After three years the master looked at him for the first time. That was the recognition that he was not a student but a disciple. A student would have got lost in three years. No student can stay that long, waiting just for a look. And then another three years passed and he never looked again.
After three years the master looked again and smiled too. And his smile almost went just like a sharp sword into the heart of Junnaid. Why had he smiled? But the master did not give him a chance to ask. He started talking to other disciples.
Three years passed again, and one day he called him close and kissed his forehead and said, “My son, now you are ready. Now you can go and spread the message.”
But no message had been given to him. For nine years he had been there and the only message was that once he was looked at, once he was smiled at, and once he had been kissed on his forehead.
But if the master is saying “You are ready,” it must be so. Touching the feet of the master in gratitude, he left.
He used to tell his disciples: “I met a very strange man. In nine years he prepared me without even looking at me – but at each change he made the indication. When he became certain that I was a disciple and whatever happened I was going to stay there, he looked at me. But his look was such a shower of love – I could have waited for it for three lives. Three years were nothing. I was immensely glad: the way he looked at me, with such deep love and compassion, I was almost bathed in a new experience.
“Without telling me anything…. In those three years my mind had stopped functioning. I just went on looking at the master, his every gesture, and slowly, slowly there was nothing to think about. I even forgot for what purpose I was sitting there – and that was the day he looked at me and I knew the purpose, and I was immensely fulfilled.
“But then three years again passed, and when he smiled the whole of existence smiled. Every fiber of my being felt his smile…such a soft touch, but it went deep into my heart. I knew something had happened, but I was not aware at that time what had happened. I had passed from disciplehood into devoteehood.
“And the day he kissed my forehead, he sealed my certificate as a master. His kiss on my forehead was his only final message. It took me years to figure out slowly what he had meant.”
The kiss of the master to the disciple, to the devotee, is a declaration that the merger has happened, the melting has happened, and now you are ready to spread the fragrance that you are filled with all around.
The student is unconscious. The disciple starts becoming conscious. The devotee is so conscious that he cannot be conscious of his consciousness. It has to be a recognition from the master, because from the devotee the distance between himself and the master is absolutely nil. From the devotee one grows into a master, but it is a spontaneous and natural growth.