The branch and the tree


Caliph Harun ar-Rashid held a vast festival in Baghdad where thousands of beautiful objects, from artefacts to jewelry to precious stones, were on display. The royal invitation was such that anyone could take anything they wished.

So people took what they desired, whatever attracted their mind and eyes and heart. The caliph had a slave-girl in his harem. She did not pick up anything. She remained quiet. Harun ar-Rashid turned to her and asked: “Why don’t you also pick up something?”

The slave-girl said, “Is it true that, whatever one touches in this bazaar of beautiful things, one owns it for life and that thing owns the owner?”

The caliph said, “That is so.”

Then the slave-girl placed her hand upon the caliph’s hand and said, “Why should I hold a branch when I can reach for the root?”

The caliph said, “As you chose me, so all my kingdom is yours”.

Thus that slave-girl excelled all the knight and noblemen. In reality it is a mighty undertaking and choice to give up the branch and reach for the root.