Sunday, June 7, 2020

What we carry on our mind determines the quality of life we live everyday

Once upon a time, a senior and a junior monk were walking back to their monastery after visiting their village. Soon they reached a big river and as they prepared themselves to cross it, they saw a young girl who was also attempting to cross the river. Not being able to take the risk, the girl approached the monks and asked if they could help her get to the other side. The two monks looked at each other because they had taken oath that they would never touch a girl. After thinking for a while, the older monk invited the girl to climb over his shoulders, carried her across the river, sat her on the other bank of the river and continued his journey. The young monk could not believe what just happened. Without saying a word, he overtook the senior monk and walked as fast as he could, completely upset and angry. Hours passed by without exchanging even a single word. Finally they caught up with each other at a stupa near their monastery and not being able to hold it any longer, the young monk burst out “As ordained monks, you know that we cannot touch a girl, but why did you carry that woman at the river? You will never be forgiven for breaking that oath!” The senior monk smiled and said, “Oh my dear brother, I had just carried her across the river and left her on the bank, but it seems you are still carrying her!”

Like the young monk in this story, we often carry our past hurts and resentments everyday and weigh ourselves down with anger, jealousy, ego, hatred, frustrations, pain and other negative emotions. We cannot achieve happiness in life if we can’t let go what does not serve us anymore and live in the present moment. In life, we often come across people who say things or behave in a way that is hurtful to us, but ruminating over our negative experiences of the past would only make the situation worse for us. The more we hold onto the grudge, the more it stirs up our mind and discolors our thoughts. The negative energy that emanates from our mind blurs our vision and narrows our view of the world around us. We become judgmental and biased. As a result, we won’t be able to find peace in the present moment and see the beauty of life we are blest with every day.


  1. Hi Amrith,

    Good one – but for me I take away slightly different meaning from your insightful narration. To me what it means is that being able to do the right thing at the right moment is a mark of education at a higher plane - an act that transcends boundaries of prejudices and fallacies that dog the human social order.

    On introspection, your narration relates to me totally. If I accept to bear the yoke of servitude in the belief that doing service to society is meaningful and meritorious, that decision was mine – no one else is at fault for it. If I choose to put on hold my own aspirations to do service to the country and the people of Bhutan - that decision was mine too. I cannot blame the people for what they are and for what they do, or don’t. I should be willing to accept that I alone must atone for my own decisions.

    When everyone else around me is raping the world and satisfied about it, my choosing to be selfless is certainly laudable, but if at the end, I see the futility of it all and still remain rooted where I stand, that is my own fault.

    Carrying the girl across the river is a noble service deserving of an enlightened monk – but if he should be wash away by the river because of the added burden of the girl, the river cannot be blamed.

    1. Dear Yeshi Sir, thank you so much for your encouraging comment.... Your views are also very insightful and make a lot of sense la.... Have a good day la!