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The Perfect Master, Vol 1 Talks on Sufi Stories


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I say to you: Perfect Masters are always available -- just as roses are always available and lotuses are always available. And the sun rises EVERY morning, and there are millions of stars ALWAYS available. You just have to open your eyes, you have not to be blind.

But our situation is really in bad shape. I was reading a story -- this is the story of you:
A woman had just had a child but had not yet seen it. She asked the doctor that it be brought to her, but he did not comply:

"I am afraid it would not be a good idea for you to see him right now."

But as she insisted passionately, he began to justify his refusal:

"You see, Madam, through a most unfortunate accident of fate, your child was born abnormally, and I feel it would be good for you to recover fully from the delivery before seeing your child."

"TELL me doctor!! I must know what has happened!!! I must see my child."

The doctor, wishing to spare her the sight of her child, ventured to explain to her the nature of the deformity: "I will be blunt, Madam. Your child has no legs!"

She gasped, but recovering from the blow, she composed herself and asked to see the child.

"Madam, wishing to spare you the naked truth, I have omitted to tell you the whole situation... your child has neither legs nor arms."

"Doctor," she cried, "bring me my child. He will have my legs and my arms. I MUST see him."

"I see," he replied, "I must be even more cruel -- your child has no torso either."

"No legs! no arms! no torso!! " she sobbed. "Bring him to me. He needs me all the more."

The doctor finally conceded and brought her the baby. She started as she saw IT. Wrapped in a towel was a foot long ear.

She took the ear and rocked it comfortingly: "It will be all right, dear, we will make it somehow.... "

The doctor interrupted her: "Madam, you are wasting your breath. The child is deaf."


That's the situation man is in. You are blind, you are deaf, you have no heart... but to see it hurts. It is painful to realize it, to recognize it. So we go on finding explanations to avoid the truth about ourselves.

The disciple is not ready -- that's why he cannot see the Master. But he goes on saying there is no Master.


I was a student in a university, and it was Buddha's enlightenment day -- it was celebrated in the university. And the vice chancellor said, with great passion and with great emotion, "If I had been in Buddha's time, I would have renounced the world, sat at his feet, followed him like a shadow."

And I knew the man! I could not conceive of him ever following a Buddha. I had to stand up. And I said, "You please take your words back, because I know you perfectly well: you are the last man who would have followed Buddha. And do you think Buddhas are not available now? Did you ever go to Ramana Maharshi?"

He had to say, "No."

I said, "But he was alive. Just a few years ago he was alive. He was your contemporary."

This incident happened somewhere near 1955, and Ramana died in '51, just four years before. And the vice chancellor was an old man of seventy. I said, "He was your contemporary. Arunachel is not very far away. In Buddha's time it may have taken you years to journey to Buddha -- it was only one hour's flight. Did you go there? Have you been to J. Krishnamurti ever? He is still alive. And you are talking with such emotion and passion. Whom are you trying to be fool?"

But he was a good man. He understood the point. Tears cam to his eyes; he took his words back. Later on he called me and he said, "Listen, if you have to say something to me you can come in private."

"Why private? You made the statement in public: I had to refute it in public. And never make such a statement again, because I will still be here for two, three years. Think it over. You were in Buddha's time too," I told him.

He was startled. He said, "How do you know?"

I said, "I know! You just look into my eyes: you were in Buddha's time too, but you never went. And now you are talking with such emotion. You are deceiving others, but that is not the big thing: you are deceiving yourself."
People go on thinking that Masters used to happen only in the past, now they don't happen, now they are no more there. And the same was the case in Buddha's time. There are stories: people would come and ask Buddha, "Are you the Perfect Master?" There were people who would go to Jesus and would ask, "Are you the Messiah we were waiting for?"

The Messiah is THERE standing in front of their eyes, in front of them, and they are asking, "Are you the Messiah?" If he says no, they will be happy. If he says yes, they will be offended.

Jesus said yes, that's why they were offended. "So this pretender thinks he is the Messiah? This son of a carpenter, Joseph? And we know him from his childhood. He has been playing in the streets of the town, and now suddenly he has become the Messiah?"

