The arrogant officerEvery evening the Emperor Sajahan had an open audience with anyone who wanted to see him. Hundreds of his subjects would come, and the Emperor would chat with them for about half an hour.
Nobody was allowed to sit right in front of the Emperor. One evening an officer deliberately sat down in the forbidden area. The Emperor and the members of his court were all furious. Sajahan said, “How dare you show such disrespect by sitting right in front of me! I want you to leave this palace right away! I am dispensing with your services, and you will never again be given another job with the government. From now on you can only do ordinary, menial jobs!”
The day after the officer was fired, he again came to the public audience and sat down right in front of the Emperor. The previous day he had at least shown the Emperor a little bit of respect, but this time he had absolutely no respect. His face showed extreme haughtiness.
Sajahan said to him, “What is the matter with you? Yesterday I dispensed with your services. I threw you out of the palace and said that you can’t work here anymore. Why are you now being even more disrespectful?”
The man said, “O your Majesty, yesterday I was dependent on you for my salary. Since I was dependent on you, I was always obedient. Now I am not serving you anymore, so I am independent. I can do anything I want to with my life. Previously I was at your mercy, but now I am on my own. I don’t have to obey you anymore because I am no longer serving you.”
All the people present were shocked at what the officer was saying and they wanted to thrash him. But Sajahan embraced the man and said, “I want everybody to have this kind of independent spirit.” Then Sajahan gave him back his job and also gave him lots of money.
The following day everybody was wondering where the officer would sit, now that he had his job back. Finally they noticed him sitting at the very back of the group. Someone asked him, “What are you doing there?”
The officer answered, “An arrogant person can fight with another arrogant person, but he cannot fight with a man of boundless compassion and forgiveness. That is why I cannot fight with the Emperor anymore.”