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  • 4/29/2008

Who's the Noblest of All?


There was once a Persian ruler who had three sons. The King was fond of collecting pearls and over a period of years, he had collected pearls from different countries, which also had the largest pearl in the world, which was the envy of the emperors of the world. The King wished to give all the pearls to one of his sons who had shown himself to be the noblest of all. Accordingly, he called them all to his presence, and asked each of them, what is the most praiseworthy deed he had performed during the last three months.

The eldest son spoke first. He said: “On my journey last week, I was entrusted with a number of valuable jewels by one of my friends, and he had given it to me for safekeeping. My friend who had sent them had taken no account of them. If I had taken one or two as my own out of his collection, he would not have missed it; and I could have easily made myself rich beyond all expectations, at his expense. However, I did no such thing. I carried the parcel that he had handed over to me as safely, as if it had been my own and when he returned back from his journey, I gave back all his jewels exactly as he had given them to me.” “My son,” replied the King, “you were honest, and it is true that you have done well. But, you could hardly have acted otherwise without shame.”


Then, it was the turn of the second son to speak; He said: “My father, as I was walking past the river the other day, I saw a child playing by the bridge, while I watched him, he fell in. He would have drowned, if I had not swam after him, and saved his life.”

The King replied: “You too, have done your duty, but as a prince who is acting as a guardian of all his subjects on behalf of his father, who is the ruler of this land, you could hardly have left the child to drown.”

It was now the turn of the third son to speak. He said: “As I crossed the mountains the other day, I saw a man near a dangerous point in the mountains, who has hated me all his life and has done me harm. He had sat down to rest, and had fallen asleep. I would have passed on my way without a word, and nobody would have blamed me as it was none of my business to care where the man had slept, but some inner voice within me called me to go back and wake him. This I did, knowing all the time that he would not understand my reasons for waking him, and that he would be angry with me, as indeed he was.”


“My son,” cried the old King, “all the pearls that I own in my treasury are now yours! To do good to others and to your enemies without hope of favor or reward, to those who have wronged us is truly a noble act. And, from now on, let this be a lesson to you all. This was the initial test from me to test the son who is worthy to be my heir apparent, and become the king after my death. Therefore, compete with one another in doing good works to others, and the son, who is worthy to inherit the throne after me should be the noblest among all of you.”

The first two sons took no offence to their father’s choice in picking out his third son to inherit the treasure trove of pearls. They decided to devote the rest of their lives working towards the welfare of the subjects in their kingdom and when the old king died, they placed the crown on the head of their youngest brother and pledged their loyalty to him, and promised to be his most trusted advisors in working towards the welfare of their subjects.

Moral of the Story: “Do good to others and you will be paid back in turn with rich surplus of love.

other links:

The King Who Was Lost In the Jungle

The Cage Bird's Escape

Fear of God

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