THE ONE BASIS AND DIFFERENT CONTAINERS
When a guru was sitting and teaching his disciple. One day he said; Guru Brahma, Sishya Brahma, Sarvam Brahma. Thus the guru was implying that everything in the universe was Brahma, Every day, one disciple was accustomed to greet the guru respectfully on his arrival, but after this particular event, he did not do so and he never got up from his seat. The guru questioned him on this strange behavior and the disciple replied that the previous day, the Guru had said that everything was Brahma and therefore there was no difference between them.
Then the teacher felt that what he said came back to him as a boomerang and he wanted to teach the student a good lesson. He went to the board and wrote "Guru Brahma" as two different words. He also wrote "Sishya Brahma", and "Sarvam Brahma". When you look at theses three, though Brahma is occurring as the same in all the three, the Guru, Sishya and Sarvam are different. Only when these three words also become one, you can say that all are one. Thus, until you are able to experience this oneness of all in practice, the student will remain a student and a teacher will remain a teacher and there is no escape from the need for the student having to respect the teacher. The basis is one but the containers are different.