LAILA and MAJNU

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LAILA and MAJNU

Remove ignorance through knowledge. Go beyond both knowledge and ignorance.” – Shri Sai Samartha Satcharita, Ch. 8, Ovi 69.

Majnu, a handsome, brave and straight forward youth, was devoted to the King of Persia’s beautiful daughter, Laila. And so deep was Laila’s love for Majnu that she prevailed upon her father, the King, to announce that whatever Majnu might want, in any shop in the city’s great bazaars, it was to be given to him. Full payment would be made from the King’s treasury, all the shopkeepers were told.

For himself, Majnu wanted no worldly objects to speak of, for his heart was on fire with spiritual longing. But when the idlers and vagabonds of the city heard the King’s order, they all adopted the name of Majnu and began to take away everything they wanted from the shops. As a result, it was not long before the bazaars were completely looted and the shelves of every shop were bare.

The merchants and towns people then went in a body to the palace of the King, and said: “O King, there may be one, two or even ten Majnus. Such a thing would be entirely possible. But certainly there cannot be so many hundreds of Majnus. They are looting the city right and left, and a stop must be put to it at once.”

To the complaint the King replied: “I will consult Laila, and will then make a plan to put an end to this great deception and dishonesty.”

Going to Laila, the King asked her: “Is Majnu one man, two men, or more? The city is filled with Majnus, and they have ransacked every shop in the bazaar.”

Laila at once understood what had happened and told her father, “Leave everything to me. I will very quickly rid the city of these impostors masquerading as Majnu. You will see the results of my plan by tomorrow at the latest.”

Laila then sent for the chief officer of her bodyguard and instructed him, “Send your soldiers through every part of the city at once, preceded by drummers beating on their drums. And have the soldiers announce to all people that I will go to the bazaar tomorrow with a dagger in my hand to collect Majnu’s flesh.”

When the soldiers made this announcement, every false Majnu disappeared as if by magic, and only the one true Majnu remained.”

“Few are the wise ones (like Majnu) who turn the heart away from worldly objects, and spend their time in gathering riches for the life beyond, before departure from this lowly earth.”

 

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