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A Horse that is not Surprised Even When a Whip Penetrates to its Bones

November 12, 2018

 

I heard about “The Metaphor of Four Horses,” and thought I would not be included even in the forth horse “A horse that is surprised when a whip penetrates to its bones,” but would be the fifth horse. 

 

My grandfather passed away at the age of 60, when he was not so old. He could not even live in the house that he had renovated for his declining years. Since his death, I had been pondering, “What happens after death?” But gradually I lost interest in the matter and gave up thinking about it, saying “I will never get the answer after all,” even though there is no greater problem than the uncertainty of our 100 % certain future. 

 

What happens after death? If I had not had a chance to listen to Buddhism, I would not have thought about the matter again and finally got the answer. 

 

However, even though I have been listening to Buddhist teachings, I have a mind that denies my “dying tomorrow.” Since I am such a person who is not surprised at what should surprise me, I will always think about the crucial matter of the afterlife and devote myself to serious and earnest listening of Buddhism. 

 

 "The Metaphor of Four Horses"

 

1. A horse that is surprised to see the shadow of a whip
People who are surprised at their own death when they see falling blossoms or smoke from a crematory

 

2. A horse that is surprised when a whip touches its hair
People who are surprised at their own death when they see a funeral or hearse

 

3. A horse that is surprised when a whip hit its flesh
People who are surprised at their own death when they attend a funeral of their relatives or neighbors

 

4. A horse that is surprised when a whip penetrates to its bones
People who are surprised at their impermanence when they lose their family

 

Anonymous student, Osaka

 

Source: The Buddhist Village Times #07 | 2011, A Horse that is not Surprised Even When a Whip Penetrates to its Bones

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