A doorkeeper stands on guard before the temple of the Law. To this doorkeeper there comes a man who begs for admittance to the Law, but the doorkeeper says that he cannot admit the man at the moment.
The man, on reflection, asks if he will be allowed then to enter later.
‘It is possible,’ answers the doorkeeper, ‘but not at this moment.’
Since the door stands open as usual, the man bends down to peer through the entrance.
The doorkeeper laughs and says, ‘If you are so strongly tempted, try to get in without my permission. But note that I am powerful and I am only the lowest doorkeeper. From hall to hall, keepers stand at every door, each one more powerful than the other. Even the third of these has an aspect that even I cannot bear to look at.’
The man is given a stool and permitted to sit down at the side of the door, and there he sits for many years. Again and again he tries to get permission, or to get at least a definitive answer, but he is always told that he cannot enter yet.
At long last his life is drawing to a close. Before he dies, all that he has experienced during the whole time of his sojourn condenses in his mind into one question which he has never put to the doorkeeper. He beckons the doorkeeper.
‘What do you want to know now?’ asks the doorkeeper. ‘You are insatiable.’
‘Everybody strives to attain the Law,’ answers the man. ‘How does it come about then, that in all these years no one has come seeking admittance but me?’
The doorkeeper perceives that the man is at the end of his strength and his hearing is failing, so he bellows in his ear: ‘No one but you could gain admittance through this door since this door was intended only for you. I am now going to shut it.’
The man dies… but a beautiful parable. He was always sitting there by the side and the gate was open but he never tried. Even the gatekeeper had been provoking him saying, ‘You can go… try!
Although I am powerful, try!’ But he said, ‘No, I will wait. Whenever the time comes….’ But then the time comes never. Jesus says, ‘Knock and the door shall be opened unto you. Ask and it shall be given. Seek and ye shall find.’ It is just around the corner but we go on waiting as if somebody is going to give it to us.
Nobody is there to give it to you — and the door is open ! If you try, the doorkeeper is not going to prevent you. In fact he is there just waiting for you to enter so he can close the door. But he does not invite you because then it will be too cheap. So he gives a challenge, a provocation.
This sannyas is nothing but a provocation, a challenge, so that I can goad you and tell you, ‘Don’t go on sitting on the stool — the gate is open!’
– as told by Osho in ‘The Great Nothing’ – A Darshan Diary