GOLD FINGER - a Zen Buddhism Koan

One day, one of the eight immortals (Note 1), Lu Dongbin, came down to the Saha World (Note 2) to help people out who were in great difficulties. While he was on the way, he met a youth sitting by the road side crying heavily. He approached the youth and asked him, "Mister, why are you crying? Do you have any difficulties?"

"My mother is very sick and my father had passed away. I do not have any money to hire a doctor to see her. I want to go to work but nobody will take care of my mother while I am away?"

The immortal was very touched by the fidelity of this youth and therefore he decided to help him out by performing a miracle. He pointed his finger at a piece of stone by the road side and turned it into gold immediately. Then he gave the piece of gold to the youth. To his surprise the youth refused to accept it.

The immortal was even touched, because the youth must be a devout Buddhist, renouncing wealth. "Why don't you accept the piece of gold. It should keep your family going for a long time."

The youth replied, "If I accept it, sooner or later I will spend it all. Therefore, I do not want the piece of gold. I want your finger, because I can use it to turn everything into gold and I will be the richest man on earth."

Upon hearing this, the immortal gave a sigh at the greediness of human beings, restored the piece of gold back to stone, and returned to heaven.
Note 1: Eight immortals: In Chinese folk religion, the eight immortals are human beings who became deities or fairies through the rites of Taoism. An immortal is different from a god in that the immortal seldom got involved in earthly matters. A god (such as the Thunderer) is responsible for certain aspects of life on earth.
Note 2: Saha world: Literally, a world with desires. That is, the world in which good and evil exist. Or, the real world in which we human beings live in.