White hands holding a wooden begging bowl


An emperor was coming out of his palace for his morning walk when he met a beggar. He asked the beggar, “What do you want?”

The beggar laughed and said, “You are asking me as though you can fulfill my desires!”

The king was offended. He said, “Of course I can fulfill your desires. What is it? Just tell me.”

And the beggar said, “Think twice before you promise anything.”

The beggar was no ordinary beggar, he was the emperors past life master. He had promised in that life, “I will come and try to wake you in your next life. This life you have missed but I will come again.” But the king had forgotten completely — who remembers past lives? So he insisted, “I will fulfill anything you ask. I am a very powerful emperor, what can you possibly desire that I can not give to you?”

The beggar said, “It is a very simple desire. You see this begging bowl? Can you fill it with something?”

The emperor said, “Of course!” He called one of his viziers and told him, “Fill this man’s begging bowl with money.” The vizier went and got some money and poured it into the bowl, and it disappeared. And he poured more and more, and the moment he would pour it, it would disappear. And the begging bowl remained always empty.

The whole palace gathered. By and by the rumor went throughout the whole capital, and a huge crowd gathered. The prestige of the emperor was at stake. He said to his viziers, “If the whole kingdom is lost, I am ready to lose it, but I cannot be defeated by this beggar.”

Diamonds and pearls and emeralds, his treasuries were becoming empty.The begging bowl seemed to be bottomless. Everything that was put into it — everything! — immediately disappeared, went out of existence. Finally it was the evening, and the people were standing there in utter silence. The king dropped at the feet of the beggar and admitted his defeat. he said, “Just tell me one thing. You are victorious – but before you leave, just fulfill my curiosity. What is the begging bowl made of?”

The beggar laughed and said, “It is made up of the human mind. There is no secret. It is simple made up of human desires.”

(Author unknown)



One Comment Add yours

  1. LindaP says:

    Very good wisdom!


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