Sakyamuni Talked about Four Kinds of Horses

Cheng Shi

PureInsight | March 25, 2013

[] One day, Sakyamuni gathered his disciples and explained to them the four kinds of horses.

The first kind is an excellent horse. It runs fast and can travel about 1000 li (about 333 miles) a day. As soon as its master raises the whip, it knows whether to run or stop. In other words, it can understand its master’s instructions quickly without mistake. This is a first class horse capable of discerning the finest details.

The second kind is a good horse. When its master raises the whip, it does not react immediately. But when the whip touches its body, then it understands and runs. Strong and fast, it is still a good horse.

The third kind is a normal horse. It does not follow its master’s instructions even when being whipped. Only when its master is mad and beats it hard does it then run.

The last kind is an inferior horse. It does not respond even when being whipped hard. The master has no choice but to apply extreme pain that reaches the horse’s bone. The wounded horse then knows to run fast.

Sakyamuni then talked about four kinds of sentient beings.

The first kind is alert upon learning the impermanent nature of life. They are diligent and work hard to become new beings. They are similar to the excellent horses.

The second kind is not as sensitive. But after witnessing the coming and going of life, they are nonetheless able to catch up and push themselves in the right direction. They are similar to the good horses.

It takes the third kind longer to learn the hard way. It is not until the suffering of their families or their own misfortunes that they begin to think and take action.

The last kind refers to those that do not regret until they are severely ill and are on the verge of death. By then, they wish for another chance to correct the mistakes they made throughout their life and to have a new beginning. But it is most likely already too late.

Translated from:


Add new comment