Once a King named Nasir Uddin became very, very pious. He refused to take money from his kingdom’s treasury for his own personal needs. To make extra money, he would make copies of the Koran in his own handwriting and then sell the books. He also made a few other things to sell, and in this way he would meet with his personal expenses.
One day a great pandit came to his palace to visit him. Nasir Uddin happened to be copying the Koran, and the pandit watched him for some time. At one point the King stopped writing and started talking to his guest. The pandit said to him, “Your Majesty, unfortunately you have made a mistake in a word you were copying.”
Nasir Uddin made a circle around the word that the pandit wanted to correct. Then he erased it and wrote in the word that the pandit told him. The pandit was very happy that the King had listened to him. After some time the pandit left the palace. As soon as he left, the King again erased the word and wrote in the word that he had written originally.
His guards asked him, “Why are you doing that? If it was the right word in the first place, why did you change it?”
The King answered, “Although I may be King, he is a pandit, and he knows much more than I do in this field. Unfortunately, he happened to make a mistake in this case. He was wrong and I was right. But if I had told him that he was wrong, his pride would have been deeply hurt. I know that he knows much more than I do about the scriptures. Therefore, I wrote down the incorrect word so that he would not be embarrassed. But now I don’t want to leave the wrong word here. Otherwise, whoever buys this book will have the wrong version.
“It is not good to hurt people even if you are correct. It is nothing for me to make myself humble, when it is a matter of knowledge. But if he had advised me about ruling my kingdom, do you think that I would have listened to him? Managing my kingdom is a different story. But it is always good to show respect to someone if he is very great in his own field.”