A young Egyptian coming from a very rich and aristocratic family was the disciple of the great Sufi Master Zu-el-Noon, a fisherman by profession. The Master gave the young man orders to utilize his vast wealth for the upkeep and running of the ashram. Accordingly the young man started attending to the task entrusted to him. However, one thought continuously rankled him, the fact that Master totally ignored him, let alone even once offering thanks for all he spent and did for the ashram.
A time came when he had spent all his wealth in service of the ashram. With a touch of arrogance and pride he said to himself, "Now let's see how they run the show."
That night Zu-el-Noon called the young man to His room and after a little talk ordered him to bring a fistful of white clay lying outside the room. When the clay was brought to the Master, he casually began to press it in His hand and in no time it turned into a beautiful precious ruby the size of a duck's egg.
Zu-el-Noon told the young man, "Tomorrow go to the jewellers and find out the value of this ruby. That's all, don't ever sell it." Accordingly, next morning the young man went to the jewellers to value the ruby. To his utter surprise the value worked out to be the exact amount he had spent on the ashram.
He returned and reported his findings to the Master and when the Master asked him as to how much he had spent all these years in the service of the ashram, the young man confessed it was the exact value of the ruby.
The Master gave orders to smash the ruby and then said, "You came to me for spiritual enlightenment and running of ashram was the task I gave you. You did carry out my orders but all the while the thought was there that you were obliging me and your fellow disciples. Know it was an opportunity I gave you to serve; otherwise I am fully capable of running my ashram. Also note that had I even once acknowledged your presence and said, "Thank you" Then you would have had your reward in this world itself. Whereas I wanted that you should have your true reward in Allah's Darbar. Go now, remove such thoughts of self and begin serving with love and diligence."
The young man bowed at his Master's Feet, begged Him to forgive him and said, "But Master, I have no wealth left of mine."
The Master told him not to worry and sure enough in no time he regained his lost fortune and now began serving in the true sense and with love and reverence for his Master.
It is God (Avatar or Sadguru) obliges the disciple by helping him to progress on the path of spirituality. It is fault of disciple who has no capacity to understand Master’s action and therefore sometimes acts in opposition.
(Words of Kabir & other stories, pp. 133-134, 2006 © Sam Kerawala)