Question – Can the Master really save the disciple?
Osho – Certainly, absolutely… if the disciple is really a disciple he is already saved. It is not that first you have to be a disciple and then you will be saved – in your very being a disciple you are saved, in your very surrender you are saved. It is not that the Master will save you afterwards because you are a disciple – just by being a disciple you are saved. In that very surrender you have dropped the ego. That ego was the barrier, that ego was hindering the path. When the barrier disappears you are saved.
In fact, you have always been saved. You were carrying an unnecessary load and because of that load you could not fly into the sky. Now you can fly. The Master is just an excuse. Without a Master it is difficult for you to drop your ego because you need some excuse. Otherwise how to drop it? Where to drop it? At whose feet to drop it? The Master is just an excuse.
You fall in love with a man – a man like Jesus, a man like Buddha, naturally attracts thousands of people, seekers. who fall in love – and the man is so tremendously beautiful that you would like to surrender all. That is just an excuse. Once you have surrendered you will know that you are not saved by anybody else, you are saved by your surrender. But it will be known only when you have surrendered, not before it. To become a disciple is to be saved.
You ask: CAN THE MASTER REALLY SAVE THE DISCIPLE? It is very simple. It is nothing much to fuss about. Sometimes it has even happened that a disciple has saved a Master – because, in fact, it is love that saves. Sometimes it has happened that the Master was not really a Master, was not himself enlightened, but was a charismatic man, a man of great magnetism. And somebody surrendered to him and through surrender became enlightened.
Many times it has happened that the disciple has become enlightened before the Master – you will be surprised because you think that you can only become enlightened through an enlightened Master. All rubbish! You become enlightened through surrender. Even if you have surrendered to somebody who is just a pseudo-Master, who simply pretends that he is a Master, if your surrender is total you are saved. And it has happened sometimes that the Master was saved by the disciple when the disciple became enlightened.
Let me tell you one beautiful Hasidic parable. ELISHA BEN ABUYA WAS A GREAT RELIGIOUS SCHOLAR. But he was just a scholar. He attracted many people, many talented people. His name was known all over Israel. Many people came and surrendered to him. But he was just a scholar, a pundit, he was not a real Master. He knew about God but he had never encountered God. AND IT HAPPENED THAT LATE IN HIS LIFE HE TURNED A SCEPTIC AND BECAME REBELLIOUS – became irreligious, turned against God.
And he was a great logician and well versed in scriptures, so it was very difficult to defeat him. When he started talking against God he was as impressive as when he was talking for God. He was a real intellectual.
HIS CHIEF DISCIPLE RABBI MEIR TRIED MANY TIMES TO BRING HIM BACK TO THE FOLD. The disciple tried to bring him back to the fold. Rabbi Meir, who was Elisha Ben Abuya’s disciple, had become enlightened.
And the disciple TRIED MANY TIMES TO BRING HIM BACK TO THE FOLD BUT THE OLD MAN WAS REALLY A LOGICIAN AND IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO ARGUE WITH HIM. The disciple suffered very much because he loved the man. He knew that he was not enlightened and he knew that he was not a real man of knowing but he loved the man and he felt grateful because he had become enlightened through him. Whosoever he was, whatsoever he was, through surrendering into his feet Rabbi Meir had become enlightened. How could he be ungrateful? He persisted.
RABBI MEIR, HOWEVER, PERSISTED IN HIS ATTEMPT. WHEN HE HEARD THAT ELISHA WAS DANGEROUSLY ILL HE WENT TO VISIT HIM. HE AGAIN ASKED HIM TO REPENT. AND ELISHA ASKED, ’WILL HE RECEIVE ME NOW? WILL GOD RECEIVE ME NOW? WILL HE FORGIVE ME?’
’YES,’ REPLIED RABBI MEIR. ELISHA WEPT AND DIED. AND A FEW DAYS AFTER RABBI MEIR WAS TOLD THAT A FIRE WAS ISSUING OUT OF THE GRAVE OF HIS MASTER. HE WENT THERE, COVERED IT WITH A MANTLE AND SAID, ’SLUMBER TONIGHT, FOR PERCHANCE THE LORD WILL SAVE YOU. AND IF NOT, I WILL SAVE YOU. SLEEP UNTIL MORNING.’
This is of tremendous beauty. He says, ’Sleep tonight, for perchance the Lord will save you. And if not, I will save you. Sleep until morning.’ That’s why I say it is very simple for a Master to save you because sometimes even the contrary has happened – that a disciple has saved a Master. But remember, it is love that saves; it is surrender that saves. Remember that love liberates – that is the mantra: love saves, love liberates. Fall in love with a Master and you are saved.
Source – Osho Book “Tao: The Pathless Path, Vol 2”