Once a group of beggars afflicted with leprosy came to the assembly of Zen master Bankei, a greathearted
teacher of the masses. Bankei admitted them to his company, and when he initiated them, he
even washed and shaved their heads with his own hands.
Now as it happened, there was a certain gentleman present, the representative of a baron who had faith
in Bankei and had already built a temple in his province where the teacher could train disciples and
lecture to the people.
Revolted by the sight of the Zen master shaving the heads of untouchables, the gentleman hurriedly
brought a basin of water for Bankei to wash his hands. But the master refused, remarking, “Your disgust
is filthier than their sores.”