Sufi Stories

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Zen Stories


A man cut down a tree one day.
A Sufi who saw this taking place said:
„Look at the fresh branch which is full of sap, and happy because it does not know yet that it has been cut off."
But his companion said:
„Yes, it may be ignorant of the damage it has suffered, but it will know in due time."
Hearing this the Sufi laughed and said: „Meanwhile you cannot reason with it."

G o l d - M i n e

A woodcutter used to go into the woods every day. Sometimes he had to remain hungry because it was raining, sometimes it was too hot, sometimes it was too cold.
A mystic lived in the woods. He watched the woodeutter growing old, sick, hungry, working hard the whole day. He said, "Listen, why don't you go a little further?"
The woodcutter said, "What am I going to get a little further? More wood? Unnecessarily carrying that wood for miles?"
The mystic said, "No. lf you go a little further, you will find a copper mine. You can take the copper into the city, and that will be enough for seven days. You need not come every day to cut the wood."
The man thought: "Why not give it a try".
He went in and found the mine. And he was so happy. He came back and fell at the feet of the mystic.
The mystic said, "Don't rejoice too much right now. You have to go a little deeper into the woods."
"But," he said, "What is the point? Now I have got seven days' food."
The mystic said, "Still..."
But the man said, "I will lose the copper mine if I go further."
He said, "You go. You certainly will lose the copper mine, but there is a silver mine. And whatsoever you can bring will be enough for three months. "
"The mystic has proved right about the copper mine," the woodcutter thought. 'Perhaps he is also right about the silver mine." And he went in and found the silver mine.
And he came dancing, and he said, "How can I pay you? My gratitude knows no bounds."
The mystic said, "But there is a gold mine just a few steps deeper."
The woodcutter was hesitant. In fact, he was such a poor man, that having a silver mine he had never dreamed of it.
But if the mystic is saying it, who knows? - he may still be right. And he found the gold mine. Now it was enough to come once a year.
But the mystic said, It will be a long time - one year from now you will be coming here. I am getting old - I may not be here, I may be gone. So I have to tell you, don't stop at the gold mine. Just a little more"
But the man said, "Why? What is the point? You show me one thing, and the moment I get it, you immediately tell me to drop that and go ahead! Now I have found the gold mine!
The mystic said, "But there is a diamond mine just a few feet deeper in the forest."
The woodcutter went that very day, and he found it. He brought many diamonds, and he said, "This will be enough for my whole life. "
The mystic said, "Now perhaps we may not meet again, so my last message is: now that you have enough for your whole life, GO IN. Forget the forest, the copper mine, the silver mine, the gold mine, the diamond mine. Now I give you the ultimate secret, the ultimate treasure that is within you. Your outer needs are fulfilled. Sit the way I am sitting here."
The poor man said, "Yes, I was wondering... you know all these things - why do you go on sitting here? The question has arisen again and again. And I was just going to ask, "Why don't you get all those diamonds Iying there? Only you know about them. Why do you go on sitting under this tree?"
The mystic said, "After finding the diamonds, my master told me, 'Now sit under this tree and GO IN.'"

M o j u d

There was once a man named Mojud. He lived in a town where he had obtained a post as a small offical, and it seemed likely that he would end his days as Inspector of Weights and Mesaures.
One day when he was walking through the gardens of an ancient building near his home, Kidr, the mysterious guide of the Sufis, appeared to him, dressed in shimmering green. Khidr said, "Man of bright prospects! Leave your work and meet me at the riverside in three day's time."
Mojud went to his superior in trepidation and said that he had to leave. Everyone in the town soon heard of this and thy said, "Poor Mojud! He has gone mad." But as there were many candidates for his job, they soon forgot him.

On the appointed day, Mojud met Khidr, who said to him, "Tear your clothes and throw yourself into the stream. Perhaps someone will save you."
Mojud did so even so he wondered if he were mad. Since he could swim, he did not drown, but drifted a long way before a fisherman houled him into his boat, saying, "Foolish man! The curent is strong. What are you trying to do?" Mojud said, "I don't realy know." When he discovered, that Mojud was well-spoken, he learned from him how to read and write. In exchange Mojud was given food and helped the fisherman with his work.
After a few month, Khidr again appeared, this time at the foot of Mojud's bed, and said, "Get up now and leave this fisherman. You will be provided for." Mojud immediately quit the hut, dressed as a fisherman, and wandered about until he came to a highway. As dawn was breaking he saw a framer on a donkey on his way to market.
"Do you seek work?" asked the farmer, "because I need a man to help me bring back some purchases."
Mojud followed him. He worked for the farmer for nearly two years, by which time he had learned a great deal about agriculture but little else. One afternoon when he was baling wool, Khidr appeared to him and said, "Leave that work, walk to the city of Mosul, and use your savings to become a skin-merchant." Mojud obeyed.
In Mosul he became known as a skin-Merchant, never seeing Khidr while he plied his trade for three years. He had saved quite a large sum of money, and was thinking of buying a house, when Khidr appeared and said, "Give me your money, walk out of this town as far as the distant Samarkand, and work for a grocer there." Mojud did so.

Presently he began to show undoubted signs of illumination. He healed the sick, served his fellow man in the shop during his spare time, and his knowledge of the mysteries became deeper and deeper.
Clerics, philosophers and others visited him and asked, "Under whom did you study?"
"It is difficult to say," said Mojud.
His disciples asked, "How did you start your career?"
He said, "As a small offical."
"And you gave it up for self-mortification?"
"No, I just gave it up." They did not understand him.
People approached him to write the story of his life.
"What have you been in your life?" they asked.
"I jumped into a river, became a fisherman, then walked out of his reed-hut in the middle of the night. After that a became a farmhand. While I was baling wool, I changed and went to Mosul, where I became a skin-mechant. I saved some money there, but gave it away. Then I walked to Samarakand where I worked for a grocer. And this is where I am now."

"But this inexplicable behaviour throws no light upon your strange gifts and wonderful examples," said the biographers.
"That is so", said Mojud.
So the biographers constucted for Mojud a wonderful and exciting story: because all saints must have their story, and the story must be in accordance with the appetite of the listener, not with the realities of life. And nobody is allowed to speak of Khidr directly. That is why this story is not true. It is the representation of a life. This is the real life of one of the greatest Sufis.


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