Reflections from the Sutras

Post sayings or stories you find interesting or useful.

Re: Reflections from the Sutras

Postby thornbush » Tue Apr 28, 2009 1:58 am

Continuation...
From: The Hundred Parables Sutra
THE PHYSICIAN GIVES MEDICINE TO THE PRINCESS TO MADE HER GROW UP FAST
Once upon a time there was a king who brought a daughter into the world. He sent for the doctor and asked him, "Could you prescribe some drugs for my daughter in order to make her grow up faster?"

The physician replied, "I have a good prescription for her. However, I don't have the medicine on hand. I should look for it. Your Majesty must not see her at the time of my searching for the medicine. I'll present her to your Majesty after she has taken it."

Then the physician went to a remote region in search of the medicine. He found it and came back twelve years later. Having taken the medicine, the daughter was led to the king who was happy to see her. Then he said to himself, "He's a good physician. My daughter has indeed grown after taking his medicine."

The king then ordered his attendants to reward the doctor lavishly with gems. All the courtiers derided the king for his ignorance to such an extent that he did not know to think of the year in which his daughter was born. The king believed that her growing was due to the effect of the medicine.

So are the people in general. They will visit a wise man and say, "We should like to attain the path of Enlightenment. Please instruct us that we may immediately receive the transcendent wisdom."

By means of expediency, the master will guide them to practice meditation and contemplate the Twelve Links connected with the causation of rebirth. After gradually accumulating all kinds of merits, they reach the Arahant's degree. Then they will jump with joy and exclaim, "How fast it is! Our great master, you have made us obtain so quickly the quintessential truth."

Namo Amitabha Buddha!
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Re: Reflections from the Sutras

Postby thornbush » Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:01 am

Continuation...
From: The Hundred Parables Sutra

WATER THE SUGAR - CANE
Once upon a time two men who cultivated sugar-cane, pledged that the one who had a good harvest would win prizes, while the one with a bad harvest would be heavily penalized. One of them thought, "The sugar-cane itself is very sweet. It will be more delicious if I water it with its compressed juice. Then I will get the upper hand over him."

Immediately, he began to press the juice from the sugar-cane. He watered the plant with the juice in the hope of making it more delicious. Instead, he destroyed the seedling and lost his entire plantation.

So are people at large. Those who wish for the comforts of life use their high positions and great influence to oppress the mass. They steal others' possessions as their own wealth to do good works with a view to enjoy better life afterwards. However, they are unaware of the calamities, which are to come upon them. Those people are just like the man who, pressing the sugar - cane, lost everything.

Namo Amitabha Buddha!
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Re: Reflections from the Sutras

Postby thornbush » Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:58 am

Continuation...
From: The Hundred Parables Sutra
A DEBT OF HALF A CENT
Once a merchant lent half a cent to a man who then took a long time repaying him. The merchant went to the man to ask him to clear the debt sooner. To go there, he had to pay two cents as ferry fare to cross a wide river. The debtor was not at home when he arrived there. On his trip back, he had to pay as much again. It amounted to four cents in total.

For a debt of half a cent, the merchant lost four cents. Moreover, he got very tired from his journey. He lost a great more than what he stood to gain. As a result, he was sardonically laughed at.

So are the people at large.

To seek a little fame and gain, people will spare no pains to bring ruin upon what should be their greater concern. They seek self-preservation at the expense of morality. Consequently, they will earn a bad name in this life and suffer retribution in the hereafter.

Namo Amitabha Buddha!
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Re: Reflections from the Sutras

Postby thornbush » Sun May 03, 2009 8:36 am

Continuation...
From:The Hundred Parables Sutra
GRIND A KNIFE UPSTAIRS
Once upon a time there was a poor man who had to work very hard in the king's service. As time went on, he became emaciated. Out of pity, the king gave him a dead camel. Having received it, the poor man began to flay it. His knife being very blunt, he looked for a whetstone to grind it. At last, he found one upstairs where he sharpened the knife.

