Even people like Jesus had a master. He was initiated by John the Baptist. He was a disciple, and he became a master only because John the Baptist was imprisoned and finally beheaded. And Christianity has made so much fuss about Christ’s crucifixion that nobody thinks of his master, who was tortured more. For years in jail he was tortured, and then he was beheaded.
Jesus’ crucifixion has been magnified so much that everybody has forgotten John the Baptist. And he was a man of immense insight. Even from jail, when he heard about statements and actions of Jesus, he doubted Jesus’ enlightenment. And he sent a messenger – a guard who had fallen in love with the old master – to Jesus saying, “Are you really the messiah for whom the Jews have been waiting?”
Now this question from the master creates great suspicions. It is equivalent to asking him, “Are you enlightened?” This is a Jewish way of asking the same thing. And when a man like John the Baptist asks such a question, it is not of small significance.
He was not a traditionalist, he was not orthodox; he was more revolutionary than Jesus. His words were just pure fire. It was his words and his revolutionary statements that had drawn Jesus and thousands of other people to be initiated by him.
Jesus had a master – and still missed.
Gautam Buddha had not only one master but many masters. One master he exhausted of all that he knew. He practiced, and practiced so perfectly that the master said, “Now I have nothing else to teach to you. You should move to some more developed spiritual being. I can help you only so far.”
“But,” Buddha said, “the goal has not arrived.”
The master said, “It has not arrived for me either – I am on the path. So whatsoever I knew, whatsoever path I had traveled, I showed to you. And you have been so quick and so perfect that you have caught up with me. Others are not quick, others are lazy. They still think that I am the perfect master because I am still ahead of them. But to you I cannot be untrue. You move on – there are people who have gone far ahead of me.”
And Buddha continued to move for six years, from one master to another master. And whatever they said, he did it – did it with his totality and intensity. But the goal was as far away as ever. And finally each master had to make an apology to him: “I should have told you before that I have not reached yet – I am on the way. I can teach you only up to the point where I have reached.”
After moving from one master to another…. The last master was Allarakalam, who was perhaps the best of all that he had been with. He remained for two years with him, but then the same thing happened.
Allarakalam said, “This is where you have to depart from me. And I would suggest that now you start the search alone, because I don’t see anybody who can take you further than I have taken you. So drop this whole idea of a master and being a disciple – and you can destroy any master because you are such a perfect disciple.