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Showing posts from May, 2016


Once upon a time, there was a man who was seriously ill. A skilful physician prescribed that he could be cured by eating some pheasant meat. After he finished eating one, the patient did not eat it again. Afterwards, the doctor came to him and asked, "How do you feel now?" The patient replied, "You have told me to eat some pheasants. Now that I have eaten it, I dare not eat it again." The physician said, "But why not? How can you expect to be cured with only one pheasant?" This is also true with all the heretics. They should understand what the mind means on hearing such wise and skilful doctors as Buddha's and Bodhisattva's preaching. However, they cling to the view of permanence thinking that there is only one mind from the past, present through future, which does not undergo any change. This is just like the patient eating only one pheasant that his illness of ignorance and worries cannot be cured. All Omniscient Buddhas teach the heretic


Brahmans say that the Great Brahma was both father of the world and creator of all things. One of the Great Brahma's disciples once said he also had the power to create things. He was too stupid to be wise. To the great Brahma, he said, "I can create everything." The Great Brahma replied, "Don't talk like that. You can't. Since you don't listen to me, I wonder how you do it." After seeing what his disciple had created, the Great Brahma said, "The man's head that you have made is too big and the neck too thin. The hands are too long and the arms too bony. The feet are too small and the legs too fat. It looks like a Pisacah devil." Through the Great Brahma's words, we should realize that human beings are created by their own deeds resulting from Karma and not by the power of the Great Brahma. Buddha's preaching is not ambiguous. As they preach the Eightfold Noble Path, they cling neither to the view of total annihilation n


Once upon a time, there was a man who went to a large pond where he thought he had seen the shadow of pure gold at the bottom of water. He gave a cry of joy and jumped into the water to feel about the mud and search for it. A few moments later, he began to feel very tired. He could not find any gold and he then got out of the pond. But as soon as he was out of the water that became clear in no time, the golden shadow turned up again. Then he dived once again to do more searching. Still he found nothing. At this point, his father came looking for him. Seeing the state he was in, his father asked, "What have you been doing to get so tired?" The son replied, "There is pure gold under water. I searched for it, but could find nothing." The father could also see the shadow of pure gold in the water. But he soon realized that it was in the trees. So he knew what was in the water was mere reflection. Then he told his son that it was held by the bird's beak and bro


Once two men went to a potter's field where they watched a tread-wheel making urns. They were delighted at seeing the work without satiety. One then left for the great assembly where he was well received with excellent food and got precious teachings as well. The other stayed on at the plant and said, "I'll get a good look at how urns are made." Thus he stayed till the sun set without realizing how hungry he really was or how chilly it had gotten. So are the stupid who engage themselves in their housework without being aware that all things are subject to change. People are inclined to be very fickle nowadays. Apparition of Buddhas and Great Dragons thunders all over the world. The rain of Buddhist teachings fertilizes all beings, except for those who stick to trifles. Being unconscious of death that could come any time, people miss the opportunity to attend to Buddhist assemblies. They are unable to be inspired by the precious teachings as a treasure and al


Once upon a time, there was a Ksatriya of the Makara Kingdom who fell seriously ill, and was aware of the fatal hour. To his two sons he ordered, "After my death, divide between the two of you evenly my effects and money." After his death, the two sons followed their father's will. But the elder brother complained against the younger of unfairness in their shares. An old man nearby said, "Let me teach you how to divide equally your father's fortune." "How!" they asked. The old man replied, "Cut all the valuable garments into two parts. Then break everything else into two equal parts, such as tray, bottle, bowl, dish, money and so forth." People laughed at his suggestion. Such folly is just like those heretics who use one-sided method of separate answer to all questions. There are four ways to answer questions as follows: 1. Affirmative answer. For instance: All human beings are mortal 2. Separate answer For instance: The dead


Once upon a time there was an extremely wealthy elder whose attendants were eager to please him by paying him all due deference. When he spat, the attendants rubbed it with their feet. Among them was this stupid man who said to himself, "When he spits on the ground, others rub it with their feet, Now I'm going to be the first one to render the service of rubbing it when he spits next time." So when the Elder was about to cough and spit out, the man kicked up his foot and trod on the elder's mouth. He broke the old man's lips and teeth. To the stupid man, the elderly man said, "What did you do that for?" The stupid man replied, "Though I would like to serve you, I have always fallen behind others. So I thought by kicking up my foot when you were about to spit out from your mouth, I would be the first to please you." People have to pick the right time to do the right thing. They will get into trouble otherwise, even using every possible mea


Once upon a time, two men walking together saw another fellow trying in vain to pull a chariot loaded with sesame out of a hole on the road. To the two men, the fellow said, "Please give me a hand." The two men replied, "What are our, rewards?" The fellow said, "Nothing." In spite of the answer, the two men helped to get the chariot out of the hole. They demanded, "Now give us something." The fellow replied, "I'll give you nothing!" Again the men said, "Give us "Nothing" then!" Half smiling, one of them said, "He doesn't want to give us anything. No use getting upset." The other one replied, "He said he'd give us 'nothing'. We'll settle for that 'nothing'." When one of them says 'nothing', that 'nothing' is composed of two words, which constitute an unreal name. If the vulgar and common people cling to 'nothing', they will be born


