What Nasruddin did was this: he went to the emperor of India, and before the whole court of the emperor he said, “Seeing you is a great privilege to me. My king, the Shah of Iran is just a young moon – just two days old. You are a full moon.”
The emperor was certainly very much impressed – that the ambassador of Iran is comparing him not with a two-day old moon, which is rarely visible for a few minutes, but with the full moon! He gave him many presents to give to his king and said, “Let him know that I am very much pleased with his messenger.”
But the spies of the Shah’s court, the conspirators against Nasruddin, had reached the Shah’s court before him. They told everyone that Nasruddin had insulted the Shah of Iran, calling him just a young moon, two days old, and had compared him with the emperor of India by saying that the emperor of India is a full moon, perfect in its glory!
Naturally the Shah of Iran was very much offended. He said, “Let that Nasruddin come! I used to think that he is a wise man, but he seems to be very cunning.” Nasruddin came with big, valuable presents, but the Shah was angry. He said, “I don’t want any presents. First you have to give the explanation to me: is it right that you compared me with the emperor, saying that I am just a two-day old moon, and he is as the perfect full moon?”
Nasruddin said, “Yes, and the emperor is a fool! He did not understand my meaning.”
The Shah said, “What is your meaning?”
He said, “My meaning is that the full moon is on its deathbed, from tomorrow it will start declining. The two-day old moon is on the increase: tomorrow it will be bigger, the day after tomorrow it will be even bigger! So my Shah of Iran is expanding, becoming bigger and bigger. The emperor does not have any future – my Shah has a future; he has only past, and his future is death.”
The Shah of Iran was very impressed. He gave all the presents that were given for him by the emperor of India to Nasruddin, and he gave many more presents to Nasruddin, and told him, “You are really a wise man.”
And the whole court was silent, seeing that the whole thing had changed completely: “This Nasruddin is really a strange fellow; we had never thought that he would interpret it in such a way.”
That night they went to see him, because now he had become the most important man in the court, second only to the Shah, and they all praised him. He said, “Don’t be bothered – I am just an incurable liar! Whatever the situation is, I manage somehow to interpret it in such a way that it appeals to the party concerned: both the India emperor and the Shah of Iran are idiots! And I am just an incurable liar. I don’t mean anything!”
Truth has a quality, it has a validity which is intrinsic. You need not prove it; its experience is its proof. No other logic is needed.