The little streams are noisy, but silent flow the great rivers

Dear Friends,

Having just listened to Bhante Sujato’s talk "Listen!"

In it he gave this beautiful quote: “The little streams are noisy, but silent flow the great rivers.” I would like to read the complete Sutta. Does somebody know from which Sutta he is quoting? The Sutta Nipata collection was mentioned, and I tried the search function but no luck, yet.

However, I found another equally beautiful passage from a Sutta called “The Waterpot”:
“What is not full, that is the thing that sounds,
That which is full is noiseless and at rest;
The fool is like an empty waterpot,
The wise man like a deep pool, clear and full.”

With metta.



Know this from waters’ flow—
those by rocks and pools—
such rills and becks gush noisily,
great waterways flow quiet.

What is unfilled makes noise
but silent is what’s full,
the fool is like the pot half-filled,
the wise one’s like a lake that’s full.

When a samaṇa speaks much
full of goodness and meaning:
Knowing Dharma he speaks,
Knowing he speaks so much.

But who, Knowing, is self-restrained,
Knowing, he speaks not much:
That Sage is worth to Silence,
a Sage to Silence reached. - Snp 3.11

Know from the rivers
in clefts & in crevices:
those in small channels flow
the great
flow silent.
Whatever’s not full
makes noise.
Whatever is full
is quiet.
The fool is like a half-empty pot;
one who is wise, a full lake.
A contemplative who speaks a great deal
endowed with meaning:
knowing, he teaches the Dhamma,
knowing, he speaks a great deal.
But he who,
knowing, is restrained,
knowing, doesn’t speak a great deal:
he is a sage
worthy of sagehood;
he is a sage,
his sagehood attained. - Snp 3.11

Listen to the sound of water
In the clefts and in the gullies:
The tiny streams gurgle loudly
— Mighty waters flow in silence. - Snp 3.11


Thank you, Polarbear.