The old man said, “My knowing does not matter. The question is whether you can know it. I had described it perfectly, but you had to go through all this wandering around for thirty years. Only after this struggle of thirty years would you have a little alertness. That day you wanted to thank me, and I told you the time had not yet come; one day the time would come.
“And you are bothering too much about your thirty years’ wanderings. What about me? I have been sitting here for thirty years, waiting for you. My own work was finished long ago, my boat has come and is waiting for me. And I have been postponing and postponing for you, idiot, and you took thirty years! And I even described the tree, I described every feature of mine – my beard, my nose, my eyes. In detail, I said everything, and you rushed in search of me!
“But it is still not too late. I was worried that if I died, my word, my promise would not be fulfilled – that idiot is bound to come sooner or later, but if I am not here then my description, my indication to him, will not be valid, will prove false. Just to be authentic, I am sitting under this tree for thirty years! You could have chosen me that very day. But you could not help it, you did not have the eyes. You heard my words but you could not understand the meaning. I was in front of you, describing myself, and you were thinking to find me somewhere else.”
The disciple finds the master only accidentally. He just goes on moving, stumbling, falling, getting up again; being cheated by one, exploited by another, befooled by someone else. Slowly slowly a little alertness comes to him. And it is just by accident that he meets the master.
As far as the master is concerned, he is consciously waiting for certain people. He is making every effort to reach those people, but the problem is that those people are all unconscious.
Even if Gautam Buddha comes and knocks on your doors, are you going to receive him or just make a laughingstock of him?
Dostoyevsky, one of the greatest novelists the world has known, in one of his novels, The Brothers Karamazov, brings Jesus Christ back after eighteen hundred years. Jesus thinks, “Now almost half the world is Christian. The first time was not the right time for me to go there, because not a single person was a Christian, nobody belonged to me.”
Eighteen hundred years before, he had come into a world of strangers. Naturally and logically, he decided that now is the time – “When half the world is Christian, millions of churches singing my songs – this is the right moment. Now I have my people.”
Naturally, he appears in Jerusalem on a Sunday morning. The people from the great church are just getting out. He stands under a tree. Out of curiosity people start gathering around him, and they are all laughing and joking. And they say, “The man is really clever. What an actor! He looks just like Jesus Christ.”