He then went back downstairs to skin the camel. He ran up and down the stairs doing the sharpening and skinning frantically for a while and finally he felt so tired that he could not go on any longer. Then he had to hang the camel upstairs to be closer to the whetstone. People guffawed at him.

A stupid man who, by breaking the strict commandments gathers plenty of money and uses it on offering in the hope that he will be born in Heaven. This stupid man is just like the poor man who worked hard for little gain in hanging his camel upstairs and sharpening his knife.

Namo Amitabha Buddha!
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Re: Reflections from the Sutras

Postby thornbush » Mon May 04, 2009 2:17 am

Continuation...
From: The Hundred Parables Sutra

LOSS OF A SILVER BOWL BY BOAT
Once upon a time there was a man who dropped a silver bowl into the sea while crossing it. He pondered, "I'm going to make a mark on the water. I'm carrying on my journey now. But I'll come back for it later."

After two months' travel during which he visited Ceylon and many other countries. On seeing a river, he jumped into the water looking for the bowl he had lost before.

"What are you doing there?" people asked.

He replied, "I have lost my bowl. Now I would like to get it back."

People went on, "When did you lose it?"

He answered, "I lost it crossing the sea."

Again people asked, "How long ago did you lose it?"

He answered, "I lost it two months ago."

People asked, "Since you lost it two months ago in the sea, why are you looking for it here in the river?"

He answered, "I made a mark on the water where I lost the bowl. This water looks the same as the other. There seems no difference. That's why I'm doing this."

People went on, "Though all waters are identical, the place that you have lost it is there. How can you find it here?"

Everybody jeered at him.

The heretics, who do not practice the right religious belief, but a fallacious one, suffer from their useless mortification in seeking deliverance. Those men are just like the stupid man who has lost his bowl in the sea and looked for it in the river.

Namo Amitabha Buddha!
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Re: Reflections from the Sutras

Postby thornbush » Tue May 05, 2009 12:42 am

Continuation...
From: The Hundred Parables Sutra
THE KING WAS SAID TO HAVE GIVEN REIN TO CRUELTY
Once upon a time a man pronouncing his king's crimes, said, "Very cruel is the king. He is incapable of governing."

On hearing this, the king lost his temper without making sure who it was that had said it. He took his deceitful attendant's advice by holding an eminent minister under arrest. He ordered to have his backbone flayed and have his body cut to one hundred ounces of flesh for punishment.

Soon afterwards, a man testified the minister's innocence to the king. To his regret, the king ordered one thousand ounces of flesh is given to the minister to make up for what was cut off from his body.

Later, when the minister gave a groan with pain at night, the king asked, "What's wrong with you? I have given you back ten times more than I had taken from you. Are you not satisfied with it? Why are you still moaning?"

A bystander replied, "Oh! My great king! If anyone cut your Majesty's head and gave back one thousand other heads, could you Majesty keep out of the way of death? How could getting ten times of the flesh the minister relieve himself the pain?"

So is the stupid man who is greedy for the present pleasure but not afraid of the consequences for the hereafter. He makes people around him miserable and puts them into requisition trying to make a fortune. On the other hand, he hopes to redeem his sins and obtain blessedness.

This stupid man is just like the king who first flayed and punished someone and then tried to give him back the flesh. It is impossible that the pain can be eased.

Namo Amitabha Buddha!
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Re: Reflections from the Sutras

Postby thornbush » Wed May 06, 2009 3:27 am

Continuation...
From: The Hundred Parables Sutra
A WOMAN LONGS FOR A SECOND CHILD
Once there was a woman who longed for a second child. He asked other women, "Who could bring me another child?"

An old lady told her, "I can find a way for you to give birth to another child, on one condition that you should offer a sacrifice to God."

She asked, "What have I to offer as a sacrifice?"

Thereupon, the old lady replied, "Kill your son and use his blood as a sacrifice to God. Thus you'll certainly get many other children."

