BUILDING A HOUSE IN MID-AIR - A Story from the Buddhist Sutra

The Buddha loved to tell stories when he was giving a sermon. Here is one from the Sutra of Hundred Parables.

Once upon a time there were two very rich merchants living in the same town, both loved to show off their wealth. Let us call them A and B.

One day merchant A went to visit merchant B, he observed that B had a big house three storeys high. (NOTE: 2,500 year ago, a three storeys high house was a very impressive project!!) He also noticed that everyone in town was very impressed with B's house and said how great it was!

On returning home, merchant A was not happy that B got all the attention. So he also hired the same architect to build another house three storeys high. The architect accepted the job and started the project.

A few days later, merchant A went to visit the construction site. When he saw workers digging the land to prepare for the foundation, he went to see the architect and asked what was happening.

"I am constructing a three storeys high house as per our contract." replied the architect. "But first, I have to prepare a solid foundation, then build the first floor, second floor and finally third floor."

"I do not want anything else, I just want the third floor right away, as high as B's house." demand merchant A. "Never mind the foundation or the other floors."

"That cannot be done." replied the architect.

"OK, then I hire some else to do it."

Nobody in town was able to build a house with no foundation, and so the project was never done.