If you should find a wise person who, like a revealer of treasure, points out your faults and reproves you, associate with them. Association with such a person is for the better, not the worse. (Dhammapada 76)
If, even for a moment, an intelligent person associates with someone wise, he will quickly apprehend the Truth — just as the tongue apprehends the flavour of soup. (Dhammapada 65)
We can never over-estimate the value of associating with someone wise, since we can benefit from their guidance as quickly as the tongue tastes the flavour of soup. Even a short time with a noble friend can help us unravel the confusion in our minds and bring us closer to realizing Truth.
A noble friend’s words are far more valuable than treasure, for they help us unburden ourselves from the thoughts and actions that weigh us down and prevent us from realizing peace. Noble friends’ advice may not be to our liking, but if they are really noble friends their words are meant for our benefit, although it may take some time to appreciate this!
Often we suffer because we refuse to recognize or acknowledge our own faults or accept that we make mistakes. Others may see this more clearly than we do.
This reflection by Ajahn Thiradhammo is from the book, Treasures of the Buddha’s Teaching, (pdf) pp. 80-81. [Please refer to book for translation citation.]