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Parable: The King Was Said to Have Been Recklessly Cruel

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Hundred Parables Sutra
Parable: The King Was Said to Have Been Recklessly Cruel



In the past, when a certain person was talking about the king’s faults, he remarked, “The king is despotic and unreasonable!” When those words got back to the king’s ears, he was beside himself with rage. Without finding out exactly who had said it, he believed in the words of a deceitful attendant and put a worthy minister under arrest. He issued an order to have the minister’s back flayed and a hundred ounces of his flesh hacked from his body.

Shortly thereafter, someone testified to the minister’s innocence. Then the king, feeling remorseful, sent the minister a thousand ounces of flesh to make up for what was cut off from his body. But the minister was wracked with pain and cried out in the night.

The king heard his moans and asked him, “What’s wrong with you? I took a hundred ounces of your flesh, but gave you back ten times the amount. Aren’t you satisfied? Why are you still groaning?”

A bystander observed, “Your Majesty, if you were to cut off the head of your own son, even if you were to make up for the loss with a thousand heads, still, your son could not escape the way of death. Although this minister has been given back ten times the flesh he has lost, still, he cannot be spared from pain.”

A stupid person is the same way. Having no fear of future lives, he greedily craves pleasures of the present. He torments the people around him and extorts much wealth from the citizens, hoping in this way to eradicate his own sins and reap blessings and rewards. This is like the king who flayed the minister’s back, cut off his flesh, and then tried to make it up to him by giving him back some flesh It is impossible to allay the pain in this way.


Source

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