Subsequently, she tried to follow the old lady's instructions. A wise man nearby heard the story first jeered and then scolded the woman, "How so stupid and ignorant you are! To kill your son that you have now! Are you sure that you'll have another one whose birth is unknown?"

So is the stupid man who in order to get uncertain happiness, plunges into the burning pit and does all, sorts of wrong-doings in the hope of entering Heaven after death.

Namo Amitabha Buddha!
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Re: Reflections from the Sutras

Postby thornbush » Thu May 07, 2009 6:40 am

Continuation...
From: The Hundred Parables Sutra
GET LIGNALOES FROM UNDER THE SEA
Once upon a time there was a merchant who was getting lignaloes from under the sea. He did not gather enough of them to fill up a cart to bring back home until several years later. He then transported them into the market. However, there were no buyers, due to their high price. Unable to sell them after several days, he got bored and tired.

While he saw some other dealers selling out quickly their charcoal, he said to himself that it is better to burn the lignaloes into charcoal in order to get them sold quickly.

After he burnt them, he went to the market again, but the value of the burnt lignaloes was less than half of that of the charcoal.

So are the stupid in the world. To attain Buddhahood, it requires them to practice diligently and zealously through various methods. However, they draw back from encountering difficulties. They would resolve reaching Sravaka stage by destroying quickly the Karma of reincarnation in their hope of becoming Arahant.

Namo Amitabha Buddha!
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Re: Reflections from the Sutras

Postby thornbush » Fri May 08, 2009 2:16 am

Continuation...
From: The Hundred Parables Sutra
http://www.buddhistdoor.com/OldWeb/reso ... utra.htm#1
THE THIEF STEALS EMBROIDERED SATIN TO WRAP UP WORN CLOTHES AND RAGS
Once upon a time there was a thief who sneaked into a rich man's house to steal a piece of embroidered satin. He used it to wrap up such objects as worn clothes, rags and sundry effects. He was laughed at by the wise.

So are the stupid in the world who have faith in Buddhism, who practice good teachings and who do meritorious works. Because of their basic greed for gain, however, they break the pure commandments and lose their various merits. They are also laughed at by the people at large.

Namo Amitabha Buddha!
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Re: Reflections from the Sutras

Postby thornbush » Sun May 10, 2009 4:04 am

Continuation...
From: The Hundred Parables Sutra
http://www.buddhistdoor.com/OldWeb/reso ... utra.htm#1
TO CULTIVATE THE BOILED SESAME
Once upon a time, a stupid man who, after eating the raw sesame, found it not as tasty as the boiled kind. He said to himself, "I would boil the sesame before cultivating it. This way I could produce better sesame."

He then boiled and cultivated it as he had planned. However, the attempt failed altogether.

So are the people at large who consider it difficult to follow Bodhisattva's practice, due to the strict requirement of eternities of the strenuous efforts. Finding no pleasure, they think that it will be easier for them to become Arahant's by cutting quickly off the transmigration, without realizing that they would never attain Buddhahood that way, just as the boiled seed that would never grow.

This is just like the story of the stupid who tried to cultivate boiled sesame.

Namo Amitabha Buddha!
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Re: Reflections from the Sutras

Postby thornbush » Mon May 11, 2009 6:21 am

Continuation...
From: The Hundred Parables Sutra
http://www.buddhistdoor.com/OldWeb/reso ... utra.htm#1
THE FIRE AND THE WATER
Once upon a time, there was a man who needed fire and cold water in caring out his household duties. He built a fire in his room. He filled a kettle with water and put it on the fire. Afterwards, the fire went out and the cold water turned hot. He got neither fire nor cold water.

So are the people at large who, devoted to the attainment of Buddhism, seek the enlightened way by becoming monks. But afterwards, they still keep ties to their wives, children and relatives; maintain their concern with the worldly affairs and their enjoyment of the five desires as well. For these reasons, they lose their meritorious blessings like the fire. They also break their commandments like the cold water.

