Sutra Translation: What is the Use of Praying?

Saṃyukta Ratnapiṭaka Sūtra: The Sutra of Miscellaneous Jewels
Scroll 9:105
Worshipping Vishvakarman for Great Wealth

translated from the Chinese by Upāsaka Dharmadūta @ Thomas Lee

Homage to Him, the Blessed One,
the Exalted One, the Fully Enlightened One!

 

In the past, there were two brothers, who were poverty-stricken. Every day and night, the elder brother diligently worshiped Vishvakarman, the deva, hoping to gain great wealth, while sending his younger brother to plough the land and engage in farming. The elder brother thus worshipped and made his prayers for a long time.

On one occasion, Vishvakarman, the deva, manifested himself as the younger brother and went to the elder brother. The elder brother, upon seeing the younger brother, blamed him, “Why have you forsaken your farming? Why are you coming here?” At that time, the younger brother replied, “Brother, every day and night, you are here in the temple, praying to Lord Vishvakarman, hoping to gain great wealth. Your brother today, too, would like to follow you, to fast, pray, and make aspirations, in hopes of gaining great wealth.” The elder brother then told the younger brother, “If you do not plough the land and sow the seeds, how can abundance of wealth be possible to attain?” The younger brother then questioned him, “Is it really through ploughing and sowing, that one could reap a harvest?” The elder brother was unable to make any reply to his question.

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