|In the present paper an attempt is made to identify the source of one rather enigmatic utterance by Ta-hui Tsung-kao (1089~1163) which refers to a monkey playing with glue. A preliminary survey of Chinese Buddhist texts reveals that this motif is alluded to in a number of sutras of the Larger Vehicle. Only the Mahāyāna Parinirvāna Sūtra, however, contains a full version of the story -or rather parable.
It is highly probable that Ta-hui Tsung-kao got his inspiration from the Mahāyāna Parinirvāna Sutra, though further investigation reveals that the relevant passage in this text actually derives from a sutra of the āgama tradition still preserved in both, Pāli and Chinese translations. It is this earlier version which Indian treatises quote or comment upon.
The diverse development of the motif is discussed and it is shown that Ta-hui Tsung-kao's usage follows the pattern of Larger Vehicle scriptures which emphasize practice.