A king wanted to have an excellent astrologer in his court so that, before he did anything, he could ask the astrologer’s opinion and the astrologer would be able to tell him what to do. He made an announcement for all the excellent astrologers in his kingdom to come to his palace. Then he would test them and he would choose one to be his personal astrologer.
Many astrologers came because they wanted to be the king’s astrologer. The king himself knew quite a few astrologers. But one particular astrologer did not come. The king said, “Practically all the astrologers have come from all over my kingdom. How is it that this particular one has not come? Where has Ram gone? He is also an astrologer.”
Ram did not come, but the others all came. They were all ready to be examined by the king. Finally, the king sent for Ram, the great astrologer. The king asked, “Why did you not come? All the other astrologers have come. What is wrong with you?”
Ram said, “O King, forgive me, forgive me! I will say something that will annoy you, but I am telling you anyway. You have to forgive me first, before I say anything.”
The king said, “I will always forgive you. Say whatever you have to say.”
Ram said, “These astrologers are all idiots. They have come here with the hope of becoming your personal astrologer. I know that you are going to ask me to take the job. You are going to appoint me because any question you ask me, I will be able to answer. If you ask these idiots any question, let me see if they can answer it. I was absolutely sure that you would choose me, so I did not want to be with these idiot-astrologers. It is beneath my dignity to mix with them. I do not want to be examined along with them. You can examine me privately or do anything you like. What kind of astrologers are they if they do not know that I will get the job? If they do not know even this much, are you going to keep them with you permanently? O King, is it fair that you are going to keep these idiots here when they do not even know who is going to be appointed for the post? They have come to you for the highest post, and even this much they do not know!”
The king was very pleased. He threw out all the other astrologers and appointed Ram to be his astrologer. All the others felt miserable. Ram was such a rogue! The others all had to go home full of humiliation.