SN.56.39. Indakhīlasutta ("A Boundary Pillar")

Saṁyutta Nikāya ("The Linked Discourses")

“Mendicants, there are ascetics and brahmins who don’t truly understand about suffering, its origin, its cessation, and the path. They gaze up at the face of another ascetic or brahmin, thinking: ‘Surely this worthy one knows and sees.’

Suppose there was a light tuft of cotton-wool or kapok which was taken up by the wind and landed on level ground. The east wind wafts it west; the west wind wafts it east; the north wind wafts it south; and the south wind wafts it north. Why is that? It’s because the tuft of cotton-wool is so light.

In the same way, there are ascetics and brahmins who don’t truly understand about suffering, its origin, its cessation, and the path. They gaze up at the face of another ascetic or brahmin, thinking: ‘Surely this worthy one knows and sees.’ Why is that? It’s because they haven’t seen the four noble truths.

There are ascetics and brahmins who truly understand about suffering, its origin, its cessation, and the path. They don’t gaze up at the face of another ascetic or brahmin, thinking: ‘Surely this worthy one knows and sees.’

Suppose there was an iron pillar or a boundary pillar with deep foundations, firmly embedded, imperturbable and unshakable. Even if violent storms were to blow up out of the east, the west, the north, and the south, they couldn’t make it shake or rock or tremble. Why is that? It’s because that boundary pillar is firmly embedded, with deep foundations.

In the same way, there are ascetics and brahmins who truly understand about suffering, its origin, its cessation, and the path. They don’t gaze up at the face of another ascetic or brahmin, thinking: ‘Surely this worthy one knows and sees.’ Why is that? It’s because they have clearly seen the four noble truths. What four? The noble truths of suffering, its origin, its cessation, and the path.

That’s why you should practice meditation …”

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