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Chapter 32: The Great Accident

The archbishop on the way was very nervous about facing three saints who have influenced thousands of people. But now he saw there was no problem - these were idiots! He went there and they all touched his feet. He was well satisfied. He said, “Do you think you are saints?”

They said, “We are uneducated, illiterate, poor people. How can we think such high things? They are not for us. But what can we do? People go on coming. We try to prevent them, we tell them they should go to you, but they don’t listen.”

The archbishop said with an authoritative tone, “What is your prayer?”

The three looked at each other, they nudged each other. One said, “You say it.” The others said, “You say it.”

The archbishop said, “Anybody can say it, there is no harm. But start!”

They said, “We feel very embarrassed, because it is not really a prayer; we have made it up.”

The archbishop was really angry: “You have invented the prayer? What is the prayer?”

One of them said, “You insist, so we have to say; but we are feeling very embarrassed, because the prayer is not very great, it is very simple. Our prayer is: ‘You are three, we are three; have mercy on us.’“

Even the archbishop in his anger had to laugh. He said, “Great! This is your prayer?”

Those poor people said, “We are ready to learn. If you teach us the right prayer, the proper prayer, we will try it. But it should not be long, because we may forget it, or we may make mistakes, get confused. Our prayer is so simple we cannot forget it, we cannot make any mistake.”

The archbishop read the whole prayer of the orthodox church of Russia. It was too long. Those three poor people said, “This is too long. Please read it again.” The third time, they said, “Just one time more, so we can remember.”

The archbishop was happy that these idiots.”Now there is no problem: I can convince people that they know nothing - not even the prayer of the church!”

They touched the archbishop’s feet, thanked him and told him that there was no need for him to come, he should have just sent a message and they would have come to him. Why should he take such trouble? Anytime he wanted, he should just send a message and they would come to the church itself.

Very happy and contented, the archbishop left. When he was just in the middle of the lake, he saw those three running on the water, coming towards him, saying, “Stop! We have forgotten the prayer! Just once more!”

The archbishop looked at them - they were standing on the water, running on the water. He must have been a man of some intelligence. He said, “Forgive me. Your prayer is right; you continue your prayer. Your prayer has reached; my prayer has not reached. You are really saints; it does not matter whether the church has sanctioned you or not. Sanctions are needed by those who are not really saints; your very existence proves it. Just forgive me, that I interfered in your life.”

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