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The Saint

A man used to come to a great saint and he would always ask, 'One thing puzzles me. You are so innocent, so pure, how is this possible? Suspicion arises in my mind that maybe you simply pretend. In this world of corruption, how can one be so pure and innocent and so virgin? How can one avoid being corrupted by the world? Maybe deep down you still carry the same thing but on the surface you have maintained it, you have maintained it well.'

One day the man came. He again started to say the same thing. And the Master said, 'Listen, there is something more important to be said to you. Just show me your hand.' He looked at his hand, became very sad, closed his eyes and started to cry. The man said, 'What is the matter? Why are you crying, Sir? I have never seen you crying.'

He said, 'I am crying because only seven days are left. Within seven days you will be gone. Your lifeline is cut. Next Sunday you will die. That's why I am crying. Now you can ask whatsoever you want to ask. You wanted to ask something?'

The man said, 'I have forgotten. You have disturbed me very much. Only seven days?'

Now this Master was so loved by people, so much respected, that there was no reason to suspect that he would tell a lie.

The man rushed home, fell ill, didn't move from his bed for seven days, was sinking every day, stopped eating, could not sleep. The relatives gathered. On the seventh day they were just waiting, because the Master had said that as the sun sets, he would die. And there was just half an hour to go. The sun was just coming down, coming down, and relatives and friends and the wife and the children were crying and the man was just sinking into death.

Then the Master came and said to the man, 'I have one question to ask. In these seven days have you committed anything that you used to call sin, impurity, corruption, this and that? Did any idea come into your mind, any worldly idea?'

The man opened his eyes with great difficulty. He said, 'What are you talking about? I am dying! How can a man have any ideas of sin or of the world when he is dying? Only death was there around me. It was coming closer. In these seven days there was not a single worldly desire in me. I was only thinking of God. I was praying, repeating God's name.'

The Master laughed. He said, 'You can get up. You are not going to die! That was only a design to show you why I am pure. Death surrounds me continuously. What does it matter whether it is coming in seven days or seven years or seventy years? It doesn't matter. It is only a question of time. It is coming - that much is certain - it Is coming. When death is coming, this becomes very, very clear to your consciousness. Life goes through a great change, a radical change.'