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The Story Of The Ascetic's Desires:

A certain ascetic, Zarvand, decided to meditate in the Alborz Mountains with only a piece of cloth wrapped around him. Quickly he realized, that he needed another piece of cloth to wear while he washed the first, so he told the people in the village that he needed another piece of cloth. They knew he was a pious man, so they gave it to him. With his two pieces of cloth he once again ascended the Alborz Mountains.

Shortly after, he discovered that as he was meditating a mouse would try to drag his extra cloth away. He wanted to frighten the mouse away, but he could not keep leaving his meditation and prayers to run after the mouse. So, he descended to the village and asked the people for a cat.

After having taken the cat, he realized that it could not live on eating fruit alone. There were not enough mice for it to feed on and it needed milk. The people of the village knew the milk was not for him, because he did not care for anything, so they gave him some.

Soon the milk was finished and Zarvand became worried because he was now going up and down the mountain to the village for milk. To eliminate the problem of fetching milk, he took a little cow up the mountain, so it could provide milk for the cat.

He found himself milking the cow to care for the cat, then he thought, "There are so many poor people in the village. I will ask one of them to milk the cow for the cat's sake, and he can drink some milk daily also."

A poor villager who looked like he could use nourishes milk was brought up the mountain. After a few weeks of the mountain air and lots of good milk he became healthy. The man then told Zarvand, "I would like a companion and to raise a family."

Zarvand thought to himself, "He is quite right, I cannot deprive him of companionship." To cut short what could be a very long story, after two months the whole village moved up the mountain.

Note: Interesting how the need for one thing leads to the need for another and another. Ultimately, the ascetic had indirect desires. It is an old Persian tale.


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