Osho explains to a new disciple that the people who come to a master can be divided into four categories.

This will be your new name: Swami Anand Bhakto.

Anand means bliss, bhakto means a devotee – a blissful devotee.

Osho darshan 27

The people who come to a master can be divided into four categories. The first is the student who comes in search of knowledge. He wants to become more knowledgeable: his quest is intellectual. He wants to know. He has a thousand and one questions and he wants those questions to be answered. He will collect information. He is not interested in god – he is interested in things about god; all his questions are about and about. He moves in a circle on the periphery, he is curious. He comes to a master just as he goes to the university. His coming to a master is almost accidental, it is just chance. Just like driftwood, he comes to a master.

The people who are like this are bound to go sooner or later; in fact they go sooner than later. Ninety percent of these people will go on moving from one master to another, from one school to another. They will go on collecting information, and through information no transformation ever happens. Through information the ego is fulfilled. You become more knowledgeable, you can brag about your knowledge, but you don’t know a thing; it is all borrowed.

The ten percent who remain with the master will change into the second category. They become a kind of apprentice. They start experimenting, they start doing something. They are not interested only in knowing – now they want to do something, they want to experience something. They are getting deeper into it.

Fifty percent of these people will leave the master because the going, sooner or later, becomes difficult and tough. The work of a student is simple and easy; all that is needed is a good memory. The work of the apprentice is difficult. He has to change his body, he has to change his breathing, he has to change his character. He has to change so many things and they are so ingrained that each change is a hardship. The journey is arduous. Fifty percent of the people who belong to the second category are bound to leave sooner or later – in fact, later than sooner. They will cling as long as they can, as long as they feel it is possible.

The fifty percent who remain with the master turn into the third category, the category of the disciple. Now they are really getting involved. It is not only a question of doing – now they want to feel; it is a question of the heart. The first was concerned only intellectually; the second became involved physically; the third becomes involved through his feeling, through his heart – he falls in love.

The real work starts only with the third, the disciple. And out of the disciples only ten percent will ever leave; ninety percent are going to remain. And the ten percent who leave will leave only at the last moment, on the very verge, when the fourth category is going to happen, because at the last moment the ego has to be totally dropped, and a few cannot take that much of a risk. They go as far as they can while protecting their ego, their idea of separation, the illusion of separation… as long as they feel they are safe.

They will do everything else – they will be in deep love with the master, they will be surrendered to the master, but somewhere they will keep themselves still alive as separate. Their surrender will be their surrender, their love will be their love. It will remain still centered in the self. It will be their activity, their will. They have not yet disappeared.

Ten percent of the third category will leave, and they will leave only at the last stage when something is really going to happen, because at the last stage you have to sacrifice the ego. The master persuades you slowly slowly. He goes on taking things away from you: your thoughts, your feelings, your belief systems. He takes all the props and finally the ego is just hanging in the air… just the last hit and the ego disappears. But ten percent of the people will escape. The ninety percent that remain and go through this fire, this dissolution of the illusion of separation, will come to the fourth category. They are called devotees, the bhakta. They have become one with the master – now there is no separation; now they are one being, there is a kind of oneness.

That is the meaning of ‘bhakto’ – the fourth category; that is the goal of every sannyasin. And only at the fourth does truth happen. When you are gone, gone forever, god arrives. Your departure is his arrival. When you are utterly empty of the self, god rushes in from every nook and corner towards you.

Just as nature abhors vacuum, god abhors vacuum too. When the disciple has come to the point of being empty, utterly empty, grace descends; one is fulfilled. That is god-realisation or enlightenment or nirvana; that’s what Jesus calls ‘the kingdom of god’. And the kingdom of god is within you, but you are the barrier to it. You have to disappear, you have to give way. The kingdom of god does not arise from anywhere else. It wells up within you. Once the rock of the ego is removed, the spring starts flowing.

Remember: one has to move from the student to the ultimate state of being a devotee. To be a student is easier because nothing is involved, there is no commitment. To be an apprentice is a little more difficult because you have to do something. You are entering into the stream… you are still on the shallow bank but you have entered the stream.

The work of a disciple is even more difficult because he has to go into the middle of the river. And the work of the devotee is to be drowned, to become one with the river so that the swimmer is no more separate, so that the river is all… so that this river of life is all. And then there is bliss, and then there is benediction. This is the state of paradise.

Osho, The Tongue-Tip Taste of Tao, Ch 7