The last message of any real master will be, “Beware of me” – but this cannot be said in the beginning. So masters have allowed their disciples to worship them. They must have been laughing within because they know what game is going on. But the disciple is very serious; he thinks what he is doing is something very significant. But the master is just playing. It is just like when you are playing with your children, with their toys, and you also pretend to be serious: the master is really amidst children. They live on such different levels that if the master has to do something to be of any meaning he has to speak the language of the children. By and by he will drag the children toward a different world of a different language. This is going to be a long process.
But the Upanishads are saying the last; they are the essence of all religion. Really, they are not for the beginners, they are for those who have left the beginning far behind. Really, they are for those who have been struggling for a long time – meditating, searching, inquiring. Only then can the Upanishads be helpful. I am speaking on the Upanishads because you are meditating. Through your meditation you may have a glimpse which will make the Upanishads easy to understand. But if you are not meditating then the Upanishads will just pass over your head, they will not mean anything. Only with a meditative heart will you be able to make a contact with the message.
The message of the Upanishads is the most simple, but the most supreme, the highest. The language used is very simple, the simplest possible, but the content – that which is said through that language – is the last word. It cannot be improved upon. Nothing can be said which the Upanishads have not said already. If even one Upanishad can be saved and all other religious scriptures are burned, nothing will be lost because all the seeds are there. Sow these seeds and you can reap the whole human religiousness through them. But you will be able only if you are meditating deeply, moving side by side into the heart, the innermost center, and not simply making an intellectual effort to understand.
Someone has said that the Upanishad seems repetitive; it goes on saying the same thing about this sense and that sense – and again about eyes and about ears. Why does it go on repeating? Is there some significance in it? Yes, there is. It is because the master is speaking to children. Your memory cannot be depended upon so the truth has to be repeated constantly and still it is only a hope that it may be understood.
Buddha goes on repeating the same thing again and again. The Upanishads go on repeating the same thing again and again. They are talking to children – to children who are not attentive. They may miss many times. It is hoped that sometimes their attention may be caught, so things have to be repeated. You are not alert, that is why; otherwise the ultimate can be expressed even in a single word. And that too is too much. It can be expressed through silence. Not even a single word is needed to express it. But then you will not understand silence.
Someone came to a Zen mystic, Rinzai, and he asked, “Tell me only that which is very essential, because I am in a hurry. I am a big official in the government and I have no time. I was just passing by your hermitage and I thought it would be good to go in and inquire. This has been on my mind for a long time. So tell me in essence, what do you think religion is basically, foundationally?”