Posts Tagged ‘mulla nasruddin’

The way

January 23rd, 2010 No comments


One sunny spring afternoon Nasrudin was sitting peacefully by the imposing North gate of Samarkand watching the colourful string of caravans following each other and followed in turn by the curious glances of the populace.

A stranger, an obviously rich merchant from Persia about to leave town, felt attracted by Hodja’s honest-looking turban and stopped his convoy to inquire about the dangers of travel.

“Salutations to you venerable Mullah,” he said. “I am going to Herat. Is the road secure? Will I get there safely?”

“You will not reach your destination,” answered Hodja in a confidential low voice.

“So there are robbers on the road?” worried the merchant lowering his own voice.

“No, there aren’t. They are too afraid of Emir Timur.”

“Is the road difficult? I have good camels and my horses are strong!” continued the traveller.

“The road is good, but you will never get there.”

By now the merchant was deeply disturbed:

“Is there a lack or water and food on the path? I took many provisions in my luggage.”

“That will not suffice.”

“Other hardships to expect? I have money to replace whatever is needed.”

“No use. You better change your plan.”

The traveller grew irritated: “But I must go to Herat and I am a determined man. And who are you to be so certain that I will not arrive?”

“Look, my good man,” replied Nasrudin, “let me make it plain for you: the better the camels and horses, the more provisions, money and resolve, the less you will get to Herat. Herat is South and you are heading North.”


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The Shrine

October 15th, 2009 No comments


Mulla Nasrudin’s father was the highly-respected keeper of a shrine, the burial-place of a great teacher which was a place of pligrimage attracting the credulous and the Seekers After Truth alike.

In the usual course of events, Nasrudin could be expected to inherit this position. But soon after his fifteenth year, when he was considered to be a man, he decided to follow the ancient maxim: ‘Seek knowledge, even if it be in China.’

‘I will not try to prevent you, my son,’ said his father. So Nasrudin saddled a donkey and set off on his travels.

He visited the lands of Egypt and Babylon, roamed in the Arabian Desert, struck northward to Iconium, to Bokhara, Samarkand and the Hindu-Kush mountains, consorting with dervishes and always heading towards the farthest East.
Nasrudin was struggling across the mountain ranges in Kashmir after a detour through Little Tibet when, overcome by the rarefied atmosphere and privations, his donkey laid down and died.

Nasrudin was overcome with grief; for this was the only constant companion of his journeyings, which had covered a period of a dozen years or more. Heartbroken, he buried his friend and raised a simple mound over the grave. There he remained in silent meditation; the towering mountains above him, and the rushing torrents below.

Before very long people who were taking the mountain road between India and Central Asia, China and the shrines of Turkestan, observed this lonely figure: alternately weeping at his loss and gazing across the valleys of Kashmir.

‘This must indeed be the grave of a holy man,’ they said to one another; ‘and a man of no mean accomplishments, if his disciple mourns him thus. Why he has been here for many months, and his grief shows no sign of abating.’

Presently a rich man passed, and gave orders for a dome and shrine to be erected on the spot, as a pious act. Other pilgrims terraced the mountainside and planted crops whose produce went to he upkeep of the shrine. The fame of the Silent Mourning Dervish spread until Nasrudin’s father came to hear of it. He at once set off on a pilgrimage to the sanctified spot. When he saw Nasrudin he asked him what had happened. Nasrudin told him. The old dervish raised his hands in amazement:

‘Know, O my son,’ he exclaimed, ‘that the shrine where you were brought up and which you abandoned was raised in exactly the same manner, by a similar chain of events, when my own donkey died, over thirty years ago.

Caravan of Dreams-Idries Shah

Meaning of Fate

October 2nd, 2009 No comments


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.”

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Mulla Nasruddin – Why are you here?

September 29th, 2009 No comments


Walking one evening along a deserted road, Nasruddin saw a troop of horsemen rapidly approaching. His imagination started to work; he saw himself captured or robbed or killed and frightened by this thought he bolted, climbed a wall into a graveyard, and lay down in an open grave to hide. Puzzled at his bizarre behavior, the horsemen – honest travelers – followed him. They found him stretched out, tense, and shaking. “What are you doing in that grave? We saw you run away. Can we help you? Why are you here in this place?” “Just because you can ask a question does not mean that there is a straightforward answer to it,” said Nasruddin, who now realized what had happened. “It all depends upon your viewpoint. If you must know, however, I am here because of you – and you are here because of me!”

From the book “The Sufis” … Idries Shah

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Mulla Nasruddin – The Bet!

September 14th, 2009 No comments


On a frigid and snowy winter day Mullah Nasruddin was having a chat with some of his friends in the local coffee house. Mullah Nasruddin said that cold weather did not bother him, and in fact, he could stay, if necessary, all night without any heat. “We’ll take you up on that, Mullah Nasruddin” they said. “If you stand all night in the village square without warming yourself by any external means, each of us will treat you to a sumptuous meal. But if you fail to do so, you will treat us all to dinner.” “All right it’s a bet,” Mullah Nasruddin said.

That very night, Mullah Nasruddin stood in the village square till morning despite the bitter cold. In the morning, he ran triumphantly to his friends and told them that they should be ready to fulfill their promise. “But as a matter of fact you lost the bet, Mullah Nasruddin,” said one of them. “At about midnight, just before I went to sleep, I saw a candle burning a window about three hundred yards away from where you were standing. That certainly means that you warmed yourself by it.” “That’s ridiculous,” Mullah Nasruddin argued. “How can a candle behind a window warm a person three hundred yards away?” All his protestations were to no avail, and it was decided that Mullah Nasruddin had lost the bet.

