A long time ago, three disciples of Lord Buddha were going to meet him. The journey was very long, they had to walk from morning to evening. The heat was too much, all three were very thirsty. There was no water anywhere. He kept walking and suddenly one of them saw a river far away. All three proceeded towards the river to quench their thirst. They saw a woman drowning in the river.
In Buddhism, touching any woman was considered taboo by Buddhist monks. What could have happened in such a situation now?
Two of them said, we should follow our religion. We cannot sacrifice our dignity to save this one woman. Nothing will happen if it dies, but if we try to save it, our years of penance will end. We should quench our thirst and run from here.
The third of them was kind. He said I know what my religion says, but my mind does not say that someone should die in front of you and you stand and watch it.
Having said that, he jumped into the river to save the woman. After trying for some time, he caught the drowning woman, and supported her on her shoulder and took her out.
Both the disciples made fun of him, and where now your religion is destroyed. You are no longer able to live with us. If you keep distance from us, otherwise our religion will be destroyed by touching you. He was very sad to hear them, but they did not say anything to him.
After walking some distance, all three reached near Lord Buddha and both the disciples told all the things that happened on the way. He said, "We made a lot of efforts to stop it but did not accept it. He has committed a gross sin by touching that woman. It should get proper punishment ".
Lord Buddha listened to both of them very carefully and called them to him and asked - "How long did it take for this monk to come out of the woman with his shoulder supported"?
Both of them replied together - "It must have taken at least twenty five minutes to bring him out at least".
Lord Buddha again asked - "After this incident how long did it take you to reach here".
Both of them again replied - "It must have taken us at least eight hours to get here".
Lord Buddha smilingly asked the two of them - "It saved only twenty-five minutes on his shoulder to save the woman's life." Which is a noble cause and only a kind person can do it. Both of you have been sitting with that woman in your mind for the last eight hours. That is also because you can come here and complain to me. Which is a bad thing and only a ruthless person can do.
Both of you tell me who is the biggest sinner among you.
Both the disciples became speechless. They had understood that sin is not only from the body but also from the mind.
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