S T O R Y in the Dhammapada commentary illustrates ^ the distinction made in Buddhism between the letter
and the spirit, between a mere knowledge of the precepts and principles of the system, and the actual attainment of a state of salvation. Two friends had entered the Order. One of them was old, and could not learn much by heart, so he was told to practise contemplation, and attained arahatship. The other learnt the whole Scriptures, and became a great teacher. He once went to pay a visit to his old friend, and Buddha who perceived his intention thought that the learned monk might try to confuse the old man, and therefore went to put the questions himself. He asked the learned monk a question about the first Trance, which he answered correctly, as well as other subtle questions about the Attainments. But when he asked him about the Path of Entering the Stream he could not reply, while the old man, who had actually entered the stream and reached all the other stages, answered one question after another. The disciples of the learned teacher murmured at Buddha's praise of an ignorant monk, but he told them that their teacher was like a man who keeps cows for hire, while the other was like the owner, who enjoys the five products of the cow.