Parable of Medical Doctor


"It is as if there were a good physician, wise and well versed in the medical arts and intelligent, who is skillful at healing the multitude of sicknesses. The man also has many sons ten, twenty or even a hundred. Then, called away on business, he travels to a far-off country.

"Meanwhile, the children drink some poison, which causes them to roll on the ground in delirium.

"Just then their father returns home. Because they drank the poison, some of the sons have lost their senses, while others have not. Seeing their father at a distance, they are all greatly happy. They bow to him, kneel, and inquire after him. ‘Welcome back in peace and safety. In our foolishness, we took some poison by mistake. We pray that you will rescue and heal us, and will restore our lives to us.’

"Seeing his children in such agony, the father consults his medical texts and then searches for fine herbs of good color, aroma, and flavor. He then grinds, sifts, and mixes them together, and gives the compound to his sons to take.

"And he says to them, ‘This is an excellent medicine of good, color, aroma, and flavor. Take it. Your agony will be relieved, and you will suffer no further torment.’

"Some among the children have not lost their senses. Seeing the fine medicine with its good color and aroma, they immediately take it and their sickness is completely cured.

"Although the others who have lost their senses rejoice in their father’s arrival, have inquired after his well-being, and have sought to be cured of their illnesses, they refuse to take the medicine. What is the reason? The poisonous vapors have entered them so deeply that they have lost their senses, and so they say that the medicine of good color and aroma is not good.

"The father then thinks, ‘How pitiful these children are! The poison has confused their minds. Although they rejoice to see me and ask me to rescue and cure them, still they refuse such good medicine as this. I should now set up an expedient device to induce them to take this medicine. ’

"Immediately he says, ‘You should know that I am now old and weak, and my time of death has arrived. I will now leave this good medicine here for you to take. Have no worries about not recovering.’ Having instructed them in this way, he then returns to the far-off country and sends a messenger back to announce, ‘Your father is dead.’

"When the children hear that their father is dead, their hearts are struck with grief, and they think, ‘If our father were here, he would be compassionate and pity us, and we would have a savior and protector. Now he has forsaken us to die in another country, leaving us orphaned, with no one to rely upon.’ Constantly grieving, their minds then become awakened. They understand that the medicine has good color, aroma, and flavor. They take it immediately, and their poisonous sickness is completely cured.

"The father, hearing that his sons have been completely cured, then comes back, and they all see him."