Hundreds of years ago in a small village, there lived an enlightened Sufi mystic named Farid. When the villagers needed a favor from the emperor Akbar, they asked him to request an audience with the great and successful conqueror and wealthy king of their land. After many days of travelling, Farid arrived at the emperor’s palace. He was directed to a chamber where he found ‘Akbar the Great’ praying. After the king rose and acknowledged the Sufi’s presence, Farid inquired as to what he was praying for. ‘I asked the Almighty for success, wealth and a long life,’ replied Akbar.

Farid promptly spun on his heel and headed to the door. Over his shoulder, he said to a shocked Akbar, “I came to see an Emperor, but I found a beggar. No different from the rest.”


Do you suffer from lack and neediness? Do you feel that your life is incomplete without that, which you desperately want and need? Go a step farther, do you feel belittled and angry when you pray again and again for the same thing or anything for that matter? If so, you too are like ‘Akbar the Great’, the emperor who has everything but acts like a beggar. What you may not realize is that, similar to Farid, your inner mystic does not respect the beggar in you and walks away.     

This short story reveals our inner state. We get to see our internal characters at play and then with this knowledge we’re ready to make a choice. We can choose to play the begging emperor or embody the wise mystic which is the very life force that we pray to.   

What created these characters and the play? Who taught you how to pray? Who to pray to? This question could be asked to all humans and the answer is really the same. We pray because we are taught to pray. It begins when someone we trust introduces us to a power much higher than us, God or the universe.

We are taught to fear this power, as it could take us up or down, depending on how we behave and how subservient we are to it.

Our belief in this power, which we don’t even really understand or ever experience, is now established automatically. This belief then diffuses the memory of our true self and power. Now we fall, our mystic compromised and here onwards starts the unquenchable thirst to acquire the lost power. It is this drive for power that makes us want more and more, and the more we associate the power with things, the more greedy and poorer we feel.    

Do not be deceived by material things and status. Those who you think are rich may also be beggars. See the play for what it is, and decide for yourself if you believe in an almighty power outside of you. Are you a beggar? Are you a mystic? The choice is yours.


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