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Chapter 20: Tears of Gratitude

And somebody else said, “Shut up and go to sleep! This is no time for visiting a place; it is not a chariot but clouds in the sky making a noise.”

He stopped the chariot. He went up the long row of steps leading to the temple. He knocked on the door.

Someone said, “It seems someone is knocking It seems..”

But somebody was very angry and he said, “You idiots! Will you allow us to sleep or not? Nobody is knocking; it is just the wind hitting the doors. Just go to sleep and forget about his coming.”

The doors were not opened. He returned back.

In the morning, when the doors were opened they were surprised to see there were footmarks in the dust that had gathered in the day on the steps leading to the temple.

And they were not ordinary footmarks. Because in Hindu mythology God has the mark of a wheel turning on his feet. That turning wheel represents the whole world, and that mark was clear, even in the dust. He had certainly knocked, because they could see he had come: the footmarks and then the returning footmarks, and further down they could see the marks of the chariot’s wheels moving back.

Now they were in shock. Nobody was able to say anything - what to make of it? The chief said, “I knew if he has promised, even in a dream, he will fulfill it. But you thought I was senile, so I kept quiet. And whoever interrupted in the night, I thought he was right, but you all were so angry to be disturbed. And I can understand you too: you were tired, and the middle of the night is not the time for visiting. But we do not know the ways of God.”

Now they were crying. They had missed something that rarely ever happened. There was no precedent.

But the chief priest said, “There is no point in weeping.”

They said, “We have been fools. It was not so difficult to remain awake in the night, but basically we are lazy. Even for God we could not wait just for one night. We could have been awake. And even though there were signs of his coming, we misinterpreted them: that it is wind knocking on the door, that these are the clouds making the noise. We cannot forgive ourselves.”

It is a beautiful allegory, a beautiful metaphoric statement. There are things which come to you; you cannot go to them. There are things which happen to you. All that is needed on your part is to be awake, alert, watchful and in deep trust; otherwise you will fall asleep. If the trust is missing, you will fall asleep.

It is the doubt that brings sleep. The doubt goes on saying, “What is the point? Has he ever come? Have you ever heard? Is there any precedent, any description in any scripture? Just go to sleep; you are too tired.”

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