A young man was walking along when he came across monk who was sitting on the side of the path meditating.
The young man, curiously stopped. “You are not from here? For I know everyone in this kingdom, and everyone know who I am. My name is Narcissus, son of Cephissus, and I am King of this land. Where do you come from, and what are you doing in my kingdom?
The Buddhist monk sat silently, and continued to meditate. His eyes were closed and at his side was a banana and a pale of water.
“Did you hear me? I am Narcissus and I am King of this land. If you know me like my people do, you would know that; I am honest, I am kind, and I am loving and full of compassion. I am fair and just. I am an advocate of peace, I judge no-one, and my subjects love me. And you sir, what are you?”
The monk opened his eyes, took the banana and peeled it. He halved it and offered Narcissus the King the other half, then continued meditating without saying a word.
Narcissus ate his banana, musing at the monk who didn’t speak. Why do you not speak?” asked Narcissus. I am the King and I demand to be answered when I ask a question.”
It was deathly hot, so the monk offered Narcissus a drink from his pale of water.
“I am thirsty. I will accept your offer,” said Narcissus. He drank all that was in the ladle and helped himself to another. He stood and waited for the water in the pale to become still again. Then he pitched over and looked into it, admiring his reflection, and smiled. I am still beautiful he thought. Again he addressed the monk, asking him who he was.
The monk leant over and kissed Narcissus on the feet, and bowed to him without saying a word.
Narcissus peered down at monk, smiled, and said to himself, “strange man,” and moved on.
The monk resumed his position, smiled, and whispered to himself,
“I am nothing.”