Once upon a time, a king's personal attendant risked his life to save the king at the battlefield. The king was so grateful that he gave his lifesaver whatever he wanted. The king asked, "What do you want? Your wishes shall be granted." The man replied, "Allow me to shave you when you need a shave." The king said, "If that is what you wish to do, I'll grant it to you." Such a stupid man is laughed at by the people at large. It would be so much better for the barber to ask for half a country or to become prime minister or minister of State rather than to practice the mean profession. Only a stupid man would do so. To attain Buddhahood, all Buddhas cultivate themselves with hardship during a long and painful period of time. What people do not realize is that Buddha Shakyamuni’s bequeathed teachings are scarce to be heard and our human bodies are hard to be acquired as well. It is like a blind turtle's trouble in finding a log hole floating


Once there was a snake whose tail told its head, "I should lead the way." And the head said, "I'm used to leading, why do you want to change positions so suddenly?" When the head led the way, the tail knotted himself around a tree and was unwilling to move. And when the tail led, the snake fell into a burning pit and was burnt to its death. This is also true with teachers and disciples. The disciples have a fancy that the young should lead the way, as they think teachers are too old to lead. Due to their youthful immaturity, they often break commandments without being aware of it. They end up dragging each other down to Hell. 54蛇頭尾共爭在前喻 譬如有蛇,尾語頭言:「我應在前。」頭語尾言:「我恒在前,何以卒爾?」頭果在前,其尾纏樹不能得去,放尾在前,即墮火坑燒爛而死。師徒弟子亦復如是,言師耆老每恒在前,我諸年少應為導首。如是年少不閑戒律多有所犯,因即相牽入於地獄。


Once a master told two of his disciples to take care of his aching legs. Each one had to massage continuously each of his two legs. The two disciples bear strong dislike of each other. When one left for a break, the other broke with a stone the leg that the first one had massaged out of spite. The first one, angry at his doings, broke the other leg that the second one had massaged. So are the Buddhist disciples. The scholars of Mahayana criticize the Hinayana, and vice-versa. Therefore, these two schools' scriptures of the Great Saint, run the risk to be both vanishing. 53師患脚付二弟子喻 譬如一師有二弟子,其師患脚,遣二弟子人當一脚隨時按摩。其二弟子常相憎嫉,一弟子行,其一弟子捉其所當按摩之脚以石打折;彼既來已,忿其如是,復捉其人所按之脚尋復打折。 佛法學徒亦復如是,方等學者非斥小乘,小乘學者復非方等,故使大聖法典二途兼亡。


Once a musician played in the presence of the king who had promised him a thousand coins. Later, he asked the king for the money. The king refused to give it to him and said, "The music you played doesn't make me merry for a long time. Therefore, the money that I intent to give you is also to please you just for a while." So is the wordy retribution. While there is little pleasure in human lives and in Heaven, there is also little substance in them. Owing to impermanence and destruction, the pleasure does not last for long just like the music giving only a transient rejoicing. 52伎兒作樂喻 譬如伎兒,王前作樂,王許千錢。後從王索,王不與之,王語之言:「汝向作樂空樂我耳,我與汝錢亦樂汝耳。」 世間果報亦復如是,人中天上雖受少樂亦無有實,無常敗滅不得久住,如彼空樂。


Once there were five men who together bought a maid to whom one of them said, "Get my clothes washed." Another man also told her to do the same thing. But the maid said he would wash for whoever gave her clothes first. Angrily the second man said, "Since I have bought you with others, how can you wash only for the first one who gave the elder?" Then he beat her ten strokes with a whip. Thus she was whipped as much by each of the five masters. So are the five components of human bodies, which are the sources of annoyances. They whip the sentient beings with birth giving, old age, sickness, death and numerous other miseries. 51五人買婢共使作喻 譬如五人共買一婢,其中一人語此婢言:「與我浣衣。」次有一人復語浣衣。婢語次者:「先與其浣。」後者恚曰:「我共前人,同買於汝,云何獨爾?」即鞭十下,如是五人各打十下。五陰亦爾,煩惱因緣合成此身,而此五陰恒以生老病死無量苦惱搒笞眾生。


Once there was a man who suddenly became a hunchback. He went to a physician who treated him first with ointment smeared on his back, and who then squeezed the hunchback between two pieces of woodblock. The doctor pressed the woodblock so hard that the hunchback's eyes popped out. So are the stupid in the world. In seeking for wealth, people try their hands in every possible trade. What they don't realize is that even if they commit crimes most furtively, they will make more injuries than profits, just like the doctor made the hunchback's eyes popped. They will one day go to Hell. 50醫治脊僂喻 譬如有人卒患脊僂請醫療之,醫以酥塗,上下著板,用力痛壓,不覺雙目一時併出。 世間愚人亦復如是,為修福故,治生估販作諸非法,其事雖成利不補害,將來之世入於地獄,喻雙目出。


