Linked Discourses 1
1. A Reed
1. Crossing the Flood
So I have heard. At one time the Buddha was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Then, late at night, a glorious deity, lighting up the entire Jeta’s Grove, went up to the Buddha, bowed, stood to one side, and said to him: “Good sir, how did you cross the flood?” “Neither standing nor swimming, sir, I crossed the flood.” “But in what way did you cross the flood neither standing nor swimming?” “When I stood, I became submerged. And when I swam, I was swept away. That’s how I crossed the flood neither standing nor swimming.”
This is what that deity said, and the teacher approved. Then that deity, knowing that the teacher approved, bowed and respectfully circled the Buddha, keeping him on his right, before vanishing right there.