THE Blessed One thus addressed the bhikkhus: "It is through not understanding the four noble truths, O bhikkhus, that we had to wander so long in the weary path of samsara, both you and I.
"Through contact thought is born from sensation, and is reborn by a reproduction of its form. Starting from the simplest forms, the mind rises and falls according to deeds, but the aspirations of a Bodhisattva pursue the straight path of wisdom and righteousness, until they reach perfect enlightenment in the Buddha.
"All creatures are what they are through the karma of their deeds done in former and in present existences.
"The rational nature of man is a spark of the true light; it is the first step on the upward road. But new births are required to insure an ascent to the summit of existence, the enlightenment of mind and heart, where the immeasurable light of moral comprehension is gained which is the source of all righteousness. Having attained this higher birth, I have found the truth and have taught you the noble path that leads to the city of peace. I have shown you the way to the lake of ambrosia, which washes away all evil desire. I have given you the refreshing drink called the perception of truth, and he who drinks of it becomes free from excitement, passion, and wrong-doing.
"The very gods envy the bliss of him who has escaped from the floods of passion and has climbed the shores of Nirvana. His heart is cleansed from all defilement and free from all illusion. He is like unto the lotus which grows in the water, yet not a drop of water adheres to its petals. The man who walks in the noble path lives in the world, and yet his heart is not defiled by worldly desires.
"He who does not see the four noble truths, he who does not understand the three characteristics and has not grounded himself in the uncreate, has still a long path to traverse by repeated births through the desert of ignorance with its mirages of illusion and through the morass of wrong. But now that you have gained comprehension, the cause of further migrations and aberrations is removed. The goal is reached. The craving of selfishness is destroyed, and the truth is attained. This is true deliverance; this is salvation; this is heaven and the bliss of a life immortal."