PRACTICE IS BETTER THAN MERE TEACHING
Yatha pi ruciram puppham vanna vantam agandhakam
Evam subhasita vaca aphala hoti akubbato.
Yatha' pi ruciram puppham vanna vantam sagandhakam
Evam subhasita vaca saphala hoti sakubbato.
As a flower that is lovely and beautiful but is scentless, even so fruitless is the well-spoken word of one who does not practise it.
As a flower that is lovely, beautiful, and scent-laden, even so fruitful is the well-spoken word of one who practises it.
A devotee named Chattapani who had attained the second stage of Sainthood lived in Savatthi. On one occasion, Chattapani was at the Jetavana monastery, listening to a sermon given by the Buddha when King Pasenadi came to pay his respect to the Buddha. Chattapani did not stand up because he thought that by standing up, it might mean that he was paying respect to the king, but not paying due respect to the Buddha. The king took that as an insult and was very much offended. The Buddha knew exactly how the king felt; so he told the king of the virtues of Chattapani, who was also well-versed in the Dhamma. On hearing this the king was impressed and was no longer offended with Chattapani.
When the king next met Chattapani, he requested him to teach the Dhamma to his two consorts. He declined and suggested that the king request the Buddha to assign a bhikkhu for this purpose. The Buddha assigned Venerable Ananda to go regularly to the palace to teach the Dhamma to Queen Mallika and Queen Vasabha Khattiya. After some time, the Buddha asked Ananda about the progress of the two queens. Ananda replied that although Mallika was learning the Dhamma seriously, Vasabha Khattiya was not paying sufficient attention. On hearing this, the Buddha said that the Dhamma could be of benefit only to those who learn it seriously with due respect and proper attention and then practise diligently what was taught.