Once upon a time, a man was driving along the road, when his car broke down near a monastery. He went to the monastery, said, “My car broke down. Can I stay the night here?”
He was relieved that the monks agreed to let him stay the night. The monks even gave him food and fixed his car. As he was about to sleep, he suddenly heard a mysterious sound. The next day, he questioned the monks about the mysterious sound.
“We can’t tell you. You’re not a monk” they replied.
The man was disappointed but thanked them anyway and continued on his trip.
Many years later, the same thing happened to him — it was like a déjà vu. His car broke down near the same monastery. The monks provided him accommodations once again. And like last time, they gave him food and fixed his car. That night, he heard the same mysterious sound once again.
The next morning he asked the monks about the mysterious sound once more, And like before, the monks replied, “We can’t tell you. You’re not a monk.”
The man said “All right, fine! I really want to know. If becoming a monk is the only way for me to learn what the mysterious sound actually is, then please tell me, how do I become a monk?”
“You must travel the world and tell us how many blades of grass there are and the exact number of sand pebbles. When you find these numbers, you will become a monk,” they said.
The man was determined to complete the task. Several years later he returned and knocked on the door of the monastery. “In my search to learn what makes that mysterious sound, I journeyed around the world and have found what you asked for: By design, the world is in a state of perpetual change. Only God knows what you ask. All a man can know is himself, and only then if he is honest and reflective and willing to strip away self-deception.”
“Congratulations!” the monks replied. “You are now a monk. We will now show you the way to the sound.”
The monks proceeded to lead the man to a wooden door, where the head monk said, “The sound is behind that door.”
The man reached for the knob, but cannot open it because the door was locked.
“Really funny,” he said, “May I have the key please?”
The monks gave him the key and he opened the door. Behind the wooden door was another door made of stone. The monks gave him the key to this door too, and he opened it only to find a door made of ruby. He asked for and received another key from the monks. But behind that door was another door, this one made of sapphire. On and on this went until the man had gone through doors of emerald, silver, topaz, and amethyst.
Finally, the man was relieved to hear the monks said, “This is the last key to the last door.”
He unlocked the door, turned the knob, and behind that door, he was amazed to find the source of that mysterious sound.
But I can’t tell you what it is because you’re not a monk.