Mokusen's Hand

Mokusen lived in a temple in the district of Tanba. One of his temple members complained of his wife's stinginess. Mokusen visited he member's wife and put his clenched fist before her face. "What do you mean by that?" the surprised woman asked. "If my hand were always like that," Mokusen said, "what would you call it?" "Deformed," replied the woman. Then he opened his hand flat, held it in front of her face, and asked, "Suppose it were always like that. What then?" "Another kind of deformity," said the wife. "If you understand that much, you are a good wife," said Mokusen and left. After his visit, the wife helped her husband to distribute as well as to save.

What did this woman perceive from Mokusen's visit? She saw her own deformity. We are quick to see the deformity of others but are usually oblivious to our own.


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