The Father’s Advice
There was once a hard-working and generous farmer who had several idle and greedy sons. On his deathbed he told them that they would find his treasure if they were to dig in a certain field. As soon as the old man was dead, the sons hurried to the fields and began digging earnestly, carefully turning over the soil from one end of the field to the other. Despite all their toil, the sons didn’t find the gold. Eventually, they abandoned the search, thinking that in his generosity, their father must have given away the gold when he was alive.
Later on, it occurred to them that since the land had already been prepared, they might as well sow a crop. The next day, they planted wheat and then worked hard to nurture their crop. In time, this produced an abundant yield, which they sold for a handsome profit.
After the harvest was in, the sons thought again about their father’s gold and the possibility that they might have missed it the first time. So, once more they dug the field and, once more, found no gold. After several years they became accustomed to the labour and to the cycle of the seasons. Finally, through their hard work, they gained enough wealth that they no longer wondered about the hidden hoard. Now they understood their father’s method of training them, and they became honest and contented farmers.
So it is when wise men teach us how to make the best use of life. The teacher, faced with the students’ misguided expectations, must direct them to an activity which is beneficial to them but which they can relate to. The true function of their activity may be hidden from the students – but it works, and that’s the main thing!
To me there is no other like you;
To you there are millions like me.
Read not my scroll of evil deeds,
Shut not your door on this wretched soul.
Had I not been steeped in sin, says Bahu,
On whom would you have showered your mercy?
Sultan Bahu as quoted in Legacy of Love