Posted by: Upāsaka | 12/28/2015

Lekha Sutta – A Line Etched in Stone

I have been dealing with some minor annoyances lately and went on a search for the sutta wherein the Buddha described the three types of persons: those whose anger is like a line etched in stone, those like a line etched in the earth (I’ve also seen sand as a trnslation) and those whose anger is like a water line. I know I’ve posted this before but the fact that I couldn’t remember the sutta by name means I need some reminding.

May our anger be as a line drawn in water until we completely root out our defilements once and for all.

AN 3.130
PTS: A i 283 Thai 3.133
Lekha Sutta
(The Line Etched in Stone)

“Bhikkhus, there are these three kinds of persons found existing in the world. What three? The person who is like a line etched in stone, the person who is like a line etched in the ground, and the person who is like a line etched in water.

(1) “And what kind of person is like a line etched in stone? One who gets angry often and whose anger stays with him for a long time is like a line etched in stone. Just as a line etched in stone is not quickly erased by wind or water and lasts for a long time, so too, the kind of person who is like a line etched in stone is one who gets angry often and whose anger stays with him for a long time. This is called the person who is like a line etched in stone.

(2) “And what kind of person is like a line etched in the ground? One who gets angry often, but whose anger does not stay with him for a long time is like a line etched in the ground. Just as a line etched in the ground is quickly erased by wind or water and does not last for a long time, so too, the kind of person who is like a line etched in the ground is one who gets angry often, but whose anger does not stay with him for a long time. This is called the person who is like a line etched in the ground.

(3) “And what kind of person is like a line etched in water? One who, even when spoken to roughly, spoken to harshly, spoken to in an unpleasing way, remains friendly with the one who speaks abrasively, acts kindly toward him, and greets him courteously is like a line etched in water. Just as a line etched in water quickly disappears and does not last for a long time, so too, the kind of person who is like a line etched in water is one who, even when spoken to roughly, spoken to harshly, spoken to in an unpleasing way, remains friendly with the one who speaks abrasively, acts kindly toward him, and greets him courteously. This is called the person who is like a line etched in water.

“These, bhikkhus, are the three kinds of persons found existing in the world.”

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Responses

  1. Many many thanks, this is the my first reading of this particular sutra so I am grateful of your sharing it. May we all be those like a line etched in water, until the eradication of our defilements. Wishing you well on the path- dharmacaterpillar


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