Guijong’s cutting a snake

Master Guijong, while cutting grass, discovered a snake and cut it to death with his hoe. A monk who was cutting grass near him said to him, “I’ve heard much of you but you seem to be ill-behaved.” The master said, “Are you ill-behaved? Am I ill-behaved?”
Student: “Which one is ill-behaved, the Master or the monk?”
Master: “The one who killed the snake is ill-behaved.”
Student: “Then the Master is ill-behaved because he broke the first precept which forbids the killing of living things.”
Master: “How cruel you are to kill the living thing so many times!”
One with precepts in one’s mind cannot attain enlightenment.
One with ‘purity’ in one’s mind cannot enter Nirvana.
©Boo Ahm
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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