Narada went. When he came back after a few days he told the old man, “I inquired, and God said that you will have to wait at least three lives more.”
The old man became so angry that he threw down his beads. He was almost ready to hit Narada. He said, “This is nonsense! I have been waiting and waiting and I have been doing all kinds of austerities – chanting, fasting, all forms of rituals. I have fulfilled all the requirements. Now this is too much! Three lives – this is unjust.”
Then Narada became very much afraid to tell the young man, because although the young man had not asked him to inquire, he had inquired. The young man was still dancing so joyously under his tree. Narada was afraid, but still he went and told the young man, “Although you did not ask, I inquired out of my own curiosity. When God said that that old man would have to wait three lives, I inquired about the young man just by the side of the tree, who is dancing there with his ektara. And he said, ‘That young man – he will have to wait as many lives as there are leaves on the tree under which he is dancing.’”
The young man started dancing even faster and he said, “Then it is not very far. Just as many leaves as are on this tree? Then it is not very far, then I have already arrived – because just think how many trees there are on the whole earth. Compare! So it is very close. Thank you, sir, that you inquired.” And he started dancing fast.
And the story says that the young man became instantly enlightened, that very moment.
The story has not said anything about the old sage. I think he must be somewhere here now. He cannot become enlightened. His very approach is wrong. His very approach is that of a tense mind. His very approach is that of a demanding ego. You attain to enlightenment only when there is no ego to demand – there is no demand, there is no demander.
Time creates the ego. The ego does not exist in animals because they are not conscious of time. The ego does not exist in children because they are also not conscious of time. When you become conscious of time, you become conscious of many things. First, the consciousness of time creates the fear of death. You immediately become conscious of death.
That’s why in Sanskrit we have the same name for both – we call time kal and we also call death kal. We have the same name for both because they are two aspects of the same phenomenon. Time and death, they are not separate at all. The moment you become alert about time you become alert about death, because time is running out fast, death is coming, death is there and you have to do something before death grabs you. Then fear, anxiety….