Once upon a time, on outskirt of a big city stood an old temple. Many young boys who wanted to study Buddhism would come to live in temple and to learn from Master (Head Buddhist Monk) at temple.
One day, Master decided to test his students. So he gathered all young boys around him and said, “My dear students, as you can see i am growing old. I am not able to provide for needs of temple as i used to.
I know i haven’t yet taught you to work for money but we need money to keep running this school at temple. So i can think of only one thing that can keep our school from closing..”
Students drew close to him with eyes wide open.
Master continued, “As you all know our near by city is full of wealthy people. I want you all to go into city and follow those rich people as they walk through crowded streets or walk down deserted alleyways.
And When no one is looking absolutely no one is looking you must steal from them. If you all can do this then we can have enough money to keep our school alive.”
Young boy chorused in disbelief, “But master you have taught us that it is wrong to steal from anyone.”
Master replied, “Yes, indeed i have. It would be wrong to steal if it were not absolutely necessary and remember you must not be seen by anyone while stealing.. If anyone, anyone can see you, you must not steal.. Do you understand?”
Boys looked nervously at each other and thought to themselves if something happened to their master.
“Yes, Master”, boys replied.
Master replied, “Good. Now go and remember, you must not be seen while stealing.”
Slowly, young boys started to get up and quietly began to go out of temple building. Master also got up and watched them go.
When Master turned back, he saw one student still standing quietly in corner of room.
“Why did you not go with others? Don’t you want to save our school?”, asked master.
“I do, Master”, boy replied calmly.
“But you said that we had to steal without being seen and there is no place on earth that would not be seen as for i would always see myself.”, said boy.
“Excellent..! This is just lesson that i hoped my students would learn but you were the only one to see it.”, exclaimed master.
Then master asked him to go and ask everyone else to return to temple. Boy ran out and found his friends who were nervously gathered just out of sight of temple and trying to decide what to do.
When they returned Master explained them and all of them understood lesson.
No Matter what we do, We always have a part of Ourselves that is quietly Watching and that knows Right from Wrong and can Guide us if we listen.
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Keywords: Short Stories about Stealing – Zen Master Test for Young Boys Moral Story, Jataka Tales Stories, Master Students Story with Important Life Lesson