4 monks decided to meditate silently without uttering a word for two weeks. On the 1st night, the candle began to flicker and then goes out.
The 1st monk - "Oh, no! The candle has gone out."
The 2nd monk - "I thought we had an agreement not to speak?"
The 3rd monk an in irritated tone - "Why must you two break the silence?"
The 4th monk smiled with pride and said , "Ha! I'm the only one who didn't speak."
"Individually each of the 4 the monks spoke for different reason, each of which is a shared stumbling block to inner journey, meditation, distraction, judgement anger and pride.
The 1st monk became anxious by one element of the world - the candle- losing sight of the rest and forgot what was more important.
The 2nd monk was more concerned about rules than the meditation itself. He was quick to criticise / judge others without noticing the he himself is guilty.
The 3rd monk let his own anger at the first two to affect him . The singular eruption of anger ruined his energy.
And the 4th monk was lost in his ego because of pride. He was convinced that he was superior to others, proving his ignorance, had he simply maintained his silence, he would've been successful in his endeavour.
But if he had continued likelihood the other 3 would've possibly continued to argue and not even observed his stillness.
I know many people who are like the 4th monk; their motto: If I'm doing something good and no one is watching (or no one notices), I might as well not be doing it at all. They believed that the reward is not in the determination, but in the acknowledgement.
It is clear from reading the story that none of the 4 monks are spiritually ready to perform the difficult. Unfocused and easily distracted by their surroundings. I see the moral of the story is 'to plan thoroughly and be solidly ready before embarking on an action. Focus your mind repetitively in reaching your purpose, and the objective will be reached, however difficult.
What would you have done if you were the 5th monk?