Beware the paragons of asceticism and abstinence. I am frightened of what may lurk and boil in their soul. And remember: God may forgive us for the sins we have made, but He will never ever forgive us for the sins we didn’t commit.
This reminds me of a story:
This is definitely not about Mullah Nasrudin. Moslems don’t do such things with unknown women. It is about an old Buddhist monk and sage. His name was Michi Hara.
One day, Michi was walking along the muddy street, after the rain, holding his begging bowl, in company of a young novice.
They saw a ravishing young woman in a beautiful silk robe apparently hesitating to step into the mud, the puddles and the dirt as she needed to go across.
Michi, generous, stepped forth, took the lady in his arms without a word and carried her to the other sidewalk, where he left her on the dry pavement. He retired in silence, answering the ladies’ profuse thanks with a polite bow.
After this, Michi and the apprentice walked for a long while through the town. The novice was burning, itching, to ask something but did not dare to do it or did not know how to do it. In fact, they walked and silently begged the whole day long. They gathered a whole bag of food offered by the charitable believers.
Late that evening, while they headed home to the cloister, the disciple couldn’t hold any more and addressed Michi Hara:
“Master, he said, I must ask..”
“We are Buddhist monks. The Buddha said about women to Ananda: “Do not see them. If you see them, do not speak to them. If they speak to you, practise mindfulness” We are not supposed to hold women in our arms! How could you do such a thing?”
Michi smiled at the young apprentice and answered with friendly indulgence:
“Dear young brother, I left that girl on the other side of a street, somewhere in a town. Are you still carrying her?”