THE DISCIPLES OF JESUS
Why was Gurushakti or the power of Grace not felt by the closest disciples of Christ when he was alive?
That is a real anomaly because those closest to him saw all the great things done by Jesus. Things were told to his closest disciples, which he would not speak about in public, and they knew the power and the force. Yet when it came to an end, his closest ones denied him and ran away like cowards.
So how did this Gurushakti work? How did this power of Grace work? One would generally expect that those that are closest would know the master the best. Yet, having witnessed with their own physical eyes all the happenings of the time, they denied him when trouble came. You know the story of “before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” This man was so close to him, and he watched all the so-called miracles happening, and yet such a god on earth was denied.
THE LESSON OF DEPENDENCY
Why would this be so? What was the plan behind it? This has happened not only in the life of Jesus but also in Buddha’s life, where his closest disciple, Ananda, was denied illumination until after Buddha had left his body. When they started writing his biography, people asked Ananda, “You should be the one that should know Buddha the best and most intimately, and yet you are unrealised.” So, he had to explain that “I was unenlightened because I was most attached to Buddha.”
This is a great lesson for everyone to learn: the lesson of dependency. Because of the total attachment of Ananda to Buddha, he never became enlightened. When Ananda became his chela, Ananda made specific requests, and one of the requests was this: “anyone I make an appointment with to see you, you will have to see. That is one of my conditions for me to be close to you and look after you.” If a relationship is based on conditions, then how can enlightenment come?
As a matter of fact, in any marriage relationship between husband and wife, if there are conditions set, then automatically, the flow in the relationship is stopped. After all, what is enlightenment? Enlightenment is a total flow with one’s total being. From one’s totality to another, so that the so-called other becomes a part of your totality. That is flow. But as soon as any conditions are set, then this flow immediately stops.
THEY SAW JESUS AND FAILED TO SEE THE CHRIST
Jesus’s disciples were so close to him; they saw how he made the blind see, the deaf hear, the cripple walk and raising a man from the dead, things like that. Yet such a master was denied. Because with them, he was just an ordinary man. They just saw the ordinariness in him and failed; they just saw Jesus and failed to see the Christ.
Therefore, none of the disciples that were very close to him ever reached enlightenment. There is only one person in the lifetime of Jesus that was enlightened, and that was Lazarus. Lazarus was not physically raised from the dead. That he was awakened means that he was led from darkness to Light.
That was enlightenment, and that was to “bring to life.” Most people in this world as of that time are the living dead, so called living and yet dead, for if one does not function in one’s totality, then you are but dead. You are dead to the Spirit. The mind would function, and the body would work, but that is not life, and when Jesus said, “I am the life,” that is what he meant: the awakening, the quickening of that Consciousness which is life. He had to say over and over again, “I am the Life,” not meaning the physical Jesus, but meaning that Consciousness and that life is the way. For that life is the truth. For nothing else exists that is worthy of possessing or of having but the truth, and once one has the truth, one knows what life is.
HE WAS THAT CONSCIOUSNESS
Although the disciples were devoted to the man, they lacked devotion to the Spirit. They lacked devotion to the Consciousness. Therefore, at a later stage, after deep reflection, they found that that man that we were so close to, he was that Consciousness. They only recognised that after they went through greater crucifications than what Jesus did. Jesus did not suffer in being crucified. He accepted it. Being that Consciousness, he cared not for his body or his mind. Let it fall away. Let it pass away. For I and my Father are one, which really dawned on him when his mind and body were put through that agony and that turmoil. Then he, even in desperation, said, “Why hast thou forsaken me.” Then through that heat, through that tapas, then all that “why has thou and me,” when that concept was burnt away in that heat of agony, then only the truth was realised that after all “I and my Father are one.” So, there was no suffering in the crucifixion.
HIS DISCIPLES SUFFERED THE MOST
Those that suffered most were his disciples, for they all went through some form of crucifixion. That was great suffering. Theirs was greater, because they were not enlightened; their suffering was more of mind and body, and in that suffering, it was revealed to themselves. They discovered that what we dealt with was not the man who used to frequent the houses of prostitution or the wine halls or the sinners’ inns and the Pharisees and the money collectors. No, that was not the man that we should attach ourselves to. When it dawned upon them that here we were so close to that Consciousness, that all-encompassing Consciousness, then only did they realise what Christ really meant, and what Consciousness really meant, and then they started working.
You take the example of Saul, later known as Paul. He was totally anti-Christ until he had that vision on the road to Damascus. Through his extreme hate, he received enlightenment. This we find in other scriptures as well. Ravana hated Rama so much that he could not get Rama out of his mind. In other words, even through hate, he was so closely connected to Rama because he had Rama in his mind all the time. He had the power of Gurushakti, or Grace, flowing through him all the time. In the end, when he really realised what Rama was, there was instant illumination.
