[56] The Parable Of Asking For Nothing From The Sūtra Of A Hundred Parables《百喻经》之索无物喻

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[The] Sūtra [Of A] Hundred Parables

(56) Parable [Of] Asking [For] Nothing


[In the] past, [there] were two persons [in the] middle [of the] path together walking, seeing [there] is a person leading [a] sesame cart, in [the] middle [of a] steep road, not able [to] go forward.


Then, that [person] leading [the] cart said [to] those two persons, ‘Help me push [this] cart out [of] this steep road.’


[The] two persons replied, saying, ‘[You will] give us what thing?’


That [person] leading [the] cart said, ‘[I have] nothing [to] give you.’


Then, these two persons immediately helped [to] push [the] cart to reach flat land. Speaking [to the] person leading [the] cart, saying, ‘Give us [the] thing earned.’


[He] replied, saying, ‘[I have] nothing.’


Once again saying, ‘Give us nothing.’


Within those two persons, that first person smiled and said, ‘[As] that [person is] not willing [to] give [it], how [is this] worthy for worry?’


That [second] person replied, saying, ‘Give us nothing, [as you] must have nothing.’


That first person said, ‘[As] that nothing, [is just] two words [i.e. no thing] combined together, [it] is as [a] false name.’


Worldly ordinary beings, if [are] those [attached to] nothing, [are] then born [in the] sphere without that existing. That second person’s said nothing, then is [that] without form, without wish [and] without doing.

[Note 1: The sphere without that existing (无所有处) is the third formless realm’s heaven (第三无色界天) with nothing physical, which arises due to those very attached to the state of physical nothingness. Those reborn there, although abiding in it for a very long time in concentration, are still not liberated, as liberation is not to become ‘nothing.’]

[Note 2: Those liberated are as if without forms (无相), but still with all forms, without any pure and impure forms attached to. Those liberated are as if without wishes (无愿), but still with pure wishes, without any wish attached to. Those liberated are as if without doing (无作), but still with doing of what should be done, without any of the doing and that done attached to.]

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

Previous Parable:

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

Next Parable:

[57] The Parable Of Stepping On The Elder’s Mouth

All Hundred Parables:

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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