The old man said, “First throw out all your tantrums and your anger; then I will tell you the truth. Thirty years ago you were too young. The time was not right; it was sunset, darkness was descending. And you were in such a hurry to go in search, that if I had told you that I was the master you would have laughed and said, ‘This is strange that you are sitting just outside my village.’ And you cannot blame me because I explained every detail, but your eyes were looking far away. You were listening to me, but you were not looking to see that I was describing my eyes, my nose, my beard, my robe; that I was describing the tree under which I was sitting. You were not ripe.
“These thirty years have not gone to waste; they have matured you. Now you can recognize me. Just look; it is sunrise, the right time. And it is not the beginning of your journey; you had already given up. I am meeting you at the end of thirty years of long, arduous effort. That which you can get cheap you cannot recognize. You had to pay these thirty years and all the troubles that you went through just to be mature enough to recognize me.
“I could have told you on that day too – but it would have been pointless, and you would have missed me.
“And you think you have been in trouble for thirty years? Just think about me – for thirty years I have been sitting under the same tree, because I described this tree. I have not left it for a single day because I was aware that any moment you might come, and if you didn’t find me here I would have been proved to have spoken lies. I have been sitting here for thirty years continuously – day in, day out; summer, winter, rain, but I have been sitting here. And you see I am old. I was worried that if I died before you came back, it would be a tragedy. So I have been trying to somehow cling to life, because as far as I am concerned there is nothing left, I have realized myself. Life has given everything that it can give. I have been sitting just for you.”
The story is strange, but significant. It takes time to realize that which you are. Basically there is no need; you can realize just now, this very moment. But to realize it you will need a certain maturity, a certain centering, a certain awareness, a certain silence. Seven years are not long. And don’t be worried that you have not seen a thousand suns rising in you; it is not necessary. Everybody experiences his innermost being in his own way. Somebody experiences it as light, but that is his type. There are people who have realized it as immense darkness. You are hearing the firecrackers all around.
Two religions in India, Hindus and Jainas, celebrate a festival, the festival of lights. They have different reasons; it is just a coincidence that something has happened on the same day in the history of both religions.
Hindus celebrate it because Rama, one of the Hindu incarnations of God, was victorious over Ravana. He came back after fourteen years of wandering in the forest and the mountains to his capitol, Ayodhya. And because he was coming back after fourteen years, the capitol celebrated with lights and firecrackers and rejoicings. That is the Hindu reason.