Initiation means that you are ready to surrender, ready to trust. Otherwise you may not go through the initiation. This is nothing – this mala is nothing, this robe is nothing – this is only the entrance. Now the ways will be darker. There will be things which you have not even imagined. You will have to trust; otherwise you cannot take a single step. So it is better to know at the entrance that you are incapable of trust – that any effort to lead you in will be unnecessary and futile.
Religion is basically neither believing nor disbelieving. Religion is trusting. It is a trust. And whenever there is an unknown to be jumped into, there is no way. Unless you know it, you cannot know it. And you do not know it now, so what can you do? You can only trust and take the jump. This mala will also help you to create this trust.
When I say, that if you meditate on the picture the picture will be absent, do not take it on trust. Try it – and it will happen. When I say that when the picture is absent you can communicate with me, do not take it as a trust. Try it. Take it hypothetically and experiment with it. The moment the picture is absent and you can communicate with me, you will be ready for the things which will need your trust. This is not very deep, but even with this, it becomes revealed to you. If you know it, then you can take further steps with a trusting mind. And I know the more civilization has progressed, the more the ego has become crystallized. The ego is the only barrier – and now the greatest barrier. It was not always so:
Sariputta came to Buddha. He was one of the most learned men of those times. He questioned many things, he asked many questions, he discussed so many things. Then he was initiated. From the moment he was initiated, he was with Buddha for thirty years continuously. But then he would never ask anything.
So someone asked, “Sariputta, you were such a learned man. People say you know even more than Buddha.”
As far as information is concerned he was a mahapandit.
“When you came, you discussed such deep things. You questioned many things. We were very happy that someone had come who questioned Buddha, so that we could come to know many things which might have remained unknown. Through your questions we may know them. But why have you become silent?”
Sariputta said, “The moment I was ready to be initiated I had to stop my questions, because now to question anything is absurd. I questioned everything before – before taking the trust, settling in my mind”
Sometimes Buddha would say such absurd things, just to know whether Sariputta can again ask. He said such absurd things that anyone would begin to ask, “What are you saying?” But Sariputta would be silent.
Sariputta became an awakened one. Even after that Buddha said to him, “Wherever you are, always pay respect in the direction in which I am. Wherever you are.” Wherever he was wandering, he would always pay respect in the direction Buddha was dwelling.
Someone asked, “You have become awakened. Now you need not pay respect to anybody. You yourself have become a buddha.”