The donkey dies of exhaustion

Nasrudin decided to go in search of some new meditation techniques. He saddled his donkey, went to India, China and Mongolia, talked to the great masters, but found nothing.

He heard tell of a wise man in Nepal: he journeyed there, but as he was climbing the mountain to meet him, his donkey died of exhaustion. Nasrudin buried him there and then, and wept sadly. Someone passed by and commented:

– You came in search of a saint, this must be his tomb and you are lamenting his death.

– No, this is the place where I buried my donkey, who died of exhaustion.

– I don’t believe it – said the new arrival. – No one weeps over a dead donkey. This must be a place where miracles occur, and you want to keep them for yourself.

Although Nasrudin explained again and again, it was no use. The man went to the next village and spread the story of a great master who cured people at his tomb, and soon the pilgrims began to arrive.

Gradually, news of the discovery of the Wise Man of Silent Mourning spread throughout Nepal – and crowds rushed to the place. A wealthy man came, thought his prayers had been answered, and built an imposing monument where Nasrudin had buried his “master”.

In view of everything, Nasrudin decided to leave things as they were. But he learned once and for all, that when someone wants to believe a lie, no one can convince him otherwise.

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  1. Suzann says:

    Thank you for this nice fable.
    I think people do not want to believe in a lie but simple to hold on to something.
    In our “crazy” world we all search for a reason, a hope, a sign, an answer ..ect to give us strenght to go on. Some find it in books, in others, in a dream, in God, in nature… could continue long. The fact is that the man in the story was looking for his reason, he was desparate finding it so he did no matter what other said, for him it was what he was looking for. We should not give the importance why the man added to the story to his taste (well, just think most people do it) but that other believed him without questioning what he said. They too wanted to believe. So they did. And it is what is happening to us as well. The will has extraordinary power.

    For me Nasrudin did well leavnig others to think and believe whatever they wanted. The more you want to explain yourself the further result you will reach than you wished. Just think of any book of Paolo. How many of us can get the point he is really talking about? For many of us it is a simple story and again many understand something hidden with simple words but still each of us something else:)

    Nasrudin was looking for a solution what he could not find but finally there was something he learned on his own. We are also looking for solutions of others, help to feel better, to know more, to be more happy, to solve our problems (most we create ourselves) ..etc instead of listening to ourselves. Just remember when you ask someone to give you a solution, you already have one. But you want something else than what you have figured out yourself. This is where you gonna get back always coz this is the one which is yours, what you feel just you cannot confirm where it is coming from so seems more logical to follow something you hear or see from others. That is the mistake we do. We should understand where our feelings are coming from and why.
    thank you

  2. Heart says:

    Fear is at the bottom of it. To be protected from a thunder storm the child gets in his mothers arms. Even though she cannot stop the bad weather, the child is secure she protects him from it. A lie perhaps, but a truth too. The child has found a way to calm himself. If this child didn’t have a mother during these fears, he might grow up with traumas, which could completely ruin his faith in himself as an adult.

  3. THELMA says:

    ..”So he decided to leave things where they were..”

    Sometimes we feel that when we speak or try to communicate with others it is as if we speak to a …wall. To see a Truth or reality, one must be ‘ready’ or mature enough..
    It happens sometimes, that we deliberately leave others deceive us, so that we will not be obliged to …make changes.

  4. Alexandra says:

    Ha Ha Ha,that made me laugh.Too funny.I noticed already that people tend to believe much more easily a lie that true.They are like children,who need to hear a nice story before going to bed,in order to dream nice and for sleep well.Seem to me exactly same thing.I personally expirienced the nature of human beings,first I was sad seeing one not believe my truth,but now I have fun,because I try to say nice stories,not dangerous,and I enjoy the effect upon my audience.I see on their face is what they need.

  5. Brenda says:


    É uma honra para mim estar aqui comentando em seu blogger.
    Admiro seu trabalho já faz uns seis anos, a cada livro que tu escreve consegue-me surprieender e me emocionar mais. Se hoje sou uma apaixonada por livros, devo agradecer á vocíª, por que esse amor comeí§ou com Brida, meu primeiro livro.
    Desejo á ti muito sucesso em sua carreira e em sua vida.


  6. Indah (Sherry) says:

    whether that what that passerby believed in was actually not true but he had faith in it…
    even if he didnt all the other ppl frm nepal n everywhere else had faith in it…and i belive no matter what… faith is the ultimate strength…

    perhaps tht wealthy man really had his prayers answered… his own faith that is :)

  7. Yajna says:

    Dearest Paulo and friends…

    It has been a while and now it seems my silent observer phase is comming to an end… so allow me to grace you all with my opinion.. :)

    This story intrigued me, i must admit. I can see how abundantly clear it is in this case that the man choose to believe that Nasrudin was a liar and was greedy than the actual truth, and in the end an even greater lie was created.. But this story makes me wonder about a few things in particular..

    Maybe it was fate for the donkey to die there, and maybe many people actually got their miracles simply because that place helped them believe in something greater.. People want something to believe in when they themselves havent the courage to solely believe in themselves at times. If you think about it, the donkey did a fine job by working hard to help Nasrudin reach his destiny (he was obviously searching for something..), whose to say it wasnt Nasrudin’s destiny to be caught weaping, so that one day a place where people came to believe could exist? I suppose that can never be disproven, forgive me if i seem like i’m missing the point but isnt it widely believed that coincidences don’t exist? that everything happens with perfect reason? Hmmm.. just a thought.. but the question stands, even if this was started by a lie, could it still be entirely wrong if good was created in the end? I dnt know, i’ve been thinking, sometimes we deny things in life, things we refuse to accept and we eventually believe a lie that we’ve created. What worries me, is that sometimes we ourselves dont realise we are doing it. I think sometimes in life, we dont know what to beleive. Sometimes we have moments where we get lost and we need something to believe in, even if it is donkey’s grave. If it gives us hope, even a donkey’s grave, maybe its ment to be there, just maybe.

    Just some thoughts.. i must admit, i am in a rather odd mood, forgive any speeling (lol) or grammer errors friends, it is late.

    Thank you for being