Tales : The Kingly Attitude

Hazrat Inayat Khan once told the following tale to illustrate what he meant by ‘the kingly attitude’, a term he sometimes used.

It happened that someone told the Gaekwad, or King of Baroda that there was a great deal of theft in his palace. “Majesty,” said this person, “even the rice carrier who brings the ‘maharajah’ rice to the palace, steals from what he brings.” This ‘maharajah’ rice was a special variety, of the highest quality, known for its exceptionally large grains.

The Gaekwad said “I wish to see for myself.” Therefore, when the rice carrier came the next day with his load, the king was hidden in a corner to see what would happen.

The rice carrier brought in the sack of rice, and then he looked carefully around. Satisfied that he was alone, he quickly scooped out a handful of rice and put it in his turban. Turning to leave, though, he found the Gaekwad standing before him.

“Show me what is hidden in your turban!” demanded the king.

Trembling with fear, certain that his life was now about to end, the man showed the handful of rice.

“You make me ashamed!” the Gaekwad exclaimed. “A thief in the palace should at least become rich!”

The king called for his treasurer, and said, “Give this man pearls of the size and weight of the rice he has taken.” Then, turning to the thief, he said, “Now go and tell your friends that you have been stealing in the palace!”

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