The beggar and the wise man (parable)
December 17, 2017 4:30pm CST
A beggar was becoming more and more unsatisfied with his condition and decided that he wanted to do anything he can in order to improve his condition. The problem was that he did not know where to start and what to do. One day, instead of asking for money, he decided to ask a random stranger for an advice about what can he do in order to improve his condition. The stranger told him that he is unable to offer him an answer but that he knows some wise man that is able to answer any question for anyone. When the beggar heard about the wise man he decided that he wants to meet him and asked the stranger if there is any way to get to him. The stranger told him the exact location of the wise man but told him also that the road towards the wise man is full of obstacles and that not many people are able to go through it. The beggar thanked the random stranger for the information that he received and went on to his journey. The beggar started to go on the road towards the wise man but after a while his body seemed to be weakened by the long journey and he was feeling very tired. Luckily, he met a royal family that kindly asked him inside their house and offered him some food and some water in order to give him strength to continue his journey. That family had one daughter that could not speak, she was mute. They asked the poor beggar where he is heading and the beggar replied "I am heading towards the wise man because I heard that he is able to answer any question and I have a question for him about my destiny". The parents of that girl told him "ok, but can you please do us a favor too?". The beggar replied "of course, how could I refuse you considering how nice you have been to me?". The parents of that girl told him "would you please ask the wise man a question for us too? Can you remember to ask him what should we do to make our daughter speak?". He said "of course, I shall ask the wise man this question for you". Then he thanked the family for their kindness and proceeded with his journey. At some point the road got even worse and the beggar again to feel tired and powerless to get to his address. But luckily, he met a wizard on top of a mountain that asked him what he is doing on such a hard road all by himself. The beggar told him "I am heading towards the wise man because I heard that he is able to answer any question and I have a question for him about my destiny". The wizard told him "ok, I will help you to get to him by eliminating the obstacles out of your way but will you also ask him a question for me please?". The beggar replied "of course. What is your question for the wise man?". The wizard replied "I have been trying to ascend to heaven for over 1000 years now and I have been unable to do so and no one could help me do it. Will you please ask the wise man what do I have to do in order to ascend to heaven?". The beggar said "of course I will" and proceeded with his journey. After walking another good portion of the road towards the wise man, the beggar again started to feel tired and he met another obstacle: a big large river. He was thinking to himself "how will I be able to get to the other side of the river?". Luckily, there was a giant turtle around and saw him and asked him where he is heading. The beggar replied "I am heading towards the wise man because I heard that he is able to answer any question and I have a question for him about my destiny". The turtle told him "if you want, I can get you to the other side of the river but will you please ask the wise man a question for me too?". The beggar said "of course: which is your question for the wise man?". The turtle said "I have been trying to become a flying dragon for more than 500 years now but I have been unable to do so. Will you please ask the wise man what do I have to do to become a dragon?". The beggar said "of course" and after arriving on the other shore on the back of the turtle, he thanked the turtle for the ride and continued his journey. After a few more hours he finally arrived to his destination and found that he was not the only one that managed to get to the wise man. The wise man organized them all and told them the following "I shall answer to each and every person here a maximum of three questions". When the beggar heard that the wise man shall answer only three questions he got sad because he had 4 questions that he wanted to ask the wise man. But when he thought about the turtle that has been trying to become a dragon for 500 years and about the wizard that has been trying to get to heaven for 1000 years and about that girl that might be unable to speak her entire life, his problems suddenly seemed so small. He thought to himself "I can go back home and continue begging but at least I have helped others solve their problems". So, he decided to ask the wise man the three questions that the turtle, the wizard and the family had for the wise man. The wise man answered him and told him "tell the turtle that if he wants to become a dragon he needs to take off his shell. As long as he is unwilling to leave his shell he can never become a dragon. Tell the wizard that as long as he is unwilling to let go of his rod he can never get to heaven. It acts like an anchor keeping him from ascending to heaven. And as for the girl, tell her family that she shall be able to speak when she will meet her loved one". The beggar thanked the wise man and went on heading back home. On the road he reunites with the turtle and tells him "hey, if you want to become a dragon you need to give up your shell". The turtle thanked the beggar and took off his shell and inside that shell there were priceless pearls and he offered them to the beggar and told him "I no longer need this because I am now a dragon". He thanked the beggar for the help and then flew away. The beggar continues his journey and reunites with the wizard and tells him "hey, the wise man told me that in order for you to ascend to heaven you need to let go of your rod because it is an anchor that keeps you from heaven". The wizard let go of his rod by giving it to the beggar and at this point the beggar had wealth from the turtle and power from the wizard. He continues his journey and reunites with the family that had that girl that was unable to speak for so many years and told them "the wise man told me that your daughter shall be able to speak when she will meet her loved one" and right at that moment the girl came downstairs and said "hey, is this the boy that stayed over night at our house last week?". At this point, the beggar understood that life offered him the answer to the question that he so much wanted to ask the wise man for himself about his destiny but he did not ask it because he put the problems of other before his problems. Note: this version of this story is not the original version of it. I have edited it a little bit to my liking. I think that the original story is called "the Budha and the beggar". You can search that on google if you want. What are your thoughts on this story?