Friday, 28 February 2014



      The emperor loved to go hunting. Worried for his safety, his advisors insisted that he take his personal doctor with him at all times in case of an accident.
      One day the emperor cut his finger and summoned his doctor and asked if he thought it would be alright.
     The doctor replied,
     "Good, bad, who knows?
     The Emperor was a little put out, but he trusted his physician and carried on hunting. 
     The next day his finger was getting worse and had become infected, so again he called for his doctor. As the he was cleaning the wound, again the emperor asked him if he thought it was going to be alright, and again the doctor answered,
      "Good, bad, who knows?
      The emperor was a little put out, but he said nothing and dismissed the doctor.
      A few days later the finger had become badly infected and the doctor had to amputate it. The emperor was furious and had the doctor thrown into the palace dungeon.
      When his hand had healed, the emperor set off hunting again. Unfortunately he lost his way and was captured by a forest tribe who believed in human sacrifice, so they took him back to their village and called their high priest to make the sacrifice. But the priest noticed the emperor had a finger missing so he wasn't perfect and therefore unworthy of sacrifice to their gods, so they set him free.
     The emperor rode straight back to the palace and went down into the dungeons where the doctor was incarcerated. He released him from his cell, apologising profusely,
      "If it hadn't been for my missing finger I would be dead now. I did a very bad thing in having you locked up, please will you forgive me?"
      The doctor smiled at the emperor and replied
      "Good, bad, who knows? If you hadn't locked me up in the dungeon I would have been with you out hunting, I too would have been captured and I have all my fingers so I would have been sacrificed instead of you.

Adapted from a Youtube dhaama talk by Ajahn Brahm 'F' is for Forgiveness