148. The Beggar and Emperor Akbar
A poor man came to beg from Emperor Akbar.
As he waited with the other petitioners, he heard the emperor praying. "O God, I pray that you grant me prosperity, I pray that you grant me..." and so on.
The beggar then got up to leave, which attracted the emperor's attention.
"Hey there!" shouted Emperor Akbar. "Why are you leaving? Didn't you come for something?"
"I did," the beggar replied. "But then I heard your prayer and realized you too are a beggar, just like me. If I must beg, then I will beg help from God, not from you."
Inspired by: Tales and Parables of Sri Ramakrishna
Notes: This is story 90 in the book. You can find out more about Akbar, the Mughal emperor of India, at Wikipedia.