Koan – Right & Wrong

When Bankei held his seclusion-weeks of meditation, pupils from many parts of Japan came to attend.

meditating monks

During one of these gatherings a pupil was caught stealing. The matter was reported to Bankei with the request that the culprit be expelled. Bankei ignored the case.

stealing cookies

Later the pupil was caught in a similar act, and again bankei disregarded the matter. this angered the other pupils, who drew up a petition asking for the dismissal of the thief, stating that otherwise they would leave in a body.

parchment

When bankei had read the petition he called everyone before him. “You are wise brothers,” he told them. “You know what is right and what is not right. You may somewhere else to study if you wish, but this poor brother does not even know right from wrong. Who will teach him if I do not? I am going to keep him here even if all the rest of you leave.”

flaming torch

A torrent of tears cleansed the face of the brother who had stolen. All desire to steal had vanished.

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One thought on “Koan – Right & Wrong

  1. Pingback: Koan – The Thief Who Became a Disciple | Hunting for growth

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