A man is driving down the road and 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, he hears a very strange sound. The next morning he asks the monks what the sound was. They reply, “we can’t tell you, you are not a monk”. The man is disappointed but thanks them anyway and goes about his merry way.
Some years later, the same man breaks down in front of the same monastery. The monks again accept him, feed him and fix his car. That night he hears the same strange noise that he had heard years earlier. The next morning he asks again what it is. Again the monks reply with “we can’t tell you, you are not a monk”.
The man say “All right, all right, I’m dying to know. If the only way I can find out what that sound was is to become a monk, how do I 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 sand pebbles. When you find these numbers, you will become a monk”.
The man sets about his task. Some 54 years later, he returns and knocks on the door of the monastery. He says "I have traveled the earth and have found what you have asked for. There are 145,236,284,232 blades of grass and 231,281,219,999,129,382 sand pebbles on the earth. The monks congratulate him and welcome him as a monk. “We shall now show you the way to the sound”.
The monks lead the man to a wooden door where the head monks says “The sound is right behind that door.” The man reaches for the knob but the door is locked. He says “Real funny, may I have the key?” The monks give him the key and he opens the door. Behind the wooden door is another door made of stone. The man demands 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 and so it went until the man had gone through doors of emerald, silver, topaz and amethyst. Finally the monks say “This is the last key to the last door”. The man is relieved to know that he has finally reached the end. He unlocks the door, turns the knob and behind that door he is amazed to find the source of that strange sound. But he cant tell you what it is because you are not a monk.