Thursday, July 31, 2008


This is a story I heard from Pankaj Bhaiya at the Punjab AMC in the Bangalore Ashram.

Nizam ud-Din Auliya, a great Sufi saint was being visited by a man whose daughter was getting married. He asked Nizam ud-Din for gifts for his daughter's marriage. The Nizam said he had nothing to give, but whatever offerings any devote brought, the Nizam would give it to the man. Thus, the man started waiting, waiting for a devote to come by with gifts. A day passed, but no gifts came by. Disappointed, the man asked the saint for the permission to leave. The saint asked him to wait some more. Yet another day passed and there was no sign of any gifts. The man finally told the Nizam that he had to leave now, for otherwise he would be late for his daughter's wedding. It did not matter if there were no gifts. The saint's blessings were enough for him. But the Nizam said that he could not send the man home empty-handed. Saying that his slippers were all he had, the man could take his slippers. The man felt less than excited at the sight of Nizam ud-Din's old tattered slippers. Nevertheless, he took them along for he wished not to disrespect the saint.

On the way home, the man saw a huge caravan with queues of camels, laden with gold and jewels and riches. The caravan owner came up to the other one and asked for the slippers. The man refused saying that these slippers were given to him and thus he would not give them away. The caravan owner was desperate and kept on persuading the other one for the slippers. Finally, the caravan owner offered his entire caravan, loaded with wealth in exchange of the slippers. The man instantly agreed and was overjoyed to be taking home such riches for his daughter's marriage.

The caravan owner took the slippers reverently and went to the Nizam. And he placed the slippers down and said, "My beloved teacher, someone was taking away these slippers of yours. I gave him all I had and have got them back to you."
And you know who was the caravan owner. He was Amir Khusro.

And you know what did the Nizam say? "Still, it was a bargain.

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