(This story is based on an episode narrated by a seeker belonging to an occult-spiritual tradition in the West.)
I was in Turkey on an official tour. I was walking through the crowded streets of Istanbul, full of beggars. All of a sudden, a beggar appeared before me, and shook his begging bowl. I was about to shrug him off when I noticed the beaming smile in his face. I felt a strange attraction and liking for him. I wanted to give him something. I searched my pockets but found that I have no money. Now the beggar again shook his begging bowl with the same captivating face. I told him with an apologetic smile “Sorry, friend, I have nothing”. But the beggar will not leave. He again shook his bowl. I told him again “Look friend, I would very much like to give you something. But I don’t have anything”. But the beggar stood there and shook his bowl again for the third time with a sublime smile. I looked at him again more closely. I felt an intense affection for him and told him again “My dear friend, I do not have any money to give you. But I feel a deep affection for you and I give that feeling to you. It is the only thing I can give you at present”. The beggar let out a hearty and ringing laugh and said, “This is what I wanted from you. I am trying to dig out that feeling of love sleeping in the depth of your heart. Now you give that feeling to all.” And quickly, the beggar turned and disappeared into the crowd.
I stood there stunned. I was trying to recall the words uttered by the beggar when I felt a deep tumult in my heart. My heart opened like a flower; a flood of universal love flowed through my heart embracing the whole humanity. The experience remained with me for a long time. I recognised that the “beggar” I met is a sublime soul, one of those great souls spoken of in the occult traditions who wander around in ordinary disguises to help the seekers.