I do not understand why enlightened masters are critical of each other.
Are they not all working towards the higher good? Are they not different
flavors of the same truth?
The question you have asked is almost impossible
to answer for the simple reason that you are not enlightened yet. You
don’t know the ways of the enlightened ones. You don’t know their
devices, you don’t know their methods; hence the misunderstanding. An
ancient story may help you.... In a great city there were two sweet shops,
and one day the owners of both the shops started fighting with each other.
Naturally they had no other way to fight, so they started throwing sweets
at each other. And the whole city gathered and people were enjoying the
sweets that were falling on the street.
When two enlightened masters criticize each other it brings tremendous joy
to those who can understand. Its taste is just unbelievable. They are not
enemies, their fight is not of the ego. Their fight has a totally
They fight because they know one thing: that the goal is one, but the
paths are many. And each master has to defend his path, knowing perfectly
well that other paths are as valid as his. But if he starts saying that
all the paths are valid, he will not have the impact, the influence on his
people. The journey is long and he needs absolute trust.
He is not a philosopher propounding a system of philosophy. His basic
concern is that your commitment to the path should be total. To make it
total he condemns all other paths, he criticizes all other ways. It is
just out of compassion for you. He knows the people on the other path will
also reach; and he knows that out of compassion the master on the other
path has to criticize him, has to criticize his ways.
This is just a simple methodology to protect the disciple from influences
that can take him astray. And the mind is very, very clever in going
astray. If all the paths are valid, then what is the necessity of
commitment? If all the paths are valid, then what is the necessity of
If all the paths are valid, then why not travel all the paths, why not go
on changing, enjoying different ways, different methods, different
sceneries? Each path will pass through different lands; there are paths
that will go through the desert, and there are paths which will go through
the mountains, and there are paths which will pass through beautiful
But if you travel some time on one path and then you change the path, you
will have to start again from ABC. Whatever you have learned on one path
is invalid on another path, and if you go on keeping it within you it is
going to create tremendous confusion. You are already in a great mess; no
master wants you to be more confused!
Your mind always wants change. It does not know devotion; it loves
fashions, its interest is always in some novelty. So it will go on moving
from one path to another path, becoming more and more confused because
each path has its own language, each path has its own unique methods, and
each master is going to defend his path against all the other paths.
If you move on many paths you will collect contradictory arguments; you
will become so much divided you will not know what to do. And if it
becomes your habit to change paths – because the new has a certain
attraction for the mind – you will move a few feet on one path, a few
feet on another path, but you will never complete the journey.
One day Jalaluddin Rumi took all his students, disciples and devotees to a
field. That was his way to teach them things of the beyond, through the
examples of the world. He was not a theoretician, he was a very practical
man. The disciples were thinking, “What could be the message, going to
that faraway field... and why can’t he say it here?”
But when they reached the field, they understood that they were wrong and
he was right. The farmer seemed to be almost an insane man. He was digging
a well in the field – and he had already dug eight incomplete wells. He
would go a few feet and then he would find that there was no water. Then
he would start digging another well... and the same story was continued.
He had destroyed the whole field and he had not yet found water.
The master, Jalaluddin Rumi, told his disciples, “Can you understand
something? If this man had been total and had put his whole energy into
only one well, he would have reached to the deepest sources of water long
ago. But the way he is going he will destroy the whole field and he will
never be able to make a single well. With so much effort he is simply
destroying his own land, and getting more and more frustrated,
disappointed: what kind of a desert has he purchased? It is not a desert,
but one has to go deep to find the sources of water.”
He turned to his disciples and asked them, “Are you going to follow this
insane farmer? Sometimes on one path, sometimes on another path, sometimes
listening to one, sometimes listening to another... you will collect much
knowledge, but all that knowledge is simply junk, because it is not going
to give you the enlightenment you were looking for. It is not going to
lead you to the waters of eternal life.”
Masters enjoy tremendously criticizing others. If the others are really
enlightened, they also enjoy being criticized. They know that the purpose
of both is the same: to protect the vagrant mind of the disciple. To keep
him on one track, they have to deny that there is any other path anywhere
that can lead you except this one.
This is not said out of an egoistic attitude; this is said out of love.
This is simply a device to make you committed, devoted. The journey is
long, the night is long, and if you go astray you can go on round and
round for eternity without finding anything.
Gautam Buddha criticized the seers of the Vedas, he criticized the seers
of the Upanishads, he criticized Mahavira, he criticized everybody that he
could find – Krishna, Rama, all the Hindu gods. Continuously for forty
years he was criticizing every old scripture, every old prophet, every old
But he was not an enemy of anyone. He was criticizing all those people so
that you could be unconditioned, so that you could be freed from the
clinging with the past which cannot help you. When a living enlightened
being is present, he cannot allow you to remain clinging with the dead,
which can only be a weight on your heart but cannot become wings for your
It needs tremendous insight and meditative understanding to have a little
glimpse of the world of an enlightened person. I have criticized many:
only a few of them were enlightened; most of them were simply frauds. The
frauds have to be absolutely exposed to humanity.
Even those who were enlightened have become only a tradition, a
convention, a dead belief. You have to be freed from their grip also,
because they cannot help you, they can only hinder your path. They can
become your chains, but they cannot become your freedom.
I can become your freedom. I am your freedom.
When I am gone I hope there may be still courageous people in the world to
criticize me, so that I don’t become a hindrance on anybody’s path.
And those who will criticize me will not be my enemies; neither am I the
enemy of those whom I have criticized. The working of the enlightened
masters just has to be understood.
You should remember only one word, and that is compassion – compassion
for you, compassion for all those who are still not centered in their
being, who are still far away from themselves, who have to be called back