The servant could not believe it. He said, “What are you doing? This man is completely drunk, he is an alcoholic, and you are giving him initiation! And there is a thief in the crowd, and one man has come because he is unemployed and he thought at least this way he would find some employment – at least he could become a saint and people would feed him. And there are a few people who have come because it is a holiday. A few others have come just out of curiosity: ‘Let us see what is happening.’ The man next to the drunkard has come here only because his wife has thrown him out and closed the doors. He was standing outside, and he said, ‘Okay, so I am coming also!’ These are not seekers and searchers – they are not religious at all! What are you doing? Your whole life you were waiting for worthy people, people who are deserving!”
The master said, “Listen, the truth is – now I can tell you – I was not a master at all! Just this morning I have realized myself, but I could not tell anybody that I was not a master. So rather than telling the truth, I always tried to make some impossible demands which could not be fulfilled. In that way I saved my ego. But today I have come to know who I am, and now I know that everybody is capable of knowing because everybody is basically the same. Even this drunkard is no more unconscious than anybody else. Everybody is unconscious, and unconscious people need initiation; they need the help of those who have become conscious. The conscious person can function as a catalytic agent.”
Mevlana is right: Come, come, whoever you are; wanderer, worshipper, lover of learning…it does not matter. The master is ready; it does not matter who comes to him. Whoever knocks on his door is a welcome guest.
Ours is not a caravan of despair. Remember this beautiful statement: “Ours is not a caravan of despair.” I can also say this. Ours is not a caravan of despair, it is a celebration – it is the celebration of life.
People become religious out of misery, and the person who becomes religious out of misery becomes religious for the wrong reasons. And if the very beginning is wrong, the end cannot be right.
Become religious out of joy, out of the experience of beauty that surrounds you, out of the immense gift of life that God has given to you. Become religious out of gratitude, thankfulness. Your temples, your churches, your mosques and gurudwaras are full of miserable people. They have turned your temples also into hells. They are there because they are in agony. They don’t know God, they have no interest in God; they are not concerned with truth; there is no inquiry. They are just there to be consoled, comforted. Hence they seek anybody who can give them cheap beliefs to patch up their lives, to hide their wounds, to cover up their misery. They are there in search of some false satisfaction.
Ours is not a caravan of despair. It is a temple of joy, of song, of dance, of music, of creativity, of love and life.
You are welcome, Govind – join the caravan.
Come, even if you have broken your vow a thousand times.