Once there lived a rich man in a desert region. This man loved gardening and had a very strong liking for exotic flowers and plants. Whenever he would get a chance to visit remote geographies for business trips, he would make it a point to carry some plants for his lawn. On his return, he would get them planted and nurture them appropriately with water, manure, etc. But he was faced with a very strange problem. Each time he would manage to create a beautiful garden, it would be rooted out by someone during the night. After suffering this loss a few times, the man again made a fresh start, this time taking the precaution of assigning guards to keep watch over the garden during the night. But after a few months, as soon as the flowers started blooming, one night history repeated itself, resulting in the firing of the guards the next morning. Next time, he kept dogs, believing that often animals are more reliable than men. The dog-guarded vegetation also bore a similar devoured look one fateful night. He thrashed the dogs in the morning and fired them too. Now, being convinced that if sensitive animals like dogs are not able to detect the intruder, it must be the work of some djinn or ghost. He consulted a few witch hunters and occultists but their amulets and charm-potentised nails also failed to protect the garden beyond a point.

As he was beginning to lose hope, someone advised him to meet a realized saint who lived in a far-off land. He met the saint and explained the case in detail. The wise man asked him to buy an alarm clock and set an alarm for 3.00 am every night before going to bed. Very optimistically, he planted a fresh crop of flowers and religiously followed the alarm advice every night. In the middle of the night whenever the alarm would ring, the man would wake up, go for a stroll in the garden to check the status of the flowers, and go back to sleep after a while. The rich man concluded that the saint wanted him to guard his own garden, but as the ritual was keeping the perpetrators at bay, he was content doing it every night in spite of the discomfort.

He followed the advised routine for a couple of months, without noticing anything significant. One night as the alarm rang, the owner of the garden found himself on the lawn surrounded by uprooted fresh flowers and exotic plants, and he was still holding a few of the uprooted plants when the alarm woke him up. The man was a sleepwalker, responsible for all the damage done to his garden over the years. Sleep in this case could be compared with our ‘lower consciousness’ (ego-centricity). The kind of self-sabotage that we, misguided by our ego, can do to ourselves, no enemy can.