Excerpts

[30] The Parable Of The Person Tending Sheep From The Sūtra Of A Hundred Parables《百喻经》之牧羊人喻

sheep
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昔有一人,巧于牧羊,其羊滋多乃有千万,极大悭贪不肯外用。

In the past, there was a person, skilful in tending sheep, with his sheep increasing in number, thus having ten million of them. With extremely great greed, he was not willing to be with them for external use.

时有一人善于巧诈,便作方便往共亲友,而语之言:「我今共汝极成亲爱,便为一体更无有异。我知彼家有一好女,当为汝求可用为妇。」

Then, there was a person good at being deceitful, then creating ‘skilful’ means, going together to be with his family and friends, then speaking to him, saying, ‘I now together with you have become extremely close and beloved, then as one body, also without having differences. I know that family which has a good woman, and will for you seek her, whom you can be with as your wife.’

牧羊之人闻之欢喜,便大与羊及诸财物。

The person tending sheep, hearing this, was joyful, then greatly gave him sheep, much wealth and goods.

其人复言:「汝妇今日已生一子。」

That person again said, ‘Your wife today, already gave birth to a son.

牧羊之人未见于妇,闻其已生心大欢喜,重与彼物。

The person tending sheep, yet to be with seeing of his wife, hearing she already gave birth, was with his mind greatly joyful, and again gave that person goods.

其人后复而语之言:「汝儿生已今死矣。」

That person later again then said to him, saying, ‘Your son, born already, is now dead.

牧羊之人闻此人语,便大啼泣歔欷不已。

The person tending sheep, hearing this person’s words, then greatly wept aloud endlessly.

世间之人亦复如是,既修多闻,为其名利秘惜其法,不肯为人教化演说,为此漏身之所诳惑妄期世乐。

People of the world are likewise thus, already having cultivated much hearing of the Dharma, for their fame and benefits, are secretly begrudging with those Dharma teachings, not willing to be for people teaching, transforming and expounding them, for this body with outflows, by that deceived and confused, with false hope for worldly joys.

如己妻息为其所欺,丧失善法,后失身命并及财物,便大悲泣生其忧苦,如彼牧羊之人亦复如是。

Like with one’s wife’s news by that cheated, losing good Dharma teachings, later losing their bodies and lives, and also wealth and goods, then with great grief crying, giving rise to their worries and suffering, they are like that person tending sheep, likewise thus.

[Note: There should be careful acceptance of information (including news), especially in terms of spiritual teachings, which might or might not be true. There must be mindful investigation and enquiry to know if that heard is valid or not. If not, not only might we be cheated spiritually, we might be cheated materially too, repeatedly. Upon discovery of being cheated later, there will be grief for having given (or ‘donated’) for nothing true, getting nothing real in turn too.

Having much good resources (that are not against the precepts) is useless if they are not shared or given generously to benefit more. If already knowing the precious Right Dharma (正法), it should be shared selflessly, as giving of the Dharma (法施), with no sense of miserliness, not for personal gain. If there is reluctance to do so, we might not truly know the Right Dharma after all, much less practising it. If there is spiritual stinginess, there is usually physical greed for material (but fleeting) pleasures too.]

全百喻
All Hundred Parables:

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