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(33) HACKING A TREE DOWN FOR FRUIT

Once upon a time, there was a king who had a tremendously gigantic and beautiful tree. It always produced excellent fruit with fragrance and sweetness. One day the king told a guest who was visiting his palace, "Wouldn't you like to pluck some of the fruits?"

The man replied, "I wish to have some, but how can I get them, the tree is so tall and large."

The king then ordered to have the tree hacked down to get the fruit. In this context, all hard efforts were made in vain. The king still tried to revive the tree, which had withered and died.

So are the people at large.

Buddha, the king of the Law, possesses a "tree of keeping commandments" which bears wonderful fruit. It gives people happiness and makes their wishes come true. To get the fruit, one has to observe all commandments.

Those who do not know how to do good deeds by expedient means, do wrong things in breaking commandments instead. This is just like the king who ordered to have the tree hacked down and the unable to make it grow again. Those who break commandments are just like that.

33斫树取果喻
昔有国王,有一好树,高广极大,当生胜果,香而甜美。时有一人来至王所。王语之言:「此之树上将生美果,汝能食不?」即答王言:「此树高广,虽欲食之,何由能得?」即便断树,望得其果。既无所获,徒自劳苦。后还欲竖,树已枯死,都无生理。

世间之人亦复如是。如来法王有持戒树,能生胜果。心生愿乐,欲得果食,应当持戒,修诸功德。不解方便,反毁其禁,如彼伐树,复欲还活,都不可得。破戒之人,亦复如是。

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