AN 4.95 Chavalata Sutta

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Chavalata Sutta: Wood from a Pyre

translated from the Pali by

Acharya Buddharakkhita

"Monks, these four kinds of persons are to be found existing in the world. Which four? One who is engaged in promoting neither his own good nor in promoting the good of another; one who is engaged in promoting another's good but not in promoting his own good; one who is engaged in promoting his own good but not in promoting the good of another; and one who is engaged in promoting his own good and also in promoting the good of another.

"Just as, monks, a piece of wood from a pyre, burnt at both ends and in the middle fouled with dung, serves neither for fuel in the village nor for timber in the forest, so in the same way, monks, is such a person, I say, who is engaged in promoting neither his own good nor in promoting the good of another.

"Monks, there is the person who is engaged in promoting the good of another but not in promoting his own good. Of these two individuals the latter is superior. Monks, there is the person who is engaged in promoting his own good but not in promoting the good of another. Of these three individuals he is superior. Monks, there is the person who is engaged in promoting his own good and also in promoting another's good. Of these four individuals he is the foremost, the chief, the principal, the best and the supreme.

"Just as, monks, from a cow comes milk; from milk, curd; from curd, butter; from butter, ghee; from ghee, the skimmings of ghee, and that is reckoned the best; even so, monks, among these four individuals the person who is engaged in promoting his own good and also the good of another is the foremost, the chief, the principal, the best and the supreme. Monks, these are the four individuals who are to be found existing in the world."