THE ART OF TEACHING WITHOUT TEACHING
Sariputra said to the Buddha, requesting him to Teach (lecture) the assembly:
Dharma King, none more highly honored,
speak, we beg you, without reserve!
In this assembly of numberless beings
are those capable of reverent belief.
The Buddha responded, hinting at a lack of urgency in Teaching:
Stop, stop, no need to speak!
My Law is wonderful and difficult to ponder.
Those who are overbearingly arrogant
when they hear it will never show reverent belief.
At that time Sariputra, wishing to state his meaning once more, spoke in verse form, saying:
Supremely honored among two-legged beings,
we beg you to preach this foremost Law.
I who am regarded as the Buddha’s eldest son
ask you to favor us by preaching distinctions.
The countless members of this assembly
are capable of according reverent belief to this Law
The Buddhas have already in age after age
taught and converted them in this manner.
All with a single mind and palms pressed together
desire to hear and receive the Buddha’s words.
I and the other twelve hundred of our group,
as well as the others who seek to become Buddhas,
beg that for the sake of this assembly
you will favor us by preaching distinctions.
When we hear this Law (Teaching)
we will be filled with great joy.
At that time the World-Honored One said to Sariputra, “three times you have stated your earnest request. How can I do other than preach? Now you must listen attentively and carefully ponder. For your sake I will now analyze and explain the matter.”