[1] The Parable Of The Foolish Person Eating Salt From The Sūtra Of A Hundred Parables《百喻经》之愚人食盐喻

[The] Sūtra [Of A] Hundred Parables

(1) Parable [Of The] Foolish Person Eating Salt


[In the] past, [there] was [a] foolish person [who] reached [the] house of another [person, where the] host gave [him] food, [that he] disliked [as being] bland [and] tasteless. [The] host, [having] heard [of this] already, poured in even more salt.


Since [having] attained [the] salt’s deliciousness, [he] then personally thought [and] said, ‘[As] that with deliciousness [is] conditioned [by] having salt thus, [with] little still having thus, moreover [if with] much?’


[The] foolish person, without wisdom, then plainly ate salt, [with it] eaten already, [with his] tongue losing [the] ability [to] distinguish flavours, instead, because [of] this, [became] sick.


For example, those [from] external paths, [who] hear [that] regulating drink [and] food can attain [the] path, immediately then fast [from] eating, perhaps passing seven days or fifteen days, in vain [becoming] drowsy [and] hungry, without benefits for [the] path.


Like that foolish person, with salt delicious thus, then plainly eating it, leading [and] causing [his] tongue [to] lose [the] ability [to] distinguish flavours, this [is] likewise thus.

[Note: Practices such as having only one near noon meal a day are good, such as on Eight Precepts’ (八戒) purification days (斋日), or even every day. This is beneficial exactly because it is a moderate way of eating, without eating too much or too little. This helps to lessen greed and distractions, while helping to focus energy on Dharma learning and practice.

If there is eating too much or too little, it will no longer be beneficial. Eating too much will lead to bloatedness and sleepiness. Eating too little will lead to weakness and drowsiness. Anything that is underdone or overdone is no longer on the Middle Path (中道). Thus, without underdoing and overdoing anything, there should be proper moderation of everything, done and not done, in thought, word and deed.]

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

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[2] The Parable Of The Foolish Person Collecting Cow Milk

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Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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