The Parable Of The Monk And The Stupid Woman





The confused or unenlightened may be compared with a monk and a

stupid woman in a Japanese parable which runs as follows: One

evening a monk (who was used to have his head shaved clean), getting

drunk against the moral precepts, visited a woman, known as a

blockhead, at her house. No sooner had he got into her room than the

female fell asleep so soundly that the monk could not wake her nap.

Thereupon he made up his mind to use every possible means to arouse

her, and searched and searched all over the room for some instrument

that would help him in his task of arousing her from death-like

slumber. Fortunately, he found a razor in one of the drawers of her

mirror stand. With it he gave a stroke to her hair, but she did not

stir a whit. Then came another stroke, and she snored like thunder.

The third and fourth strokes came, but with no better result. And at

last her head was shaven clean, yet still she slept on. The next

morning when she awoke, she could not find her visitor, the monk, as

he had left the house in the previous night. 'Where is my visitor,

where my dear monk?' she called aloud, and waking in a state of

somnambulation looked for him in vain, repeating the outcry. When at

length her hand accidentally touched her shaven head, she mistook it

for that of her visitor, and exclaimed: 'Here you are, my dear, where

am I myself gone then? A great trouble with the confused is their

forgetting of real self or Buddha-nature, and not knowing 'where it

is gone.' Duke Ngai, of the State of Lu, once said to Confucius:

One of my subjects, Sir, is so much forgetful that he forgot to take

his wife when be changed his residence. That is not much, my

lord, said the sage, the Emperors Kieh[FN#173] and Cheu[FN#174]

forgot their own selves.[FN#175]





[FN#173] The last Emperor of the Ha dynasty, notorious for his

vices. His reign was 1818-1767 B.C.



[FN#174] The last Emperor of the Yin dynasty, one of the worst

despots. His reign was 1154-1122 B.C.



[FN#175] Ko-shi-ke-go.





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