A holy man saw in a dream that while he was walking in the path of Truth an angel accosted him.

“Whither are you going?” asked the angel.

“I am on my way to the Royal Presence,” was the reply.

“You are engaged in so many wordly affairs,” said the angel. “You have taken such a lot of baggage with you, so much wealth and property. How can you hope to be admitted to the Royal Presence with all this paraphernalia?”

“The saint thereupon threw away all the baggage he had, and kept with him only a piece of blanket to protect him from inclement weather and serve as a garment. The next night he saw the angel again in a dream.

“Well, where are you going to-day?”

“To the seat of the Lord of Creation.”

“Oh man of wisdom,” said the angel, “how can you get there with this piece of blanket? It is a terrible obstacle in your way.”

Waking from his dream, the holy man put the blanket in the fire.

On the third night the saint saw the angel once more.

“O pure liver,” said the angel, “whither are you going?”

“I am going to the Creator of the Universe.”

“O illustrious man,” observed the angel, “now that you have stripped yourself of all that you had, remain where you are. You have no need to go anywhere in search of the Creator. He will Himself come to you”*

Another bird then came forward and said: “I love my country. I have my home on the top of a lovely palace. Securely perched upon it, I feel as happy as a king. Why should I take upon myself the worries and the perils of a journey through wastes and wildernesses? Would any wise man give up the pleasures of paradise and prefer the awful toil and travail of such a journey?”

This babble roused the ire of the Hoopoe.

“O mean-spirited, cowardly creature,” said he, “are you a dog that you wish to sit on this dung­heap and rot there? Your real palace is in heaven, not on earth. Listen to this story.”