Once there was a meeting with a large number of people who had not been at
our meetings before. One of them asked: "From what does the way start?" The
person who asked the question had not heard G.'s description of the four ways
and he used the word "way" in the usual religious-mystical sense.
"The chief difficulty in understanding the idea of the way," said G., "consists in the fact that people usually think that the WAY" (he emphasized this word) "starts on the same level on which life is going. This is quite wrong. The way begins on another, much higher, level. This is exactly what people usually do not understand. The beginning of the way is thought to be easier or simpler than it is in reality.
The moment when the man who is looking for the way meets a man who knows the way
is called the first threshold or the first step. From this first threshold the
stairway begins. Between 'life' and the 'way' lies the 'stairway.' Only by
passing along this 'stairway' can a man enter the 'way.' In addition, the man
ascends this stairway with the help of the man who is his guide; he cannot go up
the stairway by himself. The way begins only where the stairway ends, that is,
after the last threshold on the stairway, on a level much higher than the
ordinary level of life.
"Therefore it is impossible to answer the question, from what does the way start? The way starts with something that is not in life at all, and therefore it is impossible to say from what. Sometimes it is said: in ascending the stairway a man is not sure of anything, he may doubt everything, his own powers, whether what he is doing is right, the guide, his knowledge and his powers. At the same time, what he attains is very unstable; even if he has ascended fairly high on the stairway, he may fall down at any moment and have to begin again from the beginning. But when he has passed the last threshold and enters the way, all this changes. First of all, all doubts he may have about his guide disappear and at the same time the guide becomes far less necessary to him than before. In many respects he may even be independent and know where he is going. Secondly, he can no longer lose so easily the results of his work and he cannot find himself again in ordinary life. Even if he leaves the way, he will be unable to return where he started from.
Unless you disappear completely,
leaving only your essential being, you are not a sannyasin. What happens when a
person like you, after six or seven days, takes sannyas? What is going on in his
mind? He is thinking that by taking sannyas some miracle is going to happen to
him. You are absolutely wrong. This sannyas that you take is not going to bring
any miracle, it is simply entering into a commune of seekers, making yourself
available, becoming an insider and not just a spectator. Then learn step by step
the ways of love, the ways of trust; then learn step by step how to enter into
your own being. The day you enter into your own center will be the true sannyas.
This is only a formality.
With a true sannyasin, an authentic being who has come to his own, the question will not arise, "... and are you truly my master?" There is only one way to find out whether someone is truly your master. If in his presence, if in his universe of seekers, if in his caravan of searchers, you suddenly stumble upon yourself, and you find the ecstasy that you have never experienced, and the blessing that has not been even in your dreams; and after this experience no question arises in you... That is the very definitive thing, that no question arises in you. All questions have simply fallen, as leaves fall in the fall time from the trees. Only in that experience of the disappearance of questions, and with them thoughts and mind, will you have the answer, that you have found the true master. You cannot decide beforehand, because it is not a market; it is not that somebody has written on his door, "I am the true master."
You will have to learn patience and waiting. One never knows - it can happen today, it may take years; it all depends on you. The master simply creates a certain subtle atmosphere. That atmosphere is here. If you can get in tune with it, you are a sannyasin. And if you get slowly, slowly dissolved and become part of the dance and the celebration that is going on here, of the meditation and the ecstasy, suddenly you will realize you have come close to an authentic master.
If it does not happen, there can be two reasons: either the master is not authentic or your disciplehood is not authentic. Rather than jumping to the idea that the master is not authentic, it is better first to look at your disciplehood. What have you done by becoming a sannyasin? What changes have happened to you? In what ways have you become more involved in the movement, in what way have you entered yourself, in what way has your lifestyle changed?
Everything depends on you. Giving you sannyas simply means that we accept you, our doors are open to you, not more than that. Now, inside the temple what is happening will depend on you - your intelligence, your integrity, your sincerity, your authentic search for truth.