[57] The Parable Of Stepping On The Elder’s Mouth From The Sūtra Of A Hundred Parables《百喻经》之蹋长者口喻

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[The] Sūtra [Of A] Hundred Parables

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


[In the] past, [there] was [a] great wealthy elder, [with] people [on] his left [and] right, desiring [to] obtain his favour, [who are] all completely reverent [to him]. When [the] elder spat, [these] left [and] right attending persons with [their] feet stepped on [and wiped it] away.


[There] was a foolish person, not as good [in] getting [to] step on [it], then making this statement, ‘If that spat [on the] ground [is by] many people stepped on [and wiped] away, when he [is] about [to] spit, I will first step on [him].’


Thereupon, [when the] elder [was] just about [to] cough [and] spit, then, this foolish person immediately raised [his] leg [and] stepped on [the] elder’s mouth, splitting [his] lips [and] breaking [his] teeth.


[The] elder spoke [to the] foolish person, saying, ‘You, with what reason stepped on my lips [and] mouth?’


[The] foolish person replied, saying, ‘If [the] elder spits out [of his] mouth, [with it] falling [to the] ground, those [on the] left [and] right flattering already get [to] step on [and] wipe [it] off. I, although desiring [to] step on [it], often [cannot do this] in time. With this reason, [when your] spit [is] about [to] come out, raising [my] foot [to] first step on [it], hoping to get your favour.’


All matters must [be] timely, [with the] time yet [to be] reached, [to] forcibly establish efforts [and] strength instead gets suffering [and] afflictions. With this reason, [the] world’s people should know [what is] timely and not timely.

[Note: Diligence should be applied appropriately in the right ways, at the right times and right places. Otherwise, even great diligence might not lead to ideal results, leading to great harms instead.]

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

Previous Parable:

[56] The Parable Of Asking For Nothing

Next Parable:

[58] The Parable Of The Two Sons Dividing Wealth

All Hundred Parables:

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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