[78] The Parable Of With The Son Expecting Morning Travel From The Sūtra Of A Hundred Parables《百喻经》之与儿期早行喻

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[The] Sūtra [Of A] Hundred Parables

[78] Parable [Of] With [The] Son Expecting Morning Travel


[In the] past, [there] was a person, [at] night speaking [to his] son, saying, ‘Tomorrow, [I] will together [with] you, reach that village. [It] has that [we have to] obtain, [what we are] searching [for].’


[The] son, [having] heard [this] already, reaching dawn tomorrow, completely without asking [his] father, went alone [to] visit that [place].


Thereupon, reaching that [place] already, [with his] body’s weariness extreme, empty without that obtained, also not getting food, [with] hunger [and] thirst almost dying, [he] immediately again returned, coming [to] see his father.


[The] father, seeing [his] son coming, deeply reproached him, saying, ‘You [are with] great ignorance, without having wisdom. Why [did you] not wait [for] me? [For] nothing coming [and] going, in vain receiving that suffering, by all [the] world’s people, [you] are that sneered [at].’


Of ordinary beings’ people, [they are] likewise thus. If attaining leaving [of the] household [life], then shaving [their] beards [and] hair, wearing [the] Three Dharma Robes, not seeking wise teachers [to] inquire [on and] receive [the] path’s Dharma [teachings], losing all meditative concentration [and] path factors’ meritorious virtues, [with] Śramaṇas’ wonderful fruits all lost. [They are] like that foolish person emptily doing [that of] going [and] returning, in vain fatigued, [with] forms resembling Śramaṇas, truly without that attained.

[Note 1: The Three Dharma Robes (三法衣) are named Antarvāsa (安陀会) (i.e. inner robe), Uttarāsaṃga (优多罗僧) (i.e. upper robe) and Saṃghāṭī (僧伽梨) (i.e. monastic robe).]

[Note 2: Monastics and laypersons alike should constantly seek teachers and seniors (师长) more qualified than them in Dharma learning and practice, so as to be their students. This is so because as long as we are still non-Buddhas, we still have to be Dharma students.

There are those, when clearly far from any form of enlightenment, assuming that they are already well-learned and practised, thus not further learning and practising. With such delusion, arrogance and complacence, not only do they not have spiritual progress, they might even backslide when they create evil karmas (恶业) with their poor examples, false claims and wrong teachings.]

[Note 3: Monastics especially, whose support come from laypersons should be wary of wasting their material offerings in cash and kind, which are meant for furthering their spiritual lives, not for creating spiritual complacence and worldly indulgence in pleasures. Abusing of offerings can be likened to a kind of ‘theft’, as this is ‘stealing’ of good will in the name of the Dharma for dishonourable purposes. The evil karmas created from this will be very great, thus extremely difficult to calculate.]

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

Previous Parable:

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

Next Parable:

[79] The Parable Of For The King Bearing Low Stools

All Hundred Parables:

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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