[45] The Parable Of The Servant Guarding The Door From The Sūtra Of A Hundred Parables《百喻经》之奴守门喻

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[The] Sūtra [Of A] Hundred Parables

(45) Parable [Of The] Servant Guarding [The] Door


For example, [there] was [a] person [who] will [be] about [to] travel far, ordering his servant, saying, ‘You [should] well guard [the] door, and look [after the] donkey’s rope.’


After his master [left to] travel, [the] neighbour’s house then had those making music. [As] this servant desired [to] hear [it, and was] not able [to have] himself [at] peace, immediately with [the] rope, [he] tied [it to the] door [and] placed [it] on [the] donkey above, carrying [it to] arrive [at the] show’s place [to] listen [to] those making music.


After that servant left, [the] wealth [and] property within [the] house [were by] thieves completely gasped away.


[When] everyone [from] travelling returned, [they] asked that servant, saying, ‘[Of the] wealth [and] treasures, where are [they]?’


[The] servant then replied, saying, ‘[As] everyone earlier instructed [on the] door, donkey and rope, besides these, those beyond [are] not [that this] servant knows.’


Everyone again said, ‘[As] leaving you [to] guard [the] door precisely [is] for [the] wealth [and] property, [with the] wealth [and] property already lost, [of what] use [is the] door for?’


[In the cycle of] birth [and] death, foolish people [who] are [with] love [as its] servants [are] likewise thus. [The] Thus Come [One] instructed [to] constantly protect [the] roots’ doors, [to] not [be] attached [to the] six dusts, [to] guard ignorance’s donkey, [and to] look at love’s rope.


However, many Bhikṣus [do] not practise [the] Buddha’s teachings. Greedily seeking benefits [and] gain, pretending [to] appear pure, [in] quiet places then sitting, [with their] minds’ thoughts flowing [and] chasing [with] greedy attachment [to the] five desires, by forms, sounds, smells [and] tastes, those confused. [With] ignorance covering [their] minds [and by] love’s rope bound, [with] Right Mindfulness, awakening [of the] mind [and] path factors, [their] wealth [and] treasures [are] all scattered [and] lost.

[Note: We should be masters of attachment, instead of being its servants. As the door represents the six (sense) roots (六根) (of eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and thought [眼耳鼻舌身意]), the donkey represents ignorance (无明), and the rope represents love (爱: attachment), when there is guarding of the door, all within will naturally be guarded too.

Thus, when there is Right Mindfulness (正念) (of the senses), there will not be giving in to ignorance and attachment to the five desires (五欲) (for wealth, sex, fame, food and sleep [财色名食睡]) in terms of the six dusts (六尘) (of forms, sounds, smells, tastes, touches and thoughts [色声香味触法]). If this mindfulness is missing, ignorance and attachment will dominate, while losing the path’s motivation (菩提心: Bodhi Mind) and all its related path factors (道品).]

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

Previous Parable:

[44] The Parable Of Desiring To Eat Half A Pancake

Next Parable:

[46] The Parable Of Stealing The Yak

All Hundred Parables:

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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