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(8) A RUSTIC STEALS CLOTHES FROM THE PALACE TREASURY

Once upon a time there was a rustic who stole garments from the palace and then escaped to a remote place. The king sent men to search for him in all directions. Finally, he was arrested and taken to the king who accused him of theft and asked him where he had got the clothes. The rustic answered that they belonged to his grandfather. The king then ordered him to put them on. He did not know how to wear them. He put on his arms what should be worn on his legs. What he ought to have on his waist, he put on his head. Seeing this, the king summoned his ministers for consultation on the matter.

"If the clothes belonged to your grandfather, you should know how to wear them. How can you wear them in all wrong ways? It's certain that they are not your old clothes. You have stolen them," said the king.

Figuratively speaking, here the king is like Buddha; the valuable clothes, the Buddhist teachings; the stupid rustic, the heretic.

A heretic, who has eavesdropped on Buddhism, makes it for his own. He then misinterprets it, because he does not know the real meaning of its teachings.

This heretic is like the rustic who stole the king's valuable clothes without knowing how to wear them properly and put them on in all the wrong ways.

8山羗偷官库衣喻

过去之世,有一山羗,偷王库物而远逃走。尔时国王遣人四出追寻,捕得,将至王边,王即责其所得衣处。山羗答言:「我衣乃是祖父之物。」王遣着衣。实非山羗本所有故,不知着之,应在手者着于脚上,应在腰者返着头上。王见贼已,集诸臣等共详此事,而语之言:「若是汝之祖父已来所有衣者,应当解着,云何颠倒用上为下?以不解故,定知汝衣必是偷得,非汝旧物。」
借以为譬:王者如佛,宝藏如法,愚痴羗者犹如外道,窃听佛法,着己法中,以为自有,然不解故,布置佛法,迷乱上下,不知法相。如彼山羗,得王宝衣,不识次第,颠倒而着,亦复如是。

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