On a bright sunny day Mullah Naseeruddin and his King were out on a stroll around the city.
It was customary for the King to go out with the Mullah in disguise, just so that he could find out about the happenings in the kingdom and the well-being of his subjects.
They saw some people gathered under a tree, having an animated discussion. On going closer to find out, they witnessed that there were two people, each claiming to be telling the truth and alleging that the other was a liar. From their discussion it was difficult to tell who was telling the truth.
As they were walking back to the palace, the Mullah opined “O my beloved King, you see, no matter how many laws, rules and regulations you make, you cannot make people better; they must practice certain things, to get attuned or in touch with what I call ‘inner truth’. This form of truth resembles what is apparent ever so slightly”.
The King did not agree to the Mullah. “I can make people observe and practice truthfulness. I will show you how laws can be used to make my subjects speak the truth always” he proclaimed.
The next day the King wanted to show the Mullah how that could be done. He set up gallows right at the entrance of the city, which was the only way people could get into the city. Near the gate he stationed his guards and their captain to implement his idea.
“Anyone who wishes to enter the city, will have to answer a question; and only those who were found to be telling the truth will be allowed to enter. Those who lie will be put to the gallows, right here at the entrance” proclaimed the King.
The following day, when the gates were opened, it was Mullah Naseeruddin who was the first to step forward.
“Where are you going?” asked the guard. “I am on my way to be hanged” answered the Mullah ever so calmly.
“We don’t believe you” said the guard.
“Very well, if you think I have told a lie, please hang me!”
“No way we are going to hang you, cause if we do, then we would have made what you said come true!” said the guard and let the Mullah pass.
“You see, now you know what ‘Truth’ is – YOUR truth!” said the Mullah as he entered the city with his King standing in admiration of the Mullah and feeling glad that he has such a wise man as his counsel.
The truth is ever so hard for people to comprehend.
Truth often isn’t apparent. Truth can be very hard to arrive at. There are a lot of people who hide all kinds of truth and some are so good at it that they let very little escape from behind their shield.
What’s your truth?
For you to Reflect
Do you relate to this story?
How often have you found yourself trying hard to defend the ‘truth’?
Why was it so difficult?