Month by month for a hundred years
a thousand one might sacrifice,
but if for only a moment one
might honour the self-developed,
such honour were better by far
than century of sacrifice.
Explanation: One may make sacrifice every month for a hundred years; but, the honoured paid to one spiritually developed person, for a moment, is greater than oblations made for a hundred years.
The Story of Venerable Sariputta’s Uncle (Verse 106)
While residing at the Veluvana Monastery, the Buddha spoke this verse, with reference to a brahmin, who was the maternal uncle of Venerable Sariputta.
Venerable Sariputta once went to his uncle and said, “Brahmin, do you ever do a single good deed?” I do, Venerable.”
“What do you do?” “Month after month, I give alms to the value of a thousand pieces of money”
“To whom do you give this money?” “To the naked ascetics, Venerable.”
“And what do you hope to gain thereby?” “I hope to gain the world of Brahma.”
“But is this the way to reach the World of Brahma?” “Yes, Venerable.”
“Who told you so?” “My teachers told me so, Venerable.”
“Brahmin, neither you nor your teachers know the way to the World of Brahma. The Buddha alone knows the way thereto. Come with me, and I will ask him to tell you the way to the world of Brahma.”
So Venerable Sariputta took his uncle with him, went to the Buddha, and told him all about it, saying, “Venerable, this Brahmin said so and so. Be so good as to tell him the way to the World of Brahma.”
The Buddha asked, “Brahmin, are you correctly reported?” “Yes, Venerable.” “Brahmin, though you should give alms in this way for a hundred years, yet were it far more fruitful for a man, with believing heart, for but a single instant to look upon my disciple or to bestow upon him a mere spoonful of boiled rice”