They have always been asking. In Buddha's time they were saying, "In the past there used to be Perfect Masters, in the days of the Upanishads, in the days of the Vedas, there used to be Perfect Masters. But now, in these ugly days, they have all disappeared."

And they go on saying the same thing now! And they will go on saying the same thing for ever. They really don't want to see.
A CERTAIN MAN DECIDED THAT HE WOULD SEEK THE PERFECT MASTER.
HE READ MANY BOOKS, VISITED SAGE AFTER SAGE, LISTENED, DISCUSSED, PRACTISED, BUT HE ALWAYS FOUND HIMSELF DOUBTING OR UNSURE.
YOU CAN READ, YOU CAN ARGUE, you can become very logical about it, but nothing is going to help, the doubt WILL persist -- unless you experience. Only experience kills doubt. But how to experience a Master? You have to be a disciple first; you have to fulfill that requirement. And what is the requirement of a disciple? Prayerfulness is the requirement of disciple hood . Capacity to wait. Capacity to be empty. Capacity to surrender. Capacity to be available. That's what prayer is! And if you know how to pray, you will know all that is needed to know. Not only will you come across a Perfect Master -- you are going to come across God himself.

Meditate over these words of Rainer Maria Rilke:


"Pray: to whom? I cannot tell you. Prayer is a radiation of our beings suddenly set afire; it is an infinite and purposeless direction, a brutal accompaniment of our hopes, which travel the universe without reaching any destination. Oh, but I knew this morning how far I am from those greedy ones who, before praying, ask whether God exists. If he no longer or does not yet exist, what difference does it make? My prayer, that will bring him into being, for it is entirely a creative thing as it lifts towards the heavens. And if the God that it projects out of itself does not persist at all, so much the better: we will do it over and it will be less shabby in eternity."
Prayer creates God. Prayer creates the Perfect Master. Prayer is creative. Prayer reveals -- it is revelatory. It prepares you for the revelation.

One should not go in search of a Master: one should learn how to pray... and the Master comes. And the Master comes of his own accord. OR he calls you forth wherever you are, but then the journey is totally different -- when you are called forth. The quality is different, the intensity is different. YOU don't feel you are going: you feel you are being called. You KNOW that there is no possibility to resist it. It is irresistible. You are pulled! as if a great magnet is pulling you. You are helpless, but you are thrilled because you have been chosen. You come dancing. You are fortunate you have been chosen.

Just prepare wherever you are. Don't ask: If there is no Perfect Master, what is the point of preparing for disciple hood? Don't be worried. The Masters always exist. That is the meaning of these beautiful words of Rilke:
"Prayer is a radiation of our bangs suddenly set afire; it is an infinite and purposeless direction..."
In the beginning you don't know where your prayer is going; it cannot have any address, it cannot have any direction.

How can you pray to God? You don't know God -- that's why you are praying. You would like to know what God is, but you don't know. That's why you are pouring your heart out. It is waiting for the unknown to take possession of you. This is faith, this is trust.

The skeptical mind wants first to be certain whether there is a God: "Then I will pray." Rilke is right:
"Oh, but I knew this mowing how far I am from those greedy ones who, before praying, ask whether God exists."
"We will pray only if God exists" -- then you will never pray, because you will never know without praying that God exists. You have made an impossible condition for praying. It is not to be fulfilled. You have to pray. Don't ask the question whether God exists or not. God is irrelevant at this point. At this point, make prayer possible.

Prayer is a song of the heart addressed to the unknown. Maybe he is, maybe he is not, but that is not the point. One is joyous in pouring one's heart out. It is a joy unto itself. Whether God exists or not is secondary. Prayer is primary. And when prayer is primary, it reveals God, it opens your eyes. It CREATES God. Suddenly the world becomes afire when you are afire. When your heart IS aflame, suddenly you see the whole world aflame with the divine, with the unknown, with the mysterious.


