Attention on Sin

A geisha girl was going for a very important programme, decked up in her best attire. On the road to her venue, there was a big puddle, and she was afraid that her dress would get soiled. Suddenly, she saw two monks coming that way, but since the Buddhist vows do not permit them to even look towards women, she did not expect any help from those ascetics. To her great surprise, the elder of the two celibate men came over to her. Without talking a single word, he picked her up and carried her across that water obstacle. His younger colleague was shocked beyond words, but since they had taken a vow of silence for ten days, he said nothing.

In due course, when their ‘silence period’ ended, the younger disciple went to his senior, and gave vent to his anguish and dismay at the incident which seemed to bother him night and day. What the older monk said in reply is of great importance:

“Yes, I did touch her, but I dropped her as soon as possible. You seem to be still carrying her!”  

Ensconced in this parable is a great deal of wisdom. The older monk had taught two lessons to his younger friend:

(1) If a rule prevents you from doing a good turn, its violation is not a sin.

(2) It is good to deliberately let go whatever is not worth carrying.


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