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Chapter 16: Before Seeking

There was a great king who had conquered many lands and had accumulated immense wealth, but was very unhappy and miserable. There was not a single moment of joy, bliss.. He started asking people, “What is the purpose of all my wealth and all my kingdom? I cannot even sleep. My mind is so full of tensions, worries, there is no space for anything else. Is there someone in my kingdom who can help me?”

People had heard about a Sufi mystic and they said, “In your kingdom there is a Sufi mystic, a very strange fellow. He has helped many people, although you have to be a little alert with him because he is not predictable, he may do anything. But one thing is certain: whatever he does, finally you find that it had a reason. In the beginning it will look absolutely irrational. If you have courage enough you can go.”

The king said, “Do you think me a coward? I have invaded great lands; my whole life has been the life of a warrior. Can a poor Sufi mystic make me afraid? I will go.and I will go alone, no bodyguards, no army, no advisers.”

But he took with him a big bag full of diamonds and rubies and emeralds, just to show to the Sufi mystic: “This is only a sample. I have so much money but it is not helping me at all. First I used to think that when I have money I will relax and enjoy. But now money is there and I’m living in hell.”

The Sufi mystic was sitting under a tree. The king went there, got down from his horse, touched the feet of the Sufi mystic and asked him, “Can you help me?”

The Sufi mystic said, “What do you want? I will help you immediately.”

He had heard that this man was strange - otherwise nobody would tell you, “I will help you immediately.” He is going to do something.. The king was a little afraid: nobody wants to be helped immediately. He said, “There is no hurry, but.”

The Sufi mystic said, “Just tell me what you want. Don’t waste my time. You say it; I will give it to you and be finished.”

The king said, “You don’t understand. I want peace of mind.”

And when he was saying “peace of mind,” the Sufi mystic took his bag of emeralds and diamonds and rubies and ran away. The king said, “My God, what kind of man is he? Is he a mystic or a thief?”

He ran - in his whole life he had never run. The village was unknown to him, with small streets. The Sufi was perfectly well known; he lived in that village. The king was shouting, “Catch hold of that thief” - and people were laughing, because people knew that every day something or other happens. And it was really a laughing matter: the king was huffing and puffing and shouting, “Catch him! Why are you just laughing?” - and still running because that old fellow is taking away all his money and he is going so fast.

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