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The Gospel of Buddha:Chapter 72: The Listless Fool

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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There was a rich Brahman, well advanced in years,
who, unmindful of the impermanence of earthly things
and anticipating a long life, had built himself a large house. [1]

The Buddha wondered why a man so near to death
had built a mansion with so many apartments,
and he sent Ananda to the rich Brahman
to preach to him the four noble truths
and the eightfold path of salvation. [2]

The Brahman showed Ananda his house
and explained to him the purpose of its numerous chambers,
but to the instruction of the Buddha's teachings he gave no heed. [3]

Ananda said:
"It is the habit of fools to say,
'I have children and wealth.'
He who says so is not even master of himself;
how can he claim possession of children, riches, and servants?
Many are the anxieties of the worldly,
but they know nothing of the changes of the future." [4]

Scarcely had Ananda left,
when the old man was stricken with apoplexy and fell dead.
The Buddha said, for the instruction of those who are ready to learn:
"A fool, though he lives in the company of the wise,
understands nothing of the true doctrine,
as a spoon tastes not the flavour of the soup.
He thinks of himself only,
and unmindful of the advice of good counsellors
is unable to deliver himself." [5]

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Source

mountainman.com.au