This parable is from the Yogacara Bhumi Sutra. The text was translated from Sanskrit or Pali into Chinese 284 CE. This translation is by Albert Waley found in Buddhist Texts through the Ages (Conze et al, editors, 1954).
Some children were playing beside a river. They made castles of sand and each child defended his castle and said, “This one is mine .” They kept their castles separate and would not allow any mistakes about which was whose. When the castles were all finished, one child kicked over someone else’s and completely destroyed it. The owner of the castle flew into a rage, pulled the other child’s hair, struck him with his fist and bawled out, “He has ruined my castle! Co and help me punish him as he deserves. “me along all of us The others all came to his help. They beat the child with a stick and then stamped on him as he lay on the ground. . . Then they went on playing in their sand-castles, each saying, “This is mine; no one else may have it. Keep away! Don’t touch my castle!”
But evening came; it was getting dark and they all thought they ought to be going home. No one cared what became of his castle. One child stamped on his, another pushed his over with both his hands. Then they turned away and went back, each to his home.
Behaviors resonate for centuries for both children and adults. Today’s prized possessions and cherished ambitions are yesterday’s sand-castles. What is left.