A man is driving down a dark and lonely road at night many miles from the nearest village when his car breaks down near a monastery. He goes to the monastery, knocks on the door, and says, 'My car broke down. Do you think I could stay the night'?
The monks graciously accept him, feed him dinner, and even fix his car. As the man tries to fall asleep that night he hears a strange sound; unearthly, alluring, a sound like no other that he has ever heard. The next morning, he asks the monks what the sound was, but they say, 'We can't tell you. You're not a monk'.The man is disappointed but thanks them anyway and reluctantly leaves, still tormented by not knowing what the strange and beautiful sound was. Many years later the same man is driving through a remote part of the forest late at night when his car breaks down again close to the same monastery. He approaches and the monks again accept him, feed him, and even arrange to fix his car for the next morning. They offer a bed for the night and the man accepts. That night, he is awakened by the same strange mesmerizing sound that he had heard so many years before. It is even more alluring than he remembered and he is tormented by the need to discover its source...The next morning, he asks what the sound was, but the monks reply,'We can't tell you. You're not a monk'.
The man considers his position. He has risen far in the world over the years and is wealthy and powerful. After weighing up his options he says, ' Al l right, all right. I'm desperate to know. If the only way I can find out about that beautiful sound is to become a monk, then I will give up my life in the world and forgo all earthly riches and pleasures. What must I do to become a monk'?
The monks reply, 'You must travel the earth and tell us how many blades of grass there are and the exact number of grains of sand. When you find these numbers, you will have reached enlightenment and will become a monk'.The man sets about his task... Some forty-five years later when he is old and weary, shrivelled and sun-blasted, haggard with long grey hair, he returns and knocks on the door of the monastery. He says, 'I have travelled the earth these many years and devoted my life to the task demanded of me. I have found the answers to the impossible tasks you have set me. There are 371,145,236,284,232 blades of grass and 231,281,219,999,129,382 grains of sand on Earth'...The monks check their records and reply, 'Congratulations, your numbers are correct and now you are one of us. You are now a monk'.
'We shall now show you the way to the sound'.The monks lead the man to a wooden door, where the head monk says, 'the sound is behind that door'.The man reaches for the knob, but the door is locked. He asks, 'May I have the key'?The monks give him the key, and he inserts it in the lock. The lock is stiff with rust but after struggling he manages to turn the key and opens the heavy ancient door.
Behind the wooden door is another door made of stone. The man requests the key to the stone door. The monks give him the key, and he opens it, only to find a door made of ruby. He demands another key from the monks, who provide it. Behind that door is another door, this one made of sapphire. An d so it went on until the man had gone through doors of emerald,... ...silver, topaz, and amethyst.
Finally, the monks say, 'This is the key to the final door'. The man is relieved to be on the verge of discovering what he has struggled and searched for his whole life. He turns the key and unlocks the door, turns the knob, and slowly opens the door. Behind that door he is astonished and overjoyed to find the source of that strange, unearthly and enchanting sound. It is truly an amazing and unbelievable sight and he realises it has been well worth all those years of suffering to attain...
. . . But I can't tell you what it is because you're not a monk.....