There were once two boys who dived in a river where they found at its bottom a bundle of feathers. One said that it was the beard of some spirit, whereas the other said it was the bear's hair. They argued without a right answer. A supernatural being nearby was then approached by the two and was asked to settle the argument. He put rice and sesame seeds into his mouth and chewed for a while, then he spat them into his hand and said, "What I have got here seems to me a peacock's excrement." It is known his answer was beyond the question, which was put to him. So are the stupid in the world. During the time of preaching, those who facetiously discuss the teachings of Buddhism do not give the answer to the right doctrine, just like the supernatural being not answering the question. People from all walks of life are made a laughing stock. So is the frivolous and empty gossip. 49小兒爭分別毛喻 譬如昔日有二小兒入河遨戲,於此水底得一把毛,一小兒言:「此是仙鬚。」一小兒言:「此是羆毛。」爾時河邊有一仙人,此二小兒諍之不已,詣彼仙所決其所疑。而彼仙人尋即取


Once a fox who stood under a tree was hit by a twig fallen on his back. He then closed his eyes for he did not like to see the tree. Soon after, he went to an open space. He would not return even when night fell. Later, however, when he saw the branches and the leaves of a big tree wavering up and down in the wind, he said to himself, "The tree must be calling me." He then went back under the tree where he had got hit earlier. So is a stupid disciple. In his attempt of becoming a monk, he has chances to approach a tutor from who he runs away at his first slight rebuke. Afterwards, he gets into a lot of trouble when he meets friends who have adverse influence over him. Only then does he begin to think of returning to his tutor. It is indeed stupid of him to go and come like that. 48野干為折樹枝所打喻 譬如野干在於樹下,風吹枝折墮其脊上,即便閉目不欲看樹,捨棄而走到于露地,乃至日暮亦不肯來。遙見風吹大樹枝柯動搖上下,便言喚我,尋來樹下。愚癡弟子亦復如是,已得出家得近師長,以小呵責即便逃走,復於後時遇惡知識惱亂不已,方還所去,如是去來是為愚惑。


It happened once that a foreign country was celebrating its Religious Day for festivities. All women wore blue lotus flowers as ornament in their hair. To her husband, a woman said, "If you can get blue lotus flowers for me, I shall remain as your wife. Otherwise. I'll walk out on you." Her husband was capable of crowing like a duck. He then entered the king's pond to steal blue lotus flowers. He crowed when he was caught by the palace guard. The guard asked: "Who are you?" With a slip of the tongue, the poor man replied: "I'm a duck." He was arrested and was taken to the king. On the way, he crowed again. Thereupon, the guard said, "You didn't crow properly before, what's the use of doing so now?" So are the stupid in the world. One who in his lifetime does all kinds of evil deeds to the others, is reluctant to repent and subdue his mind. Only at the time of his demise, he says, "From now on, I shall start to do


Once there was a village whose people jointly participated in stealing a yak for food. The man who lost the yak followed their trail to the village. He called out to the villagers, "Do you all live in this village?" The villagers replied, "We live in no village." Again the man asked, "There is a pond in your village. Have you eaten the yak together on the side of the pond?" Replied the people: "We know of no pond." Again he asked, "Is there any tree near the pond?" They answered, "We know of no tree." Again he asked, "Were you on the east side of your village when you stole my yak?" They answered, "We know of no east direction." Again he asked, "Wasn't it at noon when you stole my yak?" They answered, "We know of no noon time." Again he asked, "Although it is possibly true of your first three answers, how can you say there is no direction and no time in all the worl


Once there was a man who was about to take a long trip. He gave orders to his slave and said, "Keep a close watch over the door as well as the donkey and the rope". After his departure, the neighbour was playing music which drew attention of the slave. He put the rope and the door on the ass' back and went to the neighbour to listen to the music. The house was then ransacked by a thief after he had left it. On his return, the master asked the slave what had happened to his house. The slave replied, "You told me to take care of the door, the ass and the rope. I know nothing about the rest." Again the master said, "The whole idea of watching the door is for you to watch the house. Now that the house has been robbed, what's the use in having the door?" Stupid men in the world cling to birth and death (or transmigration) by their lust for life like the slave to the door. Buddha preaches to control the six sense organs (the door) without attachi


Once there was a man who felt hungry and longed to eat seven pancakes. He was already full when he had eaten six pancakes and a half. He was so sorry for having ordered seven of them that he slapped his own face and said, "Half a pancake has filled me up. The other six are wasted. If only I had known that, I should have ordered only half a cake." So are the people at large. There is actually no pleasure in life. There are only illusions, just like the stupid man getting full illusion with half a cake. Being ignorant, people view wealth and honour as pleasure. It is sometimes a painful process to get them. It is also sometimes hard to keep them. It is all the more painful when they have lost them. Therefore, they give no pleasure to people at all times. It is just like people taken in by clothes and food as pleasure. They also bear illusions of the word "pleasure" when they are toiling and moiling. All Buddhas have it that the Three Worlds has no peace but gre


Once there was a man who ground a big stone with great effort. He made a small toy bull out of it after days and months of labour. The effort being made was strenuous, yet the gain expected was trivial. So are the people from all walks of life. Grinding a stone refers to learning seriously and diligently. To make a small toy bull applies to the illusive fame and the inducement of the mutual criticism. A scholar should endeavour himself to serious studying to get wide and extensive knowledge. Furthermore, he has to put his learning into practice so as to obtain some fulfilment. The goal must not be the illusive fame, complacence and arrogance, which breed only sins and calamities. 43磨大石喻 譬如有人,磨一大石勤加功力,經歷日月作小戲牛,用功既重所期甚輕。 世間之人亦復如是,磨大石者喻於學問精勤勞苦,作小牛者喻於名聞互相是非。夫為學者研思精微博通多識,宜應履行遠求勝果,方求名譽憍慢貢高,增長過患。


