[35] The Parable Of The Treasure Trunk’s Mirror From The Sūtra Of A Hundred Parables《百喻经》之宝箧镜喻

ornamental old chest on ground
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[The] Sūtra [Of A] Hundred Parables

(35) Parable [Of The] Treasure Trunk’s Mirror


[In the] past, [there] was a person, poor, [with] difficulties [and] lacking, owing many people debts. Without [that which] can [be] used [for] repayment, [he] immediately escaped [and] arrived [at an] empty [and] wide place.


Encountering [a] trunk, full [with] precious treasures within, [there] was a bright mirror attached [to the] precious treasures above, with [it as a] lid covering them.


[The] poor person, seeing [this] already, [with his] mind [having] great joy, immediately gave rise [to] it. Seeing [the] person within [the] mirror, [he] then gave rise [to] surprise [and] fear, crossed [his] hands [and] said, ‘I thought [this is an] empty trunk, not having [anything at] all, not knowing you are within this trunk, [please do] not look angry.’


Of ordinary beings’ people, [they are] likewise thus, by immeasurable afflictions as those poor [and with] difficulties, and [are] by [the cycle of] birth [and] death, [its] demon king [and their] creditor, as those bound [and] attached, desiring [to] avoid [the cycle of] birth [and] death, entering [the] Buddha’s Dharma [teachings] within, cultivating practices [of] good Dharma [teachings], creating all meritorious virtues.


Like encountering [of the] treasure trunk, by self’s view’s mirror as those confused, falsely seeing [there] is [a] self, immediately closing [and] attached, thinking [it] is true, thereupon falling [and] losing all meritorious virtues, meditative concentrations, path factors without outflows, all good [Dharma teachings and the] Three Vehicles’ paths’ fruits [i.e. of Arhathood (阿罗汉果), Pratyekabuddhahood (辟支佛果) and Bodhisattvahood (菩萨果)], [with them] all lost. Like that foolish person’s abandoning of [the] treasure trunk, those attached [to] self’s view [are] likewise thus.

[Note: Strong attachment to the illusion of having a permanent and substantial self is the key obstacle that prevents us from attaining the immeasurable Dharma treasures (法宝) that the Buddha freely offers, that will solve our spiritual and physical problems. It is thus our fundamental existential delusion, that we ironically cling to, in this life and from life to life.]

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

Previous Parable:

[34] The Parable Of Delivering Sweet Water

Next Parable:

[36] The Parable Of Destroying Eyes Of The Sage With Five Supernormal Powers

All Hundred Parables:

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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