The useful or useless herbs

There was a royal physician who attended to the king. One day he was absent because he was attending to a patient in a faraway village. A rogue came to the court with a stock of herbs. He said to the king, "I have heard that you have all kinds of ailments. If you take these herbs, your pain will go away."

The king asked, "Can you not wait for my physician to return?"

The rogue said, "I assure you, your own physician will definitely say that these are most excellent herbs."

The king said, "How much are you asking for them?"

"Two hundred rupees," the man said.

The king said, "Swear to me, in the Name of God, that these will cure me."

"Absolutely," the man said. "I swear in the Name of God that they will cure you."

The king was giving the rogue two hundred rupees when, out of the blue, the royal physician came in.

The king was so surprised. He said, "What are you doing here?"

The physician said, "I was supposed to go somewhere else, but I did not go."

The king said, "Look, look, these herbs will cure my pain and arthritis."

The physician looked at the rogue and his bag of dried weeds and said, "Useless! Useless! Why are you listening to this rogue?"

When the great physician looked at him, the rogue ran away. He left the palace with the money. The king said, "That man claims his herbs are good, and you are saying they are useless. But I have faith in you. You are my physician."

The physician said, "Here is the proof. When I appeared, he ran away. If you believe in me, you will take my word that those herbs are useless. But for him they were very useful because he was able to get two hundred rupees from you. Definitely they were useful to him, but they are useless for you and me."

From:Sri Chinmoy,The jackal’s punishment, Agni Press, 2002
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