搆驴乳喻 - To Milk a Donkey

Ancient Chinese Fable (for Advanced Learners)


昔边国人,不识于驴,闻他说言,驴乳甚美,都无识者。尔时诸人,得一父驴,欲搆其乳,争共捉之。

Once upon a time, there was a group of frontiersmen who had never seen a monkey before. Thus they could not identify it. They were told that its milk was delicious. It happened that they found a male donkey and they tried to milk it. They began their wrangling about apprehending it.


其中有捉头者,有捉耳者,有捉尾者,有捉脚者,复有捉器者,各欲先得,于前饮之。中捉驴根,谓呼是乳,即便搆之,望得其乳。众人疲厌,都无所得,徒自劳苦,空无所获,为一切世人之所嗤笑。

One seized its head: another, its ears; the third, its tail; the fourth, its feet; and finally the fifth, its penis. All wanted to be the first to drink its milk. The one who grasped the donkey’s penis called out that he could get milk there from. Then he began to extract. Finally, this group of people felt tired and bored, for they could not get what they had wanted. They got nothing in return, despite of their effort. They were all laughed at by the people at large.


外道凡夫,亦复如是。闻说于道不应求处,妄生想念,起种种邪见,裸形自饿,投岩赴火,以是邪见,堕于恶道。如彼愚人,妄求于乳。

This is also held to be true with the common heretics. The heretics who learn their religious faith from some inadequate sources, might lead to illusions giving rise to all kinds of heterodox views such as to go naked, to fast, to jump into precipice or go through fire. With all these kinds of heterodox views, they fall to the evil paths, like those stupid men seeking in vain for milk from a male donkey.


Modern Chinese Translation - 白话:


从 前,边远国家的人不认得驴,听说驴乳甚美,也都没有尝到过。当时一些人得了一头公驴,想捋挤它的乳来尝尝,便争着将它捉住。其中有捉头的,有捉耳的,有捉 尾的,有捉脚的,又有捉生殖器的,各人都想先得,就上前去,吮吸了一番。其中有捉住驴鞭的,叫道,啊哈!这是乳了,随即捋挤起来,祈望得到乳汁。众人一无 所得,疲厌了。徒然地劳苦了一番,毫无结果,遭到世人的嗤笑。

外道凡夫也是这样,耳闻了修道的方法,却不知道怎样实行,在不应修求的地方,妄生出迷念来,形成种种邪见。于是裸露身体,自忍饥饿,投身悬崖,赴于火中,以为可以得道,由于这种邪见,便堕落于三恶道之中,如那些在公驴身上妄求乳汁的愚人一样。


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