Humility or Vanity…..

Kings may be good or bad. They may often symbolize the human lion or predator, the harmful Ego running wild, yet they may also represent the best qualities of selflessness and service to the state.

 

Ten dervishes may sleep under the same blanket

but one country cannot hold two kings.

 

When a pious man eats half a loaf of bread

 

He bestows the other half upon dervishes.

 

If a king were to conquer the seven climates

 

He would still in the same way covet another.

 

(Saadi)

 

An unjust king asked a devotee

 

what kind of worship is best?

 

He replied: ‘For you the best

 

is to sleep one half of the day so as

 

not to injure the people for a while.’

(Saadi)

Two sons of emirs were in Egypt,

 

the one acquiring science,

 

the other accumulating wealth,

 

till the former became

 

the scholars of Islam of the period

 

and the other the prince of Egypt;

 

whereon the rich man

 

looked with contempt upon the faqih and said:

 

I have reached the sultanate

 

whilst you hast remained in poverty as before.’

 

He replied:

 

O brother, I am bound to be grateful

 

to the most high Creator for having

 

obtained the inheritance of prophets

 

whilst you have attained the inheritance of Pharaoh and of Haman,

 

namely the kingdom of Egypt.’

 

I am that ant which is trodden under foot,

 

not a wasp, the pain of whose sting causes lament.

 

How shall I give due thanks for the blessing,

 

that I don’t posses

 

the strength of injuring mankind?

 

(Saadi)

 

A king glanced in contempt at a company of

 

dervishes. One of them, understanding by his sagacity the meaning of it, said:

 

‘O king, in this world we are inferior to thee in dignity but more happy in life.

 

In death we are equal and in the

 

resurrection superior to thee.’

 

Though the master of a country

 

may have enjoyment

 

And the dervish may be in need of bread

 

In that hour when both of them will die

 

they will take from the world

 

not more than a shroud.

 

When you take

 

your departure from the realm

 

It will be better to be a mendicant

 

than a king.

(Saadi)

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