The Son’s Trips

Once upon a time, there was a man who told his son one night, “Tomorrow I’ll go with you to another tribe for some errands.”

The son hastened to go there by himself at dawn without telling his father. On his arrival, he was so tired that he did nothing. Furthermore, he could not find food. He got very hungry and thirsty. After he came back, his father scolded him and said, “You are very stupid indeed. Why didn’t you wait for me? You ran back and forth for nothing, only to suffer in vain.”

He was laughed at by the people at large.

This is also held to be true with the common people.

Those who have the opportunity to become monks and who shave off their mustache and have their hair cut, and who wear the monk’s three robes, do not ask for guidance to obtain Nirvana from an imminent teacher. They will in the end, lose not only the meditation training, but also the merits of monastic grades. Finally, they will lose altogether the supreme results from the practices of monks, under the cloak of whom they virtually gain nothing.

This is just like that stupid man casting his trip in vain, only to get tired and weary.