The mistaken invitation

There was once a king who had a big heart. Every month he used to invite some of his friends, a few of his ministers and selected officials from his cities to a special meal. He always gave them good meals and was happy that they enjoyed his food.

Once an invitation was sent to the wrong person — not to one of the officials of a city, but to a poor man. He came to the dinner and, O God, what did he do? He deliberately threw all the food off the expensive plate and started licking and biting the plate. The man didn’t say a word. He refused to touch the food and just went on biting the plate. Everybody thought he was a crazy fellow and that something was wrong with him. Afterwards, as the man was leaving, the king followed him and asked him, “Why did you do this?”

The man said, “I am a poor man. There are thousands of poor people just like me. The ministers take your money and tell you that they are supplying us with food. But it is all lies. Like me, many are extremely poor. I have never seen that kind of plate or that kind of food. That is why I would not eat the food, and instead I was only biting the plate.”

The king investigated and found that the man was telling the truth. He used to give money to his friends, to his ministers and to the city officials to give to these people, but they were all corrupt. After that he appointed new ministers and officials and he made this poor fellow who ate the plate his prime minister.

From:Sri Chinmoy,Is your mind ready to cry? Is your heart ready to smile? part 3, Agni Press, 1981
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