As an emperor was coming out of his palace for his morning walk he met a beggar. He asked the beggar, “What do you want?”
The beggar laughed and said, “You are asking me as though you can fulfill my desire!”
The king was offended. He said, “Of course I can fulfill your desire. What is it? Just tell me.”
And the beggar said, “Think twice before you promise anything. It is a very simple desire. You see this begging bowl? Can you fill it with something?”
The emperor said, “Of course!”
He called one of his viziers and told him, “Fill this man’s begging bowl with money.” The vizier went and got some money and poured it into the bowl, and it disappeared. As he poured more and more into the bowl, the moment the money hit the bowl disappeared. The begging bowl always remained empty.
Diamonds, pearls and emeralds were poured into the bowl, as the emperor’s treasuries were becoming empty.
Finally, it was the evening, and the emperor dropped at the feet of the beggar and admitted his defeat. He said, “Just tell me one thing: of what is the begging bowl made?”…