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(39) HOUSE PAINTING


Once upon a time, there was a man who went to another man's house, which had just been painted, and the floor made even. It was nice and clean. He asked the host, "With what paint did you make the wall so white and beautiful?"
The host replied, "I mixed rice bran with water and clay. The beauty is the result."
To himself, the guest said, "It would be better if he had used rice grain instead of bran. The wall would be more smooth and more beautiful."
He then used his own formula on his own house. The walls turned out to be concave and convex with cracks on them.
The stupid man thus wasted all his rice grain. It had better have done alms-giving to obtain any merits.
So are the common people. Those who have heard the Saints preaching that people who do good deeds may go to Heaven after death and consequently get deliverance, commit suicide to get there. They merely lose their lives in vain without getting anywhere just like that stupid man with his paint.

39见他人涂舍喻
昔有一人往至他舍,見他屋舍墻壁塗治,其地平正清淨甚好,便問之言:「用何和塗得如是好?」主人答言:「用稻穀麩水浸令熟,和泥塗壁故得如是。」愚人即便而作念言:「若純以稻麩不如合稻而用作之,壁可白淨泥始平好。」便用稻穀和泥用塗其壁望得平正,返更高下,壁都劈裂。虛棄稻穀都無利益,不如惠施可得功德。
凡夫之人亦復如是,聞聖人說法修行諸善,捨此身已可得生天及以解脫,便自殺身望得生天及以解脫,徒自虛喪空無所獲,如彼愚人。

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