A beautiful story by the Mystic Osho on how to drop your burden.
Two monks, Buddhist monks, are returning to their monastery; they come to a ford. The current is very powerful. It is a hilly place. A young, beautiful girl is waiting there, waiting for somebody to help her to cross. She is afraid to enter alone.
One monk, who is the older one of course... because he is older, he walks ahead – all games of the ego. If you are older, you have to walk ahead; younger monks have to walk a little back. They cannot walk parallel to the older monk; of course, they cannot walk ahead. And these are the people who are talking continuously of dropping the ego! Even physical age is used to fulfill a certain ego.
The older monk comes first. The young girl asks him, ”Bhante” – Bhante is the Buddhist equivalent of ’reverend’ – ”Bhante, would you help me; just hold my hand? I am afraid, the current is so strong and perhaps it may be deep.”
The old man closes his eyes – that’s what Buddha had said to the monks: that if you see a woman, particularly if she is beautiful, close your eyes. But I am surprised: you have already seen her, then you close your eyes; otherwise how can you determine she is a woman, and beautiful? You are already affected, and now you close your eyes. And remember, with closed eyes the beautiful woman will become even more beautiful – she will become a dream girl. And Buddha had said, ”Don’t talk, don’t touch a woman” – because just talking, you may get caught; touching, you may forget that you are a monk.
So he closes his eyes and enters the ford without answering the woman. You see the ugliness of it. And these people are saying, ”Help, serve”and that poor girl was simply asking, ”Hold my hand, just for a few seconds, so I can pass the ford.” And the man closed his eyes.
Then the second, younger monk comes. The girl is afraid, but there is nothing else to call upon: the sun is setting, soon it will be night. She cannot go back, the town is far away. She has to go ahead, then only can she reach her home before it becomes too dark. But how to pass this ford? So under compulsion she asks the young monk, ”Bhante, will you please hold my hand? The ford seems to be deep and the current strong... and I am afraid.”
The monk says, ”It is deep, I know, because we pass through it every day. On the other side is our monastery, so to beg food we have to come to this side to the village. It is deep, and it is good that you have not entered alone, otherwise you would have gone with it. And just holding hands won’t do; you just sit on my shoulders and I will carry you to the other side.”
The young girl jumps on his shoulders; he carries her to the other side. When they are just in the middle of the ford, the old monk remembers that a younger fellow is coming behind, and he is too young and too new, he may get caught in the devil’s net – the woman is the devil’s net. Perhaps it is the devil himself standing in the form of a young, beautiful girl. He opens his eyes, and what he sees he cannot believe: the young monk is carrying the beautiful girl on his shoulders. Now he is tremendously angry, shaking with anger.
The young monk leaves the girl on the other shore and follows the older monk towards the monastery. When they reach the monastery door – it must have been two or three miles from the ford – on the steps the older monk stands and says to the young one,”You, fellow, you have committed a sin and I am going to report to the Buddha that not only you touched a woman, not only you talked with her, you carried her on your shoulders. You should be expelled from the community; you are not worthy of being a monk.”
The young man simply laughs and says,”Bhante, it seems although I have dropped that girl three miles back; you are still carrying her on your shoulders. Three miles have passed, and you are still bothered by it?”
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