On finding bliss...
Once, in the times of a terrible pandemic, there was a millionaire who found himself reflecting on the fact that he too might one day fall prey to the deadly illness that swept through his region like a wildfire. Reflecting deeply on his life he came to the sad realisation that he had never experienced true bliss. He paid a fortune for private consultations with celebrity fortune-tellers and wise astrologers asking them about his chances of finding true bliss. The Astrologers all shook their heads in the same manner, and while stroking their diamond-studded golden wristwatches and beards, said things like: "Yes, indeed…time is running out…death is awaiting you…if you wish to find bliss you must act fast!” The millionaire, sweating with fear, decided not to waste a moment. He packed a large bag with his entire collection of diamonds, jewels and precious stones, and jumped on his fastest horse. Riding from village to village he shouted: “Give me a glimpse of bliss and I will give you all this.” At last one late evening, the man arrived at the village of the famous holy fool Hodjah Nasrudin. The villagers heard the man's quest, and led him to their local wise sage Nasrudin who was sitting under a fig tree wearing his simple loincloth. The millionaire jumped off his horse, put down his bag full of diamonds, gold and jewels in front of Nasrudin, and prostrating in front of him said “I need a glimpse of bliss before I die, I will give you all my fortune if you could help me.” Nasrudin looked at the posh-looking stranger for a long while and said very slowly: “Do you want a true glimpse?” “Yes, please, a true glimpse”, the man replied. But, just as the millionaire opened his mouth to reply, Nasrudin grabbed the bag with the diamonds and ran away as swift as the wind, running with all his might, he vanished from the rich man’s sight into the darkness. The rich man stood there for a moment dumb-struck with shock and then collapsed weeping, “I am ruined, I am dead.” He spoke to the villagers and begged “please help me catch him!” The people ran. The rich man also ran. The whole village woke up from their sleep and started running, searching… Meanwhile, Nasruddin (who often said to the villagers that his calling in life was ‘to wake them up’ ) sneaked back quietly to the same place, under the fig tree where the rich man’s horse was still standing. He threw the bag down to where he had picked it up and sat under the tree. The rich man, huffing, puffing, sweating, reached there. He saw the bag, picked it up, hugged it, and said with great relief and joy “Oh thank you God, thank you, almighty God!!!!” Nasrudin spoke from behind the tree,
“Did you get a glimpse?” The rich man said, “Oh yes, I definitely did. I have just experienced such true bliss.” “Wonderful”, said Nasrudin, “so now get on your horse with your dear bag and go home in peace.” May we remember to celebrate little moments of true bliss! With love Roi
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