Photo credit Fabiii
At that time there was in Benares a noble youth, Yasa by name, the son of a wealthy merchant. Troubled in his mind about the sorrows of the world, he secretly rose up in the night and stole away to the Blessed One.
The Blessed One saw Yasa, the noble youth, coming from afar. And Yasa approached and exclaimed, “Alas, what distress! What tribulations!”
The Blessed One said to Yasa, “Here is no distress. Here are no tribulations. Come to me and I will teach you the truth, and the truth will dispel your sorrows.” And when Yasa, the noble youth, heard that there were neither distress, nor tribulations, nor sorrows, his heart was comforted.
He went into the place where the Blessed One was, and sat down near him. Then the Blessed One preached about charity and morality. He explained the vanity of the thought “I am”, the dangers of desire, and the necessity of avoiding the evils of life in order to walk on the path of deliverance which is The Way.
Instead of disgust with the world, Yasa felt the cooling stream of hallowed wisdom, and, having obtained the pure and spotless eye of truth, he looked at his person, richly adorned with pearls and precious stones, and his heart was filled with shame.
The Tathagata, knowing his inward thoughts, said, “Though a person be ornamented with jewels, the heart may have conquered the senses. The outward form does not constitute goodness or affect the mind. Thus the body of a samana may wear an ascetic's garb while his mind is immersed in worldliness. A man that dwells in lonely woods and yet covets worldly vanities, is a worldling, while the man in worldly garments may let his heart soar high to the most hallowed thoughts. There is no distinction between the layman and the hermit, if but both have banished the thought of self.”