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Khettūpama Sutta

At Nāḷandā. Then the headman Asibandhakaputta, a follower of the Nigaṇṭhā, approaches the Blessed One, pays homage, and sits down. He then asks, “If the Blessed One dwells compassionate towards all beings, why does he teach thoroughly to some, and not so thoroughly to others?”

The Buddha then asks if a farmer would sow seeds first to the most productive field, then to a less fertile field, and might not sow seed at all to an infertile field.

The Buddha then explains that the monks are nuns are like the fertile field, the lay-followers are like the less fertile field, and the ascetics and recluses of other sects are like the unfertile field.

He teaches the Dhamma in detail to the monks and nuns, in brief to the lay followers, and occasionally to the ascetics and recluses of other sects.

The monks and nuns are like a water-pot without cracks, the lay followers are like a water-pot without cracks, which lets water seep out, the ascetics and recluses of other sects are like a water-pot with cracks. Nevertheless, it is useful for washing dishes.

Asibandhakaputta expresses his approval, and takes refuge, declaring himself to be a lay follower. S.iv.314.

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