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17636Mullah Nasrudin the Donkey Driver

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  • medit8ionsociety
    May 7, 2011
      In the Sufi tradition, it is common to use a donkey
      as a metaphor for our mind. Also, it is said that
      there are 7 levels of understanding that can be
      found in teaching stories. The Mulah Nasrudin tales
      are excellent examples of this and perhaps the most fun.
      Nine Donkeys — or Ten?

      Once, when young Nasruddin was a donkey driver —
      one of the many things Nasruddin did for work
      in those days — he undertook to transport nine
      donkeys for delivery to a local farmer.

      The donkey broker at the bazaar went through and
      counted every animal with Nasruddin to ensure they
      agreed there were nine exactly — no more, no less.
      Nasruddin mounted one of the donkeys and shouted,
      "Ugh-r-r-r!" which is Turkish for "Giddyup!" and
      they began the journey with Nasruddin riding behind
      the beasts facing forward, so that he could keep
      a vigilant eye on his donkeys. Along the way,
      however, Nasruddin began daydreaming. He thought,
      "These fine animals will arrive without so much
      as a scratch or a bruise. No donkeys in all of
      Turkey have received better treatment than these nine."

      At this point they passed through a grove of trees,
      and Nasruddin decided it would be good time to
      count the donkeys. Still sitting atop one of
      the animals, Nasruddin counted the donkeys,
      "One, two, three—" and up to eight! One was missing!
      "What‽ Only eight donkeys?"

      Panic-stricken, Nasruddin jumped down to the
      ground, looked all around, then counted the
      donkeys again. This time there were exactly nine.

      Relieved but confused, Nasruddin mounted his donkey,
      this time riding in front, facing backward, so
      that he could keep both eyes on his donkeys, and
      they continued on their way.

      Eventually Nasruddin's thoughts wandered, and he
      began thinking about the money he would receive
      when he delivered these donkeys, and imagining how
      he would spend it, and before long, he realized
      he had been distracted.

      He once again stopped his donkey and tallied the
      animals, but to his dismay he discovered that one
      had gone missing again — there were only eight!

      Bewildered, Nasruddin dismounted again and carefully
      counted the donkeys. Amazingly, he found there were nine.

      "This always happens when I don't pay attention,"
      Nasruddin admitted to himself. "Fine, then — I'll just
      have to walk behind the donkeys the rest of the way
      to keep my eyes on these tricksters." And so that was
      how he herded the donkeys all the way to the farm.

      "Did you have any trouble getting them here?" the
      farmer asked when Nasruddin arrived, dusty and disheveled
      from having walked for many miles behind the pack
      of animals.

      "Just up until I discovered the method of
      donkey-drivers," choked Nasruddin. "You must travel
      behind them, not in front or in the middle, and
      watch vigilantly, lest you lose track. Before I
      figured that out, the sneaky creatures were full
      of pranks. So, effendi, count for yourself and
      tell me: how many donkeys do you see?"

      The farmer said, "Apparently, ten — the tenth donkey
      only has two legs."
      This story is being posted strictly for educational
      and non-profit purposes and thus can be shared as
      is defined in the Fair Use statutes.