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(31) MASON WANTED

Once upon a time, a Brahman master indented to give a big party. He told his disciple, "I need earthenware for the party. Go to the market and fetch for me a mason."

On his way to the mason's home, the disciple came across a man whose donkey was loaded with earthenware for sale in the market. Yet all pottery was broken by the animal in the twinkling of an eye. On his return home, the man was crying and getting quite distraught. On seeing this, the disciple asked: "Why are you so sad and disappointed?"

The man replied, "I have been making earthenware with all my expedient means after toiling and moiling for many years. I was on my way to the market intending to sell them. But this dumb animal has broken all I had in no time. That's why I'm so distraught."

The disciple was glad to see and hear all this and said, "It's a good donkey. I should like to buy it."
The mason was delighted to sell it. When the disciple rode it back, the master asked, "Why didn't you come back with a mason? What's the idea of bringing a donkey here?"

The disciple replied, "This donkey is better than a mason, for it can break things in a split second what a mason has made over a long time."

The master said, "You are stupid and ignorant indeed. Although the donkey can break things in a second, it can't even make one pottery in a hundred years."

So are the people at large. Those who sometimes receive offerings from their benefactors for a hundred years, give nothing in return. On the contrary, they always do more harm than good.
This is held to be true with someone who shows ingratitude.


百喻经 31 雇倩瓦师喻

昔有婆罗门师,欲作大会①,语弟子言:「我须瓦器以供会用。汝可为我雇请瓦师,诣市觅之。」时彼弟子往瓦师家。时有一人,驴负瓦器,至市欲卖。须臾之间,驴尽破之。还来家中,啼哭懊恼。弟子见已,而问之言:「何以悲叹懊恼如是?」其人答言:「我为方便,勤苦积年,始得成器。诣市欲卖,此弊恶驴,须臾之顷,尽破我器,是故懊恼。」尔时弟子见闻是已,欢喜而言:「此驴乃是佳物,久时所作,须臾能破。我今当买此驴。」瓦师欢喜,即便卖与。乘来归家,师问之言:「汝何以不得瓦师将来,用是驴为?」弟子答言:「此驴胜于瓦师。瓦师久时所作瓦器,少时能破。」时师语言:「汝大愚痴,无有智慧。此驴今者适可能破,假使百年,不能成一。」

世间之人亦复如是,虽千百年受人供养,都无报偿,常为损害,终不为益。背恩之人亦复如是。

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