[67] The Parable Of The Husband And Wife With Eating Cakes Together As Essential From The Sūtra Of A Hundred Parables《百喻经》之夫妇食饼共为要喻

mooncakes and a calla lily flower
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[The] Sūtra [Of A] Hundred Parables

[67] Parable [Of The] Husband [And] Wife [With] Eating Cakes Together As Essential


[In the] past, [there] were [a] husband [and] wife with three pieces [of] cake, [with the] husband [and] wife together dividing [them], together each eating one cake. [With the] remaining one piece there, together making [an] agreement, saying, ‘If [there] is one speaking, [with this] agreement, [that person will] not [be] given [the] cake.’


Thereupon, [having] made [this] agreement already, for [the] one cake thus, each [did] not dare [to] speak.


[In a] moment, [there] was [a] thief entering [their] house, stealing [and] taking their wealth [and] property, [with] all that [they] had completely [in the] thief’s hands. [The] husband [and] wife, [these] two persons, with [their] earlier agreement thus, [with their] eyes seeing [this, did] not speak.


[The] thief, seeing [that they did] not speak, then before that husband encroaching [upon] his wife, [with] her husband’s eyes seeing [this, he] also [did] not speak.


[The] wife then yelled [at the] thief, speaking [to] her husband, saying, ‘Why [is this] ignorant person, for one cake thus seeing [this] thief, [yet] not yelling?’


Her husband clapped [his] hands, laughed [and] said, ‘Oh servant! I [am] certainly getting [the] cake, not again giving [it to] you.’


[The] world’s people, hearing this, [are] without [those] not sneering.


Of ordinary beings’ people, [they are] likewise thus, for little fame [and] benefits thus, pretending [to] appear silent, [but] by false afflictions’ all kinds [of] evil thieves as those encroached. Losing their good dharmas [and] falling [into the] three realms, [with] all not terrified, [to] seek [the] world-transcending path, then with [the] five desires, indulging [and] attached [to] pleasures [and] frolicking, although encountering great suffering, not with [these] as disasters, [they are] like those foolish persons, equal without having differences.

[Note 1: Those ‘cheating by appearing to be silent’ are those pretending to look calm and well-practised spiritually.]

[Note 2: 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 3: The five desires (五欲) are for (i) wealth (财), (ii) sex (色) (and other sensual pleasures), (iii) fame (名), (iv) food (食) and (v) sleep (睡).]

[Note 4: There should not be spiritual deception of oneself and others just for some transient worldly benefits. To be truly well-practised spiritually, and to progress on the path to liberation (解脱) is more fruitful as the Dharma joy (法喜) attained is much more blissful and lasting.]

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

Previous Parable:

[66] The Parable Of With The Mouth Reciting Ship-Sailing Methods Yet Not Understanding Their Applications

Next Parable:

[68] The Parable Of Together Resentfully Harming Each Other

All Hundred Parables:

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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