"If he no longer or does not yet exist, what difference does it make?"
This is beautiful. This is how a really religious person thinks.
"My prayer, that will bring him into being..."
Prayer will become the womb. I will give birth to God through my prayer. This is the Sufi approach. Rile is almost reflecting the very heart of Sufism. But this is how lovers have always felt, and the poets and the mystics.
"If he no longer or does not yet exist, what difference does it make? My prayer, that will bring him into being, for it is entirely a creative thing as it lifts towards the heavens. And if the God that it projects out of itself does not persist at all, so much the better: we will do it over and it will be less shabby in eternity."
We will go on doing it, we will go on creating God. In fact, it is not creation: it is revelation. But for the person who prays, and for whom God is revealed for the first time, it LOOKS like creation -- as if the prayer has created it. It reveals. It takes a thick layer of darkness from your eyes. Your heart starts pulsating as it should. You fall in rhythm with the whole. Suddenly God is there.

But before God appears, appears the Master. The Master is a link between you and the God. First the prayer reveals the Master. That is one step, and half the journey. And the second step and the journey is complete.


Prayer is naive: it is waiting for someone who never comes... asking for something or someone who is not there, not at Least now. "If there be a God who loves man, let him speak. NOW."
This is what the poet Seneca says in his tragedy THYESTES. The prayerful heart is saying, "I am speaking to you, I am provoking you -- are you there? Just give me a little hint, a small word, a gesture, and that will do. Are you there?" And a thousand and one times you shout to the skies and there is no response. Your prayer disappears into nothingness. But even though the prayer disappears into nothingness, and there is no response from the other side, from the other shore, still the prayer goes on changing you.

The effects are very visible. It may not change the reality outside you, but it goes on changing you. You become softer and softer, more feminine and more feminine, and one day when you have really melted, when you are no more hard and solid, when you are a flow, the response comes -- and NOT from the other shore but from the innermost core of your being. Really, that is the other shore.

But before that happens, you will come to the link between this shore and the other, between this and that -- that link is the Master. And in fact to ask for a Perfect Master is foolish, because to be a Master is to be perfect; it is a repetition of words. There are not such categories: imperfect masters and Perfect Masters. A Master is perfect! If he does not look perfect to you, then you have a certain idea of perfection that he is not fulfilling. He never fulfills anybody's idea. He lives his own life, but he lives in perfection.

Remember, when I use the word 'perfection' I always use it in the sense of completion. I never use it in the sense you use it. This is a constant problem. When I say 'perfection', you start thinking that "He will be like this, he will be like that... that he will never be angry." But there have been Masters who have been angry, and when they are angry they are perfectly angry.

Even Ramana Maharshi, such a silent sage, used to become angry sometimes. And then he was REALLY angry. He was anger, pure anger. One day it happened: a scholar came and started asking stupid questions. Ramana listened I His questions were very long and he quoted scriptures to support his question. And Ramana said again and again, "You please meditate. The only thing for you to do is to ask the question:Who am l? No other question is relevant."

But the man wouldn't listen, and he went on and on and on. Suddenly, the disciples could not believe it, Ramana took his staff rushed after the man and the man became so afraid that he escaped outside the room, and Ramana followed him to the very boundary of the ashram. And then he came back laughing. The disciples could not believe it, and they said, "But you, and angry?"

And he said, "Look at the perfection of it."

If you have the idea that a Master is never angry, should not be angry, then there will be difficulties. If you have the idea that a Master should not look worried, you will have difficulties. Krishnamurti sometimes looks very worried. He has no worry of his own, but he becomes worried about you. He goes on saying one thing and people don't understand, and they go on persisting in their ignorance and he becomes very very angry, almost on the verge of beating himself.

One man came to me and he said, "I used to think that Krishnamurti must be like a Buddha, but today I saw him in his discourse -- he became so angry. And for no reason at all!"

I said, "You just tell me the whole story."

He said, "He was talking about the fact that no method is needed, no meditation is needed. You have to drop all methods, all meditations, all paths. And then an old woman, a very old woman stood up and asked, 'How to do it?' And he became very angry."

