The oath of silence

There were three monks who were very close friends. One was a Russian, one was a German and one was an Italian. They all wanted to realise God, so they entered into an Himalayan cave and took an oath of silence. They decided to pray and meditate most intensely, and not to utter a single word until they had realised God.

For one year, everything went well. They remained silent and they enjoyed very deep meditations. Alas, the day came when the weather became unbearably cold. The three monks were shivering. Each one was finding it extremely difficult to meditate.

Finally, the Italian monk opened his eyes and said, "It is very cold here."

The German monk opened his eyes and said, "You are right, my friend."

Hearing their conversation, the Russian monk flew into a rage. "You two are so bad!" he thundered. "You cannot keep your promise. You have to discuss the weather! What is more, you have interrupted my meditation. I was drinking in peace and delight, but now it is all ruined. What happened to your sacred oath? It is simply worthless!"

Like this, he went on insulting the German monk and the Italian monk mercilessly.

Still his anger did not abate. At last, the Russian monk said, "You two are worse than useless! I am leaving you." Saying this, he left the cave.

The German monk and the Italian monk were so furious and upset at the behaviour of the Russian monk. "What right does he have to scold us?" they shouted. They became so disgusted that they, too, decided to leave the cave.

This is how the three monks ended their silence and abandoned the Himalayan cave. Needless to say, God-realisation was nowhere to be found!