
Remember: because you don’t want to understand, because understanding is difficult and arduous, because understanding needs courage and understanding needs transformation, you simply become victims of those who want to give you rules. But rules are substitutes, you can get them easily. You can easily make your life a disciplined life, but this will be a false thing. You may be acting, pretending, but this cannot be real.
There is a Jewish story I would like to tell you. Jesus must have heard it because it is older than Jesus and everybody knew the story in those days. He must have heard it from his mother, Mary, or from his father, Joseph. The story is beautiful, you may also have heard it. The story is this:
A so-called wise man, almost a rabbi…I say almost because although he was a rabbi, to be a real rabbi is difficult. To be a real rabbi means you are enlightened. In fact he was just a priest, he had not known anything. But people knew about him, that he was a wise man. He was coming back from a nearby village to his home.
As he was passing, he saw a man carrying a beautiful bird. He purchased the bird and started thinking to himself, “Back home I am going to eat this bird, this bird is beautiful.”
Suddenly the bird said, “Don’t think such thoughts!”
The rabbi became scared! He said, “What, have I heard you speak?”
The bird said, “Yes, and I am no ordinary bird. I am also almost a rabbi in the world of birds. And I can give you three pieces of advice if you promise to release me and make me free.”
The rabbi said to himself, “This bird speaks. He must be someone who knows.”
This is how we decide: if somebody can speak he must know! Speaking is so easy, knowing is so difficult – they are not related to each other at all. You can speak without knowing, you can know without speaking. There is no relationship. But to us a speaker becomes a knower.
The rabbi said, “Okay, you give me three pieces of advice and I will set you free.”