Dervish and the King, The

Moral fable by the Persian mystic poet Sadi, in The Gulistan (chapter 1, story 28). A solitary dervish (holy man) was sitting in a corner of the desert when a king passed by, but he took no notice of the king. The king became angry, saying to his prime minister, “This tribe of rag weavers resembles beasts.” The prime minister went to the dervish. “The king has passed near you,” he told the dervish. “Why haven’t you shown him homage and respect?” “Tell the king,” the dervish replied, “to look for homage from a man who expects to benefit from him. Kings exist for protecting subjects. Subjects do not exist for obeying kings.”


Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow– Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante