[55] The Parable Of Wishing To, For The King Shave His Beard From The Sūtra Of A Hundred Parables《百喻经》之愿为王剃须喻

man standing on mountain
Photo by Gurkamal Teja on

[The] Sūtra [Of A] Hundred Parables

(55) Parable [Of] Wishing [To], For [The] King Shave [His] Beard


[In the] past, [there] was [a] King [who] had a close [and] trusted [minister], within [a] battle formation [risking] losing [of his] life [to] save [the] King, causing [him to] attain safety. [The] King [with] great joy, [wanting to] give him that [he] wished, immediately asked, ‘You [have] what that [you] seek? [Without] restraint, you [can have] that desired.’


[The] minister then replied, saying, ‘When [the] King [is] shaving [his] beard, may [you] allow me [to] shave [it].’


[The] King said, ‘[Of] this matter, if [it] fits your desire, [I will] allow you to do] that [as] wished.’


Like this, that foolish person [was by the] world’s people laughed [at, as] ruling of half [of the] country, [becoming a] great minister [or] prime minister, all could [be] attained, [but he] only sought [a] lowly occupation.


[The] foolish person [is] likewise thus. All Buddhas in immeasurable kalpas, [with] difficult practices [and] ascetic practices personally attained accomplishment [of] Buddhahood. If attaining meeting [with a] Buddha, and encountering [his] bequeathed Dharma, [this] human body [is] difficult [to] attain. For example, like [a] blind turtle encountering [a piece of] driftwood’s hole, these two [are] difficult [to] encounter. Now [having] already met, however, their desires [are] inferior, [with] upholding [of a] few precepts, then assuming [this is] enough, not seeking Nirvāṇa’s supremely wonderful Dharma, without [the] intention [to] advance [for] seeking [it], personally doing evil matters, then assuming [this is] enough.

[Note 1: Being with this short and precious human rebirth, and having encountered the Buddha’s even more precious teachings, all humans should swiftly, sincerely and diligently learn and practise them accordingly, as much as possible. There should not be settling for just minimum learning and practice, or doing the slightest of that opposite to them.]

[Note 2: In the Parable Of The Blind Turtle Encountering The Driftwood’s Hole《盲龟值浮木孔喻》in the Connected [Saṃyukta] Āgama Sūtra《杂阿含经》, there is a blind turtle who lives in the great ocean for immeasurable kalpas. On its surface is a piece of driftwood with a hole in it, going wherever the waves and winds push it to. The turtle only surfaces once in a hundred years. The difficulties of his head being able to go through the hole are that of attaining a human rebirth, especially if there was no observation of the Five Precepts (五戒) in the previous life, as they are the criteria for getting a human life.]

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

Previous Parable:

[54] The Parable Of The Snake’s Head And Tail Together Disputing Who To Be At The Front

Next Parable:

[56] The Parable Of Asking For Nothing

All Hundred Parables:

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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

error: Alert: Content is protected !!