[12] The Parable Of Roasting Black Rock Candy From The Sūtra Of A Hundred Parables《百喻经》之煮黑石蜜浆喻

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[The] Sūtra [Of A] Hundred Parables

(12) Parable [Of] Roasting Black Rock Candy


[In the] past, [there] was [a] foolish person roasting black rock candy, [when there] was a rich person coming, arriving [at] his house.


Then, this foolish person then had this thought, ‘I will now take [the] black rock candy [to] give [it to] this rich person.’


Then adding [a] little water, with [it] placed within [the] fire. Then at [the] fire above, with [a] fan fanning it, hoping [to] get [it] cooled.


[A] bystander spoke, saying, ‘[With the] below [having] unending fire, [even if] fanning it endlessly, how [can you] get [it] cooled?’


At that time, many people all sneered [at him].


This [is] like [those of] external paths, not eliminating [the] fires of afflictions fiercely burning, slightly doing [extreme] ascetic practices, walking [and] lying above shrubs [with] thorns, [and with] five fires scorching [their] bodies’ [parts], yet hoping [to attain the] path of coolness [and] tranquillity. In the end, without this possibility, [they are] only by those wise sneered [at], receiving suffering [in the] present, [and with] misfortunes flowing [into] future kalpas.

[Note: While ascetic practices of living simply and fugally along the Middle Path (中道) are reasonable, extreme ascetic practices, which are those subjecting oneself to needless great pain and suffering are not reasonable.

Extreme asceticism arose from the misconception that putting the body through suffering will eliminate all impending evil karmic suffering, with only bliss remaining eventually. However, if the goal is to attain the end of suffering, there should not be continually creating of new causes of suffering, which is self-defeating, while not creating the causes of bliss, which makes it doubly self-defeating.

The ‘fires’ of the three poisons (三毒) fuel the ‘fires’ of the five desires (五欲), which give rise to the ‘fires’ of afflictions when they are unfulfilled. Thus, the three poisons are the primary ‘fires’ to extinguish.]

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

Previous Parable:

[11] The Parable Of The Brahmin Who Killed His Son

Next Parable:

[13] The Parable Of The Person Easily Angry

All Hundred Parables:

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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