Once there was a trader who was traveling on business. It so happened that the camel suddenly died on the way. The animal was loaded with valuable things such as jewels, clothes, carpet of first quality and sundries. The trader then skinned the camel. He went away leaving it to his two apprentices and said, "Watch the camel's skin. Don't let it get damp." Later, when it started to rain, the two dull men covered the skin with all the fine carpet, which became entirely ruined. Obviously the skin and carpet differed much in price. They put the carpet to cover the skin out of ignorance. So are the people at large. Abstaining from killing refers to the fine carpet, the camel's skin, and wealth. To let the carpet get damp when it is raining means to undermine recklessly good merits. The abstention from killing is the supreme motive to attain Buddhahood. Unfortunately, people do not effectively practice it. They merely adhere to build pagodas or temples and give a


Once upon a time, there were two Pisacah devils who conjointly owned a suitcase, a stick and a pair of wooden shoes about which they fought for their monopoly. They were quarrelling all day long without reaching a settlement. An onlooker came over and asked, "What are the particularities of those three things that you have been fighting for so angrily?" The two devils replied, "This suitcase of ours turns out all sorts of things such as clothes, food, bed articles used on a bed, and other living necessities. One who takes the stick can conquer his hateful enemies without encountering resistance. One who puts on these shoes will be able to fly without a hitch." Upon hearing it, the onlooker said to the devils, "Would you please stand further away! Let me equally apportion them to you both." The two devils moved away. Immediately the onlooker flew off snatching their suitcase and stick with the shoes on. The two devils were startled at the loss of the


Once upon a time, there was a man who was completely bald. He felt very cold in winter and hot in summer. He was stung by gadflies and mosquitoes. He suffered from his baldness day and night. One day, he went to see a specialist well known for his medical and surgical practice and said, "Great Master! Would you cure my baldness?" Taking off his hat, the doctor revealed to him that he too was bald and said, "I have the same trouble as you. If I could cure it, I would have done so with myself long time ago." So are the people at large. Suffering from the agonies of birth, old age, sickness and death, people seek for immortality. They hear Sramanas, Brahmans etc, are the best doctors in the world who know now to cure all kinds of diseases. They go to a Brahman and say, "Would you release us from the pain of impenitence and transmigration and help us live in happiness and immortality?" The Brahman tells them, "I also suffer from those agonies that y


Once upon a time, there was a man who went to another man's house, which had just been painted, and the floor made even. It was nice and clean. He asked the host, "With what paint did you make the wall so white and beautiful?" The host replied, "I mixed rice bran with water and clay. The beauty is the result." To himself, the guest said, "It would be better if he had used rice grain instead of bran. The wall would be more smooth and more beautiful." He then used his own formula on his own house. The walls turned out to be concave and convex with cracks on them. The stupid man thus wasted all his rice grain. It had better have done alms-giving to obtain any merits. So are the common people. Those who have heard the Saints preaching that people who do good deeds may go to Heaven after death and consequently get deliverance, commit suicide to get there. They merely lose their lives in vain without getting anywhere just like that stupid man with hi


Once upon a time, there was a man who was tired and thirsty from traveling. He drank some fresh running water from the wooden bucket. After he had had enough, he raised his hands in front of the water and said, "I have had enough to drink. Stop flowing!" The water went on. Losing his temper, he yelled, "I told you to stop. Why don't you listen?" On seeing this, an onlooker said, "You are so ignorant. Why don't you just leave?" Thereupon, the onlooker drew him away. So are the people at large. One who immerges himself in transmigrations and the thirst of desire drinks salty water of the five desires. After getting tired of them, he says in those words, "Disappear, thou Five Desires. Don't let me see you again, I've told you. Why are you still present?" A wise man tells him, "You can keep the Five Desires away by controlling your six organs of senses2 or by closing your mind and thought to them. Then illusions will not


Once upon a time, there was a man who owned two hundred fifty cows. He often took them to the pastureland for grazing. By accident, one day a cow was killed by a tiger. The cattle owner said to himself, "Now that a cow is lost, it's no longer an even number. What's the use of having them at all?" He then drove the cattle to a high cliff and killed them all by pushing them down the cliff. So are the vulgar people in the world. One who observes all of Buddha's commandments breaks one commandment without any sense of shame or repentance. On the contrary, he says to himself: "Now that one commandment is broken, I'm no longer perfect. What's the use of keeping any of the others?" All commandments are broken as a result of his ill logic. He is just like the stupid man killing all his cattle. 37殺群牛喻 昔有一人。有二百五十頭牛。常驅逐水草隨時餧食。時有一虎啖食一牛。爾時牛主即作念言。已失一牛俱不全足。用是牛為。即便驅至深坑高岸。排著坑底盡皆殺之。 凡夫愚人亦復如是。受持如來具足之戒。若犯一戒不生慚愧清凈懺悔。便作念言。我已破一戒。既不具足。何用持為。一切都破無一在者。如彼愚人盡殺