I said. "I know that old woman, because she comes to me too. And I can understand; I feel all sympathy with Krishnamurti. And that woman has been listening to Krishnamurti for almost fifty years. She is one of the CONSTANT audience, and she is always sitting in that corner, for fifty years. Whenever Krishnamurti comes to Bombay, she is there. Krishnamurti must be getting tired of her also. And she always asks the 'how?' And he is telling continuously that there is no 'how' -- a method means how. When we say that there is no method, we are saying there is no how. Either be enlightened RIGHT NOW, or remain unenlightened -- that is your decision -- but there is no how. Decide to be or not to be, but don't ask how. There is no how! Either open your eyes and see, otherwise keep your eyes closed and dream, but don't ask how.


"And for fifty years he has been saying the same thing, and the woman persists. And she always stands and asks, 'How? How to do it?' It is natural. He is not really angry in the sense you become angry: it is his response, it is his compassion really. It has a different quality. He is compassionate! He loves! He wants to help! But when he sees you go on and on in the same rut, to shake YOU UP he becomes absolute anger.

"The idea, of perfection in your mind is that he should be like this, he should be Fe that, he should be like.... He is not like ;anybody else. He is just like himself. Only one dying is true, that he is always total. Whatsoever he is doing he is total in it. He is never partial, never fragmentary. If he is angry, then he is TOTALLY angry. If he is loving, he is totally loving. That totalness is the only quality. That's what I mean by 'perfection'."

All Masters are perfect, so there is no question of searching for a Perfect Master. Become more and more of a disciple. That is where you have to start the journey.
HE READ MANY BOOKS, VISITED SAGE AFTER SAGE, LISTENED, DISCUSSED AND PRACTICED, BUT HE ALWAYS FOUND HIMSELF DOUBTING OR UNSURE.
AFTER TWENTY YEARS HE MET A MAN WHOSE EVERY WORD AND ACTION CORRESPONDED WITH HIS IDEA OF THE TOTALLY REALIZED MAN.
NOW HE WAS CARRYING A CERTAIN IDEA FOR TWENTY YEARS.

He was looking for a carbon copy. He had already decided what a Perfect Master is; now all that was needed was some-body to fit with HIS idea. And remember, it is HIS idea that some-body else has to fit. This is ego, pure ego. This is not humbleness. This is not the way of a disciple. This is not the way of a humble man. This is not the way of a real seeker.

He is functioning through a conclusion. He has already decided that his conclusion is right. How can your conclusions be right? If your conclusions are right, you YOURSELF are a Perfect Master and there is no need for any Master.
AFTER TWENTY YEARS HE MET A MAN WHOSE EVERY WORD AND ACTION CORRESPONDED WITH HIS IDEA OF THE TOTALLY REALIZED MAN.
Must have been a coincidence.
THE TRAVELER LOST NO TIME. "YOU," HE SAID, "SEEM TO ME TO BE THE PERFECT MASTER. IF YOU ARE, MY JOURNEY IS AT AN END."
But see, still the 'if' persists. Because he has a certain conclusion already arrived at in his ignorance, how can he trust it? If he cannot find somebody to correspond with his idea, he is not a Master. If he finds somebody who corresponds, just by coincidence, now the great doubt arises: maybe his idea is right, maybe his idea is wrong. Hence the 'if'. So he says:
" YOU SEEM TO ME TO BE THE PERFECT MASTER. IF YOU ARE, MY JOURNEY IS AT AN END."
"I AM, INDEED, DESCRIBED BY THAT NAME," SAID THE MASTER.
Because for a Master all these are just names. Call him a Buddha, call him an enlightened person, a Christ, a Messiah, a Perfect Master -- these are just names. They don't describe his reality. These are just labels. Maybe people need them, but the Master does not need them. He has come home, where all words have become meaningless. He has come to that silence where words don't exist, to that wordless silence.
So the Master says:
"I AM, INDEED, DESCRIBED BY THAT NAME."
He does not say "I am" or "I am not." He simply says, "Yes, people describe me by that name."
"THEN, I BEG OF YOU, ACCEPT ME AS A DISCIPLE."
But this man has not prepared himself as a disciple at all. And now suddenly he wants to be accepted.
" THAT," SAID THE MASTER, "I CANNOT DO; FOR WHILE YOU MAY DESIRE THE PERFECT MASTER, HE, IN TURN, REQUIRES ONLY THE PERFECT PUPIL."
Twenty years' search wasted. Twenty years' search gone down the drain. And the Master is right. He says, "What do you think? If you want a Perfect Master, then the Perfect Master wants a Perfect Disciple. Go, become perfect! Go, become a disciple first!"

