English Story: Monk Youngjae and the Sixty Thieves

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Youngjae is a carefree old monk. He loved playing music and singing, entertaining the villagers. Every time he played music, the villagers he visited always danced happily. Monk Youngjae always helps people in trouble. His name is very famous among the poor people.

Once upon a time, Monk Youngjae felt too old and could no longer visit the villages. He wants to spend his old days in a quiet place. He also went to an area where many trees grew in the Chiri mountains. When Monk Youngjae arrived at the top of the mountain, he was confronted by 60 thieves. The thieves brandished swords to frighten him. However, the old monk was not afraid, because he really had nothing of value to rob. He greeted the robbers friendly. “Good morning, gentlemen of the forest. You must all be great sword dancers. I have never seen such beautiful swords in my life.”

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The robbers were amazed because the monk was not afraid. “What’s your name? Why did you say this big sword is for dancing?” asked the leader of the robbers. “My name is Youngjae. I’m a monk,” replied Monk Youngjae. The robbers immediately shouted, “Oooo…” They had all heard the news about Monk Youngjae. “Ah, you are a monk who likes to play music and sing? You like to entertain and help the poor,” said the head of the robbers. “We are pleased to meet you. Now, we will dance the sword dance as you said earlier. Please, play music to accompany our dance,” said the chief robber again. So, Monk Youngjae immediately played music and sang, “I’m an old monk who walks aimlessly. I forgot what I did when I was young. I’m afraid I might have done something bad. Now, the sun has risen. Go, heart, the evil one, and welcome to the good heart.”

The thieves were moved to hear the lyrics of the song. They all feel guilty and repent. They apologized and gave the monk a bag of expensive jewels as a gift. But the monk refused. “I am now on my way to a remote mountain. I will spend my life there. Gifts like this I can no longer use. You sell them and distribute the money to those in need,” said Monk Youngjae. The thieves were embarrassed and deeply moved. The thieves threw down their swords. They then followed Monk Youngjae to Chiri mountain. They shaved their heads and became disciples of the monk. They helped the monk build a temple on a mountaintop. The robbers never again harmed others. At that time, Monk Youngjae was ninety years old.

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