Having thought this, he said to his children as he had thought, ‘Come out quickly!’ He warned them with these good words out of his compassion towards them, but they were too much engrossed in playing to hear the words of their father. They were not frightened or afraid. They did not wish to come out. They did not know what a fire was, what a house was, and what they would lose. They ran about happily. They only glanced at their father occasionally.
This passage is part of the Parable of the Burning House, told by the Buddha in Chapter Three of the Lotus Sūtra. In this story, he compares us living in this world of conflict to children playing in a dangerous house. As the children in the story were too distracted by their games to hear their father’s warnings, we are often too distracted by the attachments of our world to hear the voice of the Buddha.
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