Once upon a time, there was a man who went to the mountains to learn Buddhist Priesthood. He succeeded in becoming an Immortal possessing five supernatural powers. His divine vision could perceive all hidden sundry treasures. Upon hearing it, the king said to one of his ministers excitedly: "In order to add more valuable things to my treasury, could you make this man live permanently in our country?" The stupid minister went to this man soon afterwards and took his eyes. He then went back to the king and said, "I have gouged out his eyes so he couldn't go away but stay in this country forever." The king exclaimed, "What is important for his staying in this country is that he could perceive all hidden treasures. Now that you have gouged out his eyes, he is useless to me." So are the people at large. Upon seeing a monk making strenuous efforts to meditate on the Fourfold stage of Mindfulness and the impurities or the human body on mountain groves,


Once upon a time there was a poor and weary man who was always in debt. Insolvent, he hid himself in the wilderness where he found a valuable case full of precious things. A crystal mirror covered them. The poor man was most delighted to see them. He did not hesitate to take them. But he was frightened when he discovered a man's image in the mirror. Twisting his hands, he said, "I thought it was nothing more than an empty case. I wasn't aware of your being in the case. Don't get angry with me!" He then gave up the whole case. So are the people from all walks of life. Those who are weary of countless annoyances in life and persecuted by the creditors of the Transmigration Devil, want to avoid them and free from them through their belief in Buddhism. They begin to practice their faith and do good deeds just as the valuable case to the poor man. Troubled by the man's image- in the mirror, they wrongly cling to the ego taken as the real. They fall decadent and


Once upon a time, there was a village, which was located five Yojanas away from the city and supplied pure spring water. The king ordered the water to be sent to him in the palace every day by the villagers. Becoming utterly weary of the irksome task, they all wanted to move away to some remote place. To them, the village chief said, "Don't go away. I'll talk with the king for you to alter the distance between here and the palace from five Yojanas into three Yojanas. It would be closer for coming and going without much weariness." The chief hastened to report to the king who changed the mileage. People were delighted at knowing this. Some of them said that there was no difference whatsoever. Most still stayed on, because of their newly reassured confidence in the king. So are the people in various walks of life. Those who devote themselves to the right religion for crossing the Five Paths toward the Nirvana City, intend to abandon their faith when they are wea


Once upon a time, there was a king who had a tremendously gigantic and beautiful tree. It always produced excellent fruit with fragrance and sweetness. One day the king told a guest who was visiting his palace, "Wouldn't you like to pluck some of the fruits?" The man replied, "I wish to have some, but how can I get them, the tree is so tall and large." The king then ordered to have the tree hacked down to get the fruit. In this context, all hard efforts were made in vain. The king still tried to revive the tree, which had withered and died. So are the people at large. Buddha, the king of the Law, possesses a "tree of keeping commandments" which bears wonderful fruit. It gives people happiness and makes their wishes come true. To get the fruit, one has to observe all commandments. Those who do not know how to do good deeds by expedient means, do wrong things in breaking commandments instead. This is just like the king who ordered to have the t


Once upon a time, two traders ran some business together. One was a seller of genuine gold, while the other, Tula cotton. A buyer of gold came along and asked for a fire test before buying it. The cotton trader stole the burnt gold and wrapped it with his Tula cotton, which got all burnt up by the red-hot gold. Thus the stealing was revealed. Consequently, he lost both gold and Tula cotton. Like them are the heretics, who steal from Buddhism and write in their own religion. They wrongfully claim Buddhism to be their own teaching and deny copying from it. For this reason, they burn and destroy their heretic scripture, which is disappeared from the world. This is just like the story of the disclosure of the stealing of gold. 32估客偷金喻 昔有二贾客,共行商贾。一卖真金,其第二者卖兜罗绵。有他买真金者,烧而试之。第二估客即便偷他被烧之金,用兜罗绵裹。时金热故,烧绵都尽。情事既露,二事俱失。 如彼外道,偷取佛法,着己法中,妄称已有,非是佛法。由是之故,烧灭外典,不行于世。如彼偷金,事情都现,亦复如是。


Once upon a time, there was a shepherd who was skilful in raising as many as thousands of sheep. However, he was so stingy that he would not spend a penny. At the time, a swindler found means to make friends with him and said, "Since you and I have become intimate friends united as one man, there should be no gap of any kind between us now. I know a pretty girl from a certain family. I should like you to ask her to be your wife." The sheep-farmer was glad to hear those words. He gave him a flock of sheep and other precious things. The swindler then said, "Now your wife has brought a child into the world." The sheep-farmer was very delighted to learn about this, in spite of the fact that he had not met her yet. Again he gave him more things. Then one day the swindler said, "Your child is dead shortly after birth." On hearing those words, the sheep-farmer cried bitterly and sighed ceaselessly. So are the people at large. There are people who,


