The master and his disciples walked past a small gathering. A preacher was in the middle of the crowd and he declared, “We should be dismayed that God is robbed of his glory in this sinful world where people slander him and worship all sorts of idols.”
Later, the master remarked to his disciples, “If this God is indeed so great and powerful, I don’t understand how he can be robbed of his glory. Saying that God is robbed of his glory is like saying that you contaminate the entire ocean by pissing on the beach.”
A pilgrim stopped by the temple where a master resided who was known for his holiness. A disciple ushered him inside and led him to the courtyard at the back.
The pilgrim heard boisterous laughter and the sounds of merrymaking coming from a bend in the garden. He turned the bend and was surprised to see the master and several disciples seated around a small table. They were sharing a bottle of wine, singing, laughing, swapping jokes and slapping one another’s back.
The pilgrim turned to the disciple who had led him there. “This is an outrage,” he said. “I thought that this master was supposed to be a very holy man.”
“Oh, he is a holy man,” replied the smiling disciple. “But you should know that 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?”
“Life’s little secret is this,” said the master to his visitor as they conversed over tea. “Never take it too seriously. Learn to laugh — at everything — and you learn to live,”
The visitor pondered on this, and the master continued, “I have had a total of four disciples under me. When they began their training, I gave them a set of rigorous physical and spiritual exercises. The first disciple was too weak and couldn’t handle the pressure so he ran away. The second was too meticulous in trying to follow every minute detail of the exercises that he drove himself crazy. The third tried to challenge himself to do more than what the exercises required and one day he injured himself fatally and died. Only the fourth disciple remained healthy and sane.”
“And how did he manage to do that?” asked the visitor.
“Well, he took one look at the exercises and said, ‘No sane man would do those things and you must be crazy if you think I’d do them,’ so he refused to do them,” replied the master, chuckling.
Word spread around the kingdom that a holy man had moved into a hut near the base of a nearby mountain. The king wanted to see this man to ask for advice on how to handle the many problems he faced. So one day, he rode out to the mountain with a dozen soldiers and came to the holy man’s hut.
He saw a young, well-built man chopping wood outside the hut and thought this must be the holy man’s apprentice or servant.
“Hey there,” said the king. “I would like to speak to the holy man. May I come in and see him?”
“Of course, your majesty,” said the young man. “Please come in.”
The young man showed him inside the hut, which contained only a small table, a couple of old chairs, some utensils and a cot in the corner. The king stood and looked around, wondering where the holy man would come from. The young man sat in the corner and said, “After you’re done, you may leave whenever you wish.”
“I don’t understand,” said the king. “I said I wanted to see the holy man.”
“You already have,” said the young man. “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. Good day, your majesty.”