Lekha Sutta (The Line Etched in Stone Discourse)

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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