Buddhism in Bite Size Lessons: Lesson #16: 83 Problems-A Buddhist Parable

English: Paintings of Buddha meditating

Image via Wikipedia

A farmer had many complaints. He told the Buddha all about how difficult his life was. It seemed that the weather never cooperated the way that he wanted. It was either too wet or too dry, so his crops often failed. Also, while his wife was a good woman, she was much too critical of him, and lately his children were showing no gratitude for anything that he did for them. Furthermore, his neighbors were much too nosey and seemed to always be interfering in his affairs by spreading gossip about him.

The farmer, finishing his list of complaints, looked expectantly to the Buddha for a solution and was surprised when the Buddha said the he could not help him. According to the Buddha all human beings have 83 problems and that is just the way life is. While you can work hard and solve a few problems, once you do others will soon take their place. Upon hearing this, the farmer, in exasperation, asked, “Then what is the good of all your teaching?” The Buddha replied, “My teaching can’t help you with the 83 problems, but perhaps it can help with the 84th.” “What’s that?” the farmer asked. “The 84th problem,” the Buddha said, “is that you don’t want to have any problems.”


January 3, 2012. Buddha, Buddhism, Parables.

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