A teacher told us this story about virtuous actions that goes something like this:

A person passes by a stupa when it is raining. In order to protect the stupa from the rain, they remove their shoes and put them over the stupa. A second person later passes by the same stupa. They see the shoes on the stupa and remove them, thinking that is no place for dirty shoes.

Conclusion: Both people performed a virtuous action because of their wholesome intentions.

Does anyone know where this is from? I believe the teacher mentioned it was from the sutras.

  • This doesn't sound like it's from any of the suttas/agamas, and I also don't recognize it from the major Mahayana sutras. Do you know what tradition or lineage the teacher was from? That might help narrow it down.
    – Zac Anger
    Jun 18, 2023 at 21:24
  • Maybe it's just a story. The teacher is from the Nyingma/Rimé tradition. He studied with Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.
    – JoJo
    Jun 19, 2023 at 19:25

1 Answer 1


Words of my Perfect Teacher by Patrul Rinpoche Padmakara ed. pg. 188 "There once was a man who saw a little clay tsa-tsa statue lying on the ground by the road. "If it stays there," he thought, "the rain wil soon ruin it; I'd better do something about it." So he covered it with an old leather shoe sole that had been left lying nearby. Another person, passing the same spot, thought to himself, "It's not right to have an old shoe sole covering that tsa-tsa," and so he took it off. As the fruit of their good intentions, both the one who covered the tsa-tsa and the one who removed the covering inherited kingdoms in their next lives. (Hope that helps).

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