When the great Sufi mystic, Hasan, was dying, somebody asked
"Hasan, who was your master?" He said, "I had thousands of
masters. If I just relate their names it will take months,
years and it is too late. But three masters I will certainly
tell you about.
One was a thief. Once
I got lost in the desert, and when I reached a village it was
very late, everything was closed. But at last I found one man
who was trying to make a hole in the wall of a house. I asked
him where I could stay and he said 'At this time of night it
will be difficult, but you can stay with me - if you can stay
with a thief'.
the man was so beautiful. I stayed for one month! And each
night he would say to me, 'Now I am going to my work. You rest,
you pray.' When he came back I would ask 'Could you get
anything?' He would say, 'Not tonight. But tomorrow I will try
again, God willing.'
was never in a state of hopelessness, he was always happy. When
I was meditating and meditating for years on end and nothing
was happening, many times the moment came when I was so
desperate, so hopeless, that I thought to stop all this
nonsense. And suddenly I would remember the thief who would say
every night, 'God willing, tomorrow it is going to
And my second master was a dog. I was going to
the river, thirsty and a dog came. He was also thirsty. He
looked into the river, he saw another dog there -- his own
image -- and became afraid. He would bard and run away, but his
thirst was so much that he would come back. Finally, despite
his fear, he just jumped into the water, and the image
disappeared. And I knew that a message had come to me from God:
one has to jump in spite of all fears.
And the third master was a small child. I entered
a town and a child was carrying a lit candle. He was going to
the mosque to put the candle there. 'Just joking,' I asked the
boy, 'have you lit the candle yourself?' He said, 'Yes sir.'
And I asked, 'There was a moment when the candle was unlit, and
then there was a moment when the candle was lit. Can you show
me the source from which the light came?' And the boy laughed,
blew out the candle, and said, 'Now you have seen the light
going. Where has it gone? You will tell me!' My ego was
shattered; my whole knowledge was shattered. And that moment I
felt my own stupidity.
Since then I dropped all my knowledge ability.
It is true that I had no master. That does not mean that I was
not a disciple -- I accepted the whole existence as my
Disciple hood was a greater involvement than yours is. I
trusted the clouds, the trees. I trusted existence as such. I
had no master because I had millions of masters I learned from
every possible source.
be a disciple is a must on the path. What does it mean to be a
disciple? It means to be able to learn, to be available to
learn, to be vulnerable to existence. With a master you start
learning to learn.
The master is a swimming pool
where you can learn how to
swim. Once you have learned, all the oceans are