Searching for the True Master

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

A man went in search of truth.  The first religious man he met was sitting under a tree, just outside his own village.  He asked, “I am searching for a true master.  Please tell me the characteristics of a true master.”

The faqir told him the characteristics.  His description was very simple.  He said, ”You’ll find him sitting under such and such a tree, sitting in such and such posture, his hands making such and such gestures - that is enough to know he is the true master.”

The seeker started searching.  It is said that thirty years passed while he wandered the whole earth.  He visited many places, but never met the master.  He met many masters, but none were true masters.  He returned to his own village completely exhausted.  As he was walking through the village, he came to the same faqir and looked at him with surprise: that old man was seated under the same tree, and now he could see that this was the very tree that the old man had spoken of.  And his posture was exactly as he had described.  ”It is the same posture he was sitting in thirty years ago - was I blind?  The exact expression on his face, the exact gestures ...”

He fell at the feet of the faqir saying, “Why didn’t you tell me in the first place?  Why did you misdirect me for these thirty years?  Why didn’t you tell me that you are the true master?”

The old man said, “I told you, but you were not ready to listen.  You were not able to come home without wandering away.  You had to knock on the doors of a thousand houses to come to your own home, only then could you return.  I said it all.  I said everything - beneath such and such a tree.  I was describing this very tree, the posture I was sitting in, but you were too fast, you couldn’t hear correctly, you were in a hurry.  You were going somewhere to search.  Searching was very important for you, the truth was not so important.  But you have come.  I was feeling tired, sitting continuously in this posture for you.  You were wandering for thirty years, but think of me sitting under this tree.  I knew some day you would come, but what if I had already passed away?  I waited for you - you have come!  You had to wander for thirty years, but that’s your own fault.  The master was always here.”

It happens many times in our life that we cannot see what is near, and what is far attracts us.  The distant drum sounds sweeter, we are pulled by distant dreams.


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