Once upon a time, there was a poor and weary man who wore a coarse woollen garment, which he had made for his customer. He was seen by a stranger who said to him, "Coming from an honourable family clan, you are the son of a man of high position. Why do you wear such coarse woollen clothing? Now let me teach you how to get some fine clothes. You should follow my instructions. I won't cheat you." The poor man follows his instructions happily. The stranger immediately lit a fire before him and said in these words, "Now you may take off your coarse woollen garment and put it into the fire. You'll get some beautiful clothes out of the flame instead." The poor man did as he was told. After his old clothes were burnt, nothing was left but ashes. So are the people at large. Our being born as human beings must be attributed to the practice of a good religion from former lives. We should take good care of our beings and improve our virtue and do good deeds. We


Once upon a time, there was a man whose wife was graceful except for her ugly nose. When he was out, he saw another graceful looking woman with a pretty nose. It came into his mind that "I would cut her nose and transplant it on my wife's face. Wouldn't that be nice?" He then cut the nose off this other woman. Carrying it home he hurriedly called out to his wife, "Come quickly! I got a pretty nose for you." Once she came out, he cut off her nose and replaced it with the one he had cut off first. It did not fit; also the wife suffered a great pain. So are the stupid in the world. They hear that aged monks and Brahmans with great fame and merit are respected and much supported. They say to themselves in these words, "There is no difference between them and us." They falsely pretend to be virtuous. Not only do they gain nothing, they get a bad name for their misbehaviour as well. Those people are just like the stupid man cutting other's no


Once upon a time, there was a man who was punished by the king by whipping and was wounded from it. He applied on the wounds horse excrement for quick recovery. A stupid man nearby was pleased to see it. He said to himself, "I have just discovered the method to cure a wound faster." As soon as he got home, he told his son, "You are going to whip me until I'm wounded. I have got a good method to cure wounds. I should like to try it." Then, he was flogged by his son who dressed his wounds with horse excrement, believing it was a good method. So are the people at large who hear that the practice of meditation on impurities could remove the evil corruption of the body. They say to themselves in these words, "We are going to meditate on venery and the five desires." They did not see the impurities of the body, but rather got deceitful and wrong ideas from the pursuit of sexual pleasure. Furthermore, they suffer from Transmigration and descend into He


Once upon a time, there was a man who wanted to please the king. He asked the others how to do it and was told, "If you want to please the king, you should imitate him." He then went to the palace where he saw the king blinking. Thereupon, he imitated and the king asked him, "Do you have sore eyes? Is the wind disturbing your eyes? Why are you blinking?" He replied, "Not at all! On seeing your Majesty, I want to be just like you to please your Majesty." Upon hearing those words, the king got very angry. The man was punished by hard blows and sent into exile. So are the people at large. They wish to approach Buddha, king of the Law, to achieve advancement. Once there, Buddha reveals to them his human weaknesses for the welfare of all mankind. When they sometimes hear of using incorrect phrases in his teachings, they may be unable to understand Buddha and they start to ridicule and defame him. They imitate all his weaknesses. For this reason, they lose


Once upon a time, there was a man who needed fire and cold water in caring out his household duties. He built a fire in his room. He filled a kettle with water and put it on the fire. Afterwards, the fire went out and the cold water turned hot. He got neither fire nor cold water. So are the people at large who, devoted to the attainment of Buddhism, seek the enlightened way by becoming monks. But afterwards, they still keep ties to their wives, children and relatives; maintain their concern with the worldly affairs and their enjoyment of the five desires as well. For these reasons, they lose their meritorious blessings like the fire. They also break their commandments like the cold water. This is held to be true with greedy men. 25水火喻 昔有一人,事须火用,及以冷水,即便宿火,以澡盥盛水,置于火上。后欲取火,而火都灭;欲取冷水,而水复热。火及冷水,二事俱失。 世间之人,亦复如是。入佛法中,出家求道。既得出家,还复念其妻子眷属世间之事五欲之乐。由是之故,失其功德之火、持戒之水。念欲之人,亦复如是。


Once upon a time, a stupid man who, after eating the raw sesame, found it not as tasty as the boiled kind. He said to himself, "I would boil the sesame before cultivating it. This way I could produce better sesame." He then boiled and cultivated it as he had planned. However, the attempt failed altogether. So are the people at large who consider it difficult to follow Bodhisattva's practice, due to the strict requirement of eternities of the strenuous efforts. Finding no pleasure, they think that it will be easier for them to become Arahant's by cutting quickly off the transmigration, without realizing that they would never attain Buddhahood that way, just as the boiled seed that would never grow. This is just like the story of the stupid who tried to cultivate boiled sesame. 24种熬胡麻子喻 昔有愚人,生食胡麻子,以为不美,熬而食之为美,便生念言:不如熬而种之,后得美者。便熬而种之,永无生理。 世人亦尔,以菩萨旷劫修行,因难行苦行,以为不乐,便作念言:不如作阿罗汉,速断生死,其功甚易。后欲求佛果,终不可得。如彼焦种,无复生理。世间愚人,亦复如是。


Once upon a time there was a thief who sneaked into a rich man's house to steal a piece of embroidered satin. He used it to wrap up such objects as worn clothes, rags and sundry effects. He was laughed at by the wise. So are the stupid in the world who have faith in Buddhism, who practice good teachings and who do meritorious works. Because of their basic greed for gain, however, they break the pure commandments and lose their various merits. They are also laughed at by the people at large. 23賊偷錦繡用裹氀褐喻 昔有賊人,入富家舍,偷得錦繡,即持用裹故弊氀褐種種財物,為智人所笑。 世間愚人,亦復如是。既有信心,入佛法中修行善法,及諸功德,以貪利故,破于清淨戒及諸功德,為世所笑,亦復如是。