This is held to be true with greedy men.
Namo Amitabha Buddha!
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Re: Reflections from the Sutras

Postby thornbush » Tue May 12, 2009 5:38 am

Continuation...
From: The Hundred Parables Sutra
http://www.buddhistdoor.com/OldWeb/reso ... utra.htm#1
THE KING'S BLINKING HABIT IS IMITATED
Once upon a time, there was a man who wanted to please the king. He asked the others how to do it and was told, "If you want to please the king, you should imitate him."

He then went to the palace where he saw the king blinking. Thereupon, he imitated and the king asked him, "Do you have sore eyes? Is the wind disturbing your eyes? Why are you blinking?"

He replied, "Not at all on seeing your Majesty, I want to be just like you to please your Majesty."

Upon hearing those words, the king got very angry. The man was punished by hard blows and sent into exile.

So are the people at large. They wish to approach Buddha, king of the Law, to achieve advancement. Once there, Buddha reveals to them his human weaknesses for the welfare of all mankind. When they sometimes hear of using incorrect phrases in his teachings, they may be unable to understand Buddha and they start to ridicule and defame him. They imitate all his weaknesses. For this reason, they lose the benefit they have got from Buddhism forever and fall into Three Evil Paths of Transmigration accordingly.

This is just like the story of the man imitating the king's blinking habit.
Namo Amitabha Buddha!
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Re: Reflections from the Sutras

Postby thornbush » Wed May 13, 2009 6:55 am

Continuation...
From: The Hundred Parables Sutra
http://www.buddhistdoor.com/OldWeb/reso ... tra.htm#27
DRESS WHIP WOUNDS
Once upon a time, there was a man who was punished by the king by whipping and was wounded from it. He applied on the wounds horse excrement for quick recovery. A stupid man nearby was pleased to see it. He said to himself, "I have just discovered the method to cure a wound faster."

As soon as he got home, he told his son, "You are going to whip me until I'm wounded. I have got a good method to cure wounds. I should like to try it."

Then, he was flogged by his son who dressed his wounds with horse excrement, believing it was a good method.

So are the people at large who hear that the practice of meditation on impurities could remove the evil corruption of the body. They say to themselves in these words, "We are going to meditate on venery and the five desires."

They did not see the impurities of the body, but rather got deceitful and wrong ideas from the pursuit of sexual pleasure. Furthermore, they suffer from Transmigration and descend into Hell.

This is held to be true with the stupid at large dressing their wounds with horse excrement

Namo Amitabha Buddha!
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Re: Reflections from the Sutras

Postby thornbush » Thu May 14, 2009 6:47 am

Continuation...
From: The Hundred Parables Sutra
http://www.buddhistdoor.com/OldWeb/reso ... tra.htm#28
CHANGE THE WIFE'S NOSE

Once upon a time, there was a man whose wife was graceful except for her ugly nose. When he was out, he saw another graceful looking woman with a pretty nose. It came into his mind that "I would cut her nose and transplant it on my wife's face. Wouldn't that be nice?"

He then cut the nose off this other woman. Caring it home he hurriedly called out to his wife, "Come quickly! I got a pretty nose for you."

Once she came out, he cut off her nose and replaced it with the one he had cut off first. It did not fit; also the wife suffered a great pain.

So are the stupid in the world. They hear that aged monks and Brahmans with great fame and merit are respected and much supported. They say to themselves in these words, "There is no difference between them and us."

