Excerpts

[31] The Parable Of Hiring An Earthenware Master From The Sūtra Of A Hundred Parables《百喻经》之雇借瓦师喻

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昔有婆罗门师欲作大会,语弟子言:「我须瓦器以供会用,汝可为我雇借瓦师诣市觅之。」

In the past, there was a Brahmin teacher, desiring to have a great assembly, who spoke to his disciple, saying, ‘As I need earthenwares, with them for an offering assembly to be used, you can for me hire a earthenware master, by going to the market to search for him.’

时彼弟子往瓦师家。时有一人,驴负瓦器至市欲卖,须臾之间驴尽破之,还来家中啼哭懊恼,弟子见已而问之言:「何以悲叹懊恼如是?」

Then, his disciple went to an earthenware master’s house. Then, there was a person, with a donkey carrying earthenware, who arrived at the market, desiring to sell them, within a moment, with the donkey completely breaking them. He returned to the house, weeping aloud and upset within. The disciple seeing this already, then asked him, saying, ‘Why are you sorrowfully sighing and upset thus?’

其人答言:「我为方便勤苦积年始得成器,诣市欲卖,此弊恶驴,须臾之顷尽破我器,是故懊恼。」

That person replied, saying, ‘As I, being skilful with diligence and suffering over many years, then getting my accomplished wares, arrived at the market, desired to sell them, but this evil donkey, in the short while of a moment completely broke my earthenware, therefore am I upset.’

尔时弟子见闻是已欢喜而言:「此驴乃是佳物,久时所作须臾能破,我今当买此驴。」

At that time, the disciple seeing and hearing this already, was joyful, then saying, ‘As this donkey is an excellent animal, with that in a long time made, in a moment able to break them, I will today buy this donkey.’

瓦师欢喜即便卖与。乘来归家,师问之言:「汝何以不得瓦师将来,用是驴为?」

The earthenware master was joyful, immediately selling and giving it to him. Riding it and returning home, the teacher asked him, saying, ‘Why did you not get the earthenware master fetched? Of what use is this donkey for?’

弟子答言:「此驴胜于瓦师,瓦师久时所作瓦器,少时能破。」

The disciple replied, saying, ‘This donkey is superior to the earthenware master, as the earthenware master takes a long time for that making of earthenware, while it in a little time is able to break them.’

时师语言:「汝大愚痴无有智慧!此驴今者适可能破,假使百年不能成一。」

Then, the teacher said, ‘You have great ignorance, without having any wisdom! This donkey now is that just able to break, but if in a hundred years, is not able to accomplish one ware.’

世间之人亦复如是,虽千百年受人供养都无报偿,常为损害终不为益,背恩之人亦复如是。

People of the world are likewise thus, although for a hundred thousand years, accepting persons’ making of offerings, all are without repayment, constantly because of them harmed, in the end not because of them benefitted, of persons betraying kindness, they are likewise thus.

[Note: Those who keep accepting offerings without repaying by truly benefitting their donors also harm them by wasting their efforts and resources. There is much ado for nothing fruitful on both sides, while betraying donors’ kindness also creates much evil karma quickly.]

全百喻
All Hundred Parables:

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