Story 28 – The Manners Of Kings – Gulistaan-e-Sa.Adii

A solitary dervish was sitting in a corner of the desert when a padshah happened to pass by but, ease having made him independent, he took no notice. The sultan, in conformity with his royal dignity, became angry and said: ‘This tribe of rag-wearers resembles beasts.’ The vezier said: ‘The padshah of the surface of the earth has passed near thee. Why hast thou not paid homage and shown good manners?’ He replied: ‘Tell the king to look for homage from a man who expects benefits from him and also that kings exist for protecting subjects and subjects not for obeying kings.’

The padshah is the guardian of the dervish

Although wealth is in the glory of his reign.

The sheep is not for the shepherd

But the shepherd for the service of it.

Today thou beholdest one man prosperous

And another whose heart is wounded by struggling.

Wait a few days till the earth consumes

The brain in the head of the visionary.

Distinction between king and slave has ceased

When the decree of fate overtakes them.

If a man were to open the tombs of the dead

He would not distinguish a rich from a poor man.

The king, who was pleased with the sentiments of the dervish, asked him to make a request but he answered that the only one he had to make was to be left alone. The king then asked for advice and the dervish said:

‘Understand now while wealth is in thy hand

That fortune and kingdom will leave thy hand.’

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