Friday, December 17, 2010

The Sultan & His Gift, Worldly and Spiritual Distractions - Love Bites on Your Soul

Once upon a time, there was a Sultan in a kingdom far, far away. He was a benevolent Sultan, very generous and most unique in his charity. One day, the town crier declared before the assembled townspeople, “Oh hear this! By the generosity of our beloved Sultan, His Majesty has declared that tomorrow, upon the rise of the morning sun, you are all invited to His Majesty’s palace, and there in, each of you may take whatever you may be able to carry away. You can only do this once, so choose wisely!”

By early next day, the news has spread far and wide. The entire kingdom congregated before the Palace gates, and as promised, upon the first glint of sunlight upon the golden dome of the Palace, the royal guards opened the gates, and the mob rushed in. Overjoyed, the mass of people started to carry away carpets, jewels, chairs, lamps, lanterns, even food and drink, really whatever they can get their hands on amidst the frenzy and chaos.

Through all this commotion, in his royal court sat the Sultan on his throne, looking serenely over the pandemonium. But then, suddenly two gentlemen appeared out of the crowd and made their way to His Majesty, and without even a ‘by your leave’, they lifted the throne, along with the Sultan, and started to carry it off.

The Sultan, instead of being angry or at least annoyed, simply continued smiling, inquiring politely of the two men, “What do you think you are doing?” The fat one, holding the back of the throne gasped a reply, “Phew! O’ Your Majesty, do you think we will be satisfied with Your Majesty’s gifts?!” Then the less fat one continued, “Let others play and be amused by your trinkets and furniture, o’ Sultan. We want you!”

WORLDLY DISTRACTIONS. This is a common little sufi tale, the obvious analogy being that the Sultan is God himself, the Palace is this world, and the people of the Kingdom are you and I. The common lesson from this story is that however much (or little) God grants us in this world, from the house that you live in, the car that you drive and the money that you are hoarding in that offshore bank a/c in the Caymans, such things are essentially distractions and whimsical trinkets for our enjoyment. Yet a wise man (and woman) would not be so easily distracted – he/she would always keep their beady eyes on the Numero Uno, the Finality of all Pleasure, the Fountain of all Affection, that being of course, God.

SPIRITUAL DISTRACTIONS. You are too smart though just to be satisfied with the first lesson. So here is the second moral – that even in the course of your spiritual journey, God would litter spiritual gems and sprinkle fairydusts along your path. It may appear to be spiritually significant (it probably is), and it is evidence of His affection for you and your dedication, but really, when you think about it – even spiritual gifts are not God Himself. So do not be distracted by either temporal or spiritual rewards, always keep your eye on the Main Prize - the Giver of Gifts, the Treasury of Love, the Beloved of Lovers, Healer of the Broken-hearted, the Friend of Friends whom we call God.

LOVE BITES. I am sharing this with you because I don’t expect to achieve much. I am quite contented and am barely sentient. But you, ahh… the Universe will not be enough for you, sweeties, once you are bitten by the Love. Oooh… I see those love bites all over your soul!


Hehehe. Have a great Friday, sunshine.

Pax Taufiqa.

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