When I was young and searching for the Truth, I was very amused by the three monkey figurines on display at a glass showcase of a shop. I used to wonder why one monkey used its two hands to cover its eyes, another covered its ears while the third covered its mouth. A Buddhist monk told me the story and meaning behind the three figurines.

I just wonder why the monkeys tell us not to see, hear or speak evil. In this world, evil deeds are happening every day. How can we not see, hear or speak about it? If we were to keep quiet, will we be able to stop the evil that is being committed throughout the world? Definitely not! We must shout aloud to warn others that evil is being committed and let us to something about it; rather than keeping eyes, ears and mouth closed!

Ah, could the three monkeys be telling us: There are so much evil in this world that they are sick of seeing, hearing and speaking about it?

Or, are the three monkeys telling us: When we do not see, hear or speak evil, we will not be doing any evil deeds?

Could the three monkeys be telling us the correct way of living: All evil comes from “I” . When we shut our senses of sight and sound (ears and mouth), the “I” will not be able to exist – Just like a person who is asleep. He cannot be seeing any evil with his eyes nor hear any evil with his ears and definitely not utter anything evil from his lips!

There are many more lessons which we can learn from the three figurines indeed!


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