On a cold winter night a wandering ascetic asked for shelter in a temple . The poor man stood shivering there in the falling snow . So the temple priest , reluctant though he was to let the man in , said , “Very well , you can stay but only for night . This is a temple , not a hospital . you will have to go.’’
At the dead of night the priest heard a strange crackling sound. He rushed to the temple and saw a incredible sight . There was the stranger warming himself at the fire he had lit in the temple .A wooden Buddha was missing . The priest asked , “where is the statue ?”
The wanderer pointed to the fire , then said , “I thought this cold would kill me . ‘’
The priest shouted , ” Are you out of your mind ? Do you know what have you done? That was a Buddha statue . You have burnt the Buddha !’’.
The fire was slowly dying out . The ascetic gazed into it and began to poke it with stick .
“What are you doing now?” the priest yelled .
‘I am searching for the bones of the Buddha whom you say I burnt . “
The priest later reported the incident to a Zen master , who said , “You must be a bad priest you valued the dead Buddha over a live man . ‘’
We know what ‘ love is ‘ through books , priests , lectures , discourses but when it actually comes down to reality we completely forget about it and get caught up with rituals and with our ideas of “what people think ‘’.
MORAL : Value what is live than what is dead and remember the ‘Bhava ‘ behind the rituals , rather than just getting caught up in it .