They falsely pretend to be virtuous. Not only do they gain nothing, they get a bad name for their misbehavior as well. Those people are just like the stupid man cutting other's nose only to injure his own wife.
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Re: Reflections from the Sutras

Postby thornbush » Sat May 16, 2009 12:50 am

Continuation...
From: The Hundred Parables Sutra
http://www.buddhistdoor.com/OldWeb/reso ... tra.htm#29
THE POOR MAN BURNS HIS COARSE WOOLEN CLOTHING
Once upon a time, there was a poor and weary man who wore a coarse woolen garment, which he had made for his customer. He was seen by a stranger who said to him, "Coming from an honorable family clan, you are the son of a man of high position. Why do you wear such coarse woolen clothing? Now let me teach you how to get some fine clothes. You should follow my instructions. I won't cheat you."

The poor man follows his instructions happily. The stranger immediately lit a fire before him and said in these words, "Now you may take off your coarse woolen garment and put it into the fire. You'll get some beautiful clothes out of the flame instead."

The poor man did as he was told. After his old clothes were burnt, nothing was left but ashes.

So are the people at large.

Our being born as human beings must be attributed to the practice of a good religion from former lives. We should take good care of our beings and improve our virtue and do good deeds. We are sometimes cheated by the heretics, vicious men and seductive women, who said, "You should believe us that you will be reborn, after this life, in the Brahman Heaven and enjoy longevity and happiness, if you practice ascetics by jumping into the fire or rocks now."

This is just like the story of the poor man burning his clothing.

Namo Amitabha Buddha!
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Re: Reflections from the Sutras

Postby thornbush » Sun May 17, 2009 2:53 pm

Continuation...
From: The Hundred Parables Sutra
http://www.buddhistdoor.com/OldWeb/reso ... tra.htm#30
THE POOR MAN BURNS HIS COARSE WOOLLEN CLOTHING
Once upon a time, there was a poor and weary man who wore a coarse woolen garment, which he had made for his customer. He was seen by a stranger who said to him, "Coming from an honorable family clan, you are the son of a man of high position. Why do you wear such coarse woolen clothing? Now let me teach you how to get some fine clothes. You should follow my instructions. I won't cheat you."

The poor man follows his instructions happily. The stranger immediately lit a fire before him and said in these words, "Now you may take off your coarse woolen garment and put it into the fire. You'll get some beautiful clothes out of the flame instead."

The poor man did as he was told. After his old clothes were burnt, nothing was left but ashes.

So are the people at large.

Our being born as human beings must be attributed to the practice of a good religion from former lives. We should take good care of our beings and improve our virtue and do good deeds. We are sometimes cheated by the heretics, vicious men and seductive women, who said, "You should believe us that you will be reborn, after this life, in the Brahman Heaven and enjoy longevity and happiness, if you practice ascetics by jumping into the fire or rocks now."

This is just like the story of the poor man burning his clothing.
Namo Amitabha Buddha!
thornbush
 
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Re: Reflections from the Sutras

Postby thornbush » Mon May 18, 2009 2:21 am

Continuation...
From: The Hundred Parables Sutra
http://www.buddhistdoor.com/OldWeb/reso ... tra.htm#31
MASON WANTED
Once upon a time, a Brahman master indented to give a big party. He told his disciple, "I need earthenware for the party. Go to the market and fetch for me a mason."

On his way to the mason's home, the disciple came across a man whose donkey was loaded with earthenware for sale in the market. Yet all pottery was broken by the animal in the twinkling of an eye. On his return home, the man was crying and getting quite distraught. On seeing this, the disciple asked: "Why are you so sad and disappointed?"

The man replied, "I have been making earthenware with all my expedient means after toiling and moiling for many years. I was on my way to the market intending to sell them. But this dumb animal has broken all I had in no time. That's why I'm so distraught."

The disciple was glad to see and hear all this and said, "It's a good donkey. I should like to buy it."

The mason was delighted to sell it. When the disciple rode it back, the master asked, "Why didn't you come back with a mason? What's the idea of bringing a donkey here?"

The disciple replied, "This donkey is better than a mason, for it can break things in a split second what a mason has made over a long time."

The master said, "You are stupid and ignorant indeed. Although the donkey can break things in a second, it can't even make one pottery in a hundred years."

