Thursday, August 23, 2007

A pitcher of milk

There was once a king who had a large number of courtiers. Each one of these courtiers declared he was ready to sacrifice his life for his master, and that he was the most sincere being ever born.

In course of time, a saint came to the king. The king told him that there never was a king who had so many sincere courtiers as he had. The saint smiled and said “No. I do no believe that!”

The king asked the saint to test it if he wished to. “Ok then”, the saint stood up and declared before the king “I would perform a great prayer which would extend the your reign by a several years. But there’s a condition. A small tank would be made into which each one of your courtiers will pour a pitcher of milk in complete dark of night.”

The king couldn’t control his surprise “Come on, is this the test?!” But the saint had declared his plan.

So the very next day, the King asked his courtiers to come to him, and told them what was to be done. As expected, they all expressed their joyful assent to the proposal and returned. In the dead of night, they came and emptied their pitchers into the tank. All was done smoothly, and this reinforced the doubt the King had upon this test. But something really shocking happened next day.

In the morning, the tank was found to be full of water, with no trace of milk!

The courtiers were assembled and questioned about the matter. Upon strict questioning, it was found out that each one of them had presumed, that, since there would be so many pitchers of milk already, their pitcher of water wouldn’t be detected!

The King stood there speechless and dismayed. But he thanked the saint for giving him this lesson of his life.

The king learned that blind faith on anyone seldom works for you--when we meet people, we meet wheat mixed with chaff. Therefore, its our responsibility to separate truth from what meets the eye. The courtiers learned that it never helps to cheat in teamwork--you've to put your sincerity into it to make it work, instead of relying upon the efforts of others.