The Teacher Unknown





And the Blessed One said to Ananda:



"There are various kinds of assemblies, O Ananda; assemblies of

nobles, of Brahmans, of householders, of bhikkhus, and of other

beings. When I used to enter an assembly, I always became, before

I seated myself, in color like unto the color of my audience, and

in voice like unto their voice. I spoke to them in their language

and then with religious discourse, I instructed, quickened, and

gladdened them.



"My doctrine is like the ocean, having the same eight wonderful

qualities.



"Both the ocean and my doctrine become gradually deeper. Both

preserve their identity under all changes. Both cast out dead

bodies upon the dry land. As the great rivers, when falling into

the main, lose their names and are thenceforth reckoned as the

great ocean, so all the castes, having renounced their lineage

and entered the Sangha, become brethren and are reckoned the sons

of Sakyamuni. The ocean is the goal of all streams and of the

rain from the clouds, yet is it never overflowing and never

emptied: so the Dharma is embraced by many millions of people,

yet it neither increases nor decreases. As the great ocean has

only one taste, the taste of salt, so my doctrine has only one

flavor, the flavor of emancipation. Both the ocean and the Dharma

are full of gems and pearls and jewels, and both afford a

dwelling-place for mighty beings.



"These are the eight wonderful qualities in which my doctrine

resembles the ocean.



"My doctrine is pure and it makes no discrimination between noble

and ignoble, rich and poor.



"My doctrine is like unto water which cleanses all without

distinction.



"My doctrine is like unto fire which consumes all things that

exist between heaven and earth, great and small.



"My doctrine is like unto the heavens, for there is room in it,

ample room for the reception of all, for men and women, boys and

girls, the powerful and the lowly.



"But when I spoke, they knew me not and would say, 'Who may this

be who thus speaks, a man or a god?' Then having instructed,

quickened, and gladdened them with religious discourse, I would

vanish away. But they knew me not, even when I vanished away."





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