Chapter 10: Patience Is the Goldsmith
The prince and the attendant went hunting one day. They lost their way in the jungle and were captured by avdhoots, a group of ascetics who were looking for a human being to sacrifice. First they caught hold of the prince, but found that all his parts were not complete - the one finger was missing. He would not do, so they seized the servant and found his body intact. As they were preparing him for sacrifice the prince reminded him, “Didn’t I tell you God’s grace is on me? I am saved from death.” The test, the authenticity of faith, takes time for proof.
Human beings were offered as sacrifice, but this too was a misunderstanding. The sages preached that only he who is total within himself can gain entrance to the Lord’s assembly. The lack of a finger does not make you incomplete; even if the head is cut off, a man is not incomplete.
But when consciousness is cut off and his mind falls into fragments, then he becomes incomplete. Your mind is like mercury: let it loose and it breaks immediately into a thousand pieces that cannot be gathered together; touch one small pellet of quicksilver and it will break into ten more. That is how your mind is, broken into thousands of pieces, with each piece going its separate way. If and when you become at all awakened and look within yourself, you will find one part of your mind heading East, one to the West, one to the North, one to the South. One part wants to earn money, another wants to follow the spiritual path, and so on.
Mulla Nasruddin set out to get a beautiful wife. When he married and brought home his wife, his friends were shocked at how ugly she was. They asked Mulla what had happened.
“I was in a terrible fix,” he tried to explain. “The girl’s father had four daughters and he described the dowry position of each. The youngest was twenty-five years old and very beautiful. For her he had set aside twenty-five thousand rupees as dowry. Feeling the dowry to be rather low I asked about the other daughters. The second youngest is thirty years old and he had provided thirty-thousand rupees for her. The third is thirty-five and he provided thirty-five thousand rupees for her. He was reluctant to mention his eldest daughter but I told him not to worry but just state the facts. She is fifty years old and has a dowry of fifty-thousand rupees. I don’t know what came over me then, but here I am stuck with a fifty-year-old hag. I only realized my foolishness on the way home.”
The mind is fragmented, so never trust it. One part wants beauty, another wants wealth; you go to fetch one thing and you return with something else; you came on earth to get one thing, but instead you take something very different when you return. Do not trust your mind or you will get nowhere; you will fragment into many pieces like a drop of mercury.