Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Burden...

     Once upon a time many moons ago, two monks were walking in silence through the forest ; a younger monk, Anjan, and an older monk Nanda. Eventually their path led to a stream. There they saw a beautiful young lady, exquisitely clad, standing on the bank. She was in great distress because she wanted to cross the stream, but did not know how, without getting her fine long robes wet.

     Without hesitation, Nanda scooped her up, crossed the stream, and set her down on dry ground. She thanked him and continued on her way, and the monks continued on theirs, again in silence. Anjan was uncertain, distressed and confused.

     He became more and more restless and then finally he spoke. " Brother Nanda," he said, " I do not know what to make of it. You know our order is an austere order, and we cannot so much as speak to a woman. But.... but.... you saw that lady, you.... uh .... picked her up and carried her across the stream ! And yet...." he continued, almost choking, " You just keep on walking as if nothing happened !"

     " It is quite simple," Nanda replied. Our order also instructs us to help people in need. I carried a helpless woman and set her down on the opposite bank, but you, Brother Anjan, are still carrying her !" So who, indeed , had the lighter burder, and the lighter step?

     Purity is a state of mind, an awareness of one's nature and freedom from attachment of any kind. An act is good or bad according to the quality of thoughts.