Excerpts

[25] The Parable Of Water And Fire From The Sūtra Of A Hundred Parables《百喻经》之水火喻

a person holding a lighter in front of a sink
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昔有一人事须火用及以冷水,即便宿火以澡灌盛水置于火上,后欲取火而火都灭,欲取冷水而水复热,火及冷水二事俱失。

In the past, there was a person, for work needing fire to be used, as well as cold water. Immediately with the previous night’s yet to be extinguished fire, and with a wash basin, he poured into it to fill it with water, and placed it on the fire above. Later desiring to get fire, then with the fire all extinguished, desiring to get cold water, then with the water again hot, with fire and cold water, these two things together lost.

世间之人亦复如是,入佛法中出家求道,既得出家还复念其妻子眷属、世间之事五欲之乐。

People of the world are likewise thus, for entering within the Buddha’s Dharma teachings, leaving the household life to seek the path, having already attained leaving of the household life, again thinking about their wives, children, other family members, matters of the world and joys of the five desires.

由是之故,失其功德之火、持戒之水,念欲之人亦复如是。

Because of this thus, losing their ‘fires’ of meritorious virtues, and ‘waters’ of upholding precepts, of people thinking of desires, they are likewise thus.

[Note: With inverted thinking, the foolish yearn for liberation when trapped in the cycle of birth and death, but when on the path towards liberation, yearn for matters of the cycle of birth and death. Ambivalently alternating between these two kinds of motivations, they thus lose both of what they yearn for.

There should be reasonable fulfilling of worldly (世间) responsibilities, before focusing on world-transcending (出世间) Dharma learning and practice. Even if not able to focus on the latter full time, there should be mindful switching between the duo in everyday life, to focus properly on each when dealing with each, without distracting oneself by thinking of the other then.]

全百喻
All Hundred Parables:

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Please Be Mindful Of Your Speech, Namo Amituofo!

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