Blessings

The rain was pelting down. Aga Akil, the most sanctimonious man in town, was running for shelter. ‘How dare you flee from God’s bounty,’ thundered Nasrudin at him, ‘the liquid from Heaven ? As a devout man, you should know that rain is a blessing for all creation.’

The Aga was anxious to maintain his reputation. ‘I had not thought of it that way,’ he muttered, and slackening his pace he arrived home soaked through. Of course he caught a chill.

Soon afterwards, as he sat wrapped in blankets at his window, he espied Nasrudin pelting through the rain, and challenged him: ‘Why are you running away from divine blessings, Nasrudin ? How dare you spurn the blessing which it contains ?’

‘Ah,’ said Nasrudin, ‘you don’t seem to realize that I do not want the rain water to touch my feet and thereby defile the blessings it contains.’

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Nasruddin was helping a so called religious person see the higher Truth.  He failed.  He ended up telling the priest how the priest is defiling the blessing of God showering everywhere by using his feet - by being stupid.  By not understanding the real essence of the scriptures the priest can be said to be using his feet to understand the scriptures and thereby defiling the blessings those teachings contain.

The real rains - the blessings do not touch your body.  They touch your being.  You need to come out of body identification to get soaked in this beautiful rains.  This is the fruit of this spiritual teachings - which is called Baraka in Sufism or Prasad in Indian traditions.

Sufism got its beginning around desert regions.  In deserts it is natural to see rain as blessings.  Life for many is also like desert.  Barren, harsh, with only some signs of life at times.  Rain represents water, life all around.  Spiritual knowledge is the rain that converts this desert of life into heaven.  Then one can feel the real rain, the God's benediction all around.

This story could be literally understood with rain as just the rain, some water.  At this level the story is a self explanatory joke on the poor priest.  A little deeper is the understanding to see the story at the level of priest.  And ultimately, we need to see what Nasruddin wants to say and how he is seeing this story. 

Let us penetrate the story a little. 

The priest is looking for shelter, means he is searching for happiness.  This search itself is defiling.  That is why Nasruddin says, ‘How dare you flee from God’s bounty, the liquid from Heaven ? As a devout man, you should know that rain is a blessing for all creation.’ A devout man, a religious mind should be able to see blessings as rain throughout the creation.  How can one flee away from that blessings?  Your searching for happiness shows you are fleeing away from that blessings.  So being a religious person do not defile God's blessings showering everywhere effortlessly.  In short, do not search for happiness, as happiness is all around you.

But the priest could not live this teaching as he was concerned about people's opinion and his reputation.  Nasruddin tells him not to go searching for happiness and enjoy the raining blessings, but the priest merely slows down his search externally.  He slackens his pace.  But internally in his mind he is even more greedy for happiness.  This is what happens to religious people who cannot fathom higher levels of understanding.  Naturally they get chilled, they suffer. 'Slackening his pace he arrived home soaked through.'

** Read full explanation of this story from the Most In-depth Book on Mulla Nasruddin Ever!

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