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36-A Soofee and a Child
Read a similar story "Guru"

Hassan, a Soofee mystic, relates in his life, "I was passing through a village, and I was so filled with knowledge that I wanted to teach it to anyone - anyone who should meet me. Whosoever should meet me I would teach, but the whole day passed without teaching."
It is the teacher's itch. It is a disease. The whole day had passed and Hassan did not preach, so at the end of the day he caught hold of one child. The child was going with a candle in his hand, with a burning candle, to a temple. The evening was fading, and the child was going to the temple to put the candle there.

Hassan stopped him and said, "My boy, will you answer me one question? From where has this flame come into this candle?" He was asking a very metaphysical question, and he was certain that the boy would be caught in his net. But the boy did something, that Hassan couldn't forget that incident for his whole life.

The boy laughed and blew out the candle, and he said, "Now it has gone just before your eyes. Tell me, where has it gone? If you can tell me where it has gone, I will tell you from where it came. And it has gone just before your eyes."

Hassan fell down at the feet of that child and said, "Forgive me. I do not know anything. I am only filled with knowledge. I do not know even this much that where this flame has gone - so what else can I know? You are my teacher. You have taught me much: you have taught me my ignorance."

When Hassan became Enlightened, the first thanks he expressed were toward this boy, this unknown boy. So his disciples asked him "Whom are you thanking?"

He said, "There was a boy in a certain village who taught me my ignorance by blowing out a candle lamp and asking where it had gone. He was my first real teacher because all other teachers simply taught me more and more knowledge. He was the only one, and the first who taught me my ignorance. And only because of him did I become aware that my knowledge was false.

Soofee's knowledge is challenged here, and that is how he became enlightened.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on May 27, 2001
Modified on 10/02/13