The man was brought in. Not only did his voice have the ring of authority, not only was his laughter that of a madman or of a buddha – his very presence was radiant, luminous. His eyes were aflame with something unknown. He was no ordinary man. The way he walked in, Ibrahim felt, “He looks more like an emperor than I do – his grace, his elegance.” And he was a beggar! His clothes were just in tatters, but behind those clothes was a radiant being. Something divine! Something very rare that only happens once in a while. The king felt great awe.
He stuttered. He said, “Why? What are you saying to my guard? And how can you say that this is a serai. This is not! This is my personal house. Are you mad or something?”
And the man laughed again, the same laughter, and he said, “What nonsense are you talking about? This is a serai – because once I had come before too and on this throne, the same throne, I had found somebody else. And he was also saying that this is his personal residence. Where is that man?”
Ibrahim said, “You must be mad – he was my father. Now he is dead. I have inherited his kingdom and his palace.”
And the man said, “But I had come once more also, even before that, and there was another man, and he had also claimed that this is his personal house. I have been coming many times, and I always find a new man claiming.”
Ibrahim said, “That was my grandfather.” But now Ibrahim could feel the truth of the man’s statement, what he was trying to show.
And the man laughed again and he said, “Still you say this is your personal house, your personal residence? People go on changing…one day I came, I found A; another day I came, I found B; today I have come, I have found C. And tomorrow, I say to you, I will come and you will now be here! That’s why I say this is a serai.”
The truth was so dear and so loud. It was not only a question of Ibrahim’s being convinced ideologically, philosophically, no – existentially he was converted. He fell at the feet of that beggar and said, “You stay in the serai – I am going. I have renounced it all. Once I have understood that this is a serai, then what am I doing here? Then I have to search for my home. So I go on my search and you can stay here. And I am grateful to you.”
This is how religion came to Ibrahim; he never looked back. He simply went out of the palace, out of the capital, out of the kingdom. Never looked back. It was not a renunciation calculated, clever, cunning; it was not renunciation out of mind. It was existential. It was not because: Unless you renounce the world you will not find God. No. There was no logic in it. It was not a calculated step. All calculated steps are cunning. And you cannot reach God by your cunningness.
Calculation is arithmetic, logic, but it is not love. And the door to God is not logic but love. Calculation is of the mind, and the mind is the barrier. You are disconnected from God by your mind. You cannot be connected through it. One has to drop it. And one has to drop it suddenly, not gradually. When you drop it gradually, you are simply saying that you are not yet existentially convinced.