Lost Key and Sufi Jester Nasruddin

nasruddin lost key collage

 

I read this story some 30 years ago and its message stays with me. Nasruddin’s stories originated from the Turkic regions some 700 years ago. He was a religious jester – sowing the seeds of truth through jokes and parodies. His stories were famous and adopted in a number of countries for the passing on of spiritual truths. Spirit jesters were often pictured as sitting backwards on a donkey or horse.

Lost Key Story 

A man is walking home late one night when he sees an anxious Mulla Nasruddin down on all fours, crawling on his hands and knees on the road, searching frantically under a streetlight for something on the ground.

“Mulla, what have you lost?” the passer-by asks.

“I am searching for my key,” Nasruddin says sounding very anxious.

“I’ll help you look,” the man says and joins Mulla Nasrudin in the search. Soon both men are down on their knees under the streetlight, looking for the lost key. After some time, the man asks Nasrudin, “Tell me Mulla, do you remember where exactly did you drop the key?”

Nasrudin waves his arm back toward the darkness and says, “Over there, in my house. I lost the key inside my house…” Shocked and exasperated, the passer-by jumps up and shouts at Mulla Nasrudin, “Then why are you searching for the key out here in the street?” 

“Because there is more light here than inside my house,” Mulla Nasrudin answers in a casual manner.

These stories are seen as having many meanings. Its message for me and many others is that the key or answers are to be found with the house of ourselves. It is a dark and confusing place to look, but keep looking and exploring. It is so easy to look outside in the light and see all the things that look like the solution, religious beliefs, opinions of others, material things, attachment to others gurus etc. There is no shortage of them.

 

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