Mullah Nasruddin accepted the verdict and invited all of them to a dinner that night at his home. They all arrived on time, laughing and joking, anticipating the delicious meal Mullah Nasruddin was going to serve them. But dinner was not ready. Mullah Nasruddin told them that it would be ready in a short time, and left the room to prepare the meal. A long time passed, and still no dinner was served. Finally, getting impatient and very hungry, they went into the kitchen to see if there was any food cooking at all. What they saw, they could not believe. Mullah Nasruddin was standing by a huge cauldron, suspended from the ceiling. There was a lighted candle under the cauldron. “Be patient my friends,” Mullah Nasruddin told them. “Dinner will be ready soon. You see it is cooking.” “Are you out of your mind, Mullah Nasruddin?” they shouted. How could you with such a tiny flame boil such a large pot? “Your ignorance of such matters amuses me,” Mullah Nasruddin said. “If the flame of a candle behind a window three hundred yards away can warm a person, surely the same flame will boil this pot which is only three inches away.”

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God’s Will (retold by Mulla Nasruddin)

January 21st, 2009 1 comment


When I was no longer needed as a Mulla in the village, I moved to another region and found a convenient place outside a small town, on a hill. The view was fine, and the hill was as thick with thorns and burdock as a peace-loving soul could want.

I was very happy with the thorns, because they discouraged agriculture. In fact, they discouraged just about everything. No one bothered me.

Eventually, however, my beloveds, this changed. After a certain time, the townsfolk became curious. They wondered what I was doing up on that hill, coming down only for a few groceries once in a while, or maybe only to charge my cell phone. No, that was a different time.

Anyway, the people began to come up the hill, through the thorns, until they had made a path. That made it easier for me to get down to the town, which was convenient. It also made it easier for them to get up to me, which was not so convenient.

Read more…

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Mulla Nasruddin And A Philosopher

January 16th, 2009 2 comments


Once a renowned philosopher and moralist was traveling through Nasruddin’s village when he asked him where there was a good place to eat.

He suggested a place and the scholar, hungry for conversation, invited Mullah Nasruddin to join him. Much obliged, Mullah Nasruddin accompanied the scholar to a nearby restaurant, where they asked the waiter about the special of the day.

“Fish! Fresh Fish!” replied the waiter. “Bring us two,” they answered.

A few minutes later, the waiter brought out a large platter with two cooked fish on it, one of which was quite a bit smaller than the other.
Without hesitating, Mullah Nasruddin took the larger of the fish and put it on his plate. The scholar, giving Mullah Nasruddin a look of intense disbelief, proceed to tell him that what he did was not only blatantly selfish, but that it violated the principles of almost every known moral, religious, and ethical system.

Mullah Nasruddin calmly listened to the philosopher’s extempore lecture patiently, and when he had finally exhausted his resources, Mullah Nasruddin said, “Well, Sir, what would you have done?”

“I, being a conscientious human, would have taken the smaller fish for myself.”

“And here you are,” Mullah Nasruddin said, and placed the smaller fish on the gentleman’s plate.

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Since you already know

January 7th, 2009 No comments

Once, the people of The City invited Mulla Nasruddin to deliver a khutba. When he got on the minbar (pulpit), he found the audience was not very enthusiastic, so he asked “Do you know what I am going to say?” The audience replied “NO”, so he announced “I have no desire to speak to people who don’t even know what I will be talking about” and he left. The people felt embarrassed and called him back again the next day. This time when he asked the same question, the people replied “YES” So Mullah Nasruddin said, “Well, since you already know what I am going to say, I won’t waste any more of your time” and he left. Now the people were really perplexed. They decided to try one more time and once again invited Mullah Nasruddin to speak the following week. Once again he asked the same question – “Do you know what I am going to say?” Now the people were prepared and so half of them answered “YES” while the other half replied “NO”. So Mullah Nasruddin said “The half who know what I am going to say, tell it to the other half” and he left!

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Looking for the perfect woman

January 5th, 2009 No comments

One afternoon, Nasruddin and his friend were sitting in a cafe, drinking tea and talking about life and love. His friend asked: “How come you never married?”

“Well,” said Nasruddin, “to tell you the truth, I spent my youth looking for the perfect woman. In Cairo I met a beautiful and intelligent woman, but she was unkind. Then in Baghdad, I met a woman who was a wonderful and generous soul, but we had no common interests. One woman after another would seem just right, but there would always be something missing. Then, one day, I met her. Beautiful, intelligent, generous and kind. We had very much in common. In fact, she was perfect!”

“What happened?” asked Nasruddin’s friend, “Why didn’t you marry her?”

Nasruddin sipped his tea reflectively. “Well,” he replied, “it’s really the sad story of my life…. It seemed she was looking for the perfect man…”

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The Smuggler

January 5th, 2009 No comments


Every first of the month Mullah Nasruddin used to cross the border with thirty donkeys, with two bails of straw on each. Each time the custom person stopped him to ask about his profession and Nasruddin would reply, “I am an honest smuggler.” So each time, Nasruddin, his donkeys and the bails of straw were searched from top to toe. Each time the custom folk could not find anything. Next week, Nasruddin would return without his donkeys or bails of straw. Years went by and Nasruddin prospered in his smuggling profession to the extent that he retired. Many years later, the custom person too had retired. As it happened one day, the two former adversaries met in a country far from home. The two hugged each other like old buddies and started talking. After a while, the custom person asked the question which had been bugging him over the years, “Mullah, please let me know what were you smuggling all those years ago?” Nasruddin thought for a few seconds and finally revealed his open secret, “Donkeys.”

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