Once upon a time there was a merchant who was getting lignaloes from under the sea. He did not gather enough of them to fill up a cart to bring back home until several years later. He then transported them into the market. However, there were no buyers, due to their high price. Unable to sell them after several days, he got bored and tired. While he saw some other dealers selling out quickly their charcoal, he said to himself that it is better to burn the lignaloes into charcoal in order to get them sold quickly. After he burnt them, he went to the market again, but the value of the burnt lignaloes was less than half of that of the charcoal. So are the stupid in the world. To attain Buddhahood, it requires them to practice diligently and zealously through various methods. However, they draw back from encountering difficulties. They would resolve reaching Sravaka stage by destroying quickly the Karma of reincarnation in their hope of becoming Arahant. 22入海取沈水喻 昔有长者子,入海取沈水,积


Once there was a woman who longed for a second child. He asked other women, "Who could bring me another child?" An old lady told her, "I can find a way for you to give birth to another child, on one condition that you should offer a sacrifice to God." She asked, "What have I to offer as a sacrifice?" Thereupon, the old lady replied, "Kill your son and use his blood as a sacrifice to God. Thus you'll certainly get many other children." Subsequently, she tried to follow the old lady's instructions. A wise man nearby heard the story first jeered and then scolded the woman, "How so stupid and ignorant you are! To kill your son that you have now! Are you sure that you'll have another one whose birth is unknown?" So is the stupid man who in order to get uncertain happiness, plunges into the burning pit and does all, sorts of wrong-doings in the hope of entering Heaven after death. 21妇女欲更求子喻 往昔世时,有妇女人,始有一子,更欲求子。问余


(20) THE KING WAS SAID TO HAVE GIVEN REIN TO CRUELTY Once upon a time a man pronouncing his king's crimes, said, "Very cruel is the king. He is incapable of governing." On hearing this, the king lost his temper without making sure who it was that had said it. He took his deceitful attendant's advice by holding an eminent minister under arrest. He ordered to have his backbone flayed and have his body cut to one hundred ounces of flesh for punishment. Soon afterwards, a man testified the minister's innocence to the king. To his regret, the king ordered one thousand ounces of flesh is given to the minister to make up for what was cut off from his body. Later, when the minister gave a groan with pain at night, the king asked, "What's wrong with you? I have given you back ten times more than I had taken from you. Are you not satisfied with it? Why are you still moaning?" A bystander replied, "Oh! My great king! If anyone cut your Majesty's h


Once upon a time there was a man who dropped a silver bowl into the sea while crossing it. He pondered, "I'm going to make a mark on the water. I'm carrying on my journey now. But I'll come back for it later." After two months' travel during which he visited Ceylon and many other countries. On seeing a river, he jumped into the water looking for the bowl he had lost before. "What are you doing there?" people asked. He replied, "I have lost my bowl. Now I would like to get it back." People went on, "When did you lose it?" He answered, "I lost it crossing the sea." Again people asked, "How long ago did you lose it?" He answered, "I lost it two months ago." People asked, "Since you lost it two months ago in the sea, why are you looking for it here in the river?" He answered, "I made a mark on the water where I lost the bowl. This water looks the same as the other. There s


Once upon a time there was a poor man who had to work very hard in the king's service. As time went on, he became emaciated. Out of pity, the king gave him a dead camel. Having received it, the poor man began to flay it. His knife being very blunt, he looked for a whetstone to grind it. At last, he found one upstairs where he sharpened the knife. He then went back downstairs to skin the camel. He ran up and down the stairs doing the sharpening and skinning frantically for a while and finally he felt so tired that he could not go on any longer. Then he had to hang the camel upstairs to be closer to the whetstone. People guffawed at him. A stupid man who, by breaking the strict commandments gathers plenty of money and uses it on offering in the hope that he will be born in Heaven. This stupid man is just like the poor man who worked hard for little gain in hanging his camel upstairs and sharpening his knife. 18 就楼磨刀喻 昔有一人,贫穷困苦,为王作事,日月经久,身体羸瘦。王见怜愍,赐一死驼。贫人得已,即便剥皮,嫌刀钝故,求石欲磨,乃


Once a merchant lent half a cent to a man who then took a long time repaying him. The merchant went to the man to ask him to clear the debt sooner. To go there, he had to pay two cents as ferry fare to cross a wide river. The debtor was not at home when he arrived there. On his trip back, he had to pay as much again. It amounted to four cents in total. For a debt of half a cent, the merchant lost four cents. Moreover, he got very tired from his journey. He lost a great more than what he stood to gain. As a result, he was sardonically laughed at. So are the people at large. To seek a little fame and gain, people will spare no pains to bring ruin upon what should be their greater concern. They seek self-preservation at the expense of morality. Consequently, they will earn a bad name in this life and suffer retribution in the hereafter. 17债半钱喻 往有商人,贷他半钱,久不得偿,即便往债。前有大河,雇他两钱,然后得渡。到彼往债,竟不得见。来还渡河,复雇两钱。为半钱债,而失四钱,兼有道路疲劳乏困。所债甚少,所失极多,果被众人之所怪笑。 世人亦尔,要少名利,致毁大行。苟容己身,不顾礼义,现受恶名,后得苦报。


