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(11) THE BRAHMAN KILLS HIS SON

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 was indeed an erudite man who could prove true of what he had said. They all came to pay him homage, and were heartily convinced that he deserved respect (as a prophet).

This is also true with those of Sakyamuni's four degrees of disciples who claim to have attained the path of Enlightenment for the sake of the material offerings from others. They would try to fool people by killing an innocent man in order to deceitfully show the virtue of compassion. Such disciples would be certainly doomed to limitless suffering in time to come, just like the Brahman who wanted to prove the accuracy of his prophecy by killing his son and thus deceived people.

11婆罗门杀子惑世喻

昔有婆罗门,自谓多知,于诸星术种种技艺无不明达。恃己如此,欲显其德,遂至他国,抱儿而哭。有人问婆罗门言:「汝何故哭?」婆罗门言:「今此小儿,七日当死,愍其夭殇,是以哭耳!」时人语言:「人命难知,计算喜错。设七日头或能不死,何为预哭?」婆罗门言:「日月可闇,星宿可落,我之所记,终无违失。」为名利故,至七日头,自杀其子,以证己说。时诸世人,却后七日,闻其子死,咸皆叹言:「真是智者,所言不错。」心生信服,悉来致敬。

犹如佛之四辈弟子,为利养故,自称得道,有愚人法,杀善男子,诈现慈德,故使将来受苦无穷。如婆罗门为验己言,杀子惑世。

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