The blind always outnumber the men of sight

One day the King said to the minister, “Tell me, in this world are there more blind people or more people who have sight? Tell me, who outnumbers whom — the men with sight or the men without sight?”

The minister immediately answered, “The men without sight by far outnumber those with sight. There are many more blind people on earth than people with vision.”

“You have to prove it,” said the King.

“I can prove it,” said the minister.

“Then do it,” said the King.

The minister replied, “I shall prove it tomorrow.”

Every morning the minister was supposed to enter the palace at nine o'clock, but the following day, instead of going in as usual, he sat at the palace gate sewing something. He had a needle and thread and a piece of cloth and he was sewing like a girl. One by one, his colleagues — ministers and other officials — went by on their way in. “Hello, what are you doing? What are you doing here?” they all asked.

As soon as each person asked, “What are you doing?” the minister wrote his name down on a list. After a while, even the King came by, on his way in from his morning walk. “What are you doing out here?” he asked the minister. The minister just smiled and put the King’s name at the very top of his list.

Now the Prime Minister was a shrewd man. He always used to find fault with his ministers. When he came by, he said, "Why are you sitting out here sewing? You are a lazy fellow. It is high time for you to enter the palace. There is much work for you to do. Is this your job, this silly sewing? You are neglecting your real work.” The Prime Minister was the only one who actually mentioned what he was doing, while scolding him for neglecting his real duty. His was the only name that did not go on the minister’s list.

After an hour or so, the minister went to the King and said, “Now, your Majesty, I can prove to you that the blind people are more in number than the men with vision.”

“Tell me how you prove it,” said the King.

The minister said, “Here is the proof,” and he handed his list to the King.

The King saw his own name at the top of the list and said, “I am blind?”

“Yes,” said the minister.

“You are the King; you are the eye of the kingdom. The King sees everything and is the father of everything in his kingdom. You are the eye of this vast kingdom, but you are blind. When you saw me sewing in front of the palace this morning, you asked me what I was doing. I had a needle, I had thread, I had cloth and I was obviously sewing. But you and all the other people on this list asked me what I was doing. You see, I have all the ministers and other officials on the list. The only man with sight is the Prime Minister. He did not ask me what I was doing. He just scolded me and insulted me because I was neglecting my duties here.”

Spiritual comments

In the outer life what do we see? Each moment we see people doing things right or wrong. We see what they are doing and what do we do? If they are doing something wrong, by scolding them we cannot correct them. And if they are doing something right, we don’t have the capacity to appreciate them. When somebody does the wrong thing we just find fault with him. We don’t try to give him the necessary capacity to correct and perfect himself — far from it. And when he does the right thing we don’t have the capacity to appreciate, to admire, to increase his talent — far from it. Our jealousy will not allow us to appreciate him.

In the spiritual world we have to know who is blind and who is not blind. In the outer life we have seen that the blind people are more in number. In the spiritual world also we have to admit that blind people are infinitely more in number than people who have vision. Why? Blind people are those who are not crying inwardly, who are not aspiring. He who is not aspiring is blind in the inner world.

We know that there are millions and billions and trillions of people on earth who are not crying inwardly. Naturally, they are blind. There are only very few who have sight. In Puerto Rico how many millions of people are there? And how many people are in our Centre or in other spiritual places? Count them and you will hardly get one thousand people altogether. So in the spiritual world we see that blind people infinitely outnumber those with sight. And this is true not only here, but all over the world.

In the ordinary life, when we see a blind person, he is an object of pity. He cannot get along on his own; he has to depend on others. Others have to aid him with their own vision. In the spiritual life this is also the case. Those who are aspiring have to feel that they can offer light. As a blind man needs the help of a stick or somebody’s guiding hand in order to move around, so it is in the spiritual life when somebody is not aspiring consciously. The blind man may shout at his children or grandchildren, but they know that he depends on them and that they must help him. Unaspiring people may insult us, they may mock at us, they may do other undivine things, but we know it is our bounden duty to help them in whatever way we can. During our prayer and meditation when we get light, this light automatically spreads. Slowly, steadily, it enters into the unaspiring people. It may take time, but it is our light which will one day give them vision. Gradually our light will illumine them until at last they enter into the spiritual life consciously and devotedly.