Mulla Nusruddin was walking on the road and he saw a man sitting on the wayside, looking very unhappy and dejected. Mulla asked him, “What is bothering you?” The man replied, “I have nothing of interest in my life. I have money enough so I do not have to work. I am seeking happiness, but I have not found it in anything so far.”
In a flash, Mulla lifted the man’s bag and began running. The man ran after Mulla, but could not catch him. Mulla knew all the by lanes of the area and soon he was back on the road ahead of the man who was looking for the thief. Mulla placed the bag by the side of the road and was watching from a hideout.
Presently, the sad man turned up, looking even more unhappy due to the loss of his bag. As soon as he saw his bag, he ran towards it, shouting with joy.
Mulla came out and told the man, “That is one way of producing happiness.”
Background: This is one of the many tales of Mulla Nusruddin, also called Nusreddin Hodja. Mulla stories are found in many countries and cultures, especially in the Muslim world. In some stories, Mulla appears to be very foolish, in others very wise. But there is always something funny about a Mulla story. Not only that, most stories have layers of deeper truths too, if we reflect on them.
We do not know whether such a person ever existed, though Turkey claims to be the Mulla’s native place. UNESCO proclaimed 1996-97 as the Year of Nusreddin Hodja. Possibly, the Sufis created this character in order to convey some truths to people.
You will find innumerable Mulla stories on the Internet, but they are not all of the same quality. The three collections of Mulla stories written by Idries Shah, the scholar of sufism, are dependable.
Excerpt taken from Prof. RR’s blog InspiringStory.org