The Monk Who Endured
One of Shen Yun’s earliest dance dramas tells the story of an exceptional individual.
By a small, remote village in ancient China was a Buddhist temple. The villagers deeply admired this temple’s abbot, and looked up to him as a model of upright morality.
This all changed after a young lady from the village bore a son after a secret love affair. When her lover fled, she claimed it was the head monk who fathered the child. For a monk, this was seen as the severest breach of his Buddhist order—the ultimate shame that cannot bear the light of day.
But rather than deny the accusation or defend himself, the monk said nothing. He took in the child and raised him as his own. When the villagers saw this, they took it as proof the story was true and unanimously denounced him.
Years passed and the monk remained ostracized. One day, a distinguished-looking gentleman came to town, raising curiosity. He had just passed the imperial civil service examination and earned a position as a mid-level official. This was a great honor. Everyone was surprised to see that his wife was none other than the mother of that baby born out of wedlock.
The husband and wife went to the local temple and kneeled down in front of the head monk. To the villagers’ shock, the official then asked for his flesh and blood son—for this man was the same lover who had run away. Without a word of reproach, the monk reunited the boy with his true parents.
Alarmed and dismayed, the villagers realized their mistake and the full breadth of the monk’s compassion and tolerance.