Once upon a time two men who cultivated sugar-cane, pledged that the one who had a good harvest would win prizes, while the one with a bad harvest would be heavily penalized. One of them thought, "The sugar-cane itself is very sweet. It will be more delicious if I water it with its compressed juice. Then I will get the upper hand over him." Immediately, he began to press the juice from the sugar-cane. He watered the plant with the juice in the hope of making it more delicious. Instead, he destroyed the seedling and lost his entire plantation. So are people at large. Those who wish for the comforts of life use their high positions and great influence to oppress the mass. They steal others' possessions as their own wealth to do good works with a view to enjoy better life afterwards. However, they are unaware of the calamities, which are to come upon them. Those people are just like the man who, pressing the sugar-cane, lost everything. 16灌甘蔗喻 昔有二人共种甘蔗,而作誓言:「种好者,赏


Once upon a time there was a king who brought a daughter into the world. He sent for the doctor and asked him, "Could you prescribe some drugs for my daughter in order to make her grow up faster?" The physician replied, "I have a good prescription for her. However, I don't have the medicine on hand. I should look for it. Your Majesty must not see her at the time of my searching for the medicine. I'll present her to your Majesty after she has taken it." Then the physician went to a remote region in search of the medicine. He found it and came back twelve years later. Having taken the medicine, the daughter was led to the king who was happy to see her. Then he said to himself, "He's a good physician. My daughter has indeed grown after taking his medicine." The king then ordered his attendants to reward the doctor lavishly with gems. All the courtiers derided the king for his ignorance to such an extent that he did not know to think of the ye


Once upon a time there was a group of merchants who wanted to go to the sea. A guide was required. They set out in quest of such a man. After finding such a man, they started the trip and saw a temple when they reached a land of wilderness. A man had to be immolated to cross it. After consultation, the group of merchants said that they could not choose anyone in the company to be killed, for they were all related. The only one fit to be sacrificed was the guide. So they killed him. After performing the rites, they soon lost their way and knew not which direction to go. They then died one after another. So are the people in general. Those who seek to fish for treasure in the sea of Dharma should keep the commandments of doing good deeds as their guide. If they break them, they will end their lives in the wilderness and can never be rescued. Furthermore, they will have to go through the Three Evil Paths of Transmigration and suffer forever and ever. Such men are just like the gro


Once a group of people sat in a house commenting on someone as being of good virtue except for two faults: First, he was quick- tempered. Second, he was impulsive. At the time, this man happened to pass by the door and heard the comment. He entered the house, grabbed the man who had criticized him, and started to beat him. Thereupon one bystander asked why he beat the man. He replied, "When did I ever lose my temper or act impulsively? This man said that I often did so. That's why I have beaten him." The bystander pointed out, "Your action at once demonstrates that you have often lost your temper and acted impulsively. Why do you still want to conceal your character from others?" This man who resents to having his faults exposed, often leads people to lay all the blame for the stupidity and foolishness on him. People, who are addicted to drinking and other debaucheries, when scolded by others, strongly hate their critics in turn. Moreover, they try


Once upon a time, a man was boiling black rock-honey syrup, when a rich man came to his house. He thought he would give the syrup to the rich man. He poured a little water into it and put it on a slow fire. He then fanned it with a fan in the hope of cooling it. A bystander addressed to him, "If you don't put out the fire below, how can you cool it even though you keep on fanning?" People began to laugh at him. This is like the heretics who will practice a little mortification by sleeping on thorny brambles without putting out the flames of annoyance. As the five passions are still blazing within them, there is no way for such people to become cool and quiet. As a result, they sardonically laughed at by the wise. Moreover, they will suffer affliction in their present lives and transmigration in the future. 12煮黑石蜜浆喻 昔有愚人煮黑石蜜,有一富人来至其家。时此愚人便作是想:我今当取黑石蜜浆与此富人。即着少水用置火上,即于火上,以扇扇之,望得使冷。傍人语言:「下不止火,扇之不已,云何得冷?」尔时众人悉皆嗤笑。 其犹外道,不灭烦恼炽燃之火,少作苦行,卧棘刺上,五热炙身,而望清凉寂静之道,终无是处。徒为智者之


Once upon a time, there was a Brahman who prided himself on his erudite knowledge of astrology and various arts. He was such a conceited man that he claimed to be learned in everything. To show his ability, he went abroad carrying his son in his arms and cried. The Brahman was asked, "Why are you crying?" He replied, "This baby is going to die within seven days. I'm grieved at his inevitable death. That's why I can't help crying." The contemporaries said, "It's difficult to know a man's life. It's easy to make a miscalculation. He may not die seven days. Why should you weep in advance?" The Brahman said, "The sun and the moon may set and the stars may fall, but I have never had a miscalculation on my record." To prove his self-claimed knowledge, he killed his son on the seventh day, for the sake of fame and gain. The contemporaries heard the news of his son's death at the foretold time. They marvelled that he w