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Parable: Sending Pure Spring Water

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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Hundred Parables Sutra
Parable: Sending Pure Spring Water



Once there was a village five yojanas away from the capital city that produced pure spring water. The king ordered the villagers to send him some of this water every day. The villagers, feeling exhausted by this ordeal, wished to move to another village. But the chief of the village said to them, “Don’t go away. I will go and ask the king to change the distance from five yojanas to three, so you won’t have to exhaust yourselves by walking such a long distance.”

He went and submitted his case to the king, and the king declared that the distance was changed to three yojanas. When the people heard this, they were delighted. Someone said, “You are still walking the five yojanas you have always walked. There hasn’t really been any change in the mileage.” Although the villagers heard this, they had faith in the king, and they never gave up.

Common people are like this, too. They cultivate the Proper Dharma to get across the five paths of rebirth and to head for Nirvana City. As time goes on they grow weary and wish to give up their pursuit. No longer wishing to go forward, they revert back to birth and death. The Thus Come One, the Dharma King, establishes a great skill-in-means, and within the Once Vehicle, he speaks of three. Those of the Small Vehicle are delighted when they hear this. Thinking the path is easy to walk, they cultivate good and virtuous acts and aspire to cross beyond birth and death. Later, they hear others tell them that there were no three vehicles to begin with, that originally there was only a single path. But because they cling to what the Buddha first proclaimed, they are just like the villagers in this story.


Source

cttbusa.org