By: Sri Sri Ravishankar
Once upon a time, Gautam Buddha visits a town. The entire town gathers and is waiting to listen to him, but he goes on waiting. He keeps looking backwards at the road, expecting a little 13 year old girl to come. He happened to meet her on the road and she had told him – “Wait for me. I am going to give this food to my father at the farm, but I will be back in time. Don’t forget, wait for me!”
Finally, the elders of the town said to Gautam Buddha – “For whom are you waiting? Everybody important is present, you can start your discourse.” Buddha replied – “But the person for whom I have come so far is not present yet and I have to wait.”
Finally the girl arrives and exclaims – “I am a little late, but you kept your promise! I knew you would keep your promise because I have been waiting for you since my first memory as a child, when I first became aware… I think I was four years old when I first heard your name. Your name was enough to ring a bell in my heart. And since then for ten long years…I have been waiting!!!”
Buddha responded – “You have not been waiting in vain. You are the person who has attracted me to this village.”
At the end of his discourse, that little girl was the only one who goes to him and says: “Initiate me. I have waited enough, and now I want to be with you.” Buddha replied “You have to be with me because your town is so far out! I cannot keep coming again and again. The road is long, and I am getting old!”
In that entire town not a single person came up to him be initiated into meditation, other than that little girl.
At night as they were getting ready to sleep, Buddha’s chief disciple Ananda asked Buddha “Master, before you go to sleep I want to ask you one question. Do you feel a certain pull towards a certain space… just like a magnetic pull?”
Buddha replied, “You are right Ananda. That is how I decide my journeys. When I feel someone is thirsty…so thirsty that without me, there is no other way for them… I have to move in that direction.”
Master moves towards the disciple and the disciple also moves towards the master. Sooner or later they are bound to meet. The meeting is not of the body, the meeting is not of the mind. The meeting is of the very soul!
It is like when you bring two lamps close to each other; the lamps remain separate but their flames become one.