I feel warm love in your presence and now I realize that when I am not close to you it does not happen in the same way. Is it still true that time and space do not make any difference in the great affair between master and disciple?
It is always true that space and time make no difference in the great love affair between the disciple and the master. It is not sometimes true and sometimes not true; it belongs to the realm of the eternal. But in actual experience, particularly in the beginning, the love of the disciple is still not so pure; it still has expectations. It is not desireless yet; it is polluted by many things.
Because of this pollution of desires, expectations, it appears that space and time make a difference. They don’t make any difference as far as love is concerned, but your love is not just love; it has many more things involved in it. Even the expectation of enlightenment is enough to destroy its purity.
The principle is about the pure love – love that is simply happy for no reason at all, love that has already joined the dance of the master in the heart. Then the master is not outside you; you carry him within yourself, wherever you are. That’s why space and time don’t make any difference. But if the master is still outside – an object of love – then certainly, space will make a difference, time will make a difference. The difference comes in through impurities, and the impurities are such that it is almost unavoidable in the beginning, because you cannot think of the desire for enlightenment as an impurity.
In fact, for you the great love affair between the master and the disciple is happening only because of your longing for enlightenment. Naturally, when you are close you feel more confident. The closer you are, the more you feel the presence of the master. The further you go away, your confidence starts shaking because the master is still only a means to a certain end.
The day Gautam Buddha died…there were ten thousand disciples who always followed him on his long journeys. In that great crowd of disciples, there were people like Sariputta, Maudgalyan, Mahakashyapa, Manjushri, Vimalkirti, and many more who had already become enlightened, who had already crossed the barrier between the master and the disciple, who had entered into the world of the devotee.
When Gautam Buddha died it was a great shock to everyone – even to his closest disciple, Ananda; he burst into tears. He was older than Gautam Buddha – Buddha was eighty-two; Ananda must have been nearabout eighty-five or even more – he burst out just like a small child whose mother has died. But Manjushri, Vimalkirti and Sariputta remained utterly silent, as if nothing was happening, or whatever is happening does not matter.
Many disciples were shocked by the coldness of Sariputta and others – they could not understand. They could understand Ananda bursting into tears; in fact, they thought that Ananda was the most intimate. And Sariputta and Maudgalyan and Mahakashyapa – they were sitting silently. People asked them, “When Ananda is crying, why are you silent?”