[93] The Parable Of The Old Mother Catching A Bear From The Sūtra Of A Hundred Parables《百喻经》之老母捉熊喻

a black bear climbing on brown tree trunk
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[The] Sūtra [Of A] Hundred Parables

[93] Parable [Of The] Old Mother Catching [A] Bear


[In the] past, [there] was an old mother at [a] tree below lying [down, when a] bear desired [to] come [and] seize [her]. At that time, [the] old mother [ran] around [the] tree [to] avoid [it. The] bear searched [for and] chased after [her, with] one hand hugging [the] tree, desiring [to] catch [the] old mother. [As the] old mother got anxious, immediately joining [to the] tree, [she] pressed firmly [on the] bear’s two paws, [with the] bear not getting [to] move.


Further, [there] was [a] stranger [who] came [and] arrived [at] that place. [The] old mother said, ‘[If] you, together [with] me catch [it, we can] kill [and] divide its meat.’


Then, that person believing [the] old mother’s words, immediately together caught [hold of it]. Thereupon, catching it already, [the] old mother immediately abandoned [the] bear and escaped, [with] that person later by [the] bear [as] that trapped.


Thus, [the] foolish person [was] by [the] world that laughed at. Of ordinary beings’ people, [they are] likewise thus. Writing many different treatises, thereupon not perfecting [them] well, [with] words [and] phrases complicated [and] heavy, [with] much having many faults. In the end not accomplishing completion, then giving up [and] finally dying. [When] later [generations’] people ‘catch’ them [and] desire [to], for [them have] explanations [and] interpretations, not understanding their meanings, instead by them trapped, [they are] like that foolish person replacing another [to] catch [the] bear, instead personally by [it] harmed.

[Note: There should not be overambitious conceiving and creating of seemingly sophisticated but superficial ‘teachings’, that turn out to be awkward, inadequate and erroneous.

Such writings will only waste others’ precious time and efforts, especially when they are passed down to them, as if they are ‘precious’ and ought to be ‘learnt.’

Instead of handing down proper solutions for ending suffering, there is handing down of more unnecessary problems instead, along with empty promises and false hopes.]

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

Previous Parable:

[92] The Parable Of The Small Child Getting Joy Pills

Next Parable:

[94] The Parable Of The Maṇi Or Water Burrow

All Hundred Parables:

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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