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(18) GRIND A KNIFE UPSTAIRS

Once upon a time there was a poor man who had to work very hard in the king's service. As time went on, he became emaciated. Out of pity, the king gave him a dead camel. Having received it, the poor man began to flay it. His knife being very blunt, he looked for a whetstone to grind it. At last, he found one upstairs where he sharpened the knife.

He then went back downstairs to skin the camel. He ran up and down the stairs doing the sharpening and skinning frantically for a while and finally he felt so tired that he could not go on any longer. Then he had to hang the camel upstairs to be closer to the whetstone. People guffawed at him.

A stupid man who, by breaking the strict commandments gathers plenty of money and uses it on offering in the hope that he will be born in Heaven. This stupid man is just like the poor man who worked hard for little gain in hanging his camel upstairs and sharpening his knife.

18 就楼磨刀喻

昔有一人,贫穷困苦,为王作事,日月经久,身体羸瘦。王见怜愍,赐一死驼。贫人得已,即便剥皮,嫌刀钝故,求石欲磨,乃于楼上得一磨石。磨刀令利,来下而剥。如是数数往来磨刀,后转劳苦,惮不能数上,悬驼上楼,就石磨刀。深为众人之所嗤笑。

犹如愚人毁破禁戒,多取钱财,以用修福,望得生天。如悬驼上楼磨刀,用功甚多,所得甚少。

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