Where is the Rosary? – Zen Story


“The prayer beads are gone, but the Buddha is still with us!”

There was a temple known for possessing a string of beads that had been worn by Buddha, and only the old abbot and seven disciples knew where they had enshrined the beads.

The seven disciples were very savvy, and the old abbot felt that he could have entrusted any of them to brighten Dharma.

Unexpectedly, the beads suddenly disappeared.

The old abbot asked seven disciples: “As long as the beads are put back in its place, I will not pursue the matter, and neither will the Buddha.”

The disciples shook their heads, and no one admitted to anything!

Seven days passed, and still, nobody knew the whereabouts of the rosary.

Image result for image of buddhist rosary

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The old abbot said, “He who took it and admits will have the rosary.”

But seven days passed, and still, no one admitted.

The old abbot was disappointed and demanded: “You will all go down to the Mountain tomorrow. He who took the beads can stay if he wants to.”

The next day, six of the disciples packed their things and said goodbye. Only one stayed behind.

The abbot asked him: “Where is the rosary?”

The disciple said, “I did not take it.”

“Why did you stay behind to be called a thief, if you did not take it?”

The disciple said: “We have been suspicious of each other. Someone needs to bear the responsibility so that the rest of us will get relief. Besides, the rosary is gone, but the Buddha is still with us.”

The old abbot smiled and took the rosary from within his robes and put it on the disciple’s hand, and said: “You can think of yourself as well as others, this is the dhamma” Those who can bear, act, resolve, grievance and sacrifice for the sake of perfecting others, it is not only a realm but wisdom.

Yes, it is meaningless for having a string of beads. Because the prayer beads may be gone, but the Buddha is still with us!”

Chinese version

谁偷了佛祖的念珠

有个寺庙,因藏有一串佛祖戴过的念珠而闻名。供奉这串念珠的地方只有庙里的老住持和他的七个弟子知道。这七个弟子都很有悟性,老住持觉得将来把衣钵传给他们中的任何一个,都可以光大佛法。

不想有一天那串念珠突然不见了。老住持就召集七个弟子问:“你们谁拿了念珠,只要自己放回原处,我就不去追究,佛祖也不会怪罪的。”

七天过去了,念珠依然不知去向。老住持又说:“你们谁拿了念珠,只要承认了,念珠就归谁。”但又过去了七天,还是没人承认。老住持很失望,说:“明天你们就都下山吧。拿了念珠的人,如果想留下就留下吧。”

第二天,六个弟子收拾好东西,长长地舒了口气,干干净净地走了。只有一个弟子留了下来。

老住持问留下的弟子:“念珠呢?”弟子说:“我没拿。”老住持又问:“那为何要背个偷窃之名?”弟子说:“这几天我们几个相互猜疑,有人站出来,其他人才能得到解脱。再说,念珠不见了,佛还在呀。”

老住持笑了,从怀里取出那串念珠戴在这名弟子手上,说:“能想自己,更能想别人,就是佛法。” 愿意成就别人、为别人付出,不惜经历磨难、受到委屈,这不仅是一种境界,更是一种智慧。

不是所有的事情都需要说清楚,比说清楚更重要的是:能承担、能行动、能化解、能改变,能想自己更能想着别人,这就是佛法。否则要一串珠子,意义又何在呢?

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