If it is simply a misery for many lives and nothing else – just hard work, and no glimpses and no joy – then it will be inhuman to ask anybody to go on that journey. Then it will be better to suggest he follow a guide who has the map, who knows the right routes; who knows on each crossroad where to move, where not to move, which road leads to the goal, and which roads there are that lead nowhere.
But I had not made the statement just to encourage them. That was just one part of it – it is true also. The journey is long, perhaps very long, but there are many places, many stops on the path where you will find great blissfulness. When the journey ends, you have come home: everything settles, the contrast disappears. Now there is no misery, no anger, no anguish; slowly, slowly you start forgetting even the taste of those things.
I have forgotten completely how anguish tastes, how anxiety tastes. I can describe it, but my description is not very authoritative. It is a memory which is fading every day.
There is a beautiful story I must have told you. It is one of the poems of Rabindranath Tagore. The poet himself has been seeking God for centuries. Sometimes he finds him just as close as the horizon, and he rejoices that the home is coming closer…just a little more traveling and he will reach the ultimate, beyond which nothing exists.
But it goes on happening: he goes on moving, and the truth goes on moving. Sometimes, near a faraway star, he sees God. Although it is far away, because he can see him, he dances in ecstasy: “If I can see you, it is sure I am going to find you. How long can you go on playing this game of hide and seek? You try your best, hiding; I am trying my best, seeking – and I am determined to find you!”
And after many, many lives of search and these beautiful moments…and also moments of anguish, anxiety, because for years there are no signs of God, no footprints – he does not know where he has disappeared to. He even starts suspecting whether he had really seen him or imagined him. Was it an illusion, a projection, a dream? Was he awake or asleep? But again those moments come and he is on the path, moving with great courage and great trust, knowing that these moments are indubitably true.
And this goes on happening. Finally one day he reaches a house where, written on a name plate is: Here lives God. He is overjoyed – he dances, he sings – that he has reached God’s home. Now where can he hide?
Then he goes up the steps and is just going to knock on the door, and something within him prevents him.
Something within him says, “Wait a minute! Think twice before you knock. If you find God then what are you going to do next? – because there is nothing left. This search has been your life for many, many lives – that was all your adventure, that was all your misery and your ecstasy. But if you find him – then give a little thought: What are you going to do?”