There once lived a monk called Shan, in a village in China. He had earned a great name for himself. But he was very arrogant.

Qui Jun heard of his arrogance and wanted to teach the monk a lesson. He went to meet Shan who neither greeted him nor acknowledged his presence.

Just then a servant of the monk came with a message: “The son of an army officer is here to see you.”

The monk said, “I will go and greet him.”

Qui Jun and the Arrogant Monk
Qui Jun and the Arrogant Monk [Illustration by Sudheer Nath]
Shan welcomed the son of the army officer with respect.

After the army officer’s son had departed Qui Jun asked Shan the reason for his double-faced behaviour. “Why is it that you greeted the army officer’s son so respectfully, yet behaved so arrogantly towards me?”

Shan the Monk had a quick reply: “Please don’t get me wrong. For me greeting means
not greeting and not greeting means greeting.”

Qui Jun understood the monk’s mischief and hit him hard on his head with
his stick.

“According to your logic, beating you means not beating and not
beating you means beating. Therefore, I have to give you a beating,” said Qui Jun.

Shan immediately realised the folly of his actions and started showing
respect to everyone he met, irrespective of their status.