Sufi Story: A King Questions A Dervish

King and the Sufi Painting

King and the Sufi Painting

 
A king once saw a man, who, though clad in rags was working in the way of self-perfection.

 

He called him and asked: ‘Who is the better off, you or I?’
The man said: “O ignorant one, beat your breast and hold your tongue. Who praises himself does not understand the meaning of words; but this I must say, there can be no doubt that a man such as I am is thousand times better off than a man such as you. With not even the taste of religion, your dog of desire has reduced you to the status of an ass. He is your master and rides you on a bridle pulling your head this way and that. You do all that he commands. You are a non-entity, and fit for nothing, whereas I who know the secrets of the heart have made of this dog, my ass to ride upon. Your dog rules you, but if you will make of it an ass you are then as I, and a hundred times better off than your fellows.”.

 

 

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