But tell me: Have you seen my troop of shramanas, my many brothers who have taken refuge in the teachings? And do you think, alien shramana, do you believe it would be better for all of them to abandon the teachings and to return to the life of the world and of the passions!
“Clever you are, o Shramana,” said the Venerable One. “You know how to speak cleverly, my friend. Be on guard against too much cleverness!”
He was aware that he had been deserted, as the snake is deserted by its shed skin, that something was no longer available to him, something that had been with him and belonged to him all through his youth: the wish to have a teacher and be taught.