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

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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.


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.’


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


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


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.


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


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


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.


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.]

All Hundred Parables:


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