The Lodge of the Morning Star No.5428

News

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2018-04-09

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Mon, 23rd September 2019

New News Item - Three Parables

 

Three Buddhist Parables

Background

These parables were given to one of our members, when he was on holiday in South East Asia in August 2019. Our brother was shown them as videos. The videos made such an impression on him that he wrote them down directly afterwards, so he did not forget them.

These were read out at our social board on three consecutive Friday nights in September and we thought they deserve a wider audience.

Parable 1: The Homeless Man

There was once a homeless man. One day he noticed that someone was stealing his food, so he decided to watch and see who was stealing it.

He found a mouse was stealing his food and he confronted the mouse, asking him; “Why do you steal my food.”

The mouse replied; “I am only a small mouse, so I don’t steal much food from you. If you need more food, you can always steal more from a rich man. Besides, it is your destiny to be homeless and never to have more than eight possessions”.

This statement about his destiny troubled the homeless man, so he asked the mouse; “Why is it my destiny to be homeless and to never have more than eight possessions?”

The mouse replied; “It is your destiny; I cannot tell you why. If you want to know why you must find the Buddha and ask him”.

So troubled was the homeless man that he walked for many days to find the Buddha.

On the way he met a merchant who took pity on him and invited him to stay at his house for the night.

The merchant asked him; “Where are you going?” The homeless man replied that he was going to see the Buddha to ask him an important question.

The merchant said: “If you are going to see the Buddha and ask him a question, please will you also ask him why my beautiful daughter cannot speak. She has never spoken or made a sound in all her life”.

After a few days he met a wizard who asked him where he was going. The wizard said if you are going to see the Buddha, please ask a question for me. I have been trying to get to heaven for a thousand years without success. Please ask the Buddha what I must do to get to heaven.

Later still the homeless man met a giant turtle who asked him where he was going. The giant turtle said if you are going to see the Buddha, please ask a question for me. I have been trying to become a dragon for five hundred years without success. Please ask the Buddha what I must do to become a dragon.

After many days travelling the homeless man reached the Buddha and was able to ask his questions.

Before he began the Buddha told him; “Choose your questions well, I will answer no more than three questions”.

The homeless man was confused and angry. He had come all this way with four questions and the Buddha would only answer three. He thought carefully for a time and he thought everyone else’s problems seemed so much bigger than his own problem so he would ask their three questions.

The Buddha answered those three questions and sent him on his way.

First, he saw the giant turtle who asked what the Buddha had answered to his question. The homeless man told the giant turtle; “The Buddha said that you will never become a dragon whilst you cling to the security of your shell. If you wish to change you must move out of your comfort zone.”

The giant turtle came out of his shell and became a dragon. As he did so they could both see that inside the shell there were very many large and valuable pearls. The dragon said to the homeless man; “A dragon has no need of pearls, you helped me, so you take them”.

Later, he saw the wizard who asked what the Buddha had answered to his question. The homeless man told the wizard; “The Buddha said that you will never go to heaven whilst you cling to your staff for strength. If you wish to go to heaven, you must go just as you are without your staff that gives you your strength”.

The wizard gave the homeless man his staff, which he had no further need for, and ascended into heaven.

Lastly, the homeless man arrived at the home of the merchant who, gathered his family together and then asked what the Buddha had answered to his question. The homeless man told the merchant and his family that his beautiful daughter would only speak when she met her one true soulmate.

Immediately, the beautiful daughter spoke and declared she had found her soulmate in the homeless man who had helped her.

The homeless man then realised that by putting the needs of others before his own, he had met his own needs. He had become rich from the pearls of the giant turtle; he had become strong from the staff of the wizard and he had met his soulmate.

 

Parable 2: The Son and his Father.

One day a boy went to his father and asked him; “What is the value of my life?”.

The father gave a rock to his son and told him: “Take this rock to the market, and if anyone asks you the price say nothing. Just smile and hold up two fingers. Then bring the rock home and tell me what happened.

Towards the end of the day at the market a tourist asked the boy; “How much is that rock?”.

The boy said nothing. He just smiled and held up two fingers.

The tourist said; “I will give you two dollars for that rock”.

The boy returned home with the rock and told his father what had happened.

The father told him; “Take the rock to the museum, and if anyone asks you the price say nothing. Just smile and hold up two fingers. Then bring the rock home and tell me what happened.

The museum director asked the boy; “How much is that rock?”

The boy said nothing. He just smiled and held up two fingers.

The museum director said; “I will give you two hundred dollars for that rock.

The boy returned home with the rock and told his father what had happened.

The father told him; “Take the rock to the jewellers, and if anyone asks you the price say nothing. Just smile and hold up two fingers. Then bring the rock home and tell me what happened.

The jeweller asked the boy; “How much is that rock?”

The boy said nothing. He just smiled and held up two fingers.

The jeweller said; “For such a large and high-quality rock I will happily give you two hundred thousand dollars”.

The boy returned home with the rock and told his father what had happened.

The father told him: “You see now, you put your own value on your life. My advice to you is to live your life with people who think you are priceless.”

 

Parable 3: The Broken Vase

In parts of China, a broken vase is not discarded. It is repaired and the cracks are filled with gold.

In this way the damage to the vase tells you the life story of the vase and makes it more beautiful.

So it is with us. The scars we carry on our bodies and in our hearts do not disfigure us.

They tell our life story and make us more beautiful.