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Baggage

December 6th, 2012 | No Comments

Two monks had been traveling a great distance and were finally on their journey home. To get there, they had to cross a river with a strong current. The monks were of good health and were in no danger of crossing the river. However they came up on a woman at the river’s edge who was very fragile, and who would surely be swept away by the current were she to attempt a crossing alone.

 

The monks began to debate what to do, as they were from an order that strictly forbade them to ever touch women. The first monk was absolute in his position that they had taken an oath, and under no circumstances would he waiver in his dedication to it. The second monk believed that he was beholden to a high vow to help others, and so he put the woman on his back and helped her across the river.

 

Weeks later, the first monk was still very upset with his friend. He was critical of the choice to dishonour the vow taken long before, and felt he had failed in his duty.

 

The second monk responded, “Yes it is true that I touched that woman in helping her to cross the river.  But I left her on the riverside. You’re still carrying her.”

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