What is holiness?

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.

Photo courtesy of swami stream, Flickr
Photo courtesy of swami stream, Flickr

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?”

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