Ancient Chinese Fable (for Advanced Learners)
Once upon a time, there was a farmer who went to the city and saw the princess who was very graceful. He found she was quite a rare beauty. Afterwards he thought of nothing else but the princess day and night. Since he could not find a way to have a talk with liar, he became yellow and fell very ill from his love-sickness. His parents and relatives asked him what had happened to him. He replied, „Yesterday I saw the graceful princess with whom I would like to get acquainted. But I’ve been unable to think of a way. This is why I have fallen ill. I’ll die soon!“
The parents and relatives said, „We’ll find a way. Don’t be so upset.“ Two days later, they said to him, „We have found a way. Unfortunately, she didn’t like it at all.“ Upon hearing these words the farmer got very happy and said with a big smile to other people that she would come to him if he sent for her.
This is also held to be true with the stupid men of the world. A stupid man knows of no seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter. He sows the land with seeds in winter hoping that they will grow. He gains nothing except wasting his energy in vain. All are lost as buds, stalks branches and leaves. Getting a little merit, the stupid of the world are satisfied with what they think are the attainment of Enlightenment, like the farmer who longed for the princess.
Modern Chinese Translation - 白话:
曾有一个农夫，至京 城游玩，见国王的女儿颜貌端正，世所稀有，便昼夜想念，情不能已。渴望与她接近，又没有路径可以达到，便思念得面色瘀黄，遂即成了重病。亲友邻里便问他为 什么会这样，他答道：「我往日见及国王的女儿，颜貌端正，渴想着与她接近，不能办到的缘故，这就病了。我若是得不到，必死无疑。」亲友说道：「我们会替你 想好办法的，让你得到她，先不要愁呵!」大家日后见了他，对他说：「我们为你想的办法以为是可以得到的，只是公主不肯。」田夫听了，欣然而笑，高呼着必可 得到的，必可得到的。世上的愚人也是这样，不分别春夏秋冬的时节，便在冬天将种子掷撒土中，祈望得到果实，却是白白浪费功夫，一无所获，芽茎枝叶之类都不 会有。世间的愚人修习了一点点福业，便以为圆满具足了，菩提道果已可证得，就像那位渴望得到公主的田夫一样。