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Visitors Of The World

By Suparna Chakaraborthy

The world is a rest house! A Sufi story reveals the aforesaid truth.

A pious prince called Ibrahim who was of a charitable nature, arranged for the poor and the holy to take food and drink on the porches of his palace. At night, however nobody was allowed entry.

One day a tall, strong man, emanating radiance arrived at sunset and asked for food. After having his fill, he asked for shelter in the porch of the palace. The guard denied his stay and asked him to leave.

The stranger said, “I would like to meet the master of this rest-house and would not budge until I do!"

The guard retorted, “This is not a guest house and His majesty is engaged in his prayers"

The stranger however refused to give in and the guard ultimately reported the matter to the prince.

The astonished prince rushed to the porch, “Let me meet this mad man!"

On finding him, the prince asked, “Don't you know the rule of the palace? Why did you not leave when the others did?"

The stranger replied, “This is a rest-house and I wish to take shelter from the chill night under your majesty's protection"

The prince was quick to say, “This is not a rest-house, This is my palace. Why don't you leave!"

The wanderer faced the prince with a square eye, “Did you build the palace?"

The prince said, “No I did not!"

“So you inherited it from your father," queried the stranger.

“Yes," said the prince.

The stranger continued, “Did your father build the palace?"

The prince impatiently answered, “No its in fact his father's father who built it and passed it down the generations"

The stranger quickly said, “Now you are also going to do the same and yet you claim that its not a rest-house!"

The words of wisdom of the wanderer opened the eyes of Prince Ibrahim who invited him in and engaged with him in a long conversation.

Understanding the underlying essence of the story ushers in peace!

Read more about: wisdom sufism
Story first published: Friday, July 2, 2010, 17:54 [IST]
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