Symbols of the world's religions


THE THIEF

Ivy O. Duce

 
At one time all of Ahmednagar was being harassed and preyed upon by a robber who was so successful that he had thirty thieves working under him. A number of people came to Baba and asked him if he wouldn't do something about this robber. Some of the disciples then invited the robber to come and sit with them when Baba was giving a discourse, which he often did out under the trees. The man would come and sit on the edge of the group, saying nothing.

After a while, Baba sent for him one day and had a talk with him. Said Baba, "Why do you do all of this stealing? Do you have need for money? Do you have a family to support? What is it that drives you to this?"

The man answered shortly, "No, I like it."

Baba then offered to make a bargain with him that he, Baba would supply him with such money as he needed for his wants but the man refused. Finally, however, he decided that he would like to be a disciple of Baba's and asked for instructions. Baba said, "Fine. Now I want you to plan the best and biggest robbery you ever did." The robber was amazed. He couldn't believe that Baba would want him to do this. But Baba assured him that this was his wish.

A few days later the robber came to Baba and told him that he had really planned the biggest robbery and had thought of all the ways to execute it. Baba said, "Fine. Go do it." Thereupon one evening the robber went to a large house, and as he worked open the front door he saw Baba standing there. He fled around to the back door and when he got that open, there stood Baba. He went raging over to Baba's ashram exclaiming that this wasn't fair. But Baba only smiled at his confusion.

After a while the robber came to Baba and said to him, "You know, I have decided to take a job. I want you to make me Chief of Police here, because I am the only one who knows all these robbers, and so I will be able to catch them and protect the city." And he remained Chief of Police for the rest of his life.

 

HOW A MASTER WORKS, pp. 671-672
1975 © Sufism Reoriented, Inc.


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