[29] The Parable Of The Poor Person Burning Coarse Hemp Clothes From The Sūtra Of A Hundred Parables《百喻经》之贫人烧粗褐衣喻

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In the past, there was a person poor with difficulties of that lacking, for another as a servant working, who got coarse hemp clothes and wore them.


There was a person, seeing this, then speaking to him, saying, ‘As you are the son of an upright and noble caste’s person, why are you wearing these coarse hemp clothes? As I will now teach you, and will cause you to get the most wonderful clothes, you should follow my words. After all, I will not cheat you.


The poor person with joyful respect followed those words, as that person immediately before a burning fire, said to the poor person, saying, ‘Now, you can take off these coarse hemp clothes and burn them within the fire. From this burning place, I will cause you to get the most wonderful and admirable clothes.


The poor person immediately took them off and burnt them within the fire. Already burning them after, from this fire’s place seeking admirable clothes, all without those gotten.


People of the world are likewise thus, from past bodies’ cultivation of many good Dharma teachings attaining these human bodies, they should protect them and progress virtuously by cultivating their karmas. Then by external paths’ evil and beautiful women, by those cheated and deceived, ‘You now should believe my words to cultivate all ascetic practices. After throwing yourself off cliffs, and rushing into fires to relinquish this body already, you will be born in Brahma’s heaven to long receive happiness and bliss.’


Then using their words, immediately relinquishing their bodies and lives, with their bodies’ deaths after, falling into the hells to fully receive all kinds of suffering, both losing their human bodies, also empty without that obtained, like that poor person, they are likewise thus.

[Note: With whatever little or many blessings we have now, having worked our way to attain them, we should treasure them, and only use them to further cultivate good (善业) and pure karmas (净业), so as to advance towards Buddhahood (佛果).

If without this clear direction, we might be tempted and deceived to practise pointless extreme asceticism and other wrong practices that do not lead to the ‘heavenly’ promised, much less Buddhahood. Practices that lead to suicide can lead to a hellish rebirth instead due to taking of a human life. Such are useless sacrifices.]

All Hundred Parables:


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