The Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin

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9780525473398: The Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin

Mulla Nasrudin, the wise fool of Eastern folklore and Eastern Philosophy, holds a special place in Sufi studies. The Sufis, who believe that deep intuition is the only real guide to knowledge, use the humorous stories of Nasrudin's adventures almost like exercises in Sufi Thought. The Sufis ask people to choose a few which especially appeal to them, and turn them over in their mind, making them their own. Sufi teaching masters say that in this way a breakthrough into a higher wisdom can be effected. In Sufism, a single story can work on many levels, from great humour to initiating profound thought.

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About the Author:

As the urgency of our global situation becomes apparent, more and more readers are turning to the books of Idries Shah (1924-1996) as a way to train new capacities and new ways of thinking.

Shah has been described as "the most significant worker adapting classical spiritual thought to the modern world." His lively, contemporary books have sold over 15 million copies in 12 languages worldwide and have been awarded many prizes. They have been reviewed by The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Times, The Tribune, The Telegraph, and numerous other international journals and newspapers.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

COOKING BY CANDLE
Nasrudin made a wager that he could spend a night on a near-by mountain and survive, in spite of ice and snow. Several wags in the teahouse agreed to adjudicate.

Nasrudin took a book and a candle and sat through the coldest night he had ever known. In the morning, half-dead, he claimed his money.

"Did you have nothing at all to keep you warm?" asked the villagers.

"Nothing."

"Not even a candle?"

"Yes, I had a candle."

"Then the bet is off."

Nasrudin did not argue.

Some months later he invited the same people to a feast at his house. They sat down in his reception room, waiting for the food. Hours passed.

They started to mutter about food.

"Let's go and see how it is getting on," said Nasrudin.

Everyone trooped into the kitchen. They found an enormous pot of water, under which a candle was burning. The water was not even tepid.

"It is not ready yet," said the Mulla. "I don't know why - it has been there since yesterday."

THE SHORT CUT
Walking home one wonderful morning, Nasrudin thought that it would be a good idea to take a short cut through the woods. "Why", he asked himself; "should I plod along a dusty road when I could be communing with Nature, listening to the birds and looking at the flowers? This is indeed a day of days; a day for fortunate pursuits!"

So saying, he launched himself into the greenery. He had not gone very far, however, when he fell into a pit, where he lay reflecting.

"It is not such a fortunate day, after all," he meditated; "in fact it is just as well that I took this short cut. If things like this can happen in a beautiful setting like this, what might not have befallen me on that nasty highway?"

Excerpted from The Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin by Idries Shah. Copyright © 1983. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

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Idries Shah
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