[19] The Parable Of Riding A Ship And Losing An Alms Bowl From The Sūtra Of A Hundred Parables《百喻经》之乘船失釪喻

a pirate ship sailing on sea
Photo by M.Y. Kemiktv Youtube on Pexels.com


In the past, there was a person riding a ship crossing the ocean, where he lost a silver alms bowl, with it falling within the water. He immediately thought, ‘I will now draw on the water to make a mark, temporarily giving it up, then leaving, I will later retrieve it.’


Passing by two months, reaching Lion Kingdom’s [i.e. Siṃhala; Ceylon; Sri Lanka] many countries, when seeing a river’s water, he then entered it to seek his originally lost alms bowl.


Many people asked, saying, ‘What is that you desire to do?’


He replied, saying, ‘For my earlier lost alms bowl, I now desire to seek and retrieve it.’


Those asking said, ‘At which place was it lost?’


He replied, saying, ‘Where I first entered the ocean, it was lost.’


Also again asking, saying, ‘Since losing it, how much time has passed?


He said, ‘Since losing it, it has been two months.’


Those asking said, ‘If since losing it, it has been two months, why are you in this place seeking it?’


He replied, saying, ‘When I lost the alms bowl, I drew on the water to make a mark, with that originally drawn water with this without difference, therefore am I seeking it here.’


Also again asking, saying, ‘Although the water is not different, when you lost it, it is thus at that place, now at this place seeking, how can you get it?’


At that time, the crowd of people were without those not laughing greatly at him.


He is also like those of external paths who do not cultivate right practices, with what resembles good within, perversely planning to be with practices of suffering and hardship [i.e. extreme asceticism], with these seeking liberation. They are similar to the foolish person losing the alms bowl at that place, yet at this place seeking it.

[Note: What more treacherous than more obviously evil (i.e. wrong) teachings (邪法) are those that ‘resemble the (Right) Dharma’ (相似法), which are not the actual Good Dharma (善法) or the Right Dharma (正法). These dangerous teachings are ‘seemingly right yet wrong’ (似是而非). Those misled by such teachings will be searching for what is right (i.e. liberation) with wrong methods (at the wrong places and times).]

All Hundred Parables:


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

error: Alert: Content is protected !!