[97] The Parable Of Those By Evil Thieves Robbed, Losing Fine Cotton Cloaks From The Sūtra Of A Hundred Parables《百喻经》之为恶贼所劫失㲲喻

cotton flower
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[The] Sūtra [Of A] Hundred Parables

[97] Parable [Of] Those By Evil Thieves Robbed, Losing Fine Cotton [Cloaks]


[In the] past, [there] were two persons as companions together travelling [in the] wilderness, [with] each person covered [with] a fine cotton [cloak. In the] middle [of the] road, [they were] by thieves forced apart. One person escaped, running into grass within. That [who] lost [the] cotton [cloak had] first in [the] cotton [cloaks’] collars [each] wrapped a gold coin. Then speaking [to the] thieves, saying, ‘[As] this cloak matches [the] worth [of] one piece [of] gold coin, I now seek [to], with one piece [of] gold coin, then used [for] redeeming it.’


[The] thieves said, ‘[Of that] gold coin, where is [it] now?’


Immediately [from the] cotton [cloak’s] collar, removing, taking [and], showing [it to] him, then speaking [to the] thieves, saying, ‘This is true gold. If [you do] not believe my words, now within this grass, [there] is [a] good goldsmith. [You] can go [to] ask him.’


[The] thieves, thereupon seeing it, again took his cloak. Thus, [the foolish person [was with the] cotton [cloak] and gold coin all lost, personally losing his gains, again causing [the] other [to] lose [his too].


Of ordinary beings’ people, [they are] likewise thus, cultivating practices [of the] path factors, creating many meritorious virtues, by afflictions’ thieves [as] those plundered, losing their good dharmas [and] losing all meritorious virtues. Not only personally losing their gains, again causing other people [to] lose their path’s karmas. [When their] bodies [are] destroyed [at] life’s end, falling [into the] three evil paths, [they are] like those foolish persons, [with] one another together [having] losses.

[Note 1: 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 2: There should not be giving in to the three poisons (三毒) of greed (贪), anger (嗔) and delusion (痴), with which afflictions (烦恼) will arise, to destroy one’s meritorious virtues (功德), with serious afflictions even possibly conditioning others to lose their meritorious virtues.

However again, if one is already mindful in the first place, thus not giving in to the three poisons, such losses will not occur, as these primary causes of afflictions are already well guarded against.]

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

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