Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Emperor and the Beggar

THE EMPEROR AND THE BEGGAR

An emperor was coming out of his palace for his morning walk when he met a beggar. He asked the beggar, "What do you want?" the beggar laughed and said, "You are asking me as though you can fulfill my desire." The king was offended. He said, "Of course I can fulfill your desire. What is it? Just tell me." And the beggar said, "Think twice before you promise anything." The beggar was no ordinary beggar. So he insisted, "I will fulfill anything you ask. I am a very powerful emperor, what can you possibly desire that I can not give to you?" The beggar said, "It is a very simple desire. You see this begging bowl? Can you fill it with something?"

The emperor said, "Of course!" He called one of his viziers and told him, "Fill this man's begging bowl with money." The vizier went and got some money and poured it into the bowl, and it disappeared. And he poured more and more, but the moment he would pour it, it would disappear. And the begging bowl remained always empty.

The whole palace gathered. By and by the rumor went throughout the whole capital, and a huge crowd gathered. The prestige of the emperor was at stake. He said to his viziers, "If the whole kingdom is lost, I am ready to lose it, but I cannot be defeated by this beggar."

Diamonds and pearls and emeralds, his treasuries were becoming empty. The begging bowl seemed to be bottomless. Everything that was put into it -- everything! -- immediately disappeared, and went out of existence. Finally it was the evening, and the people were standing there in utter silence. The king dropped at the feet of the beggar and admitted his defeat. He said, "Just tell me one thing. You are victorious - but before you leave, just fulfill my curiosity. What is the begging bowl made of?"

The beggar laughed and said, "It is made up of the human mind. There is no secret. It is simple made up of human desire."

This understanding transforms life. Go into one desire -- what is the mechanism of it? First there is a great excitement, great thrill, adventure.

Something is going to happen, you are on the verge of it. And then you have your chariot and your palace and all the diamonds of the world, suddenly all is meaningless again.

What happens? Your mind has dematerialized it. The chariot is standing in the driveway, but there is no excitement anymore. The excitement was only in getting it. You became so drunk with the desire that you forgot your inner nothingness. Now the desire is fulfilled, the chariot in the driveway, the diamonds in your very hands-- again excitement disappears. Again the emptiness is there, ready to eat you up. Again you have to create another desire to escape this yawning abyss.

That's how one moves from one desire to another desire. That's how one remains a beggar, in reality it is truly you who is the beggar, Your whole life proves it again and again -- every desire frustrates. And when the goal is achieved, you will need another desire.

The day you understand that desire as such is going to fail comes the turning point in your life, I am content with all my Lord the most high has provided me,

The other journey is to your Lord which you cannot escape.."He created the heavens and the earth in just proportions and has given you shape, and has made your shapes beautiful : and to Him is the final goal.''
by email from Zaheer Mahomed