Tamerlane was disturbed that his subjects were not telling the truth. How could this be corrected? He summoned all the sages he knew of and asked them all how to correct this difficulty. Each of them gave him very learned answers but each response was complicated and difficult to follow. Perhaps they were pouring from the empty into the void. Finally, Nasreddin Hodja appeared and explained to Tamerlane:
- Your majesty it is indeed posssible to understand absolute Truth but before one can understand absolute Truth one must first understand the relativity of Truth. Only after mastering the relativity of Truth can one approach an understanding of Absolute Truth.
- That's too complicated and I have an easier answer. I will set the Palace Guard at the gate to the city and before anyone enters the captain will ask them one question. If they answer truthfully they may enter the city but if they do not he shall hang them on the gallows. In that way this city will come to only harbor those who are truthful.
The next morning Hodja was first in line at the city gate.
- Where are you going asked the captain of the guard.
- I am going to be hung on those gallows said Hodja.
- That can't be true said the Captain.
- Well, if it is not true than you will have to hang me said Hodja.
- But if I hang you then it will be true said the captain.
- Yes said Hodja, Your Truth.