Home » Excerpts » The Buddha Is All-Knowing

The severely deluded mistaken
their knowing of a few things
as being fully enlightened,
to be knowing of everything.

Stonepeace | Books

The King [Milinda] asked Nagasena again, ‘Does the Buddha know the things in the past, present and future?‘ ‘Yes, the Buddha knows all.’ ‘If the Buddha knows everything, then why does he not teach all he knows to his disciples? Why does he teach them little by little?’

Then Nagasena asked the King, ‘Are there physicians in the country?’ ‘Yes, there are.’ ‘Do they know all medicines in the world?’ ‘Yes, they know all the medicines in the world.’ ‘But when they treat a patient, do they give him the medicine all at once or little by little?’ ‘If a man is not sick, the physician cannot give him the medicine in advance. It is only when there is sickness, then the physician gives him the appropriate medicine.’

Nagasena said, ‘Although the Buddha knows things in the past, present and future, he cannot teach all that he knows to people in the world. So he taught his disciples the Dharma and precepts little by little… and asked them to follow and practice accordingly.’ ‘Excellent, Nagasena.’

Nagasena Bhiksu Sutra
Translated By Ven. Guang Xing

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