Skip to main content

(42) THE TRADER AND THE DEAD CAMEL


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 alms to support monks. This is giving up the essential and pursuing the non-essential. In other words, people are not conscious of seeking the fundamental. Unable to go out of the vicious cycle, they lead their lives, through the Five Ways of existence. Therefore, the commandment of the abstention from killing should be earnestly observed by the followers.

42估客駝死喻
譬如估客遊行商賈,會於路中而駝卒死,駝上所載多有珍寶,細軟上氊種種雜物。駝既死已即剝其皮,商主捨行坐二弟子而語之言:「好看駝皮莫使濕爛。」其後天雨,二人頑嚚盡以好氊覆此皮上,氊盡爛壞,皮氊之價理自懸殊,以愚癡故以氊覆皮。世間之人亦復如是,其不殺者喻於白氊,其駝皮者即喻財貨,天雨濕爛喻於放逸敗壞善行。不殺戒者即佛法身最上妙因,然不能修,但以財貨造諸塔廟供養眾僧,捨根取末不求其本,漂浪五道莫能自出,是故行者應當精心持不殺戒。

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The wonderful pear-tree

Once upon a time a countryman came into the town on market-day, and brought a load of very special pears with him to sell. He set up his barrow in a good corner, and soon had a great crowd round him ; for everyone knew he always sold extra fine pears, though he did also ask an extra high price. Now, while he was crying up his fruit, a poor, old, ragged, hungry-looking priest stopped just in front of the barrow, and very humbly begged him to give him one of the pears. But the countryman, who was very mean and very nasty-tempered, wouldn't hear of giving him any, and as the priest didn't seem inclined to move on, he began calling him all the bad names he could think of. " Good sir," said the priest, " you have got hundreds of pears on your barrow. I only ask you for one. You would never even know you had lost one. Really, you needn't get angry." "Give him a pear that is going bad ; that will make him happy," said one of the crowd. "The o

The Legend of The Three-Life Stone

The Buddhist believe metempsychosis, or the migration of the souls of animated beings, people's relationships are predestined through three states of life: the past, present, and future life. Legend has it that there's a road called Yellow Spring Road, which leads to Fogotten River. Over the river there's a bridge called Helpless Bridge (Naihe Bridge), at one end of the bridge sits a crimson stone called Three-life Stone. When two people die, they take this route to reincarnation. if they carve their name on the Three-life Stone together while they pass the stone, they are to be predestined to be together in their future life. Although before their rebirth they will be given a MengPo Soup to drink and thereby their memory of past life are obliterated. In reality, San-Sheng Shi (三生石), or Three-Life Stone is located beside Flying Mountain near the West Lake, Hangzhou. On the stone, there is seal with three Chinese characters that say "The Three-life Stone," and a

The Fox and The Tiger

ONE day a fox encountered a tiger. The tiger showed his fangs and waved his claws and wanted to eat him up. But the fox said: 'Good sir, you must not think that you alone are the king of beasts. Your courage is no match for mine. Let us go together and you keep behind me. If the humans are not afraid of me when they see me, then you may eat me up.' The tiger agreed and so the fox led him to a big high-way. As soon as the travellers saw the tiger in the distance they were seized with fear and ran away. Then the said: 'You see? I was walking in front; they saw me before they could See you.' Then the tiger put his tail between his legs and ran away. The tiger had seen that the humans were afraid of the fox but he had not realized that the fox had merely borrowed his own terrible appearance. [This story was translated by Ewald Osers from German, published by George Bell & Sons, in the book 'Chinese Folktales'.  Osers noted that this story was