A Tale of Two Monks
When they reached the river, they found a young lady sitting there. She could not muster courage to walk through the turbulent water to reach the other shore and was looking for help. She felt happy when she saw the two monks approaching the river. She requested them to help her cross the river.
The elder monk flatly refused saying that it would be a sin to touch a woman and she must manage on her own. The lady was disappointed and pleaded that she would not be safe unless she reached her village on the other side of the river. And she couldn’t cross the river on her own. But the elder monk remained adamant despite her repeated pleading.
The younger monk felt pity and decided to help her. Ignoring the displeasure of his senior he asked her to wrap her dress nicely around her and sit on his shoulder. He would drop her at the other shore.
The senior monk became angry at this “totally unbecoming” conduct of his younger companion, but decided to say nothing in the presence of the lady.
The lady mounted the shoulder of the junior monk and slowly they all reached the other shore. The monk dropped her. She thanked them both and walked away.
But now the senior monk could not control himself any more. He became furious and started reprimanding his junior. He went on lecturing citing the code of conduct for monks, … how he has never seen any other monk breaking rules in this manner in his whole life, … how touching the woman would lead him to hell, … how he has just tarnished the image of all the monks and the monastery, …on and on and on.
Couple of hours later, they reached their destination. The senior monk was still furious and lecturing.
The younger monk finally broke his silence and said
“Sir, I carried the woman on my shoulder for few minutes and dropped her at the river hours ago, but why are you still carrying her on your head?”