An old monk and his student were travelling on their way to another town when they came to a river. They would have to cross the river in order to reach their destination.
Before they were about to cross the river, a beautiful young woman approached and respectfully asked
“Dear Venerable Sirs, I am on my way to visit my aunt in the town in front. I would have to cross the river to reach the town. However I am unable to do so as the water flow is too fast and I am afraid I will be swept away by the currents. Can you please help to carry me across the river?”
The old monk immediately agreed and proceed to lift her up. He then asked his student to follow him and all three of them crossed the river successfully. The young woman was very grateful. She thanked the old monk and proceeded on her way.
The old monk and his student also continued their journey. However after 1 hour, the student spoke,
“Master, I have a question. The monks vows state that we are to keep a respectful distance from woman and must avoid all physical contact with them. Am I correct, Master?
“Yes. Young one.
“Master, why then did you agree to carry that young woman just now?”
“Young one, I have already stopped carrying her at the river. Why are you still carrying her?”