The Boatman, who has perfected himself in the supreme knowledge of the Truth, occupies and drives his own boat and also drives the boats of other bound souls, dragging them along. Such Boatmen are rare. There are many souls who become one with the Truth. But they retain no special connection with the sailing boats of men on the surface, though they are themselves one with the ocean. Only a few rise to the surface, plying their own boats with hands and feet completely free and helping other boats of bound souls to reach their goal. These Boatmen derive their inspirational strength, not from any impressionary dispositions, but from the Truth itself. They not only steer the boats of other men who are on the surface, but lead them to their destination of being dissolved in the infinite depths of the ocean of life.
These Masters or Boatmen relieve the surface sailors of all unnecessary fears, free them from the distracting temptations of the surface and ultimately win them over to getting themselves drowned and lost in the in-finite ocean of Truth. They come to be known in the world and are the real Saviours of humanity. They take them away from the superficiality of human life to the depths of unending divinity or the infinite knowledge, bliss and power in the indivisible Truth or Being. These Boatmen are not only the Masters of the unlimited, but also the Masters of all that is finite. Their experience is all-comprehensive, leaving nothing outside its scope.
However, in order that the Boatmen should be able to discharge their duty towards the bound sailors in the surface-boats. the sailors have to give themselves over to these Boatmen. The surrender must be complete. The sailors whose hands and feet are tied have to hand over completely the charge of their own boats to these Boatmen. The bound souls have to transfer the charge not only of the gross body, but also of their subtle and mental bodies. They must not retain anything for themselves. This complete surrender of body, desires and ego-mind is something symbolized in the East by offering to the Master a coconut.
The symbolism of the coconut fruit, conventionally offered to the Master in certain areas, may be explained as follows. The outer threads on the hard cover of the coconut represent the physical body. The outer hard covering represents the subtle body with all its surging impressional desires. The inner kernel in the coconut represents the mind with seeds of impressions. And the inmost water is essentially not different from the water of the ocean, from which it is ultimately soaked up by the roots of the trees on the shore. It may therefore be likened to a portion of divinity itself.