Silent Debate #1

A rich and powerful raja was convinced in his heart that no one was as powerful as he was. One day he began to wonder if anyone knew he believed this. So he called together all his officers and servants and asked them to tell him what they thought was in his heart. Many of them made guesses, but no one could satisfy the raja with his answer.

Then the raja ordered his minister to find him someone who could see into his heart and he gave the minister one month's time to find this genius. The minister searched everywhere but as the month came to a close he was no closer to success. However, he had a clever daughter who said that she could find the right man for him. Knowing his daughter's wisdom, he entrusted the job to her.

When the appointed day arrived his daughter brought home a simpleton, a shepard by trade, and asker her father to take him to the raja. The minister was horrified but he saw he had no alternative and he took the shepard to the court of the raja.

The court had assembled and the raja was waiting. When the shepard looked up at the raja, the raja held up a single finger. At this the shepard held up two fingers. Then the raja held up three fingers, but at this the fellow shook his head violently and tried to run away. The the raja laughed and seemed very pleased. He praised the minister for bringing him such a clever man and richly rewarded him.

The minister was confused. He couldn't understand what happened and begged the raja to explain.

"When I held up one finger", said the raja, "I asked him if I alone was this powerful. By holding up two fingers, he reminded me that there is also God, who is at least as powerful as I am. Then I asked him if there was a third, and he denied that there was anyone else. The man really read my heart. I've been thinking that I alone was powerful, but he reminded me that there is God as well, but no third.

That night, still confused, the minister asked the shepard what had happened. The poor man explained, "I've only got three sheep of my own. When you took me before the raja, he held up one finger, meaning he wanted one of my sheep. As he is a great raja, I offered to give him two. But when he held up three fingers to show that he wanted all three of my sheep, I became afraid and I tried to run away."