Nasreddin Hodja is what could be called a sublime idiot. He is a liar, irreverent, a disturber of peace. But he is also ingenious, free, full of wit, a timeless figure whose stories have spread and been adapted the world over. In the Sufi tradition, they were used for study purposes. “There is the joke, the moral — and the little extra which brings the consciousness of the potential mystic a little further on the way to realisation.” writes Idries Shah. These stories are like ‘eternity with a smile’…
One day, the dervish Nasreddin entered a formal reception area
and seated himself at the foremost elegant chair.
The Chief of the Guard approached and said:
“Sir, those places are reserved for guests of honor.”
“Oh, I am more than a mere guest,” replied Nasreddin confidently.
“Oh, so are you a diplomat?”
“Far more than that!”
“Really? So you are a minister, perhaps?”
“No, bigger than that too.”
“Oho! So you must be the King himself, sir,” said the Chief sarcastically.
“Higher than that!”
“What?! Are you higher than the King?!
Nobody is higher than the King in this village!”
“Now you have it. I am nobody!” said Nasreddin.
Nasreddin is a genius. In just a few attitudes, and a few chosen words, he has just conveyed that nothing, and nobody is greater than god.
There is a presence inside each and every human being, a consciousness, pure, indivisible, that is one without a second, that is all encompassing and infinite, therefore doesn’t bear, or conceive, or even renders possible the existence of another reality by its side.
Therefore by being nobody, Nasreddin can be all and claim the most prominent seat in the world. That’s why one should show regard for those of humble means. This is the second lesson from Nasreddin, the mollah. Nobody is left aside, nobody is unworthy of the highest, most sublime throne of life, pure presence. For this is each and every being’s birthright and resplendent reality, despite being an unnoticed one for most.
The dignitaries, nobles and ministers of the assembly who believed in appearances and ranks, could not be humbled by a nobody, and catch thereby the high lesson that was delivered in that moment, which is: even a person of no consequence can be Hodja. Hodja is one with the ultimate skill and power to be, who by his or her very knowing of his or her highest identity, can be the vehicle and teacher of a truth that is the greatest and purest one on earth.
This elevation is attainable by everyone through the abandonment of the ego. This is Nasreddin’s ultimate teaching. The ego here is the illusion of being a ‘somebody’. When we abandon our very small identity, our believed being, our own limitations, we can access the highest rank of all. By his genius, in just a few attitudes, and a few chosen words, the mollah has just conveyed the ultimate truth.
This, my friend, is the extent of Nasreddin’s power, the deed of the simple, idiot, absurd, naive, fool, comic, irreverent, sometime witty, sometime wise, Nasir ud-din Mahmood al-Khoyi, known simply as the Hodja, or the mollah.
“Some people say that, whilst uttering what seemed madness, he was, in reality,
divinely inspired, and that it was not madness but wisdom that he uttered.”
~ The Turkish Jester or The Pleasantries of Cogia Nasr Eddin Effendi
The Nasreddin story is taken from Sufism/Nasrudin, Wikibooks.
‘Nasreddin’s pointers’ is by Alain Joly
The photo is by Ben_Kerckx / Pixabay
– ‘The Sufis’ – by Idries Shah – (ISF Publishing)
– ‘The Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin’ – by Idries Shah – (ISF Publishing)
– ‘Nasreddin Hodja: 100 tales in verse’ – by Raj Arumugam – (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform)
– Nasreddin Hodja (Wikipedia)