[20] The Parable Of A Person Saying A King Is Recklessly Brutal From The Sūtra Of A Hundred Parables《百喻经》之人说王纵暴喻

rusty set of iron weights for scale in close up view
Photo by Ylanite Koppens on

[The] Sūtra [Of A] Hundred Parables

(20) Parable [Of A] Person Saying [A] King [Is] Recklessly Brutal


[In the] past, [there] was [a] person [who] spoke [of a] King’s faults [and] transgressions, then making this statement, ‘[The] King [is] extremely brutal, [with his] governance unreasonable.’


[The] King, hearing these words, immediately [had] great anger, going so far as to, without examining all [for] who said these words, believing [a] nearby flattering person, seized a virtuous official, [and] ordered peeling [from his] spine, [to] take [a] hundred liǎngs [i.e. five kilograms] [of] flesh.


[When there] was [a] person [who] proved this [person to be] without these words, [the] King’s mind then regretted, [and] demanded [for a] thousand liǎngs [i.e. 50 kilograms] [of] flesh, [to] use [them] for patching [his] spine. [However], within [the] night, [he] groaned [and] cried out [with] extremely great suffering [and] afflictions.


[The] King, hearing his voice, asked, saying, ‘Why [are you] with suffering [and] afflictions? [Having] taken your hundred liǎngs, [but with] ten times [of that] given [to] you, [is your] mind not contented? [For] what reason [are you with] suffering [and] afflictions?’


[A] bystander replied, saying, ‘Great King! Like cutting off [a] child’s head, although getting [a] thousand heads, unavoidably, [the] child [will] die. Although [with] ten times [more] getting flesh, unavoidably, [there will be] suffering [and] pain.’


Foolish persons [are] likewise thus, not fearing future lives, greedily yearning [for] present life’s joys, [with] suffering cutting [from] sentient beings, requisitioning [from] common people [to] get much wealth [and] property, hoping [to] attain elimination [of] transgressions and [to] attain blessed rewards.


For example, like that King [who] cut [from the] spine of [the] person [to] take [the] flesh of [the] person, with extra flesh patching, hoping [it will] cause painlessness, [this] is without possibility.

[Note: The very foolish continue to prove their foolishness, even after their foolishness has been pointed out to them. They might also be easily angry due to readiness to deny their faults. They might also repeatedly make grave mistakes, and deludedly think they can easily undo them, even when there was great harm done, that is difficult to remedy. If they were truly repentant in the first place, they would not repeat such mistakes.

The foolish also tend to be spiritually shortsighted, caring only about momentary worldly joys, to the extent of creating evil karmas (恶业) by causing others to suffer for their benefits. They might also create more new evil karmas to get ill-gotten gains, then with these, deludedly attempt to ‘make amends’ for past evil karmas. Not only are they not putting out the ‘fires’ of future suffering, they are also adding ‘fuel’ to them, creating and feeding more ‘fires’ too.]

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

Previous Parable:

[19] The Parable Of Riding A Ship And Losing An Alms Bowl

Next Parable:

[21] The Parable Of The Woman Desiring Again To Seek A Child

All Hundred Parables:

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.