I
THE GOLD COINS
would like to tell you a story I often heard when I was a little boy.

Long ago there was a boy walking along a country road early on a cold
winter morning. Suddenly he noticed a very bright and shining light coming
from the ground ahead of him. He ran to the spot and found two or three
golden coins lying there. It so surprised and delighted him that he
immediately bent over to pick them up from the ground. Alas, the ground
was solidly frozen, and he could not get at them. He looked around for a
sharp object to break through the ice, but there was none. So eager was he
to get the coins that he came up with what he thought was a brilliant idea.
He would urinate on the ice to thaw it and then retrieve the coins. The ice
easily thawed from his warm urine. The boy picked up the coins as quick as
his pounding heart thumped. He did not care about the smell of the urine
nor the filth or dirtiness of it. He grabbed the coins and oh so slowly walked
to the store, wanting to hold on to his treasure for as long as possible, but at
the same time eager to spend them on something. When he finally reached
the doors of the store his eyes opened. It was but a dream. The coins he
had held so tightly in his hands were not there. The only evidence of his
brilliant encounter was the wetness in his bed from his urine.
THE LESSON:
This parable is a reflection of our daily lives. The earthly desires of love,
fame and fortune are like the golden coins in the dream. We try so hard to
acquire these things but none of them can we take with us when we depart
this life. They are illusions that disappear like smoke when we die.
Therefore by concentrating on happiness and pleasure in life one becomes
negligent in faith and uses Buddhism only to gain one's desires. This, in
fact, is slander, and as a result, like the boy's urine, the only thing remaining
at the end of one's life will be one's bad karma. The desires and sufferings
of human beings are endless. To avoid them keep faith constant.
As Told by
Reverend Sendo Egashira
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