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(34) TO SEND PURE SPRING WATER

Once upon a time, there was a village, which was located five Yojanas away from the city and supplied pure spring water. The king ordered the water to be sent to him in the palace every day by the villagers. Becoming utterly weary of the irksome task, they all wanted to move away to some remote place.

To them, the village chief said, "Don't go away. I'll talk with the king for you to alter the distance between here and the palace from five Yojanas into three Yojanas. It would be closer for coming and going without much weariness."

The chief hastened to report to the king who changed the mileage. People were delighted at knowing this. Some of them said that there was no difference whatsoever. Most still stayed on, because of their newly reassured confidence in the king.

So are the people in various walks of life.

Those who devote themselves to the right religion for crossing the Five Paths toward the Nirvana City, intend to abandon their faith when they are weary and exhausted. Traveling by the transmigration boat, they are unable to make their way toward the shore.

However, Buddha, the king of the Law, has many expedient means from the One Vehicle to the Three Vehicles. Those who follow the Hinayana sect are glad to hear those words and find it easier to practice. Therefore, they spare no effort to do good deeds and improve themselves spiritually so as to make their way of transmigration toward the other shores. Afterwards, they realize that there is no Three Vehicles but ones. Because of the confidence in Buddha's words, they do not want to abandon their faith by then.

This is just like the story of the villagers ending pure spring water.

34送美水喻

昔有一聚落,去王城五由旬。村中有好美水。王敕村人,常使日日送其美水。村人疲苦,悉欲移避,远此村去。时彼村主语诸人言:「汝等莫去,我当为汝白王,改五由旬作三由旬,使汝得近,往来不疲。」即往白王。王为改之,作三由旬。众人闻已,便大欢喜。有人语言:「此故是本五由旬,更无有异。」虽闻此语,信王语故,终不肯去。

世间之人,亦复如是,修行正法,度于五道,向涅槃城,心生厌倦,便欲舍离,顿驾生死,不能复进。如来法王有大方便,于一乘法分别说三。小乘之人,闻之欢喜,以为易行,修善进德,求度生死。后闻人说,无有三乘,故是一道。以信佛语,终不肯舍。如彼村人,亦复如是。

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