[63] The Parable Of The Singing And Dancing Performer Wearing Rākṣasa’s Costume Together With One Another Alarmed From The Sūtra Of A Hundred Parables《百喻经》之伎儿着戏罗刹服共相惊怖喻

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[The] Sūtra [Of A] Hundred Parables

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


[In the] past, [in] Gandhāra kingdom, [there] were many singing [and] dancing performers. Due [to] then [having] famine, seeking food [in] other lands, [they] passed [by] Bhala New Mountain, and this mountain within [was] usually abundant [with] evil ghosts [and] man-eating rākṣasas.


Then, all [the] singing [and] dancing performers assembled [to] stay overnight within [the] mountain. [As the] mountain within [had] cold winds, [they] burnt [a] fire and laid [down to sleep. Within those singing [and] dancing performers was [one of] those suffering [from the] cold. Wearing their play’s script’s costume of [a] rākṣasa, [he] faced [the] fire and sat.


Then, within [his] travelling companions, [was] a [person] from sleep waking up, suddenly seeing [the] fireside had a rākṣasa. Entirely without looking carefully, [he] abandoned it and ran, thereupon startling one another, [with] all [his] companions all running away.


Then, that companion within wearing [the] rākṣasa costume, likewise followed [and] chased, running away quickly. All those [with the] same profession, seeing him behind, thinking [he] desires [to] harm [them, became] many times [more] fearful. Crossing over mountains [and] rivers, seeking shelter [in] ditches [and] gullies, [with their] bodies injured [and] broken, [with] weariness extreme exhausted. Thus until daybreak, then knowing [there is] no ghost.


All ordinary beings [are] likewise thus, dwelling in afflictions, famished [for] good dharmas, then desiring [to] faraway seek permanence, bliss, self [and] purity, [the] unsurpassable Dharma food, then in [the] five aggregates within, without restraint haggling over self.

[Note 1: Permanence (常), bliss (乐), (true) self ([真]我) and purity (净) are Nirvāṇa’s Four Virtues (涅槃四德).]

[Note 2: The five aggregates (五阴/蕴) are (i) form (色), (ii) feelings (受), (iii) perception (想), (iv) mental formation (行) and (v) consciousness (识). ]

[Note 3: It is with the gathering of the five aggregates (五蕴) and the three poisons (三毒) that the illusion of ‘self’ (我) arises.]

[Note 4: The three poisons (三毒) are greed (贪), anger (嗔) and delusion (痴).]


With self’s view thus, flowing quickly [in the cycle of] birth [and] death, [by] afflictions those chased, not attaining ease, falling [into the] three realms’ evil realms’ ditches [and] gullies. That [of] until daybreak [is an] analogy [for the cycle of] birth [and] death’s night exhausting, [with] wisdom’s brightness known, then knowing [the] five aggregates [do] not have true self.

[Note 5: The three realms (三涂/途) and evil paths (恶趣) are those of hell-beings (地狱众生), hungry ghosts (饿鬼) and animals (畜生).]

[Note 6: What all truly need and should seek is the restful ease of Nirvāṇa (涅槃), even if many do not know this. This is while most have pointless attachment (贪) and aversion (嗔) to the delusional (痴) illusion of self (我), that distracts them from realising true self (真我).]

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

Previous Parable:

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

Next Parable:

[64] The Parable Of People Saying An Old House Within Has An Evil Ghost

All Hundred Parables:

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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