Samurai

A Samurai Warrior and a Monk – Japanese tale

A Samurai and a Monk

There once was a samurai warrior who traveled to the distant land of an old wise monk.
On arriving, he burst through the door and bellowed: “Monk, tell me! What’s the difference between heaven and hell?”

The monk was sitting still on the matted floor and meditating. Then he slowly turned and looked up at the warrior. “You call yourself a samurai warrior”, he smirked.
“Why, look at you, you’re nothing, but a mere sliver of a man!”

“What!” cried the samurai, as he reached for his sword.

“Oho!” said the monk. “I see you reach for your sword. I doubt you could cut off the head of a fly with that.”

Now, the samurai was so infuriated that he could not hold himself back. He pulled his sword from its sheath and lifted it above his head ready to strike off the head of the old monk.

At this the monk looked up into his seething eyes and said, “That, my son, is the gate to hell.”

Realizing that the monk had risked his life to teach this valuable lesson, the samurai slowly lowered his sword and put it back into the sheath. Then, he bowed low, very low to the monk in thanks for his teaching.

“My friend,” said the monk, “That is the gate to heaven.”

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