The parable of cloth originated from a certain Buddhist monk called bikkhus, who narrates his encounter with the Blessed One. It states that the Blessed One gave bikkhus the parable saying that if unclean garment is absorbed in any dye regardless of its color, the cloth will still contain initial dirt and stains.
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The Blessed One was communicating that a bad life in the future must be expected when the mind is not pure. He also puts in that if a cloth is perfectly clean, it would look as beautiful as the colors, an indication of cleanliness. This parable contains deeper meaning that was a caution to the Buddhists.
This parable clearly shows that being dirty or of bad morals will always reflect even on the outside. The parable continues to bring an understanding that bad morals may corrupt the good ones. The beautiful colors of pink, blue and, red represents some good and beautiful characters. However, when the dirty and soiled cloth is immersed in the dye, the beauty of the colors is not represented well because of the uncleanness.
This parable evidently refers to people whose character is spoilt, as they tend to influence the good people with their temperament. This well suits an English saying, ‘bad company corrupts good morals.’ The parable also clearly states all the bad things that the dirty cloth represents, calling it the impurity of the mind.
The parable is significant to the beliefs of the Buddhists because they believe that any change in people’s heart or mind always lead to change in external situations, and they affect the people who are around. They believe that enlightenment summons the people’s image practicing severity in the pursuit for extraordinary powers, which are beyond the reach by ordinary beings.
Nichiren said that enlightenment could be referred to as the fusion of wisdom that was subjected to people with objective reality, a complete knowledge of the truths of this world. In addition, any individual cannot reach enlightenment because it is not in a fixed point.
It would also mean daily challenge, constant as well as the people’s determination of being renewed to impose positive impact other people’s lives. The parable of cloth is one that the Buddhist would passionately embrace because they believe in change and impacting others with the changes or enlightenment.
A bikkhus can share the choicest rice with all manner of sauces and curry without causing any harm to his spiritual life, when he shuns all the bad and impurity things and embracing what is considered as the source of truth. A bikkhus is capable of attaining this state of virtue in wisdom and mental discipline.
As the parable explains, when the dirty and soiled cloth is dipped into the clear water, it becomes pure. Moreover, just as the way gold is refined through the furnace becomes clean and pure, the bikkhus with this state of virtue cannot be harmed.
The desire for such things however, would be a hindrance to enlightenment because the repetition of the same would bring impurities, which will drag the positive influence of the people around.
Conclusively, the parable of cloth originated from a certain Buddhist monk known as bikkhus, who narrates his encounter with the Blessed One. The parable brings an understanding that bad morals may corrupt the good ones.
The Buddhist believe that enlightenment summons the people’s image practicing severity in the pursuit for extraordinary powers, which are beyond the reach by ordinary beings. The secret of being enlightened is shunning all impurities and embracing good virtues.