Purity, n. A virtue to be found in that which is free of any taint of
evil. Purity should pervade not only actions but thought. Its
relentless pursuit is perhaps best illustrated by the following story,
which has come to us from Buddhist folklore:
There were two monks, finally returning to their monastery at the
end of a long trip. They were passing through a wooded region,
forest with scattered paths and villages.
Walking along the road, they came to a large clearing. Cutting
through the clearing was a river, with stepping stones across.
There had been a great storm the night before, and the river was
flowing swiftly, sweeping over its banks and the stepping stones.
There was a young woman standing on the near side of the river,
holding a bundle of firewood, clearly wanting to cross the river,
but terrified to do so, not trusting her light frame against the
The older of the two monks, who was a tall and very stout fellow,
set down his walking stick, and walked over. He picked the girl up.
Slosh. Slosh. Slosh. He still had to try to maintain his balance,
but he got to the other side and set her down.
Slosh. Slosh. Slosh. He picked up his staff, and then continued
walking with the other monk.
After about an hour, the younger monk spoke.
"I know that you are older and wiser than I, and perhaps I should
not be speaking. But there is something that I wonder."
"Speak, my child."
"To be a monk means to take a vow of celibacy. Perhaps I do not
understand, but was it right for you to hold a young girl like
The older monk walked a few steps, and then drew a deep breath.
Finally, he spoke.
"Oh, my child. Are you still carrying her?"
- -- Hayward's Unabridged Dictionary