[62] The Parable Of The Sick Person Eating Pheasant Meat From The Sūtra Of A Hundred Parables《百喻经》之病人食雉肉喻

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[The] Sūtra [Of A] Hundred Parables

[62] Parable [Of The] Sick Person Eating Pheasant Meat


[In the] past, [there] was a person [from a] sickness suffering, [becoming] critically ill. [A] good doctor observed him [and] said, ‘[You] should constantly eat a kind [of] pheasant meat, [so that you] can get healed [from your] sickness.’


Then, this sick person [from the] market got one pheasant. [Having] eaten it completely already, [did] not further again eat [more].


[The] doctor at [a] later time seeing [him], then asked him, ‘[Is] your sickness healed yet?’


[The] sick person replied, saying, ‘[You], doctor first taught me [to] constantly eat pheasant meat, therefore now [having] eaten one pheasant completely already, further, [I do] not dare [to] eat [more].’


[The] doctor again spoke, saying, ‘If [the] previous pheasant [was] completely [eaten] already, why not further eat [more]? Why [are] you now, just [having] eaten [only] one pheasant, hoping [to] get healed [from your] sickness?’


All external paths [are] likewise thus, hearing [the] Buddhas [and] Bodhisattvas [are] unsurpassable good doctors say, [that there] should [be] understanding [of the] mind’s consciousness, external paths [and] others [become] attached to [the] eternalist view, then saying [that in the] past, future [and] present, [there] is are only one consciousness, without having changing [and] declining. Like eating [only] one pheasant, [they are] therefore not able [to] heal [their] sickness of foolish confusions [and] afflictions.

[Note 1: To be attached to the impermanent as permanent is a spiritual sickness, for if one’s consciousness is believed to be unchangeable, how will one be willing to better oneself? It is with consciousness that can change, that we can evolve to become better, to realise purity. That constant is our Buddha-nature (佛性), the potential to become pure.]


[With] great wisdom, all Buddhas teach all external paths [to] eliminate their eternalist view. [As] all dharmas [from] thought [to] thought arise [and] cease, how [can there] be one consciousness [that is] always constant [and does] not change?

[Note 2: All dharmas (诸法) are all phenomena of mind and matter.]


Like that worldly doctor teaching [to] further eat pheasants, [to] then get [the] sickness healed, [the] Buddha likewise thus, teaches all sentient beings, [to] lead [them to] attain understanding, [that as] all dharmas [will be] destroyed, [they are] thus not constant, [and as they are] continuous, [they are] thus not ceasing, then getting elimination [of the] sickness of [their] eternalist view.

[Note 3: All dharmas are constantly changing, thus with apparent ‘arising’ and ‘ceasing’. However, they do not ‘arise’ from nothing or ‘cease’ to become nothing. There is nothing actually arising or arisen, ceasing or ceased, but there is constant (i.e. continuous) changing of everything, from one thing to another.

As taught by Śākyamuni Buddha (释迦牟尼佛) in the Brahmā Net Sūtra《梵网经》, ‘All dharmas’ (i.e. phenomena of mind and matter) true form, does not arise, likewise does not cease; is not constant, likewise does not end; is not one, likewise not different; does not come, likewise does not go (due to beginningless and endless continuous change).’ (诸法真实相:不生亦不灭;不常亦不断;不一亦不异;不来亦不去。) This presents the Middle Path (中道) between the eternalistic view (常见) and the nihilstic view (断见).]

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

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[61] The Parable Of Brāhma’s Disciple’s Created Things’ Cause

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[63] The Parable Of The Singing And Dancing Performer Wearing Rākṣasa’s Costume Together With One Another Alarmed

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Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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