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Anthony de Mello

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Two monks were on their travels. One of them practiced the spirituality of acquisition, the other believed in renunciation. All day long they discussed their respective spiritualities till, towards evening they came to the bank of a river. Now the believer in renunciation had no money with him He said, “We cannot pay the boatman to take us across, but why bother about the body? We shall spend the night here, chanting God’s praises and tomorrow we are sure to find some kind soul who will pay our passage.” The other said, “There is no village on this side of the river, no hamlet, no hut, no shelter. We shall be devoured by wild beasts or bitten by snakes or killed by the cold. On the other side of the river we shall be able to spend the night in safety and comfort. I have the money to pay the boatman.” Once they were safely on the other bank he remonstrated with his companion, “Do you see the value of keeping money? I was able to save your life and mine. What would have happened to us if I had been a man of renunciation like you?” The other replied, “It was your renunciation that brought us across to safety, for you did part with your money to pay the boatman, didn’t you? Moreover, having no money in my pocket, your pocket became mine. I have observed that I never suffer; I am always provided for.” 🙂