The Fire and the Water

Once upon a time, there was a man who needed fire and cold water in caring out his household duties. He built a fire in his room. He filled a kettle with water and put it on the fire. Afterwards, the fire went out and the cold water turned hot. He got neither fire nor cold water.

So are the people at large who, devoted to the attainment of Buddhism, seek the enlightened way by becoming monks. But afterwards, they still keep ties to their wives, children and relatives; maintain their concern with the worldly affairs and their enjoyment of the five desires as well. For these reasons, they lose their meritorious blessings like the fire. They also break their commandments like the cold water.

This is held to be true with greedy men.