The travelers, the companions, were very surprised. They used to think of Nanak as a very holy man, but he was doing something stupid: his legs were towards the Kaaba when he lay down and fell asleep. They became very afraid: this is a sacrilege! And by the time they could do something about it, the chief priest had come, and he said, “Who is this man? Is he an atheist? Does he not believe in God? He does not seem to be a Muslim. Throw him out of here!”
All this noise and talk, and Nanak opened his eyes, and he said, “What is the matter?”
They said, “This cannot be allowed. Your legs are towards Kaaba, and this is a sin.”
Nanak laughed uproariously and he said, “You can put my legs anywhere you like, but, one thing before you do it, tell me if it is not so: wherever my legs are, they will always point towards God – because he is everywhere.”
Up to this point, the story seems to be absolutely realistic; then it becomes a parable.
The priest was very angry. He took hold of the feet of Nanak and turned his feet opposite to Kaaba. And the parable says Kaaba turned toward Nanak’s feet. And he moved him in every direction, and Kaaba turned to that direction.
Now, it is a parable; I don’t say now that it is realistic. Half the story seems to be exactly right. The other part seems to be very poetic – true, but not factual. It is very significant though. Godliness is everywhere.
Once you have found it within, you will find it everywhere. Then you cannot find a place where it is not. But don’t start the journey from the outward; don’t start going to Kaaba and Kailash, to the temple and the mosque, otherwise you have taken a wrong step. And one wrong step leads to another. You start imagining.
Once a Sufi stayed with me. He had many disciples, thousands of disciples, and his disciples used to come to me and say their master is great, he sees God everywhere – in the trees, in the rocks, in the birds, animals, even in dogs; everywhere he sees God.
When he came to stay with me, the first night we sat together, I looked at him. He was a very beautiful man – but I could see that his God was a projection; he was living in his imagination, in a reverie, in a dream. The dream was beautiful, because when you dream about God everywhere, even the dream changes your life – even the idea that God is everywhere brings tremendous changes – but it is not radical. It is mental, it is a mind game; it is a sort of auto-hypnosis.
I asked him, “Please, tell me how you started to see God everywhere.”
He was very reverent to everything. He would go and bow down before a rock, any rock, and he would go down and touch the tree; he was really very reverent and he had a very peaceful quality all around him. He was a poet, but not a mystic. I asked him, “Tell me how you started to see God.”