驼瓮俱失喻 - The Camel and the Jar are Both Lost

Ancient Chinese Fable (for Advanced Learners)


昔有一人,先瓮中盛谷。骆驼入头,瓮中食谷,复不得出。既不得出,以为忧恼。有一老人来,语之言:“汝莫愁也。我教汝出。汝用我语,必得速出。汝当斩头,自得出之。”

Once upon a time, there was a man who had a jar used to hold grain. A camel put its head into it to eat the grain, but it could not get its head out. The man became angry and worried. An old man came up to him and said, „Don’t be upset. I’ll tell you how to get him out. It’ll get its head out in no time if you listen to me. You should cut off its head and he’ll be out.“


即用其语,以刀斩头。既复杀驼,而复破瓮。如此痴人,世间所笑。

The man followed his words. He killed the camel and also broke the jar. Such an idiot was jeered by the people at large.


凡夫愚人,亦复如是。希心菩提,志求三乘,宜持禁戒,防护诸恶。然为五欲,毁破净戒。既犯禁已,舍离三乘,纵心极意,无恶不造。乘及净戒,二俱捐舍。如彼愚人,驼瓮俱失。

This is also held to be true with the common stupid men. Those who hope for Enlightened minds through the Three Vehicles, must keep commandments and avoid doing evil deeds. However, they indulge themselves in the Five Desires, which will destroy them. Not only do they end up breaking commandments, but also giving up the Three Vehicles. In addition, they follow their own inclination and yield to their whims at the same time. There is nothing evil they will not do. Thus they abandon both the Three Vehicles and the pure commandments like that stupid man losing both the camel and the jar.


Modern Chinese Translation - 白话:


从前有个人,先是在瓮中盛了谷子。骆驼伸头进瓮中吃谷子,过后伸不出来 了。如此,这人很是忧恼。有一位老人来对他说:「你不要愁啊!我教你怎样弄出来,你听我的话,必定能快快弄出。你应斩掉它的头,自然可出来了。」就采用了 他的话,以刀斩头。既杀了骆驼,又破了瓮,如此愚人,世间所笑。

凡夫愚人也是这样,一意向往正觉,志在求得声闻、缘觉、菩萨三乘之果,那么,就应该受持禁戒,防止种种恶行,然而为了财、色、名、食、睡这五欲的享受,毁破了净戒。既犯了戒,又舍离三乘,纵心极意,无恶不作。三乘和净戒,两样都丧失了,如那个愚人一样,骆驼和瓮都失掉了。


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