In Japan there was great saint, Hotei. He is known as the laughing saint. He lived a very strange life, not like a saint at all. He used to carry a big bag on his shoulder full of things – sweets, toys – for children. He would pass through the village and children would gather and Hotei would distribute whatever he had in his bag. Then he would beg from the shopkeepers, “Fill my bag again because in the next village children will be waiting for me.”
His whole life he was doing only that. When he was dying he was asked, “Hotei, you have achieved …. You could have communicated to people.”
He said, “I have been – but I decided to communicate with the uncorrupted, the children. Why bother about the corrupted? Somebody else who is better than me will take care of them. I am a simple man, I can deal only with children. I cannot argue. I can distribute sweets, I can distribute toys. I cannot give doctrines and dogmas and theologies. That is not my business. And I have done my work, I am perfectly satisfied. I have sown the seeds; they will grow in their own time.”
And it is said that each village through which Hotei had passed – after his death, in all those villages saints started springing up. Those small children were now becoming mature, young people. Hotei had not said anything to them, but he must have infected them in some way. He was contagious, and children are most impressionable. But it all depends, in that state; nobody can tell you to become a Hotei, and if you try to, it won't be the real thing.