Saint of Mt. Koya
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" 'Good,' I thought to myself and resolutely set off up the hill along the narrow path. My decision to pursue the peddler was not based on any desire to become a hero, nor was it the result of youthful exuberance or folly. From what I have said you may think that at that time I was already some sort of enlightened saint, but the fact is that I was really a rather cowardly person. After all, I valued my own life so highly I had been loathe even to drink the water from the river. Under those circumstances you may well wonder why I chose to follow the peddler in hope of bringing him back to the proper way.

"If he had simply been another traveller with whom I had exchanged a casual greeting, I would certainly have left him to his fate, but since he was a person toward whom I had held angry feelings, if I had simply abandoned him without resolving that anger, my heart would not have been at ease."

As he related all this Shucho remained crouching with his face to the pillow and his hands folded as though in prayer.

"I felt that to do nothing would belie the prayers I was always so piously saying with my mouth."

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