There are two painful processes. You may have heard Buddha’s saying, “Birth is pain, death is pain.” These are the greatest pains, the greatest anguishes possible. When the infinite becomes finite in the womb, it is painful, it is anxiety; and when the infinite is taken out of the body, again there is anguish and pain.
So whenever someone dies consciously, he disappears. Then there is no more entry into the body. Then there is no more anxiety, because anxiety is the consequence of desire; then you need not be narrowed down because there is no desire to be fulfilled. You can remain infinite; there is no need to enter a vehicle because now you are going nowhere.
This disciple who was beating the gong of the temple must have been near his death, close, and the master was standing behind him because of this fact. The disciple was going to die any moment. This is not said in the story, this cannot be said, but this is how the thing happened; otherwise there was no need for the master to stand behind the disciple when he was beating the gong. There are many more important things for the master to do. Beating the going is just an ordinary thing, an everyday ritual. Why was the master standing behind him?
This Ekido seems to be a strange fellow. Had he not anything more significant to do? At that moment there was nothing more significant, be-cause this disciple was going to die anyhow and this death had to be used. And only a master can use death – out of compassion. He was waiting to see whether he remained alert at the moment of death or not. He missed.
The story is beautiful and very significant. He saw a beautiful girl passing and his whole consciousness was lost. He became a desire, his whole being became a desire: he wanted to follow this girl, to possess this girl. And whenever there is desire, consciousness is lost because both cannot exist together. Desire exists with unconsciousness, it cannot exist with consciousness; when you move in desire, consciousness disappears. Hence so much insistence by all the buddhas and jinas for desirelessness. When you are desireless you will be aware; when you are aware you will be desireless. These are two aspects of the same coin – on one aspect, desirelessness; on another aspect, alertness, consciousness.
The story is significant. Seeing a beautiful girl pass, the disciple missed himself. He was no longer there; he became a desire. He started following the girl, he entered a dream, he became sleepy, he became unconscious.
Sex is the mid-point between death and birth; between birth and death is sex. Really, between birth and death there is nothing but sex, an extension of sex. You are conceived out of sex, and from the moment you are conceived you start on a journey of sexual pleasure. The moment you die this continues. And sex is so powerful that even if death is standing there you will forget it. If sex takes the grip then everything can be forgotten; you become completely mad. The form of the girl caught his mind; he was no longer there. He was alert just a moment before, now he was not alert.