Why do you wish your picture to be worn around the neck of your sannyasins, especially when you deny being a guru?
I deny being a guru, but I do not deny you being a disciple. One must be a disciple – and one should never be a guru. Discipleship is something without which nothing is possible. And when there is no guru, then discipleship is something inner – an inner discipline. Both words come from the same root, the disciple and the discipline. They mean: a mind which is ready to seek, search, learn; a mind which is open and vulnerable. So I deny being a guru, but I do not deny your being a disciple.
Another point: the mala with a picture of me has so many reasons behind it. One: the picture is not mine. Had it been mine I would have hesitated to put it there. No one would be courageous enough to put his own picture. Everyone would think of putting it, but no one would put it there. But the picture only appears as mine. It is not. No picture is really possible. The moment one knows himself one knows something which cannot be depicted, described, framed. I exist as an emptiness which cannot be pictured, which cannot be photographed. That is why I could put the picture there.
Two or three things more are to be understood. That picture – as I feel it – the more you know it, the more you concentrate on it, the more you come in tune with it, the more you will feel what I am saying. The more you concentrate on it, the more there will be no picture. But this is something which you will have to do to know. In the evening meditation when I say: “Concentrate on me for forty minutes, without dropping your eyes even a single time,” those who concentrate for forty minutes continuously come to know – so many times – that I am not there. The place becomes empty and vacant. And unless one knows this, he has not been able to concentrate.
So this picture is given to you for meditation. And the more you will go into meditation, the more you will know that the locket is empty. And once in concentration with this locket – if there is no picture – you become attuned to me. You can even communicate with me, but only in that moment when there is no picture – when you know that the locket is vacant, there is no one. When the nothingness is there you can communicate with me. That is also why I have given it to you.