The Gates of Heaven

Inspirational Story About Anger and Remorse


Once upon a time, a samurai warrior named Nobushige traveled a long way to visit a wise Zen master in order to finally learn the answer to a question he had struggled with his whole life.

“Are there Heaven and Hell?”, he asked immediately.

“And may I know who is the person asking the question?”, replied the Zen master.

“I am Nobushige, a samurai warrior.”

“A samurai, eh?” – scoffed the Zen master. “Well, to tell you the truth, you look more like a beggar to me! What kind of a king would ever want you to guard his honor? You’re no warrior! You’re a liar!”

Enraged, Nobushige reached for his sword.

“Oh, ho, ho! You own a sword, do you?”, the Zen master wouldn’t stop provoking Nobushige. “I bet it has never been used so far!”

Nobushige, his eyes flaming with anger, drew the sword from the scabbard and tried striking the Zen master.

“Now, you see”, murmured calmly the Zen master while making a step back, “these are the Gates of Hell, Nobushige.”

The samurai stood as if stricken dumb with terror. Remorsefully he returned the sword into its sheath and bowed down in respect and admiration.

“And these are the Gates of Heaven”, ended the Zen master.


The lesson:

  • A famous Russian writer once said that the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human. Similarly, Heaven and Hell may be more than real or imaginary places – they may be states of the mind and soul.
  • Just as anger is sure to bring hell, repentance is the closest we have to heaven on earth.
  • So, instead of feeling angry next time at someone for making a simple mistake, just show remorse – and you’ll see the full potential of being nice.



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