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The Master-Disciple Relationship

Below a sprinkling of quotes on the master-disciple relationship - some well-known, some not - in chronological order (1970-1989).

If someone is eager to be a guru and if someone is eager to get a guru, this state of dependency can happen. So do not make the mistake of becoming a disciple or making somebody your guru. But if there is no question of a guru or a disciple, there is no fear of dependency. Then the person from whom you are taking help is simply a part of your own self that has traveled ahead on the path. Then who is the guru and who is the disciple? (1970)

(Osho - In Search of the Miraculous, Vol. 2 )

The relationship of guru and disciple is harmful. However, a non- related relating between a guru and the disciple is very beneficial. Non-related means there are not two; relationship is where there are two. We can understand if a disciple feels the guru to be a separate entity from him, because the disciple is ignorant. But if the guru also feels the same, that is too much. Then it means that the blind is leading the blind - and the blind man who is leading is more dangerous, because the second blind man has total trust in him. There is no spiritual meaning to a guru-disciple relationship. Actually, all relationships are the relationships of power. They are all relations of power politics. (1970)

(Osho - In Search of the Miraculous, Vol. 2 )

All relationships are binding, whether they be of husband and wife, father and son, or guru and disciple. Where there is relationship, there is slavery. So the spiritual seeker has not to form relationships. If he keeps the relationship of husband and wife there is no harm; it is not a hindrance because this relationship is irrelevant. But the irony lies in the fact that he renounces and drops out of husband-wife, father-son relationships to form a new guru-disciple relationship. This is very dangerous. (1970)

(Osho - In Search of the Miraculous, Vol. 2 )

There are people all around who are out to destroy your individuality, who are trying to enslave you and turn you into their camp-followers. It is their ego trip; it gratifies their ego to know so many people follow them. The larger the number of followers, the greater is their ego. Then they feel they are somebodies people have to follow. And then they try to enslave those who follow them, and enslave them in every way. They impose their will, even their whims on them, in the name of discipline. They take away their freedom and virtually reduce them to their serfs. Because their freedom poses a challenge to their egos, they do everything to destroy their freedom. All gurus, all masters do it. This statement of Krishna is extraordinary, rare, and it has tremendous significance. No guru, no master can have the courage to say what Krishna says to Arjuna, "Be immaculately yourself." Only a friend, a comrade can say it. And remember, Krishna is not a guru to Arjuna, he is his friend. He is with him as a friend and not as a master. No master could agree to be his disciple's charioteer as Krishna does with Arjuna in the war of the Mahabharat. Rather, a master would have his disciple as his charioteer; he would even use him for a horse for his chariot. (1970)

(Osho - Krishna: The Man and His Philosophy #4 )

A sect is not going to emerge in the wake of our efforts, because no one is my disciple and I am no one's guru or master. And if I am offering to be a witness to some people taking sannyas, it is because, right now, they cannot connect with God directly. And I ask them to be on their own and not to disturb me any longer when they become directly connected with the supreme. I don't want unnecessary troubles, I have no axe to grind. It is great if you can relate with existence on your own; nothing is greater than this. Then the question of someone being a witness does not arise. And it is of the highest. (1970, on the day he first initiated disciples into neo-sannyas)

(Osho - Krishna: The Man and His Philosophy #22 )

He who is revered with instinctive spontaneity is a guru. He who has to make known his gurudom, knows well, within himself, that he is not a guru. (1972)

(Osho - Nowhere To Go But In, Volume 2 #4 )

Surrender means to be yielding, to allow faith to happen. It means to be receptive, to be unguarded, to be vulnerable, open. If you come in contact with a Buddha, with a master, yield to him. Don't resist him, because you are resisting yourself, you are fighting against yourself. If you resist a master you are not allowing him to work; you are not helping him to help you. You are creating problems, unnecessary anxieties, unnecessary barriers. You already have too much nonsense. Don't create more barriers. The master will have to do much work upon you as you are, even if you have surrendered. If you are non-surrendering, you are creating unnecessary troubles and it will become impossible to help you. You are working against yourself. (1973)

(Osho - The New Alchemy: To Turn You On, Appendix 13 )

A disciple means one who is centered, humble, receptive, open, ready, alert, waiting, prayerful. In yoga, the Master is very, very important, absolutely important, because only when you are in a close proximity of a being who is centered your own centering will happen. That is the meaning of SATSANG. You have heard the word SATSANG. It is totally wrongly used. Satsang means in close proximity of the truth; it means near the truth, it means near a Master who has become one with the truth - just being near him, open, receptive and waiting. If your waiting has become deep, intense, a deep communion will happen. (1973)

(Osho - Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol. 1 #1 )

If one knows how to be a disciple, the master is revealed everywhere. The real question is of discipleship. This is why Nanak called his disciples sikhs. 'Sikh' derives from shishya - disciple. Learn to be a shishya, and the master is available everywhere; even a stone wall will become a master, even a rock will become a master. And if one does not know how to be a disciple, then even a master is no more than a stone wall. (1974)

(Osho - The Way of Tao #1 )

You ask me, What type of play are you playing with us? Certainly, it is a play. I am not serious. And if you are serious, there is not going to be any meeting with you. Seriousness does not cross my path at all. I am absolutely non-serious. This is a play. And I would like to call this play 'the mad game'. The word 'mad' I have coined so: 'm' stands for the master and 'd' stands for the disciple. The master-and-disciple game! It is a mad game! I am an expert in being a master. If you are also ready to become a disciple, here we go! (1976)

(Osho - The Art of Dying #8)

