[39] The Parable Of Seeing Another Person Applying On His House From The Sūtra Of A Hundred Parables《百喻经》之见他人涂舍喻

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[The] Sūtra [Of A] Hundred Parables

(39) Parable [Of] Seeing Another Person Applying [On His] House


[In the] past, [there] was a person [who] went [to and] arrived [at] another’s house. Seeing [the] other’s house’s walls applied [and] treated, [with] its floor even [and] straight, pure [and] clean, [looking] extremely beautiful, [he] then asked him, saying, ‘[You] used what mix [to] get [them] thus beautiful?’


[The] owner replied, saying, ‘[I] used rice grains [and] husks, [in] water immersed [to] make [them mixed] thoroughly, and [with] mud applied [them on the] walls, [to] get [them to be] thus.’


[The] foolish person immediately then had [this] thought, saying, ‘If purely with rice husks, [this is] not as good as combining [with] rice [grains] then using it, [as the] walls can [be more] white [and] pure, [with the] mud then even [and] beautiful.’


Then using rice grains and mud, using [them to] apply [on] his walls, hoping [to] get [them] even [and] straight, instead [with] even [more] highs [and] lows, [with the] walls all splitting open.


In vain wasting rice grains, all without benefits, [this is] not as good as [for] benefitting giving, [that] can attain meritorious virtues.


Of ordinary beings’ people, [they are] likewise thus, hearing noble persons speaking [the] Dharma [on] cultivating practices [of] all good, [that with] relinquishing [of] this body already, [there] can [be] attainment [of] births [in] heavens, and with [this have] liberation, then killing themselves, hoping [to] attain births [in] heavens, and with [this have] liberation, in vain losing [their lives], empty without that obtained, [they are] like that foolish person.

[Note 1: What can be used as food should not be wasted for personal vain efforts. If there is excess food, it should be offered for others who need it.]

[Note 2: Although creating much good karmas (善业) can lead to heavenly rebirths, whether there is progress towards liberation (解脱) from there will depend on whether there is further cultivation for purification or not.]

[Note 3: It is possible to spiritually retrogress (退转) in most heavens, and even fall from them when past good karmas are exhausted. It is thus safer and easier to practise sincere mindfulness Buddha (念佛) to reach Pure Land (净土), where there will definitely be non-retrogressive progress towards Buddhahood.]

[Note 4: Those foolish might shortsightedly look only at later conditions of effects, and mistake them as their primary causes. Thus might the foolish deludedly think death is the cause for having a heavenly rebirth, when the actual cause is the earlier creating of much good karmas.]

[Note 5: Suicide not only does not lead to a heavenly rebirth, as taking a human life creates much evil karmas (恶业), it might even lead to a hellish rebirth, much less to liberation.]

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

Previous Parable:

[38] The Parable Of Drinking The Wooden Bucket’s Water

Next Parable:

[40] The Parable Of Curing Baldness

All Hundred Parables:

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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