The Buddhist Monk I-hsiu (literary, "One Rest") had a lay follower
who was a very rich but mean merchant. One day, he invited I-hsiu to his home
to look at his collection of antiques.
After the show off, the lay follower asked I-hsiu, "What do you think of my rare collection?"
"There is nothing unusual about your collection. They cannot be compared to some of the Buddhist Artworks in my temple. These artworks are priceless because they were brought here from India via the silk road two thousand years ago."
"Really?" the rich man was so happy to hear that, "such artworks are indeed priceless. Can I add them to my collection? Give me a price and I will buy them all."
"They are not for sale, but, since you are so devoted to the Lord Buddha, I will give them to you, for 3,000 ounces of silver," replied I-hsiu.
"Ok. I will take it. Here is the money and I will pick it up tomorrow at the temple."
The next day, when the rich lay follower came to the temple, I-hsiu took him to the back of the temple and showed him a cat's meal bowl and a dog's drinking bowl. "These are all yours."
"What!? Two bowls for your pets? How can you call these "Buddhist Artworks" that worth 3,000 ounces of silver?"
I-hsiu bursted into laughter, "These are indeed priceless Buddhist Artworks from India. Normally, I will not sell for 30,000 ounces of gold. Now you get them for a bargain price of 3,000 ounces of silver, that is because of your good karma!"
On hearing this, the rich man had nothing to say. He just returned home quietly, with much groans inside his heart.
Very soon, there was a news that the rich man had donated a big sum of money to the local temple. Overnight, he became a celebrity. Everyone in the village treated him with honour and respect. Where ever he went, he was cheered upon by the local villagers. Finally, he understood what was meant by "Buddhist Artwork", which is indeed priceless.