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(29) THE POOR MAN BURNS HIS COARSE WOOLLEN CLOTHING

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 are sometimes cheated by the heretics, vicious men and seductive women, who said, "You should believe us that you will be reborn, after this life, in the Brahman Heaven and enjoy longevity and happiness, if you practice ascetics by jumping into the fire or rocks now."

This is just like the story of the poor man burning his clothing.

29贫人烧粗褐衣喻

昔有一人,贫穷困乏,与他客作,得粗褐衣,而被着之。有人见之,而语之言:「汝种姓端正,贵人之子,云何着此粗弊衣褐?我今教汝,当使汝得上妙衣服。当随我语,终不欺汝。」贫人欢喜,敬从其言。其人即便在前然火,语贫人言:「今可脱汝粗褐衣着于火中,于此烧处,当使汝得上妙钦服。」贫人即便脱着火中。既烧之后,于此火处求觅钦服,都无所得。

世间之人,亦复如是,从过去身修诸善法,得此人身,应当保护,进德修业,乃为外道邪恶妖女之所欺诳:「汝今当信我语,修诸苦行,投岩赴火,舍是身已,当生梵天,长受快乐。」便用其语,即舍身命。身死之后,堕于地狱,备受诸苦。既失人身,空无所获,如彼贫人,亦复如是。

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