[31] The Parable Of Hiring An Earthenware Master From The Sūtra Of A Hundred Parables《百喻经》之雇借瓦师喻

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[The] Sūtra [Of A] Hundred Parables

(31) Parable [Of] Hiring [An] Earthenware Master


[In the] past, [there] was [a] Brahmin teacher, desiring [to] have [a] great assembly, [who] spoke [to his] disciple, saying, ‘[As] I need earthenwares, with [them for an] offering assembly [to be] used. You can for me hire [a] earthenware master, [by] going [to the] market [to] search [for] him.’


Then, his disciple went [to an] earthenware master’s house. Then, [there] was a person, [with a] donkey carrying earthenware, [who] arrived [at the] market, desiring [to] sell [them], within a moment, [with the] donkey completely breaking them. [He] returned [to the] house, weeping aloud [and] upset within. [The] disciple seeing [this] already, then asked him, saying, ‘Why [are you] sorrowfully sighing [and] upset thus?’


That person replied, saying, ‘[As] I, being skilful [with] diligence [and] suffering over many years, then getting [my] accomplished wares, arrived [at the] market, desired [to] sell [them, [but] this evil donkey, [in the] short while [of] a moment completely broke my earthenware, therefore [am I] upset.’


At that time, [the] disciple seeing [and] hearing this already, [was] joyful, then saying, ‘[As] this donkey [is an] excellent animal, [with] that [in a] long time made, [in] a moment able [to] break [them], I will today buy this donkey.’


[The] earthenware master [was] joyful, immediately selling [and] giving [it to him].


Riding [it and] returning home, [the] teacher asked him, saying, ‘Why [did] you not get [the] earthenware master fetched? [Of what] use is [this] donkey for?’


[The] disciple replied, saying, ‘This donkey [is] superior to [the] earthenware master, [as the] earthenware master [takes a] long time [for] that making [of] earthenware, [while he in a] little time [is] able [to] break [them].’


Then, [the] teacher said, ‘You [have] great ignorance, without having [any] wisdom! This donkey now [is] that just able [to] break, [but] if [in a] hundred years, [is] not able [to] accomplish one [ware].’


People of [the] world [are] likewise thus, although [for a] hundred thousand years, accepting persons’ making [of] offerings, all [are] without repayment, constantly because of [them] harmed, [in the] end not because of [them] benefitted, of persons betraying kindness, [they are] likewise thus.

[Note: Those who keep accepting offerings without repaying by truly benefitting their donors also harm them by wasting their efforts and resources. There is much ado for nothing fruitful on both sides, while betraying donors’ kindness also creates much evil karma quickly.]

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

Previous Parable:

[30] The Parable Of The Person Tending Sheep

Next Parable:

[32] The Parable Of The Merchant Guest Who Stole Gold

All Hundred Parables:

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