MANY PATHS LEADS TO TRUE REVELATION
There are many paths that could lead to true revelation. Many paths. For hate is nothing else, but love poured forth in a different direction. When a person hates me, I know so well that the person loves me. The more the person hates me, I know the deeper the love that person has for me. Because it has to be balanced, the more you love, the deeper can you hate. The deeper you can hate, the more you can love. Here is a question of capacity, of sensitivity. If you have the capacity to love deeply, you also can hate in the same depth. There is no difference. The same energy is at work all the time. When these realisations dawned on the disciples, they started teaching, really teaching.
At first, when they taught, they were just mechanisms. They were acting as tools, as instruments only, without proper realisation. When there were a great noise and a dispute at one of the meetings, I think it was one of the disciples that took one of the hecklers by the throat and said, “You shut up and keep quiet. You listen.” They were teaching the teachings of Jesus, but more in a parrot-like fashion. Just giving over the message of Jesus and not giving it over as a total realisation. That came afterwards.
But these tools are necessary. If you want to propagate anything, you start working with the tools at hand. You do not wait to find the perfect people before you try to expand your teachings or try to bring them to the maximum amount of people.
MEN OF SIMPLE FAITH
These disciples were known to be men of simple faith. But it was a faltering faith. There was faith, and with the faith, there was also a little doubt. Perhaps even a lot of doubt. Yet, faith and trust outweighed the doubt. At the time during the life of Jesus, what his disciples taught was not taught with total realisation, and that is why we have so many contradictions in all our scriptures of the world because the teachings had to be interpreted according to the understandings of the interpreter.
But later, when all this was rounded up and weighed, far greater brains than the disciples sifted out the matter, and the truths that emerged from it were the truths that Jesus taught. Yet, if one could gather all the teachings and all the talks of Jesus, it would amount to several volumes. But all that is lost. Because few people understood the real teachings, they only recorded certain things which they thought they understood. Yet the teachings were far more significant, far, far greater. How do I know this? Because many of the truths you find in the Upanishads, for example, were the teachings of Jesus. In compiling the Upanishads, many of the things that were said by Jesus and thought by Jesus were faithfully recorded by the Rishis of the East.
Those that were close to him did not understand it too well. Because they did not have the training for it, they had not developed the awareness. Yet those closest to a sage, to a holy man, seem to go through more suffering than those that are farther away. This always happens because the closer you are to the fire, the more heat would you feel. But the reward is that you get heated up quickly. You get purified quicker by the proximity than those that are far away.
THE TRUE GURU ALLOW THE FLOWER TO BLOSSOM BY ITSELF
That is why in India today, you could find people near their masters staying there for years and years and years without even the master taking notice. But not taking notice of the person is in itself teaches. Because it is breaking down all the resistance in the chela by himself and by no injunction. In the true ashrams and with the true gurus, there is never a question of “thou shalt do this” and “thou shalt not do this.” They allow that flower to blossom by itself. Just a little pushing here, a little watering there, a little fertilising, and when it is ready, then that flower is plucked to place at the altar of Divinity.
It is a process, a long journey. For blessed is the man who has found his guru and that has really recognised his guru. And blessed is the guru that has found the true chela. But no one is to be denied. For every one, as I would always say, is that pure diamond, though covered with dust. There must come a time, the wind must blow hard one day, someday, for the dust to be blown off. That is why no one is denied.
WHEN THE CHELA IS READY, THE MASTER APPEARS
Above all that, there is a saying that the chela can never choose the guru; the guru chooses the chela. When the chela is ready, the master appears. He might know the master for many years, and yet the master has not appeared to him. He might be so close to the master. Go hobnobbing with the master, and yet he might not recognise the master until the day when all the dust has been blown away. Then he says, “Ah, that is my guru. Why did I not realise it before?” Because he was not ready. Man has to make himself ready, as the disciples were not ready until Jesus’ death, that here was the true master.
They had some inkling. Therefore, they left all their fishnets and everything behind to follow him. Was this a physical following, or was it a following of the Spirit? The flowing of the Spirit only came much later, when Jesus was disembodied. It was just a physical following. There was some intuitive feeling that created some faith. Yet that faith was not strong enough not to deny him at the crucial moment.
There were only about six or seven women that supported Jesus in his needs, that is all, not the multitudes. Look at Judas. He used to look after all the finances of the group. He knew everything that was going on, and he was the most educated man among the lot, as we all know. Yet because of that intellectuality and lack of faith, he was the one that betrayed. After the betrayal, he too discovered what he had done, so he had to kill himself. Yet, they were the best of friends after their deaths. Very, very close to each other. But it happened after the bodies were parted after the bodies were shed.
For the very proximity of a master must leave some mark upon you, must bring about in you some awakening, though that awakening might not be recognised at that time. It is very easy to serve a master in the physical sense. In South Africa, we get servants for $20 a month. They will do everything for you. But that is not the master and chela relationship. That is the master and servant relationship. The master and the chela, the guru and the chela, their relationship is something different. It is a love affair, a deep love affair, an unconditional love affair.
Jesus or Krishna or Buddha was not such a great hero to them because, as the saying goes, no man is a hero to his wife or his valet – because they know the little perks, the little idiosyncrasies. They know the little human side of the man Jesus. And by being involved in the little human side of the master, they forget who he really is or what he represents.
… Gururaj Ananda Yogi: Satsang US 1981 – 24