I will tell you one story. It happened in Tibet. A lama who, was working in a faraway valley wrote a letter to the chief monastery, to his master, to send one more lama: “We need him here.”
The chief of the monastery called all his disciples, read the letter, and then said, “I would like to send five of you.”
One lama asked, “But only one has been asked for. Why five? ”
The old chief said, “You will know later. I will send five and then, too, it is not certain that one will reach because the way is long, and distractions a thousand and one.”
They laughed. They said, “The old man ha s gone out of his mind. Why send five when one is needed?” But the old man was insistent, so five started on the journey.
The next morning when they were passing a village, a messenger came running to them from the chief of the village. “Ou r priest has died and we need a priest. The salary is good.” The village looked rich, prosperous, so one of the five said, “I would like to stay because that, too, is Buddha’s work. Why go to the valley? There, too, I am going to do the same work. You four will be enough — only one is needed — so I will stay here.” One dropped.
The next day they were passing by the ou tskirts of a town. The king of the town passed by them on his horse. He look ed at them. One young monk was very beautiful and healthy and radiant. The king said, “Wait. I am looking for a young man because my daughter is ready to be married. I have been watching and looking, but you seem to be exactly ri ght. Are you ready? I have only one daughter. My whole kingdom will be yours.”
Of course, the young man said to his friends: “Goodbye!” He left; the second disappeared.
Now the other three became aware that the old man was not mad. The way was really long and distractions a thousand and one!
Now the three decided, “But we will not do such a thing” — although deep down they were feeling jealous that one ma n had become a king and another had become a great priest. And who knows about what is going to happen in that valley?
The third night they lost the way. From far away on a hilltop only one lamp was seen, only one house. Somehow they reached there. There was only one young woman there and she said, “It is good that you have come. You are a godsend because my mother and my father were to come back this evening and they have not come back. I was very afraid to be alone in this house so far away from the town. It is good that you are here. You are a godsend, you are sent by Buddha himself. Please stay with me and do n’t leave me until my parents come.”
The next morning they had to leave. But one of them — who, deep down, had fallen in love with the woman — said, “I cannot go until her parents are back. That would not be compassion.” Comp assion was not the thing, PASSION was the thing! But when there is passi on, people talk about compassion.
The other two said, “This is not good. We have to reach an d you are dropping out. And we had decided that now we would not do that.”
The man said, “I have been taught my whole life to be compassionate. The woman is alone, the parents have not retu rned. To leave won’t be good, it won’t be virtuous. Buddha will never forgive me . You can go” — in fact, he wanted them to go — “but I will stay here.” The third dropped.
In a village the next morning they were surrounded by a crowd, because the village was atheistic; they didn’t believe in Buddha. The two were challenged:”You have to prove that what Buddha says is true.” They had a great atheistic scholar in the village and the scholar challenged them.
One of the two accepted the challenge. The second said, “What are you doing? Who knows how long it will go on?”
He said, “Even if my whole life is wasted…. I am devoted to Buddha, and this man has challenged Buddha and his philosophy.” It was not a challenge to Buddha; it was a challenge to his ego. “I cannot leave this village, I will convert this village. You can go. In fact, only one is needed.”
And that’s how it happened. The man remained there to argue and only one reached!
So, Remember the goal.