[76] The Parable Of The Ploughman Longing For The King’s Daughter From The Sūtra Of A Hundred Parables《百喻经》之田夫思王女喻

man ploughing a field with oxen
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[The] Sūtra [Of A] Hundred Parables

[76] Parable [Of The] Ploughman Longing For [The] King’s Daughter


[In the] past, [there] was a ploughman touring [by] walking [in a] city. Seeing [the] country’s King’s daughter, [with] countenance upright, that [the] world rarely has, [in] day [and] night longing [for her, with these] feelings not able [to] end. Thinking [of] communicating with [her, but] without [a] way [to] fulfil [this, his] countenance’s colour contused [to be] yellow, then becoming seriously sick.

[Note 1: It is more spiritually fruiful to practise mindfulness of Buddha (念佛), with which there will be peace and bliss (安乐). It is with this that thoughts of attachment and lust will fade away too.]


All those relatives [who] saw [this], then asked that person, ‘[For] what reason [are you] thus?’


Replying [to the] relatives, saying, ‘Yesterday, I saw [the] King’s daughter, [with] countenance upright. Longing [to] with [her] communicate, not able [to] get [to be with her] thus, [I am] with this sick only. I, if not getting [to be with her, will] definitely die, without [any] doubt.’


All [the] relatives spoke, saying, ‘[As] we will for you, act [with] good skilful means, [to] cause you [to] get [to be with] her, [you] do not need [to] worry.’


[On the] day after seeing him, then speaking [to] him, [they] said, ‘[With what] we for you then done, [you] were [able [to] get [to be with her], only [with the] King’s daughter not desiring [this].’


[The] ploughman, hearing this, joyfully then laughed, crying out [that he will] definitely get [to be with her].


[The] world’s foolish people [are] likewise thus, not differentiating [the] seasons [of] spring, autumn, winter [and] summer, then in winter season tossing seeds within [the] earth, hoping [to] get fruits, only losing their efforts, empty without that obtained, [with] sprouts, stems, branches [and] leaves all lost.


[The] world’s foolish people, cultivating few blessings, calling [this] as complete, then saying Bodhi already can [be] realised, [are] like that ploughman, hoping [to be with the] King’s daughter.

[Note 2: Those who aspire for what is too lofty and far away, while not doing what is necessary adequately to get closer will never reach their spiritual goals. There should be continual cultivation for more blessings and wisdom (福慧). Mere pining should never be mistaken as actual attainment.]

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

Previous Parable:

[75] The Parable Of The Camel And Urn Together Lost

Next Parable:

[77] The Parable Of Forming Donkey Milk

All Hundred Parables:

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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