A parable is a simple story that is used to illustrate a moral principle . A short fictitious narrative of something that may naturally occur , it seeks to convey a spiritual truth or moral. It’s meaning is not explicitly stated but is nevertheless straightforward and obvious. It suggests how a person should behave or what he should believe and , unlike an allegory , it makes a single unambiguous point. A fable is similar to a parable except that it features animals , plants or inanimate creatures as characters .( Aesop’s fables).
The greatest source of parables is the Bible. Examples are the tale of the Good Samaritan , and the one about the Prodigal Son . Parables are also to be found in other religions as such as the teaching stories of Mullah Nasruddin.
I looked up the meaning of ” parable ” because I happened to come across this Zen parable which I liked a lot.
A young married couple goes to the Master for a blessing . He listens to their request and then writes on a banner ” Grandfather dies . Father dies . Son dies.”
The couple is shocked , horrified. They upbraid the Master. ” How could you write such a terrible thing ? This is not a blessing . This is a curse.”
The Master looks back at them calmly and replies that it is indeed a blessing .
“It is the formula for a happy life .
Grandfather dies . Father dies . Son dies.
If the order were different , then it would be the greatest sorrow “.
Succint , deep , and meaningful.