Teranis the Great, conqueror of the eastern lands, had heard of the master. One day, he came to the master with his royal guard, seeking wisdom.
When the master came out of his hut to see his guests, a guard announced, “You now stand in the mighty presence of Teranis the Great.”
At this proclamation, the master looked at the conqueror and began to laugh at him.
Teranis was seized with fury and drew out his sword. He pointed the sword at the master and growled, “Why do you mock me so? Explain yourself or I shall cut off your head.”
The master replied, “I laugh because anyone who sees the need to call himself great really isn’t. Anyone who needs other people to announce his mighty presence really does not have one.”
At this, the master calmly reached out with one hand and pushed the sword point away from his face. “And lastly,” he said, “Anyone who needs to point a sword and threaten another to gain respect is the most pitiful soul of all.”