[33] The Parable Of Cutting The Tree To Obtain Its Fruits From The Sūtra Of A Hundred Parables《百喻经》之斫树取果喻

orange fruit on tree
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[The] Sūtra [Of A] Hundred Parables

(33) Parable [Of] Cutting [The] Tree [To] Obtain [Its] Fruits


[In the] past, [there] was [a] country’s King, [who] had a beautiful tree [that was] tall, wide [and] extremely big, [that] will grow supreme fruits [that are] fragrant and sweet.


Then, [there] was a person [who] came [and] arrived [at the] King’s place. [The] King spoke [to] him, saying, ‘On this tree above, [that] will grow sweet fruits, [are] you able [to] eat [them or] not?’


Then replying [to the] King, saying, ‘This tree [is] tall [and] wide, although desiring [to] eat them, [with] what cause [am I] able [to] get [them]?’


Immediately cutting [the] tree, hoping [to] get its fruits. Thereupon, without those obtained, in vain toiling [with] suffering, later still desiring [it to be] erect, [with the] tree already withered [and] dead, [it was] already without growth’s principle.


People of [the] world [are] likewise thus. [The] Thus Come [One, the] Dharma King has upholding [of] precepts’ tree, [that is] able [to] grow supreme fruits. [With their] minds giving rise [to the] wish [for] bliss, desiring [to] get [the] fruits [to] eat [them, they] should uphold [the] precepts’ all meritorious virtues. Not understanding [this] skilful means, instead destroying [their] prohibitions, like that cutting down [of the] tree, again desiring [it to] still live, all [these] cannot [be] attained. Of people breaking [the] precepts, [they are] likewise thus.

[Note 1: There should be proper understanding of the need to first plant (and grow) the cause (因) of observing the precepts (守戒) well, before reaping their fruits (i.e. 果: effects) of bliss naturally. Those with inverted (颠倒) thinking, craving for bliss, quickly break the precepts instead, assuming they can attain bliss directly.

True bliss cannot be attained with the breaking of precepts. Any other so-called ‘bliss’ experienced with broken precepts is immoral, karmically leading to suffering eventually. There might be those who pretend to observe the precepts outwardly, while breaking them secretly, thus not personally having profound faith in cause and effect (深信因果), even as they hypocritically teach others to believe in the law of karma.]

[Note 2: When there is a precept broken, there should immediately be the 3R‘s – sincere Repentance (忏悔) for the precept broken, Resolution to not break it again, and ‘Revival’ of the precept, by not letting remain ‘dead’, and by not ‘killing’ the other precepts. Instead, there should be better observation of all precepts after. (True Repentance should already include Resolution and Revival as above, but they are at times forgotten.)]

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

Previous Parable:

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

Next Parable:

[34] The Parable Of Delivering Sweet Water

All Hundred Parables:

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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