The Hermit and the Samurai

imageTheir lived on a distant mountain an old hermit who spent day and night meditating. He was famous for his deep insight and wisdom. It was said that he would answer any question for a truly honorable traveler seeking spiritual guidance. One day, a noble Samurai approached him as he was in a state of deep contemplation. The Samurai had travelled for weeks, making the arduous trek up the top of the mountain to seek the hermit’s wisdom.

Not looking up at him, the hermit asked, “What is your question?”

The Samurai replied, “I have come, O wise one, to ask you the difference between heaven and hell.”

The hermit, still not looking up at the Samurai, began to berate him, saying, “Why should I answer your idiotic questions, you dishonorable pig? You come to me with hands stained with the blood of the innocent and expect to attain wisdom? Away from me, you foolish butcher!”

Overcome with rage, the Samurai lifted his sword to strike the old hermit dead!

Suddenly, looking up at the Samurai with a serene gaze, the hermit told him, “That is Hell.”

Realizing what had happened the Samurai dropped his sword, sank to his knees, and, through his tears, begged the hermit’s forgiveness.

“This”, whispered the Hermit, “is Heaven.”

The difference between Heaven and Hell is found in the human heart. In the Sermon on the amount, Jesus teaches, “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.” (Matthew 5:22-23) Jesus makes it clear that when we let our anger rule us, we are playing with fire!

Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear…


Check out this parable’s original source here.



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