Monday, April 25, 2011


Food for Thought

Here is one of my favorite teaching stories ... 

Two Monks were once travelling together on a long journey. It was the monsoon season and it was raining heavily when they suddenly reached a flooded stream where they saw a beautiful woman who wanted to cross the stream but was afraid as she was wary of the strong current.

On seeing the monks the beautiful woman asked them if they could help her cross the stream.

The first monk hesitated, but the other one quickly picked her up onto his shoulders, transported her across the water, and put her down on the other side.

The beautiful woman thanked him and departed.

As the monks continued on their way, the first monk was brooding and preoccupied. After a while, he could restrain himself no longer, and unable to hold his silence, he admonished the second monk who had carried the woman, “Brother, our spiritual training teaches us to avoid any contact with women. We monks don’t go near females, especially young and lovely ones, but you picked up that beautiful woman on your shoulders and carried her all the way!”

“Brother,” the second monk replied, “I left the woman back there. Why are you are still carrying her?"

Tell me, Dear Reader, does this story illustrate the difference between passion and compassion

Or is it something else? 

The monk who physically touched the woman forgot about her, but the other monk who did not touch her (but obviously wanted to) kept on thinking about her. Why? Has it got something to do with unfulfilled desires which keep tormenting the mind? 

Maybe there is some more profound meaning in this story.

Dear Reader, do tell us what you think is the moral of this story.


About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures(2008) and is currently working on his novel. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles in magazines and journals for many years before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 14 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts. 

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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

its a very old buddhist story plenty of writers have quoted it. The true beauty of the story lies in not looking for a moral but being conscious about it. Everytime one reads it will give u a more profound meaning. I think it wants to tell you about being passionately and fastidiously compassionate.