A Muslim fakir dreamed one night that he had gone to heaven – people go to heaven only in dreams; for reality as they know it, is akin to hell. He found the streets of heaven crowded. On inquiring, he was told it was God’s birthday. He praised his good fortune, at last the thirst of his eyes will be quenched, for he will see God himself! He waited on the roadside with some others.
Soon there came a magnificent person riding on a horse, with thousands of attendants. The fakir whispered to the man next to him, “Is that the Lord?”
“Oh no!” said the man, “This is Hazrat Mohammed.” The procession passed only to be followed by another. “Is this God?” asked the fakir of his neighbor, pointing at the central figure.
“No,” came the answer, “this is Ram and his entourage.”
Then followed Krishna and Christ, Buddha and Confucius and many such luminaries, all with their respective retinues. It was well past midnight and the crowd had already thinned out. “When will God come?” the fakir wondered. The streets were deserted except for him and all the fanfare was over.
Then an old man came riding alone – not a soul with him! The fakir eyed him curiously, “Who could this character be, riding all by himself?” he wondered. Then it came to him! This must be God, for no one is more lonely than him in the whole wide universe. He went up to him and asked: “Sir, are you God and if you are, tell me why are you alone? The others had crowds following them.”
At this God’s eyes filled with tears and he said. “All the people were divided between them. Not a single one remained for me. Some went with Rama and some with Krishna and some with someone else. No one is with me, for only he can be with me who is with no one else.”
The fakir got up with a start. He looked around and found himself on the floor of his hut. He went around telling everyone of this strange dream. “God is alone! God is alone!” he went about wailing. “How is that possible?” he asked one and all. He asked me too and I told him: “Your dream was true. There is no one lonelier than God!”