posted by xxx
I read the zen parable "Muddy Road" but I don't understand what the moral is. Can anyone explain it to me?
Here is the parable:
Tanzan and Ekido were once traveling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling.
Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection.
“Come on, girl,” said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud.
Ekido did not speak again until that night, when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself. “We monks don’t go near females,” he told Tanzan, “especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?”
“I left the girl there,” said Tanzan. “Are you still carrying her?”
What happens here? Tarzan does a good deed; he doesn't think about it afterwards. He just did it, period. Ekido knows that monks are not to be attracted to women, so is still thinking about that girl hours later, and the potential for sexual attraction. Sexual attraction never entered into it for Tarzan; he just did a good deed. So, who is REALLY violating the prohibition of monks being attracted to females?
So what lesson is taught from that?