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Chapter 3: The Sword and the Lotus

It happened in America: a poor man.his wife was dying, and he had no money to purchase medicine or call a doctor, or have her admitted to a hospital.

In desperation he thought of a great idea: “Why not write a letter to God, just for fifty dollars, not much. And for a God who is almighty, omnipotent - everywhere present, omnipresent; omniscient, knowing everything, past, present, future - he must know that my wife is dying and I need fifty dollars right now.”

So he wrote a small card saying, “You know everything, you are all-knowing; I don’t have to say it to you. I need fifty dollars for my wife who is almost on the verge of death. Send it to me by telegram.”

But then he was at a loss: What is the address of God? That he had completely forgotten in his anxiety and misery. When he turned over the postcard, the address had to be written.

He said, “My God! Nobody knows his address. Whom to ask? When you don’t know the address, the only way is to send it ‘Care of the Postmaster General.’” So he wrote: “To God the Almighty, c/o Postmaster General of America.”

The letter reached the Postmaster General. He read it, and he said, “What an innocent man, and what great trust! Because he does not know the address, he has sent it care of me. I don’t know the address of God myself!”

I don’t think anybody has ever known his address. Before he went on holiday after creating the world in six days, he did not leave any address with Adam and Eve: “Go on giving it to your children, from generation to generation. They will know where God is, and whenever it is needed you can write.” He simply disappeared. Nothing has been heard about him since then.

So the Postmaster General asked all his colleagues, “Why shouldn’t we collect fifty dollars and send them to this poor man?” So they made a collection, but they could manage to collect only forty-five dollars, not fifty. So he said, “Even forty-five will be helpful right now.” He immediately sent it by telegram.

The poor man received the telegram and the forty-five dollars. He looked up towards heaven and he said, “Almighty God, next time don’t send it through the Postmaster General! That son-of-a-bitch has taken his commission - five dollars! Send it to me directly! You are present everywhere, why not hand it to me directly? If you don’t want to do it face to face, you can drop it on my roof very easily. It is not a problem for you. You have created the whole world, you can create fifty dollars, although they will be fake!” But there was no reply.

So again he wrote another letter, thanking God: “You have sent me fifty dollars, but that son-of-a-bitch, the Postmaster General of America, has taken his commission, five dollars, from a poor man whose wife is dying!”

And again it had to be sent “Care of the Postmaster General of America.”

When the Postmaster General received this letter, he said, “My God! We helped him with forty-five dollars and he is calling me a son-of-bitch!”

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