Friday, May 31, 2013

Story of the Monk and the Butcher

Once upon a time, there was a pair of bosom friends, a monk and a butcher. They grew up together, but walked very different paths of lives. One of them became a monk while the other became a butcher. After graduation, the monk was sent away from the monastery to earn experience in life. He went back to his hometown, met his best friend the butcher and decided to live in the same house with his best friend. 

The monk started the day to pray and the butcher wasted no time to hurry to the market place to slaughter pigs and sell the pork. In order that they got up every morning before dawn, they agree to wake up each other every day.

After many years, they both passed away. They were brought to be tried by the Emperor of the Underworld. After listening to how they lived their lives, the Emperor of the Underworld gave the verdict:

“The monk is sentenced to go to hell as he woke up the butcher to slaughter pigs everyday. The butcher is sentenced to go to heaven as he woke up the monk to pray to bring happiness to people everyday.”

Is the verdict a fair one?



Ranjan said...

Yes the verdict is fair.It is not the work that decides but it is the mind which is important.Now the butcher might be doing menial work but his mind is always dwelling on the higher level. In case of the monk although he is doing spiritual work but his mind is at a very low level. Ranjan

Mary Catherine Bax said...

Dear Joseph,

It doesn't seem fair. Sounds like they both lived honorable lives and both deserved heaven.


fengshuiartcenter said...

Dear Joseph

Thank you for sharing this interesting story.
The verdict can be both - fair or not- depending on what the focus is.

If you don't like to kill but you wake up a person every day so he can go and kill some animal, the verdict is fair because it is not what you should do.

If you focus at helping another person to wake up in time and go to work, the verdict is not fair because both did a good thing helping each other.


Yen said...

Absolutely. As a Buddhist monk, he must uphold the 10 precepts instructed by the Buddha. Among the 10 precepts is 'no killing'. The monk, in waking up his friend every day, is indirectly helping his friend to commit the act of killing.

KW Yap said...

The verdict is UNFAIR and does not make sense. One should be punish for his or her volition.

And in this case the monk and the butcher has agreed with each other to wake up one another at a certain time. The monk should not be punish by this deed.

However if the monk "intention" and "thought" to waking up the butcher is to ensure the butcher kills more pigs, then the monk should be punish.