The Story Of The Three Travelers

Three travelers on a long and exhausting journey had become companions, and shared the same pleasures and sorrows, pooling all their resources. After many days they realized that all they had between them was a piece of bread and a mouthful of water in a flask. They fell to quarrelling as to who should have all the food. Making no progress on this score, they tried to divide the bread and water. Still they could not arrive at a conclusion.

As dusk was falling, one finally suggested that they should sleep. When they awoke, the person who had had the most remarkable dream would decide what should be done.

The next morning the three rose as the sun came up and the first traveler said, "This is my dream: I was carried away to places such as cannot be described, so wonderful and serene were they. I met a wise man who said to me, 'You deserve the food, for your past and future life are worthy and suitable subjects for admiration.'"

"How strange," said the second traveler. "For in my dream, I actually saw all my past and my future. In my future I saw a man of great knowledge, who said, 'You deserve the bread more than your friends, for you are more learned and patient. You must be well-nurtured, for you are destined to lead men,'"

The third traveler said, "In my dream I saw nothing, heard nothing, said nothing. I felt a compelling presence which forced me to get up, find the bread and water, and consume them then and there. And this is what I did."

The two companions were very angry and demanded to know why they were not called when the mysterious power compelled him to consume the bread.

"But you were far from here! One of you was carried away to far places and the other to another time! How could you hear my calling?" he replied.

Note: This story is attributed to Shah Mohammed Gwath Shattari, who was greatly esteemed by the Mughal Emperor Humayun. He died in 1563, and his shrine is at Gwalior, in India.