People think disciple hood is nothing to be attained. It needs great discipline to become a disciple. Both words, 'discipline' and 'disciple', mean the same. The original root means the capacity to learn. This man is incapable of learning. Twenty years he has been moving with his set conclusions. He has not learnt a thing. In twenty years he has come across many sages, but he has valued his own ideas more than those sages. He has not looked at the reality of those beings that he has come across. He has remained tethered to his ego.

And now he says, "Because you correspond to my ideas, I think you are the Perfect Master. Not that you are the Perfect Master, but only because you correspond to my ideas." Now, who are you? and how can your ideas decide? How can they be decisive? From where have you gathered? from books? from discussions? from arguments? They are all borrowed. And in your ignorance you have gathered all kinds of nonsense.

In fact, when you read a book, you don't understand what is written there -- you understand only that which your ignorance can understand. How can you understand the Koran? To understand the Koran you will need the heart of a Mohammed. How can you understand the Geeta? To understand the Geeta you will need Krishna-consciousness.

Listen to a few stories:
"Mummy," said little Jimmy, "I want to live with Carol next door."

"But you're both only six years old," smiled his mother. "Where will you live?"

"In her bedroom."

"What will you live off? You don't have any money -- and what will you do if babies come along?"

"Well," said Jimmy seriously, "we've been all right so far... and if she lays any eggs then I'll tread on them!"
The man in ignorance is almost like a child, like this child, Jimmy. What ideas can you have of perfection? of a Master? of God? Your ideas will be childish. And you will go on understanding that which you CAN understand. And words are always vague. They don't really carry meaning. The meaning has to by projected by you into the words. The word is just empty. You have to fill it with your meaning.
Two hippies are slipping and sliding through the Louisiana marshlands. As one hippie stepped up onto dry land, the other hippie said, "Hey man, an alligator just bit off my leg."

"Which one?" the first hippie said.

"I don't know, man. I can't tell one alligator from another."
Words don't have calling. It depends on you what meaning you are going to give to them.
A doctor was called to see a lady who led a very gay life. When asked to explain how she felt she remarked, "I haven't slept much lately. Last night we dined at the Carlton after the theater and then had drinks. I really feel that my stomach is out of order."

"I'm quite sure of it," he said. "You'll have to diet."

"Oh, doctor, how lovely!" she said. "What color?"
Or:
An Irishman visiting America remarked about the strange American customs. "You take a glass of ginger ale," he said, "and add whiskey to make it strong and then water to make it weak; lemon to make it sour and sugar to make it sweet. You raise the glass and say, 'Here's to you,' and then you drink it down yourself!"
When you see something, you read something, you give meaning to it. It is always your meaning. It can't be otherwise. So you can go on reading as many books as possible and you will gather much rubbish -- but the meaning will be yours. You can quote the Bible, but you will simply be quoting yourself.

And that has happened down the ages. When one scripture is translated into another language, MUCH changes in it. It has happened to the Bible, because Jesus spoke in Aramaic, then it was translated into Hebrew, then into Greek, then from Greek into English. It has been translated so many times that its original fragrance is completely lost. It is no more the same. It can't be. So many interpreters, so many translators, stand in between. They have given their own meaning to it.

In John 8: 24 we read: "Except ye believe that I am he, ye shall die in your sins..." But here the word 'he' is not found in the original manuscript at all. The early translators were puzzled by the absence of an object, and thus they simply assumed that a word was missing. They changed the statement: "Except ye believe that I AM" -- this is the original statement -- "Except ye believe that I am." They had to change it; it looked incomplete: "Who are you, just saying 'I am'? It looks incomplete." So they made it read: "Except ye believe that I am he -- I am God."

Thus the beauty and the immense significance of the original was lost. It is still that way in the Bible: "I am he." Jesus is simply saying: "I am!" That I-amness is the very quality of existence. He is not saying "I am God" -- because if you say "I am God," you have already accepted the duality of 'I' and 'God'. Then the 'am' is only a bridge between the duality.

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