[46] The Parable Of Stealing The Yak From The Sūtra Of A Hundred Parables《百喻经》之偷牦牛喻

black cattle on field
Photo by Liam Gant on

[The] Sūtra [Of A] Hundred Parables

(46) Parable [Of] Stealing [The] Yak


For example, [there were people from a] village [who] together stole [a] yak and together ate it.


That [person who] lost [the] yak followed [the] footprints [and] arrived [at the] village. Calling this village’s people, [he] asked them [about the] reason [and] situation. [He] then spoke [to] them, saying, ‘[Do] you [live] in this village [or] not?’


Those [who] stole replied, ‘We truly [have] no village.’


Again asking, ‘Your village within has [a] pond. [Did you] at this pondside together eat [the] yak [or] not?’


[In] reply, saying, ‘[There is] no pond.’


Again asking, ‘[Does this] pondside have [a] tree [or] not?’


[To] answer, saying, ‘There is] no tree.’


Again asking, ‘[At the] time of stealing [the] yak, [were] you at [the] village’s East [or] not?’


[In] reply, ‘[There is] no East.’


Again asking, ‘When you stole [the] yak, [was it] not at noon?’


[In] reply, ‘[There is] no noon.’


Again asking, ‘Even if [there] may [be] no village and no tree, how can [the] heavens below [have] no East and no time? Knowing you [are with] false speech, [that] all cannot [be] believed, [did] you steal [my] yak [and] eat [it or] not?’


[To] answer, saying, ‘[We] truly ate [it].’


Of people [who] break precepts, [they are] likewise thus, covering to hide [their] transgressions, not willing [to] reveal [them, after] death entering [the] hells. [As] all heavenly good gods, [are] with [the] heavenly eye looking, [they] cannot cover [to] hide [them], like those eating [the] yak, [this] cannot [be] deceived [and] denied.

[Note 1: Those who break the Fourth Precept (第四戒) by having false speech (妄语) are dangerous to themselves and others because they can simply lie to cover up for many other precepts broken, thus further harming one and all.]

[Note 2: Habitual and unrepentant liars will eventually unwittingly reveal the truth that they were lying all along, as the more lies they tell to cover earlier lies, the more difficult it becomes to conceal them, with every lie being a weakness, before the whole network of lies unravels. This contrasts with truths being ‘strong’ as they will always endure, even if they are yet to be discovered and stand alone.]

[Note 3: Even if some lies seem to go undetected until the end of this life, the unrelenting law of karma will ensure there are consequences of suffering accordingly, even in the manner of dying and in future lives.]

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

Previous Parable:

[45] The Parable Of The Servant Guarding The Door

Next Parable:

[47] The Parable Of The Poor Person Making A Mandarin Duck’s Chirp

All Hundred Parables:

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.