Between the master and the disciple - if the rule of the game is followed rightly - devotion arises. That is the fragrance, the river that flows between the two banks of the master and the disciple. That's why it is so difficult for the outsider to understand. But I am not interested at all in the outsider understanding it, it is a very esoteric game. It is only for the insiders, it is only for mad people. That is why I am not interested even in answering people who are not insiders, because they will not understand. They do not have that attitude of being in which understanding becomes possible. (1976)

(Osho - The Art of Dying #8)

The ordinary victory is always wrong victory, wrong, because it is not really happening; you are only imposing it on the other. It is a coercion, it is violence. The other is silent but will wait for his time. The other is silenced but not won over. The other is not yet a friend... and this is no way to make friends; this is the way to make enemies. Then what is right victory? Right victory is totally different. It is out of love, it is through love; it is not coercion on the other. It is not in any way a rape on the other's being; on the contrary it is a surrender. When a lover surrenders to his beloved or a disciple surrenders to a master or a devotee surrenders to god or a poet surrenders to the beauty of the world, whenever there is that surrender, it is right victory. (1978)

(Osho - The Sacred Yes #15)

The function of the master is precisely that: to call the disciples to the real life - ordinarily they are dead. Ordinarily you only appear to be alive; don't be deceived by the appearance. You function like a robot, efficiently, but it is not life. You have not tasted life yet. Life has the taste of eternity, not of time. Time is death. In Sanskrit we have one word for both, for time and death- - kal. It is very significant. It must have been because of the mystics' experience. Time is death. To live in time is not to live at all; to go beyond time is the beginning of life. That is the meaning of the parable; it is a metaphor. Lazarus represents all the disciples, Jesus represents all the Masters. And what transpired between Jesus and Lazarus transpires again and again between every Master and every disciple. The disciple lives in his grave; the Master calls him forth, wakes him up. (1980)

(Osho - Zen: The Special Transmission #6)

The day I started initiating, my only fear was, "Will I be able to someday change my followers into my friends?" The night before, I could not sleep. Again and again I thought, "How am I going to manage it? A follower is not supposed to be a friend." I said to myself that night in Kulu-Manali in the Himalayas, "Don't be serious. You can manage anything, although you don't know the A-B-C of managerial science." (1984)

(Osho - Glimpses of a Golden Childhood #23)

I would have loved not to be associated in any way with the word religion. The whole history of religion simply stinks. It is ugly, and it shows the degradation of man, his inhumanity, and all that is evil. And this is not about any one single religion, it is the same story repeated by all the religions of the world: man exploiting man- in the name of God. I still feel uneasy being associated with the word religion. But there are a few problems: in life sometimes one has to choose things that one hates. In my youth I was known in the university as an atheist, irreligious, against all moral systems. That was my stand, and that is still my stand. I have not changed even an inch; my position is exactly the same. But being known as an atheist, irreligious, amoral, became a problem. It was difficult to communicate with people, almost impossible to bridge any kind of relationship with people. In my communing with people, those words - atheist, irreligious, amoral - functioned like impenetrable walls. I would have remained so - for me there was no problem - but I saw that it was impossible to spread my experience, to share. (1985)

(Osho - From Personality to Individuality #14)

I had always wanted not to be a master to anybody. But people want a master, they want to be disciples; hence, I played the role. It is time that I should say to you that now many of you are ready to accept me as the friend. Those who are in tune with me continuously, without any break, are the only real friends. (1985)

(Osho - The Last Testament, Vol. 3 #23)

I am not going to create popes, shankaracharyas, Ayatollah Khomeiniacs; each and every sannyasin who loves me individually inherits all the treasures of my being, experience, love, blissfulness. Nobody is going to be the priest. Then you create another Vatican. We are tortured by these popes, shankaracharyas, imams, rabbis. It is time that man is freed from all these fetters. It is out of my love that I want you to be free, totally free, no dependence, no father figure, nobody between you and your truth, no mediator. That's why I will destroy everything that can create the old mistake all religions have fallen into. (1985)

(Osho - From Bondage to Freedom #15: Now meditation is needed even more.)

The spiritual evolution of man has passed through many stages. Its ultimate stage is where the master and the disciple should be just friends, because the whole idea of the master and the disciple is based on a subtle spiritual slavery. The disciple surrenders. The master provides all kinds of devices so that the disciple disappears as an ego. But there are dangers. The danger is - and it is not only theoretical; the danger is very practical, and it has happened almost all over the world throughout the centuries - that instead of the ego disappearing, the individual disappears and the ego remains. Instead of disappearing, it becomes very subtle; it becomes holy, it becomes religious, it becomes spiritual. (1986)

(Osho - Light on the Path #9)

In the silences of the heart, there is a meeting between the master and the disciple. Both know that something has moved, some energy has been transferred, transmitted. The flame that was asleep in the disciple is asleep no more; it has jumped into aliveness and consciousness. This is the transmission of the lamp. But you can do it only if you have it. A strange situation is needed: the master has to have it and the disciple has to be ready to receive it. Nothing is said, nothing is heard and the dialogue is over. (1988)

(Osho - Zen: The Solitary Bird, Cuckoo of the Forest #7)

The master's function in Zen is to force nothingness into your experience, or in other words, to bring you to your own nothingness. The master devises methods, and when they become old and routine he drops them, finds new methods, new ways. (1989)

(Osho - The Zen Manifesto #1)

The master functions as a friend. He holds your hand and takes you on the right path, helps you to open your eyes, helps you to be capable of transcending the mind. That's when your third eye opens, when you start looking inwards. Once you are looking inwards, the master's work is finished. Now it is up to you. (1989)

(Osho - The Zen Manifesto #1)