How Many Disciples?

Photo courtesy of Racoles, Flickr
Photo courtesy of Racoles, Flickr

A visitor came to the monastery where the master resided. He was amazed at the huge number of monks he saw everywhere. “There must be over two or three thousand of them here,” he thought.

When he was finally ushered in to see the master, the first question he asked was, “Revered sir, exactly how many disciples do you have in this place?”

The master replied, “Oh, I think around four or five at the most.”

Life After Death

Photo courtesy of takomabibelot, Flickr
Photo courtesy of takomabibelot, Flickr

“Master,” said the disciple. “Is there life after death?”

“Why do you ask?” said the master.

“I was just thinking how horrible it would be not to love or laugh or sing or dream,” said the disciple.

The master laughed. “Most people don’t even do those things before death. Or if they do, they do them only superficially. The right question is, ‘Is there life before death?'”

Against the Scriptures

Scripture - Photo by  Lauri Rantala
Scripture - Photo by Lauri Rantala

A man once approached the Master and said, “Your teachings are radical and thought-provoking but I cannot find them in the Scriptures.”

“Then put them in there,” replied the Master.

“But some of your teachings even go as far as contradicting some passages of Scriptures,” replied the man.

“Then amend the scriptures,” replied the Master. “Scripture was made for man, not man for scripture.”

Holy Cat

Photo courtesy of eva101, Flickr
Photo courtesy of eva101, Flickr

The head monk had a pet cat that had a nasty habit of meowing and rubbing against the monks’ bodies at common prayer time. The head monk then decided that the cat should be tied when all the monks gathered for communal prayer.

Just a couple of years later, the head monk died of old age but the cat still lived. The monks continued to tie the cat during prayer time.

After a few more years, the cat died. The monks immediately bought another one to replace it, and they still tied it at prayer time.

Two hundred years later, a visitor came by the monastery and observed that the monks would chase a cat and tie it up right before prayer time. When he asked about this, the host monk began a short discourse on the righteous merits of tying a cat during prayer time.