Understanding — Student, Disciple and Devotee
A student of spirituality is not aware that he has hit the path by accident, he is curious, his curiosity has been aroused. His search has not yet begun because deep down in his heart he knows that he is not prepared for this long pilgrimage.
A disciple is a totally different phenomena — he knows that he is a disciple. The first rays of understanding, awareness have penetrated his being — he definitely knows that he is not a student or devotee. He feels deep in his heart a miracle has happened, that his Guru has touched his soul — he has been awakened, that he is a disciple! He feels the dedication, the love, the commitment — he knows he is on the right path and he will remain focused however many births it takes to reach his goal — liberation!
For a disciple it is not an intellectual understanding, it is intuitive like love. To find your Satguru, your Master is a great affair because there is no love deeper and more fragrant and profound than that between a Satguru and his disciple. And the disciple is fully aware of it! The disciple always remains a disciple, he cannot reach the level of his Master and become a Master himself. He remains conscious of the fact that he has reached a high level of consciousness but not the level that can make him a Master in his own right!
The devotee never knows — not because he is unconscious like the student. Devotion comes, but it comes slowly and silently, you don’t hear its footsteps — it does not make any noise. The disciple can never reach the highest peak unless he becomes a devotee. The disciple is happy with his connection to his Satguru — he watches him, listens to his discourses, listens to his silences. Slowly, very slowly he starts acquiring his own individuality. A disciple cannot become a Master unless and until he first becomes a devotee.
The disciple seeks connection, the devotee seeks dissolvement; the disciple seeks individuality, the devotee seeks the ocean. Personality is borrowed, it has to be dropped; individuality is your own, but if you manage to drop it also then the whole ocean is yours!
Being a devotee means dropping even individuality, dropping even the feeling that, ‘I am’ …. Just merging with the universe. It is the ultimate quantum leap. From personality to individuality is a very small jump, but from individuality to no-individuality is very rare — and that’s what makes a disciple a devotee.