Uyboco: Two parables on holiness

Freethinking Me


NEWS spread around the city that a holy man had taken residence there, in one of the outlying villages. Now, this was a true holy man, unlike many self-proclaimed charlatans or sons of god or some other such nonsense.

The mayor heard about this man and went to look for him, searching from village to village. Finally, in one of the villages, someone pointed him to a solitary hut away from the rest of the other houses.

He came upon a thin young boy in dirty clothes chopping wood outside the hut. His hair was unkempt and drenched in sweat. “This must be the holy man’s servant boy,” thought the mayor.

He called the boy and said, “Hey there, I would like to seek advice from the holy man. May I come in and see him?”

“Of course,” said the boy. “Please come in.”

The mayor stepped inside the hut, which contained only a small table, a couple of old chairs, some utensils and a cot in the corner. He looked around, wondering where the holy man would come from. The boy sat in the corner and grinned, “So what seems to be troubling you, sir?”

“I don’t understand,” said the mayor. “I said I wanted to see the holy man.”

“You already are,” said the boy. “And if you want my advice, here it is. See every man or woman you meet as holy. That should take care of most of your problems.”


A pilgrim stopped by a temple where the head monk was famous for his holiness. “Where is this holy monk?” He asked one of the disciples outside.

The disciple ushered him inside the temple and led him down a narrow corridor with a door at the end. As they approached the door, the pilgrim heard loud noise coming from the door, and as he drew nearer, he heard boisterous laughter, loud music, and sounds of merrymaking.

The disciple opened the door and pointed to the head monk, standing on a table holding a bottle of wine and dancing to the music. There were other people all around cheering him on, laughing and clapping.

The pilgrim turned to the disciple who had led him there. “This is an outrage,” he said. “I thought that this monk was supposed to be holy.”

“Oh, he is a holy man,” replied the disciple. “It is one thing for a man to be holy, and it is a totally different thing that he should seem holy to you. Who are you to judge what is holy or not?”

He who has ears, let him hear.

Email me at andy@freethinking.me. View previous articles at www.freethinking.me.


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