A small stone rolls around, as it is hit by the travelers’ shoes. The ever-observant Saint Kabeer thinks—this is the way for His devotee to be, the stone without ego, roll away in whatever direction is ordained. A barefoot person steps on the stone, and it pierces the skin and causes pain. Saint Kabeer thinks—not the stone, but be like the dust, soft and gentle. And then the dust flies in the wind, and enters the wayfarer’s eye.

Kabeer muses—not like dirt, but we should be like water, accept all who come to bathe, and wash them clean. Then, the devotee enters the river, and finds the water too cold. Saint Kabeer says—not like water, it becomes hot and cold. Then how should His devotee be? The answer was a riddle:

The humble servant of the Lord,

Should be—just like the Lord.

I took this riddle to my Teacher. It was the month of June, very hot, but the very middle of the delicious mango season.

He told me to stand beneath the mango tree, and threaten to cut it down. I did so. He then asked me take an axe, and hit a branch with the blunt side of the axe, and when I did so, a ripe mango fell down, and he asked me to eat it, and I enjoyed the sweet fruit. My Teacher said, “When you threatened the tree, it did not withdraw its shade, and continued to shelter you from the sun. When you hit it, it gave you fruit, and it did not change its sweet quality. Forgiveness is the essential nature of His creation.”

It is said the Prophet asked Him, “We are all your creation, but who amongst us is maqbool (accepted)?” And He said—the one who is ever forgiving.

And Saint Kabeer answers the riddle in these words:

Where there is greed, there is death;

Where there is forgiveness, there is God Himself.

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