There was a lady who was one hundred years old. Before she reached the age of sixty, she did not want to observe her birthday. When asked about her birthday, she would lie about the date so that people would not celebrate it. She would say, “Oh, my birthday is long since passed.” But from the age of sixty, for some reason, she became very eager to observe her birthday. Every year people gave her all kinds of beautiful gifts, and she was very, very happy.
After she reached the age of ninety, people started giving her only household things. They gave her everything that she could utilise in the house because she could no longer go out, and she did not need nice clothes.
Then when she turned one hundred years old, she said to quite a few relatives and friends, “This year, I need only one thing from each and everyone.”
They all asked, “What is that thing? We will give you anything you want.”
She said, “I need only a kiss from each of you.”
So everybody kissed her. Then they asked, “Why do you need a kiss? Is it because you feel that soon God will call you?”
She said, “No, no, no! God is not going to call me in the near future. But if I receive a kiss from you instead of a household object, then I will not have to wash so many pots and pans and other things. I will not have to dust the things that you give me for the house. Now I have to get up and dust them regularly. Every day I have to clean them and wash them. Now I do not want any new things to clean and wash. If you kiss me, then you will not create any more work for me. There is no dirt on my face that I have to wash off. Now I am so happy.”
One of her friends said, “There is something that will give you more joy than a kiss, and you will not have to wash it.”
The old lady said, “What is it?”
Her friend answered, “It is a fond embrace.”
“Let us try it then,” said the old lady.
So they all started embracing this very thin old lady with utmost love and affection. Afterwards, one of them asked her, “Now do you see the difference between being kissed and being embraced?”
The old lady said, “Yes, I am getting far more joy from being embraced.”
One of the ladies in the group said, “I know of something else that will give you much more joy than either being kissed or embraced.”
The old lady asked, “What is it? I want to have that thing. Before I die, I want to have it. Of course, I am not going to die today or tomorrow. Tell me, what is it?”
The other lady said, “I have a spiritual Master. If this spiritual Master looks at you and blesses you, you will receive tremendous joy.”
The old lady was not spiritual at all, but she was looking for new things that would give her joy. The kiss gave her joy, and the embrace gave her more joy. So the old lady said, “Can you go and request him to come here? I want to see your spiritual Master.”
The spiritual Master came and looked at her and blessed her. When he was blessing her, she was so thrilled. She fell flat at the spiritual Master’s feet and died then and there. At first everybody was very sad that she had died. Then they were so happy because the spiritual Master said, “As soon as her soul saw me, the soul said to me, ‘Now that I have been blessed by a true spiritual Master, there is nothing remaining here on earth for me. Only in Heaven will I get infinitely more joy. If I go to Heaven, I will receive infinitely more joy than you have given me. Therefore, with your permission, I am leaving behind this mortal coil’.”