The villager’s dream

One day a villager had a dream. In the dream he saw that the King had invited him to come to the palace and become the Prime Minister. The man was so excited about the dream that he told his friends, “I had such a lovely dream. Who can explain this dream?”

His friends said, “A dream is a dream. Why do you need any explanation? You are getting such joy from the dream. That is enough. We want only joy in life. So always think of the dream and you will be happy.”

But the villager insisted, “No, I need an explanation.”

One of his friends told him to go to a particular astrologer. He said, “This astrologer can explain everything about the dream. He is a dream specialist.”

The man went to the astrologer and said, “I had a dream that the King invited me to his palace and wanted me to be his Prime Minister. Can you tell me the meaning of this?”

The astrologer said, “I will definitely tell you the meaning of it. But first you tell me how many questions you will have to ask me before you will be convinced about the significance of the dream.”

The villager said, “Well, after two questions I hope to be convinced about the meaning of my dream.”

The astrologer said, “All right, start asking!”

The man said, “Will you tell me the meaning of my dream?”

The astrologer said, “Yes, I will.” Then he said, “Now, the first question is over. Give me five hundred dollars.” The villager got mad and said, “You promised that in two questions you would be able to convince me about the meaning.”

The astrologer said, “If you ask me that kind of question, what can you expect? You should have asked, ‘What did the King mean when he asked me to be the Prime Minister?’ or ‘Is it true?’ But you asked a flat question, ‘Will you tell me the meaning of my dream?’”

The villager asked his second question: “Why did the King want me to come to his palace?”

The astrologer answered, “Because he knew that he had found the greatest fool in his kingdom.” Then he added, “Now I have answered your second question. Give me another five hundred dollars.”

Sri Chinmoy, The mushroom and the umbrella.First published by Agni Press in 1981.

This is the 458th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.


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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book The mushroom and the umbrella, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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