The blind always outnumber the men of sight

One day the King asked his minister, “In this world are there more blind people or more people who have sight? Tell me who outnumber 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.

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

Every morning the minister used 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 a piece of cloth. He had a needle and thread and a piece of cloth, and he was sewing like a girl. One by one, as his fellow ministers and other officials passed him on their way in, they all asked, “What are you doing here?”

As soon as each person asked, “What are you doing?” the minister wrote his name on a list. After a while, the King himself passed, coming 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 the list. Now the Prime Minister was a shrewd man, and he always used to find fault with the other ministers. When he came by, he said, “Why are you sitting out here sewing? You 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 this minister was doing, while scolding him for neglecting his real duty. His was the only name that did not go on the 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 can prove it,” said the King.

The minister replied, “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 exclaimed, “I am blind?”

“Yes,” said the minister. “You are the King, the father of this 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 and I had cloth, and I was obviously sewing. But you and all the other people on this list asked me what I was doing. The only man who did not ask me what I was doing was the Prime Minister. He just scolded me and insulted me because I was neglecting my duties here. He is the only one with sight.”

Spiritual comments

In the spiritual world we have to know who is blind and who is not blind. In the outer life we have seen that there are many more blind people than sighted people. In the spiritual world also we have to admit that blind people are infinitely more in number than those who have vision. Who is blind in the inner world? He who is not aspiring is blind in the inner world.

We know that there are millions and billions of people on earth who are not crying inwardly. There are only very few who have sight. In Puerto Rico, how many millions of people are there? And how many of them are in our Centre or in other spiritual places? Count them, and you will hardly get a thousand people. 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, we look upon a blind person as an object of pity. He cannot get along on his own; others have to aid him with their vision. In the spiritual life this is also the case. Those who are aspiring have to feel that they can offer Light. The Light we get during our prayer and meditation automatically spreads. Slowly and steadily it enters into those who are unaspiring. 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.

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 or do other undivine things, but we know it is our bounden duty to help them in whatever way we can.