There was a great spiritual Master who was totally genuine. He had a spiritual community or ashram of his own, with about 4000 disciples in total. Every evening, he used to give talks on spirituality which were limited to a few select disciples.
One evening, one of the Master's favourite disciples came late. He was standing at the door, waiting for the Master to grant him permission to enter. As soon as the Master saw him, the Master said, "Come in! You have to answer my question. If you answer correctly, I shall allow you to stay inside. Otherwise, you will have to go out immediately."
The Master was quite serious. He said to the disciple, "Tell me the distance between man and God."
The disciple answered, "Master, why do you have to ask me such a simple question?"
The Master's face became very grave. He said, "What do you mean? If you are so wise, then tell me at once."
The disciple said, "Master, I am telling you now." The disciple came very close to the Master — only one or two inches away from the Master — and said to him, "This is the distance between man and God."
The Master laughed and laughed. All the students also laughed most heartily. The Master said to that disciple, "You are so devoted to me, but you are also the number one humorist in my ashram. I always try to defeat you in humour, but I never succeed. Therefore, I am extremely proud of you."
Everybody was so moved, and everybody was so proud of the disciple for giving him the correct answer immediately.