Excerpts

[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
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昔有人乘船渡海,失一银釪堕于水中,即便思念:「我今画水作记,舍之而去后当取之。」

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.’

行经二月到师子诸国,见一河水,便入其中觅本失釪。

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.

诸人问言:「欲何所作?」

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

答言:「我先失釪今欲觅取。」

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

问言:「于何处失?」

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

答言:「初入海失。」

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

又复问言:「失经几时?」

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

言:「失来二月。」

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

问言:「失来二月,云何此觅?」

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

答言:「我失釪时画水作记,本所画水与此无异,是故觅之。」

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.’

又复问言:「水虽不别,汝昔失时乃在于彼,今在此觅何由可得?」

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?’

尔时众人无不大笑。

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

亦如外道不修正行,相似善中横计苦困,以求解脱,犹如愚人失釪于彼而于此觅。

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).]

全百喻
All Hundred Parables:

https://purelanders.com/baiyu

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