Before Looking for a True Master, Be a True Seeker
I read the story of a man who was looking for a Guru. He saw an ascetic sitting under a tree and went close to him. “Can you tell me who is the best Guru, as I am looking for one.” The sage replied, “Well, what can I say! You can search and maybe you will find the best Guru.” The man started his journey from there and went to many distant places, days slipped into months and months into years. Where ever he went, whomsoever he met, he was never satisfied. Every Guru he met said that it was not easy to find a perfect Master. Who can define a perfect Guru, a complete Master? Maybe one who does not want to make anyone his disciple. And even if you find such a person – one who is not even ready to accept you as a disciple, will he show you the path? And if the Guru will not, then who will?
There are many questions related to this. It is quite a tricky thing. It is very easy to go into deep silence after enlightenment. I believe many Masters have chosen to remain silent and never speak about their attainment. Enlightenment is not a toy and you are not a child to boast and show it off to others. Truly speaking, no one likes to make a show of their real treasure. So even if I came to your house, would you take me to your safety vault where you keep your money and jewellery? You might show me your drawing room, bedroom or kitchen, but definitely not the vault. Well, I am not even interested! It is just for the sake of explaining how protectively you guard your so-called treasures. It has been seen that often the husband does not share even the number of bank accounts he has with his wife. He fears that the moment the wife gets to know how much money he has, she will go on a shopping spree and will use all possible means to extract money from him. So husbands hide their money from their wives.
If you are so protective of your jewellery and money that you are not willing to share it with your husband or your wife, then what to say of the treasure of the Master! His true wisdom is his treasure and so is his enlightenment. Would a person make a mockery of it or show it off? Definitely not! So for years this man kept on searching in vain for a true Master. Finally, he came back to his village and saw the tree beneath which the ascetic was still sitting, as he had been a long time ago. Somehow, when he saw his face today, something moved his heart and he said, “You are the true Master. But I wish to hear this from you. Are you the true Master?” He was still in doubt, his mind was still asking for reassurance from the Master. The sage said, “Well, if I would say yes, then it would be a wrong answer and if I say no even then it will be a wrong answer. If I say yes, then this will be a statement of ego and if I say no, it will be an untrue statement because only I know what I know. So I would neither say yes nor no.” Receiving this riddle as a response, the man was now fully assured that this sage was indeed the true Master he was searching for. The seeker said, “Why did you not say earlier that you are the master? Now that it is confirmed beyond any doubt that you are a perfect Master, I ask you this question: “Will you be my Master?”
The Master said, “Well, all these years you were looking for a perfect Master. Now that you found one, you still dare to ask whether or not I am a true Master! Let me give you my answer, “If you were looking for a true Master, then I am looking for a true disciple. Are you a true disciple?” The seeker was shell-shocked; he could not believe his ears. In all these years, he had never given a thought to whether he himself was a true disciple!
The moral of the story is: Do not look for a master, be a good seeker, and the master will knock at your door. Please understand, I am using a metaphor, do not begin to wait for the day when the Master will come on his own and knock on your door!
The Guru said, “I will only accept a person who is a true disciple and who surrenders himself to me. I will not accept an imperfect disciple. If it took you twenty years to recognise me, then maybe for the next twenty years I will test, analyse and check you. Only then will I let you know whether I accept you or not.
Is it not strange that our mind always wonders about other things, but never that before you seek a true Master, you have to be true to yourself? A person who has gained enlightenment can never say that he is enlightened, because the one who is enlightened cannot make that claim. There is a saying of Kabir: ‘The one who knows will never say I know. And the one who says I know definitely does not know.’