[5] The Parable Of The Thirsty Seeing Water From The Sūtra Of A Hundred Parables《百喻经》之渴见水喻

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[The] Sūtra [Of A] Hundred Parables

(5) Parable [Of The] Thirsty Seeing Water


[In the] past, [there] was [a] person, ignorant without wisdom. Extremely thirsty needing water, seeing ‘flames’ when hot [i.e. mirage], regarding [them] as water, [he] immediately raced [to] reach [the] Sindhu River. Already [having] reached that river, eye to eye seeing [it, he did] not drink [from it].


[A] bystander spoke [these] words, ‘You, suffering [from] thirst chasing water, now [having] reached that water, for what reason [are you] not drinking [it]?’


[The] foolish person replied, saying, ‘If [I] can drink [it] completely, I will drink it. [As] this water [is] extremely much together, [and] cannot [be drunk] completely, therefore [am I] not drinking [it].’


At that time, all people [who] heard these words [of] his, all greatly sneered [at him].


For example, [those of] external paths, [who go] out of the way [to] obtain these principles, with themselves not able [to] completely uphold [the] Buddha’s precepts, immediately [do] not receive [them], causing [their] future [to be] without attainment [of the] path’s part, flowing [and] transforming [i.e. reborn] [in the cycle of] birth [and] death, [are] like that foolish person seeing water [but] not drinking [it, by] those then laughed [at, they are] likewise thus.

[Note: As we all have to start somewhere, we should not be intimidated by the vast and great scope of the Dharma, such that we refuse to learn or practise any aspect of it at all. As life is short and unpredictable, with the Dharma being able to resolve many of life’s problems, there should not be trying to or waiting to fully understand all principles of the Dharma before putting some of the Dharma into practice.

To the extent that the Dharma is well practised, it is the extent that the Dharma will benefit. Also, it is through having adequate practice that more and eventually all principles will be realised. This is so as all Dharma principles are interconnected to one another, and are meant to be actualised to be fully understood.]

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

Previous Parable:

[4] The Parable Of The Wife Who Cheated And Pretended To Be Dead

Next Parable:

[6] The Parable Of Having A Son Dead, Desiring To Leave And Put Him At Home

All Hundred Parables:

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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