Once there was a dense forest through which a river was meandering. As it was raining and raining the river was ghastly. Gradually the rain began to subside. Then two monks- a senior monk and a junior monk who were meditating in this dense forest began their journey to set off for a sermon in the nearest village.
When the two were gently walking in the dense forest they faintly saw a beautiful young lady far away struggling for some reason. The monks were gradually going towards the direction, where the lady was and met the ghastly river which was splashing water on the rocks by the side of the river.
The young beautiful lady looked at the monks in need of help to cross over the river but knowing that monks do have to refrain from touching a lady, this ladys’ eyes were full of tears.
Then she said Oh wise one I am married and living in this village but my mother is badly ill and living in the village which is on the other side of the river.
I am taking food for her but I am struggling to cross over because yesterday night it was raining heavily and though the rain has now subsided the river is frightening. I am scared to cross because the stones are slippery and I fear of slipping off.
The two monks looked at each other and the compassionate senior monk who was silent all this time, asked the beautiful llady more than slipping off from the rocks my daughter you are more concern whether the food that you are taking with you for your sick mother will fall away when you are going to cross over.
“Am I correct, daughter”? asked the senior monk.
The young lady looked at the food that she had prepared with great difficulty for her sick mother living on the other side of the river, and said “ Yes wise one, you are correct.
The rule that monks should not touch a woman came to the mind of the senior monk and he looked at the junior monk too and gently took the young lady across the river. The young lady felt embarrassed however she worshiped the two monks and went away while the senior monk blessed her and continued their journey.
While the two monks were walking their journey the senior monk noticed that the junior monk was thinking over something and had some concern. So the senior monk asked the other monk what’s the matter.
Then the junior monk who was thinking over and over again questioned the senior monk, how can you touch a lady when we do not have the right to touch a lady when it is against our code of conduct?
Then the senior monk replied, I assisted the lady at the raging river a long time back. Why are you still carrying her in your mind? I had to break the rules for a good reason at that moment.
However I am not carrying that moment at the raging river now. Whereas you are carrying the past moment till now. The senior monk further explained to the junior monk you didn’t touch the young lady at that time, see how far, how long you have been carrying the thoughts of the young lady.
It is unnecessary emotional baggage that you are keeping with you in your mind. The junior monk realized that and said to the senior monk, yes wise one, I have been carrying all the unnecessary emotional baggage all this time and thinking and thinking over and over again.
In life, we have to learn from our past experiences but should not dwell thinking whether it is right or wrong. We should not carry the past burden with us as the past cannot be changed but We can envision the future and move on. If one keeps on thinking of a past incident that made someone suffer one would keep on suffering and suffering. Therefore one has to let go of the past which cannot be changed. This would enable one to have a more structured and a light, and a bright future.