[64] The Parable Of People Saying A Old House Within Has An Evil Ghost From The Sūtra Of A Hundred Parables《百喻经》之人谓故屋中有恶鬼喻

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[The] Sūtra [Of A] Hundred Parables

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


[In the] past, [there was an] old house, [with] people saying this house often has [an] evil ghost [within, with] all terrified, not daring [to] lie down [and] rest [in it].


Then, [there] was a person, calling himself [to have] great courage, then making this statement, ‘I desire [to] enter this house within [to] stay [and] sleep [for] one night.’


Then, [he] entered [to] stay [and] rest. Later, [there] was a person [who] called himself [to have] courage [and] valour superior [to the] previous person. Again hearing bystanders saying this house constantly has [an] evil ghost within, then desiring [to] enter within, [he] pushed [at the] door, [and was] about [to] go forward.


Then, that [person who] first entered thought he is [a] ghost, then again pushed [at the] door, hiding [and] not allowing [him to] come forward. That later coming [person] again thought [there] is [a] ghost, [with the] two persons fighting [and] contending until daybreak.


Thereupon seeing one another already, then knowing [there is] no ghost.


All [the] world’s people [are] likewise thus, [with] causes [and] conditions temporarily meeting, without having masters. [With] one by one inferring [and] analysing, who [is it] that is [the] self?

[Note 1: 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 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: The three poisons (三毒) are greed (贪), anger (嗔) and delusion (痴).]


Certainly, all sentient beings chaotically haggling [over what is] right [and] wrong, forcibly giving rise [to] contention [and] lawsuits, [are] like those two persons, equally without differences.

[Note 4: The illusion of ‘self’ is like a ‘ghostly being’ assumed to be there, but not really there. Arising from this delusional (痴) attachment, beings fight with one another with greed (贪) and anger (嗔).]

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

Previous Parable:

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

Next Parable:

[65] The Parable Of The Five Hundred Joy Pills

All Hundred Parables:

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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