[79] The Parable Of For The King Bearing Low Stools From The Sūtra Of A Hundred Parables《百喻经》之为王负机喻

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[The] Sūtra [Of A] Hundred Parables

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


[In the] past, [there] was a King, desiring [to] enter Sorrowless Garden within [for] amusement [to] receive joy, [who] ordered a minister, saying, ‘You [should for me] clutch a low stool, hold [it until] reaching that garden, [for] me [to] use, [for] sitting [and] resting.’


Then, that servant [was] shy [and] not willing [to] clutch [it] , then to [the] King saying, ‘I [am] not able [to] clutch [it, but] I [am] willing [to] shoulder it.’


Then, [the] King then with thirty-six low stools placed [on] his back above, ordering [him to] shoulder them [until] reaching of [the] garden within.


Thus, [the] foolish person [was] by [the] world that laughed at. Of ordinary beings’ people, [they are] likewise thus, if seeing [a] woman’s one hair on [the] ground, personally saying [they] uphold precepts [and are] not willing [to] clutch it, later by afflictions those confused, [with the] thirty-six objects, [of] hair, nails, teeth, excrement [and] urine impure, not with [them] as ugly, [with the] thirty-six objects at once all clutched, not giving rise [to] shame, until death not willing [to let them go, they are] like that foolish person [with] shouldering of [the] low stools.

[Note 1: The thirty-six (impure) objects (三十六物) (of the body) are (i) external forms’ twelve objects (外相十二物), of (1) head hair (发), (2) body hair (毛), (3) nails (爪), (4) teeth (齿), (5) eye gum (眵), (6) tears (泪), (7) saliva (涎), (8) spittle (唾), (9) excrement (屎), (10) urine (尿), (11) dirt (垢), (12) sweat (汗), (ii) body organs’ twelve objects (身器十二物), of (13) outer skin (皮), (14) inner skin (肤), (15) blood (血), (16) flesh (肉), (17) tendons (筋), (18) blood vessels (脉), (19) bones (骨), (20) marrow (髓), (21) fat (肪), (22) grease (膏), (23) brain (脑), (24) membrane (膜), (iii) twelve objects within held (内含十二物), of (25) liver (肝), (26) gallbladder (胆), (27) intestines (肠), (28) stomach (胃), (29) spleen (脾), (30) kidneys (肾), (31) heart (心), (32) lungs (肺), (33) organs with undigested food (生脏), (34) organs with digested food (熟脏), (35) red phlegm (赤痰) and (36) white phlegm (白痰).]

[Note 2: To pretend to be strictly without attachment to any part of the body while actually having much attachment to the body on the whole is being spiritually dishonest to oneself and others.

Not only is this not beneficial to anyone, it can also mislead everyone, including oneself, into thinking one is spiritually advanced, thus not truly progressing in time.

When it turns out that there is still much attachment to the impure body on the deathbed, there will be rebirth in a realm with impure bodies again, as subjects of attachment and lust.]

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

Previous Parable:

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

Next Parable:

[80] The Parable Of Inverted Pouring

All Hundred Parables:

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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