Burning House Parable - Lotus Sutra
A fire broke out in the house of a wealthy man. He tried to warn the children inside the burning house but they were too absorbed in their games to pay attention to him or the flames.
Then, the wealthy man shouted there were incredible toys outside. And the children rushed out. Relieved, the wealthy man gave the kids even better toys than the ones he had mentioned.
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The father is the Buddha and sentient beings are the children. The Burning House represents the world burning with the fires of old age, sickness and death. The teachings of the Buddha are like the father getting the kids to leave their pleasures for a greater pleasure, Nirvana.
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