There is a difference between a teacher and a preacher. A preacher will give you glowing tributes so that you can fill his bucket. A teacher doesn’t need that. A teacher needs your “you”. He needs the total you. He needs your total rock, so he can chisel it out in spite of you best dislikes. If a teacher doesn’t chisel you to give you the best of tomorrow, you’ll have nothing but sorrow.
You must understand, the teacher/student relationship is a very weird thing. If a student fails, there’s no greater sorrow for a teacher, who grieves for the rest of his life. You don’t understand, the tomorrow of a teacher is in his students.
You are Western. You don’t have that relationship. I was trained by a very tough teacher. One day he said to me, “Do you think I am cruel?”
I said, “You are.”
And he said, “Do you know why?”
I said, “I know why.”
He said, “Why?”
I said, “So that nothing will look cruel to me ever again.”
He said, “You’re right.”
That’s true. He had me live in a tree for three days, dressed in my western suit. How more rotten can one be? I didn’t know how to pee, poop, sit, sleep, or what to do. And when somehow I survived, I came down and he said, “Oh. Let’s go. Let’s hurry up. You are walking very slowly.”
I thought, “Yeah. You stay in this tree for three days, and you will know better.” But there was nothing to say.
He brought out in me, not the man, not the godly man, not the great man, but a real human. There’s nothing in the world I can pay to him in tributes, in compliments, and in thanks. He did the most wonderful job. I used to say I was a nut, but he tightened all my nuts so well that I became the best.
That’s why calamity is my breakfast, tragedy is my lunch, and treachery is my supper. You can write it down. It will help you. What did I say? Calamity is my breakfast, tragedy is my lunch, and treachery is my supper. If you can eat all these three things and digest them, you are the best person. Is there anything else which can bother you?
Beads of Truth, Spring 1981
Shakti Pad is an essential step that millions of unfortunate people do not even have the taste of. It is a desert through which you have to survive to reach a promised land. It is a test of ego through which you have to experience the love of your teacher. It is a plateau of consciousness. Once you cross it, all happiness is promised. We are fortunate if we can remember that the teacher who brought us here shall carry us there.