[86] The Parable Of The Father Taking His Son’s Earring From The Sūtra Of A Hundred Parables《百喻经》之父取儿耳珰喻

close up of an earring
Photo by Karen Laårk Boshoff on

[The] Sūtra [Of A] Hundred Parables

[86] Parable [Of The] Father Taking [His] Son’s Earring


[In the] past, [there] was a father [and his] son, [with these] two persons, conditioned [by a worldly] matter, together travelling. [On the] road, [a] thief suddenly arose [and] desired [to] rob them. [As] his son’s ear within had [a] true gold earring, his father, seeing [the] thief suddenly showing, afraid [of] losing [the] earring, immediately with [his] hands pulled [at] it, [with the] ear then not ruptured. For [the] earring thus, then cutting [the] son’s head. [In] a moment between, [the] thief then abandoned [them and] went [away]. Returning with [the] son’s head [to] attach [it] on [the] shoulders above, [he] could not [be] healed.


Thus, [the] foolish person [was] by [those] in [the] world that laughed at. Of ordinary beings’ people, [they are] likewise thus, for fame [and] benefits, thus creating frivolous discussions, saying [the] two lives exist [or the] two lives [do] not, [the] intermediate aggregates exist [or the] intermediate aggregates [do] not, [the] mental factors’ dharmas exist [or the] mental factors’ dharmas [do] not, [with] all kinds [of] false thoughts, not attaining [the] Dharma’s truths.

[Note 1: The two lives (二世) are the (ii) present lives (今世) and (iii) future lives (来世), which do exist. In fact, the three lives (三世), which include (i) past lives (前世) exist too, in the first of the three periods (三世), which are the (i) past period (过去世), (ii) present period (现在世) and (iii) future period (未来世).]

[Note 2: The intermediate aggregates (中阴) is the antarābhava (or bardo state), the subtle body and mind between one life and the next, of one already dead but yet to be reborn.

Unless with their consciousnesses taking swift rebirths due to very good karmas (善业) (to higher paths), very evil karmas (恶业) (to lower paths), very pure karmas (净业) (to Pure Land with connection to the Buddha), for all other beings, they will enter the intermediate state before being reborn.]


[When] other people with [that] according [with the] Dharma destroy their those doctrines, [they] then say, ‘My doctrines within [are] all without these said.’


Thus, foolish persons, for little fame [and] benefits, then intentionally [having] false speech, losing [the] Śramaṇa path’s fruits, [with their] bodies destroyed [at] life’s end, falling [into the] three evil paths, [they are] like that foolish person, for little benefits thus, cutting his son’s head.

[Note 3: The three evil paths (三恶道) are the (i) hell-beings’ path (地狱道), (ii) hungry ghosts’ path (饿鬼道) and (iii) animals’ path (畜生道).]

[Note 4: Those who are spiritually equivocal and ambivalent have no real stance, thus being unprincipled.

Especially if they lie in the name of truth, they will neither deserve nor realise the truth as they have no sincere respect for truths and truthfulness.

They are as if those cutting off their own spiritual ‘heads’, thus ending their spiritual wisdom lives (慧命), which are most precious, sacrificing them for frivolous worldly gains instead.]

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

Previous Parable:

[85] The Parable Of The Woman Suffering Eye Pain

Next Parable:

[87] The Parable Of The Robbers Dividing Wealth

All Hundred Parables:

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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