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Valāhaka Suttaṃ

(A.ii.101)

Storm Clouds

Thus have I heard — On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Sāvatthi in Prince Jeta’s grove at the monastery of Anāthapiṇḍika. Then the Blessed One address the monk: “Monks.”

“Venerable sir,” the monks replied to the Blessed One.

The Blessed One said —

“Monks, there are four storm clouds. What four? One that thunders, but does not rain; one that rains, but does not thunder; one that neither thunders nor rains; one that both thunders and rains. In the same way, monks, four individuals like storm clouds are found in the world. What four? One that thunders, but does not rain; one that rains, but does not thunder; one that neither thunders nor rains; one that both thunders and rains.

“And what, monks, is an individual who thunders but does not rain? Here, monks, one individual is a talker, but not a doer.¹ Thus, monks, one individual thunders, but does not rain. I declare, monks, that this individual is like a storm cloud that thunders, but does not rain.

“And what, monks, is an individual who rains, but does not thunder? Here, monks, one individual is a doer, but not a talker.² Thus, monks, one individual rains, but does not thunder. I declare, monks, that this individual is like a storm cloud that rains, but does not thunder.

“And what, monks, is an individual who neither rains nor thunders? Here, monks, one individual is neither a doer nor a talker. Thus, monks, one individual neither rains nor thunders. I declare, monks, that this individual is like a storm cloud that neither rains nor thunders.

“And what, monks, is an individual who both rains and thunders? Here, monks, one individual is both a doer and a talker.³ Thus, monks, one individual both rains and thunders. I declare, monks, that this individual is like a storm cloud that both rains and thunders.

“Monks, these four kinds of individuals like storm clouds are found in the world.”

Valāhaka Suttaṃ (2)

(A.ii.102)

Storm Clouds

“Monks, there are four storm clouds. What four? One that thunders, but does not rain; one that rains, but does not thunder; one that neither thunders nor rains; one that both thunders and rains. In the same way, monks, four individuals like storm clouds are found in the world. What four? One that thunders, but does not rain; one that rains, but does not thunder; one that neither thunders nor rains; one that both thunders and rains.

“And what, monks, is an individual who thunders but does not rain? Here, monks, one individual has thoroughly mastered the texts — discourses (suttaṃ), mixed prose and verse (geyyaṃ), expositions (veyyākaraṇaṃ), verses (gāthaṃ), inspired utterances (udānaṃ), quotations (itivuttakaṃ), birth stories (jātakaṃ), amazing accounts (abbhutadhammaṃ), and dialogues (vedallaṃ). He or she does not know as it really is, ‘This is suffering,’ ‘This is the cause of suffering,’ This is the cessation of suffering,’ ‘This is the way of practice leading to the cessation of suffering.’ Thus, monks, this individual thunders, but does not rain. I declare, monks, that this individual is like a storm cloud that thunders, but does not rain.

“And what, monks, is an individual who rains but does not thunder? Here, monks, one individual has not thoroughly mastered the texts, but he or she knows as it really is, ‘This is suffering,’ ‘This is the cause of suffering,’ This is the cessation of suffering,’ ‘This is the way of practice leading to the cessation of suffering.’ Thus, monks, this individual rains, but does not thunder. I declare, monks, that this individual is like a storm cloud that rains, but does not thunder.

“And what, monks, is an individual who neither rains nor thunders? Here, monks, one individual has not thoroughly mastered the texts, nor does he or she know as it really is, ‘This is suffering,’ ‘This is the cause of suffering,’ This is the cessation of suffering,’ ‘This is the way of practice leading to the cessation of suffering.’ Thus, monks, this individual neither rains nor thunders. I declare, monks, that this individual is like a storm cloud that neither rains nor thunders.

“And what, monks, is an individual who both rains and thunders? Here, monks, one individual has thoroughly mastered the texts, and he or she know as it really is, ‘This is suffering,’ ‘This is the cause of suffering,’ This is the cessation of suffering,’ ‘This is the way of practice leading to the cessation of suffering.’ Thus, monks, this individual both rains and thunders. I declare, monks, that this individual is like a storm cloud that both rains and thunders.

“Monks, there four kinds of individuals like storm clouds are found in the world.”

Notes:

1. There’s a saying, “Talk is cheap.” Having promised to do something, one should do it. If, for some reason, one is not able to fulfil one’s promise then one should say so. Those who make empty promises without a sincere intention of fulfilling them are no better than those who tell deliberate lies. See Enemies Disguised as Friends in the Siṅgāla Sutta.

2. Those who just do something to help without making any promises are good people.

3. Those who promise to help and then promptly do exactly what they promised are true friends.

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