So are the people at large. Those who sometimes receive offerings from their benefactors for a hundred years, give nothing in return. On the contrary, they always do more harm than good.

This is held to be true with someone who shows ingratitude.
Namo Amitabha Buddha!
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Re: Reflections from the Sutras

Postby thornbush » Tue May 19, 2009 8:26 am

Continuation...
From: The Hundred Parables Sutra
http://www.buddhistdoor.com/OldWeb/reso ... tra.htm#32
A TRADER STEALS GOLD

Once upon a time, two traders ran some business together. One was a seller of genuine gold, while the other, Tula cotton. A buyer of gold came along and asked for a fire test before buying it. The cotton trader stole the burnt gold and wrapped it with his Tula cotton, which got all burnt up by the red-hot gold.

Thus the stealing was revealed. Consequently, he lost both gold and Tula cotton.

Like them are the heretics, who steal from Buddhism and write in their own religion. They wrongfully claim Buddhism to be their own teaching and deny copying from it. For this reason, they burn and destroy their heretic scripture, which is disappeared from the world.

This is just like the story of the disclosure of the stealing of gold.
Namo Amitabha Buddha!
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Re: Reflections from the Sutras

Postby thornbush » Wed May 20, 2009 9:48 am

Continuation...
From: The Hundred Parables Sutra
http://www.buddhistdoor.com/OldWeb/reso ... tra.htm#33
HACKING A TREE DOWN FOR FRUIT
Once upon a time, there was a king who had a tremendously gigantic and beautiful tree. It always produced excellent fruit with fragrance and sweetness. One day the king told a guest who was visiting his palace, "Wouldn't you like to pluck some of the fruits?"

The man replied, "I wish to have some, but how Call I get them, the tree is so tall and large."

The king then ordered to have the tree hacked down to get the fruit. In this context, all hard efforts were made in vain. The king still tried to revive the tree, which had withered and died.

So are the people at large.

Buddha, the king of the Law, possesses a "tree of keeping commandments" which bears wonderful fruit. It gives people happiness and makes their wishes come true. To get the fruit, one has to observe all commandments.

Those who do not know how to do good deeds by expedient means, do wrong things in breaking commandments instead. This is just like the king who ordered to have the tree hacked down and the unable to make it grow again. Those who break commandments are just like that.
Namo Amitabha Buddha!
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Re: Reflections from the Sutras

Postby thornbush » Thu May 21, 2009 8:32 am

Continuation...
From: The Hundred Parables Sutra
http://www.buddhistdoor.com/OldWeb/reso ... tra.htm#34
TO SEND PURE SPRING WATER
Once upon a time, there was a village, which was located five Yojanas away from the city and supplied pure spring water. The king ordered the water to be sent to him in the palace every day by the villagers. Becoming utterly weary of the irksome task, they all wanted to move away to some remote place.

To them, the village chief said,"Don't go away. I'll talk with the king for you to alter the distance between here and the palace from five Yojanas into three Yojanas. It would be closer for coming and going without much weariness."

The chief hastened to report to the king who changed the mileage. People were delighted at knowing this. Some of them said that there was no difference whatsoever. Most still stayed on, because of their newly reassured confidence in the king.

So are the people in various walks of life.

Those who devote themselves to the right religion for crossing the Five Paths toward the Nirvana City, intend to abandon their faith when they are weary and exhausted. Traveling by the transmigration boat, they are unable to make their way toward the shore.

However, Buddha, the king of the Law, has many expedient means from the One Vehicle to the Three Vehicles. Those who follow the Hinayana sect are glad to hear those words and find it easier to practice. Therefore, they spare no effort to do good deeds and improve themselves spiritually so as to make their way of transmigration toward the other shores. Afterwards, they realize that there is no Three Vehicles but ones. Because of the confidence in Buddha's words, they do not want to abandon their faith by then.

This is just like the story of the villagers ending pure spring water.
Namo Amitabha Buddha!
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