According to an old legend, two monks named Tanzan and Ekido were travelling together down a muddy road one day. Heavy monsoon rains had saturated the area and they were grateful for a few moments of sunshine to make their journey.
Before long, they came around a bend and encountered a lovely girl in a silk kimono. She looked extremely forlorn as she stared at the muddy road before her.
At once Tanzan responded to her plight.
“Come here, girl,” he said. Then, lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the slippery ooze and set her down on the other side of the road.
Ekido didn’t speak again to Tanzan. It was apparent to Tanzan that something was bothering him deeply, but try as he would, he couldn’t get Ekido to talk to him.
Then, that night after they reached their intended lodging, Ekido could no longer restrain his anger and disappointment.
“We monks don’t go near females,” he said to Tanzan in an accusing voice. “We especially don’t go near young and lovely maidens. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?”
“I left the girl back there, Ekido,” replied Tanzan. And then he asked the key question, “Are you still carrying her?”