Your own innermost center is your real master. Outer masters can help, but their help is basically directed toward finding this inner one. And when the inner one is found, there is no need for the outer master. You have become master in your own right.
But this happens only when you have come to realize total inner silence, without any thought, without any word, without any imagination, without any ripple of any kind. When you have come to understand and feel a ripple-less silence, a thought-less silence, non-moving – this silence becomes your inner master. Now, out of this silence, guidance will be given to you.
For when the disciple is ready the master is also ready. When you are ready to receive the inner guidance, the inner guidance comes naturally, automatically. But the disciple must be ready.
What is meant by the disciple being ready? – it means to become totally receptive, humble, egoless, surrendered, in a deep let-go. When you are not saying anything but are just receptive to listen, when you are not imposing any theories upon truth – naked, vacant and ready to allow the truth to reveal itself in its own way; you are not in any way, consciously or unconsciously, forcing anything upon the truth; you have stopped forcing, you are ready to be carried away to wheresoever the truth leads you – then, you are a disciple.
There is a difference between a student and a disciple. A student is hankering for information. A disciple is not hankering for information; his search is for knowledge, authentic experience. He is not interested in what others say; he is interested in what he can feel. The student will collect information. He will train his memory, and the more his memory is trained, the more information is accumulated, the more egoistic he will become. A student can never be humble, a scholar can never be humble. His basic search is egoistic.
Someone accumulates riches and someone else accumulates knowledge. There is no difference. Every accumulation feeds the ego. Whatsoever you accumulate, the greater the quantity, the more egoistic you will feel. So a student or a scholar is not a disciple. The very dimension is different.
A disciple is not in search of accumulation. Rather, on the contrary, he is ready to throw out all accumulations. If the truth happens, only in that emptiness he is ready to throw out all accumulations, all knowledge.
Socrates is reported to have said in his old age – he was a disciple – he is reported to have said, “Now I can say that I do not know anything. I am ignorant.”
It happened that a seer declared Socrates the wisest man in Athens. Those who heard the seer came running to Socrates and said, “Socrates, have you heard? The seer has said that you are the wisest man in Athens.”
Socrates said, “There must have been some error. Go back and tell the seer that Socrates says he knows nothing. He is absolutely ignorant.”
The people went back to the seer and told him, “Your prophecy has been denied by Socrates himself. He says, ‘I do not know anything. I am ignorant.’”