Noticing that his father was growing old, the son of a burglar said, Father, teach me your trade so that when you retire I may carry on the family tradition.

The father did not reply but that night he took the boy along with him to break into a house. Once inside, he opened a closet and asked his son to find out what was inside. No sooner had the lad stepped in the father slammed the door shut and bolted it, making such a noise in the process that the whole house was awakened. Then he himself slipped away quietly.

Inside the closet the boy was terrified, angry, and puzzled as to how he was going to make his escape. Then an idea came to him. He began to make a noise like a cat; whereupon a servant lit a candle and opened the closet to let the cat out. The boy jumped out as soon as the closet door opened and everyone gave chase. Observing a well beside the road, he threw a large stone into it and hid in the shadows; then he stole away while his pursuers peered into the depths, hoping to see the burglar drown.

Back home again the boy forgot his anger in his eagerness to tell his story. But his father said, Why tell me the tale? You are here. That is enough. You have learned the trade.


The guru sat in meditation on the riverbank when a disciple bent down to place two enormous pearls at his feet, a token of reverence and devotion. The guru opened his eyes, lifted one of the pearls, and held it so carelessly that it slipped out of his hand and rolled down the bank into the river.

The horrified disciple plunged in after it, but though he dived in again and again till late evening, he had no luck.

Finally, all wet and exhausted, he roused the guru from his meditation: “You saw where it fell. Show me the spot so I can get it back for you.”

The guru lifted the other pearl, threw it into the river, and said, “Right there!”


The master became a legend in his lifetime.  It was said that God once sought his advice: “I want to play a game of hide-and-seek with humankind.  I’ve asked my angels what the best place is to hide in.  Some say the depth of the ocean.  Others say the top of the highest mountain.  Others still the far side of the moon or a distant star.  What do you suggest?”

Said the Master, “Hide in the human heart.  That is the last place they will think of!”