Your Task

A seeker approached Lord Shantih with a question.

“My Lord,” he said, “what special task do wise men perform in honor of the gods?”

Lord Shantih struck him with his staff. “A wise man,” he shouted, “performs all his tasks in honor of the gods!”

Lord Shantih’s Misfortune

A traveler found Lord Shantih by the roadside, naked and weeping.

“My Lord,” he said, “what has happened to you?”

“I have been robbed,” said Lord Shantih. “Even of my clothing.”

The traveler consoled him. “It is only right to weep over such misfortune,” he said.

“No,” said Lord Shantih, “I do not weep over my misfortune. I weep because I have not yet found it in my heart to forgive the thief.”

The Blind Man’s Wish

A blind man once approached Lord Shantih and begged him for an audience.

“I must ask you a great favor,” said the blind man.

“My friend,” Lord Shantih said gently, “it is clear to me what you desire. You wish for me to cure your blindness and restore your sight.”

“Oh no, my Lord,” said the blind man. “Nothing so drastic as that. I wish only for a dog to lead me around.”

The Visitor

“I am awaiting a special visitor,” Lord Shantih said, “and he will only come to me but once.”

“But you are seldom home,” his companion said. “How will our visitor find you?”

“He will find me at the bottom of the sea, at the top of the highest mountain, or in the midst of the desert,” said Lord Shantih. “I could not avoid my visitor no matter where I go. That is why I await him with open arms. That is why, when he arrives, I shall greet him like a brother. That is why, even now as we speak, I listen for his footsteps coming up behind me.”