What happens to a saint? He becomes a child again; nothing else happens to a saint. He is again innocent. He went into the world of reason, division, ego, a thousand and one ideals; he became almost mad with evaluation. And then one day, finding it all just absurd, stupid, he drops it. But this second childhood is far more valuable than the first childhood. The first childhood was just given to you. You were not even asked, it was a pure gift. And we cannot value gifts. You value a thing only when you make effort for it, when you strive for it, and when it takes a long journey to come to it.
There is a Sufi story:
A man, a seeker, came to a Sufi mystic. And he asked, “I am searching for my master. Sir, I have heard you are a wise man. Can you tell me the characteristics of a master? How am I to judge? Even if I find my master, how am I going to decide that he is my master? I am a blind man; I am ignorant, I don’t know anything about it. And without finding a master, it is said, no one can find God. So I am in search for a master. Help me.”
And the master told him a few things. He said, “These are the characteristics. You will find the master in such a way, with such a behavior, and he will be sitting under such a tree. And he will be wearing such a robe, and his eyes will be like this.”
And the man thanked the old man, and went in search. Thirty years passed, and the man roamed almost all over the world but he could not find the man who was his master according to the old man’s valuation. Tired, exhausted, frustrated, he comes back to his home town and sees the old man. The old man has become very old, but the moment he comes in…. The old man is sitting under the same tree – suddenly he sees this is the tree the old man had talked about. And this is the robe the old man had described. And these are the eyes, and this is the silence, that the old man had described. This is the benediction in the presence of the master. He is overjoyed.
But a great question also arises in his mind. He bows down, touches his feet, and says, “Before I surrender to you, just tell me why you tortured me for these thirty years. Why didn’t you tell me right then, ‘I am your master’?”
The old man started laughing, and he said, “I told you, “He will be sitting under such a tree” – and this is the tree I was sitting under! And I told you, “This will be the robe he will be wearing” – and I was wearing the same robe! I was the same man then, but you were not alert. You could not see me – you needed these thirty years’ journeys from one comer to another corner of the world; you needed all this effort to recognize me. I was here, but you were not here.
“Now you are also here, you can see me. And I had to wait for you. It is not only a question for you, that you have been traveling. Think of me – I am so old, and I could not even die before you came back. And I have not changed the robe, in case you missed me again – for thirty years! I have never for a single moment left this tree! But you have come. The journey has been too long – but this is the way one discovers.”