Sun, Sep 18, 2016 - Page 9 News List

The wheel of law

An old, rusty tricycle sits in front of a house.

Photo: Paul Cooper, Taipei Times

There is an old tricycle in front of a house.

The paint on the tricycle has peeled and flaked away, leaving nothing but the bare metal of the tricycle frame, and the rust corroding it away.

There are two bricks holding the front wheel in place — one in front, the other behind — to stop the tricycle rolling away. But it isn’t going anywhere: there is no air in the front tyre.

There are no cables.

It has no brakes, it has no gears.

The chain remains, but it is unoiled, and rusty, and has fallen away from the chainring.

There is, however, a cart attached between the two rear wheels.

The owner might once have used this for work, to transport heavy things, or to take things to market to sell.

He or she doesn’t use it for that anymore.

They haven’t done so for many years.

It sits among four pots. Two have living plants in them, one has the dried-out stem of a dead plant. The fourth pot, the most brightly colored of them all, is completely empty.

To the side of the house entrance there is a wooden board, painted white with black Chinese characters written on it. Those words are taken from a Chinese translation of an ancient Buddhist text, the Infinite Life Sutra.

The words talk of the difficulty for human beings to understand the deep and extensive wisdom of the Buddha.

如來深廣智慧海 唯佛與佛乃能知

聲聞億劫思佛智 盡其神力莫能測

如來功德佛自知 唯有世尊能開示

人身難得佛難值 信慧聞法難中難

The text was originally written by the hand of a person belonging to an ancient culture, in a country far away.

It was translated over 1,500 years ago.

(Paul Cooper, Taipei Times)












如來深廣智慧海 唯佛與佛乃能知

聲聞億劫思佛智 盡其神力莫能測

如來功德佛自知 唯有世尊能開示

人身難得佛難值 信慧聞法難中難



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