Itivuttaka: The Buddha’s Sayings

The Section of the Fours

104. Excelling in Virtue

This was said by the Lord…

“Bhikkhus, as to those bhikkhus who excel in virtue, excel in concentration, excel in wisdom, excel in release, excel in the knowledge and vision of release, who are advisors, instructors, and demonstrators, who can exhort, inspire, and encourage, and who are competent teachers of the true Dhamma—seeing those bhikkhus is very helpful, I say; listening to those bhikkhus, approaching them, attending upon them, remembering them, and following their example in going forth into homelessness is very helpful, I say. For what reason?

“By following such bhikkhus, by associating with them and attending upon them, the aggregate of virtue as yet incomplete reaches completion of development, the aggregate of concen­tra­tion, of wisdom, of release, and of knowledge and vision of release as yet incomplete reaches completion of development. Such bhikkhus as these are called teachers, caravan-leaders, fault-abandoners, dispellers of darkness, light-bringers, makers of radiance, luminaries, torch-bearers, bringers of illumination, noble ones, possessors of vision.”

For those who are knowledgeable
This is a state making for joy—
Living the life of Dhamma
Under the noble ones perfected in mind.

They clarify the true Dhamma,
Shining forth and illuminating it,
Those light-bringers, heroic sages,
Endowed with vision, dispelling faults.

Having heard their teaching,
The wise with perfect understanding
By directly knowing the end of birth
Come no more to renewal of being.