The Great Baba and the Three Brothers
Once, three imprudent brothers were embarked on a journey. But before they left their home, their old wise mother gave them a piece of advice.
‘Go straight to your business my sons. No matter who prince of Persia you meet on the way, you are not to stop.’
Her three irresponsible sons took that advice and got on their voyage. After three days, when passing by the forest they came across an old man, who sat under the shadow of an old enormous tree, completely in silence. He had long white hair; a beard and the only piece of clothe covering his lower body.
They at once recognized him to be a Guru; lost in worship and decided to stay.
“I think, my dear brothers, he is a wise righteous man of God, probably meditating here in silence. I say we must stay here and ask him to teach us few wisdoms.” said the First brother and they all sat before him.
The old man opened his eyes and found three of them staring at him.
“Who are you?” asked the old man
“Baba! They are my brothers and we all are merchants, going to another kingdom for trade.” One of the brothers replied
“Then why are you sitting here?”, the old man asked again
“We wish to learn from you, Baba. You are the possessor of great knowledge and saintly wisdom. Will you teach us some of the wise lessons and help us?” said the second brother and offered Baba fruits from his sack.
The old man stared at three of them very strangely and then after a long moment of consideration, decided to teach them only one lesson.
The brothers agreed upon it at once and happily offered the old man another sack of food they carried.
“Ah!”, said Baba, “I shall teach you one lesson only. But I am afraid you would neither have the courage to learn it nor patience.”
“Please, do trust us Baba. We will do everything to learn wisdom from you”, they pledged their sincerity.
“Very well, then. Go to the palace of the King and take as many as the finest fruits you can from the king’s garden.”
“But Baba, wouldn’t that be stealing?”, spoke the first one
“Yes, and the King’s men would cease us at once and throw us in the prison”, also interrupted the second.
“I told you, you would not have the patience to learn anything out of it.” The old man clapped his thigh and mumbled.
The brothers stared each other.
“What should we do next when we have taken the fruits?”
“You would then take the horse from one of the common villagers and ride on it. But remember, all three of you should ride on it together and circumambulate the palace seven times as slow as you can”
The brothers again looked confusingly at the old man but did not dare open their mouths for the fear of being dismissed.
“And then, lastly”, commanded the old man cheerfully, “You would give that horse back to its rightful owner and run to me on your feet, as hasty as you can. But before you head off to make this journey, you would have to put leave of your burdens here and travel devoid of any belongings.”
The brothers, who were desperate to learn anything from the man they believed could guide them spiritually, set off to the King’s palace without in the least delay and did faithfully as their Baba had said so.
When they had taken the finest fruits from the king’s garden, the soldiers came running after them and captured the first brother. The remaining two escaped from the garden and hid in the nearby barn of a villager. They stayed hidden there for several long hours and grieved for the lost of their Eldest brother. But when they had finally decided to go back to the palace and ask to the king for mercy, the youngest brother remembered the words of Baba, “you would neither have the courage to learn it nor patience”, and took the decision to go for the next mission.
They stole a brown stallion from that barn and headed towards the palace for seven times circumambulation. On learning of this theft, the owner of the horse ran after the brothers cursing them all the way and alerted the king’s soldiers. Soon, the whole kingdom had learnt of three brother’s actions and they were wanted by the Sultan.
Shortly, the angry villagers, Sultan’s soldiers and the grim horse owner chased after the brothers while they circumambulated the palace on a slow speed.
They had finished barely one round when the second brother fell from the brown stallion and was subsequently captured.
“Do not worry about me, brother. Save yourself and run quickly to wise Baba.” he cried after his youngest brother. “And return back with the great wisdom to free us from the prison. We shall tell it to the Sultan and he will surely fee us.”
The third brother hurried to the barn, left the horse there as the Baba had asked them to do and ran on his feet towards him. On the way back he became over excited to realize he had been successful among all the brothers to Perform the tasks the Baba had asked them to do. The odd jobs did brought with them pain and miseries, he thought, but I am sure the wisdom Baba meant by it would pay off the harm.
So he happily reached the tree Baba sat under in hope of learning a great wisdom, but there he found no one. He thought Baba must have been gone for a stroll but soon he noticed; the sacks they had left behind were also disappeared.
Except, there lay the small garment Baba covered his body with and in it, was wrapped a piece of paper, on which were written black words with charcoal.
“Beware! The old man is a former retarded Vizir. If found, please transport him to the Palace.”
“Use your common sense. Not every man sitting under the tree is a Virtuous soul.”