The similie of the stream
THESE four kinds of persons, O monks, are to be found in the world. What four? The person who goes with the stream; one who goes against the stream; one who stands firm; and one who has crossed over and gone to the far shore, a brahmin who stands on dry land.
Of what nature is the person going with the stream? It is one who indulges his sensual desire and commits wrong deeds.
Of what nature is one who goes against the stream? It is one who does not indulge sensual desire and commit wrong deeds. He lives the holy life, though in painful struggle, with difficulty, sighing and in tears.
Of what nature is one who stands firm? It is one who, with the utter destruction of the five lower fetters, is due to be reborn spontaneously (in a celestial realm) and there attain final Nibbana, without ever returning from that world.
Of what nature is one who has crossed over and gone to the far shore, a brahmin who stands on dry land? It is one who, with the destruction of the taints, in this very life enters and dwells in the taintless liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, having realized it for himself by direct knowledge.
These, monks are the four kinds of persons to be found in the world.
- Anguttara Nikaya.