Sensho and his two other friends, both monks, were about to step into the water to cross the river when they noticed a beautiful young woman standing on its banks.
`I fear the water and I wish to go to the other side,’ she said plaintively. `Could one of you help me please?’
Sensho’s friends looked at her and walked away but they were shocked when Sensho offered to help. `Climb onto my back,’ he said to her, `I will take you across to the other side.’ As monks, they were not allowed to have any sort of physical contact with women. Upset but saying nothing, they proceeded, very aware of Sensho slowly making his way behind them.
On reaching the other side, the young woman climbed down from Sensho’s back, offered her gratitude and went her way. The three monks continued on their path, two of them still in a state of shock and very very glum.
`What is the matter?’ Sensho asked after they had trekked a few kilometres. `Why are you guys so quiet?’
`What you have done is blasphemous…You have violated the code of the order, you have dishonoured it….Why did you pick up that woman?’
Ah, so this is what was bothering them. `I picked her up two hours ago and I dropped her an hour ago….You ask me why I picked her up?….I ask you why don’t you drop her…’