One day he said:
Once Bayazid Bustami prepared an immense cauldron of food and announced
that anyone who wished to come and eat was most welcome. Countless people
arrived and all took as much as they wanted to eat. Both travellers and the
inhabitants of that city came to Bayazid's door but the cauldron never
So the day passed and still there were hundreds of people at the door and
still ample food remained in the cauldron. Then, a strange traveller arrived
upon the scene. Bayazid's disciples approached him and invited him to
partake of the feast, but he refused. The more they insisted, the more
adamant he became in his refusal until Bayazid himself approached him and
begged him to eat something. At this point, he turned to Bayazid and said,
"Agreed, but I eat only human flesh."
Bayazid, though baffled, regained his composure and said to the stranger,
"You are most welcome to cut any piece from my body and start." The stranger
replied,"Ah, and when did you become a human being? Look at yourself."
When Bayazid looked at himself, he saw himself in the form of a peacock.
Then the stranger said,"Give thanks to God that you have so far assumed the
form of a peacock. When you actually assume the form of humanity, then you
can make that claim. Are you not arrogant to call upon God's creation and
invite them to such a universal feeding?"
He said this and disappeared. Bayazid wept at his words, and asked his
disciples to dismantle the cauldron immediately.