Then Ven. Assaji, having gone for alms in Rajagaha, left, taking the alms he had received. Sariputta the wanderer approached him and, on arrival, having exchanged friendly greetings and engaged in polite conversation, stood to one side. As he stood there he said, “Your faculties are bright, my friend, your complexion pure and clear. On whose account have you gone forth? Who is your teacher? In whose Dhamma do you delight?”
“There is, my friend, the Great Contemplative, a son of the Sakyans, gone forth from a Sakyan family. I have gone forth on account of that Blessed One. That Blessed One is my teacher. It is in that Blessed One’s Dhamma that I delight.”
“But what is your teacher’s teaching? What does he proclaim?”
“I am new, my friend, not long gone forth, only recently come to this doctrine and discipline. I cannot explain the doctrine in detail, but I can give you the gist in brief.”
Then Sariputta the wanderer spoke thus to the Ven. Assaji:
Speak a little or a lot, but tell me just the gist. The gist is what I want. What use is a lot of rhetoric?