Nine Or Ten?
Ten men were walking to their destination. They walked all night. When dusk fell, they decided to rest. One of them said, let us count and make sure that all of us are present, lest either of us get lost. So one of them counted all the heads and said, “There are only nine, one of us is lost!” He spoke out the names of all his companions. They were all there. But the count was still nine instead of ten. Another one of them said, “You sit down, let me count.” So he too counted all the members of the group and said, “Indeed there are nine; where is the tenth one? It seems we have lost one member of our group.”
A third member decided to count the members and concluded that there were certainly nine. They started mourning the loss of their missing companion.
A passer by happened to be watching. He asked them, “What is the matter, friends?” They said, “Ten of us set off on a journey, but now we are only nine. One of us is lost. We don’t know what to do?”
The passer-by said, “All of you stand up and as I tap your head, you sit down. All of them stood up. The man took off his slipper and slapped it hard on the head of the first man and said, “One!”
The man yelped like an injured puppy and sat down. Then he slapped his slipper on the second man’s head and said, “Two!” The second man cried, “Oooh!” and sat down with a bang. “Three,” … down went the third one, nursing his swollen head. “Four”; “Five”; “Six”; “Seven”; “Eight”; “Nine” and “Ten!”
The men were overjoyed that they had found their tenth member. None of them realized that each of those who had counted had forgotten to count himself. They needed an outsider to make them realize that they were actually ten, not nine!
This story may be amusing for children. But it holds a very deep meaning. For those who are hungry for knowledge, here is some food for thought –
The journey signifies the journey of life. While crossing it, man sees himself in many roles. But he is not at peace because he feels that he is not complete. This is the time he needs help from God or from a Guru. The Guru does not create anything new in him; he only helps him to find out that which he has forgotten. He tells him that the Atma in him is the most important element in him. When man realizes this he attains bliss!