The devotee reached the Teacher’s abode. “I want to be free and emancipated,” he said. The teacher asked him why he wanted to be free. “I have a void inside me, and only the ultimate truth will give me eternal peace,” implored the devotee.
“Get me a carpet made from soft camel hair, and I will tell you the secret,” the Teacher said.
“Give me a soft camel hair carpet,” said the devotee to the carpet seller, “for it will lead me to truth and peace.” The carpet seller said, “I have no concern with your truth and peace, but get me some soft camel wool yarn, and I will weave you a carpet.”
The devotee went to the yarn maker, who has no camel wool. On to the wool seller, who wants twenty young camels to shear.
“Only mature animals are brought for sale, “said the camel traders at the market, “but if you want young ones, you will have to rear them by yourself.”
The devotee spent many years at a farm, raising camels. He brought twenty young ones to the wool merchant, who sheared them for wool, which was taken to the yarn maker, and the threads delivered to the carpet weaver, who produced a soft camel hair carpet.
Many years had passed, and the devotee is joyous at seeing the Teacher, and he places the carpet at his feet. “Did you make this carpet for getting peace for yourself?” asked the Teacher. “It is for you, my Teacher, for now I know myself as only your follower,” said the devotee. And as he said these words, he was free and peaceful forever.
As long we want peace for ourselves, it will elude. When we lose our self in service, peace comes by itself. The Guru Granth Sahib whispers gently:
When it was me, You were not; now, only You, not me.
Winds may still raise waves in the ocean—but now it is only water in water!