May 13, 2007


The Story Of Mulla And Assumptions:

A certain man asked the famous Mulla Nasrudin, "What is the meaning of fate?"

Mulla replied, "Assumptions."

"In what way?" the man asked again.

Mulla looked at him and said, "You assume things are going to go well and when they do not, you call that bad luck. You assume things are going to go badly and when they do not, you call that good luck. You assume certain things are going to happen or not happen a certain way, but you do not know what is going to actually happen. You assume the future is unknown. When you are caught out (things do not work out for you), you call that Fate."

Note: This story is one of many about the interesting character, "Mulla Nasrudin." It is an old Persian tale. On a different note, my mother who has not read this story, once said to me, "When things do not go the way we want them to, we wrongly blame Fate!"

The Story Of The Monkeys And Hats:

Once upon a time there was a young man called, Aurangzeb. He used to roam around from town to town selling hats for a living. One day he would be in Bangalore and the next day people would find him in Mysore.

One summer afternoon, Aurangzeb had just traveled across a vast plain, so he felt tired and wanted to take a nap in the jungle. He found a mango tree with lots of branches and cool shade. Placing his bag of hats beside him, he went to sleep.

Aurangzeb was fast asleep in no time. When he woke up after a refreshing nap, he found that there were no hats in his bag! "Oh, no!" he said to himself and shook his head sadly, "Of all the people, why did the thieves have to rob me?"

Suddenly, he looked up and noticed that the mango tree was full of cute monkeys wearing colorful hats. He yelled at the monkeys and they screamed back. He made faces at them and they returned the same funny faces. He threw a stone at them and they showered him with raw mangoes.

"Oh gosh, how do I get my hats back?" Aurangzeb pondered. Frustrated, he took off his own hat and threw it on the ground. To his surprise, the monkeys threw their hats also! Aurangzeb did not waste a second and hurriedly collected the hats and went on his way to the next town.

Fifty years later, young Habib, grandson of the famous Hat-Seller Aurangzeb, who worked hard to maintain the family business, was passing through the same jungle. After a long walk he was very tired and found a nice mango tree with lots of branches and cool shade. Habib decided to rest a while and very soon was fast asleep.

A few hours later, when Habib woke up, he realized that all the hats from his bag were gone! He started searching for them and to his surprise found some monkeys sitting on the mango tree wearing his hats. He was frustrated and did not know what to do, but then he remembered a story his grandfather used to tell him.

"Oh, I can fool these monkeys!" said Habib. "I will make them imitate me and very soon I will get all hats back!"

Habib waved at the monkeys and the monkeys waved back at him. He blew his nose and the monkeys blew their noses. He started dancing and the monkeys also danced. He pulled his ears and the monkeys pulled their ears. He raised his hands and the monkeys raised their hands.

Then, he threw his hat on the ground expecting all the monkeys to do so, but instead, one monkey jumped down from the mango tree, walked up to Habib, hit him on the shoulder and said, "Do you think only you had a grandfather?"

author unknown.

The Story Of The Sleepy Man

There was once a good man by the name of Amyn. He had spent his whole life cultivating qualities which would eventually take him to Paradise. He gave freely to the poor and he loved his fellow creatures and served them. Remembering the need to have patience, he endured great and unexpected hardships, often for the sake of others. He made journeys in search of knowledge. His humility and exemplary behavior were such that his reputation as a wise man and good citizen resounded from the East to the West, and from the North to the South.

Amyn exercised all these qualities whenever he remembered to do so, but his one shortcoming was heedlessness. This tendency was not strong in him, and he considered that balanced against the other things which he did practice. It could only be regarded as a small fault.

Amyn was fond of sleep, and sometimes when he was asleep, opportunities to seek knowledge, or to understand it, or to practice real humility, or to add to the sum total of good behavior, passed him by and did not return. Just as the good qualities left their impress upon his essential self, so did the characteristic of heedlessness.

And then one day, Amyn died. Finding himself beyond this life, and making his way toward the doors of Paradise, he paused to examine his conscience. He felt that his opportunity of entering Paradise were enough.

The gates were shut, and then a voice addressed Amyn saying: "Be watchful, for the gates will open only once every hundred years!"

So, Amyn settled down to wait, excited at the prospect, but deprived of chances to exercise virtues towards humankind, he found his capacity of attention was not enough for him. After watching for what seemed like an age, his head nodded in sleep. For an instant his eyelids closed, and at that moment the gates yawned open. Before his eyes were fully open again, the doors closed, with a roar loud enough to wake the dead!

Note: Originally called, "The Parable of Heedlessness," this version is by a 17th century dervish, Amil-Baba. He wrote, "The real author is one whose work is anonymous, for in that way nobody stands between the learner and that which is learned."

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