Tales : The loss of a sandal

It happened once upon a time that a monk was climbing onto a train just when it was starting to leave the platform. As he scrambled to mount the moving step, one of his sandals came off and fell onto the track. The train was gathering speed and to recover the sandal would have been very dangerous. The monk looked back at his sandal lying on the track, and then quickly took off the other one and threw it away as well.

Later, one of the passengers on the train who had seen this spoke to the monk. “Mahatma-ji,” he said, “I know that you live with very little, that you have renounced the wealth of the world as a way to advance on the spiritual path. When I saw you throw away your other sandal, I understood that you have gone even further on the path of renunciation, and you will now live without shoes. I honour you, for you are truly on the path to sainthood.”

The monk smiled at the man, and said, “Do not think so, brother. When God allows, I will wear sandals again. But I threw away the second sandal so that some poor person may have the good fortune to find the pair.”

4 Replies to “Tales : The loss of a sandal”

  1. Howard Olivier

    Yes, how often do we add erroneous stories to what we’ve seen! A beautiful reminder embedded in this tale:the witness saw it as a personal advancement, while the active participant’s perspective was to think of others and he understood that the only way to salvage any benefit was to immediately toss the other sandle.
    Thank you Nawab for the enlivening, inspiring tale.

    • Nawab Pasnak Post author

      Dear Howard, thank you for this thoughtful consideration of the tale. We should not judge levels of spirituality, but it might be that the the ‘real’ monk, the one who thought of some poor person, was on a higher level than the one that the traveller imagined.

  2. Josephine Saqiya

    Murshid Nawab, the imagination can be oh so more vivid than reality, certainly more noisy and mischief making. Nasruddin hits the nail on the head! Swooshing the beings back to a reality, which was that?


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