[6] The Parable Of Having A Son Dead, Desiring To Leave And Put Him At Home From The Sūtra Of A Hundred Parables《百喻经》之子死欲停置家中喻

[The] Sūtra [Of A] Hundred Parables

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


[In the] past, [there] was [a] foolish person [who] nurtured seven sons, [with] one son first dying. Then, this foolish person, seeing [that] since [the] son [has] died, then desired [to] leave [and] put [him] within his home, personally desiring [to] abandon [him to] go [away].


[A] bystander, seeing [this] already, then spoke these words, ‘[As the] living [and] dead [have] paths different, [you] should quickly [and with] dignity send [him] to [a] faraway place and bury him. How can [you] leave [him], personally desiring [to] abandon [him to] go [away]?’


At that time, [the] foolish person, hearing these words already, then personally thought, ‘If [I] cannot leave [and] should bury him, [I] must also kill one [more] son. Putting [and] shouldering [them on] two ends, thus can [they be] successfully sent [off].’ Thereupon, [he] then also killed one [more of] his sons, and shouldered them [to] that faraway burial forest [in the] wild.


[The] people [at that] time, seeing this, gave rise [to] great sneering [at his] oddness, never before [seen].


For example, Bhikṣus [who] privately violate one precept, feeling dread [of] correction [and] repentance, silently cover [and] hide [them], personally saying [they are] pure. Perhaps, [there] are those [who] know, then speaking these words, ‘[As] people [who have] left [the] household life [should] guard [and] uphold [the] prohibitive precepts like protecting bright gems, not causing [them to be] incomplete [with those] missing, how [can] you now violate those received [and] desire [to] not repent?’


Those [who have] violated precepts say, ‘If that needs repentance, [of] even more, [I will] right away violate them, after that then confessing.’ Immediately breaking many precepts, doing [that which is] not good, thereupon immediately confessing.


Like that foolish person, [with] one son since dead, also killing one [more] son, now these Bhikṣus, [are] likewise thus.

[Note: Precepts are usually discreetly broken and concealed precisely because those who do so know they should be neither broken nor with the broken concealed. To do so is to go against one’s conscience, one’s Buddha-nature (佛性). To stringently uphold the precepts like they are each a precious treasure not to be damaged or lost is to be aligned with Buddha-nature instead.

It is with immediate confession and repentance for any one precept violated, that that particular precept, along with others, are upheld well. If there is deliberate adding of moral transgressions with more broken precepts before confessing them in one go, such confession is accordingly less likely to be sincere, just as the repentance that follows is accordingly less likely to be genuine. This harms one’s spiritual progress, while harming others affected by the broken precepts.]

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

Previous Parable:

[5] The Parable Of The Thirsty Seeing Water

Next Parable:

[7] The Parable Of Recognising A Person As One’s Brother

All Hundred Parables:

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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