Dhammapada Verse 63
Ya balo mannati balyam
panditovapi tena so
balo ca panditamani
sa ve baloti vuccati.
Verse 63: The fool who knows that he is a fool can, for that reason, be a
wise man; but the fool who thinks that he is wise is, indeed, called a fool.
The Story of Two Pick-Pockets
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (63) of
this book, with reference to two pick-pockets.
On one occasion, two pick-pockets joined a group of lay-disciples going to
the Jetavana monastery, where the Buddha was giving a discourse. One of them
listened attentively to the discourse and soon attained Sotapatti Fruition.
However, the second thief did not attend to the discourse as he was bent on
stealing only; and he managed to snatch a small sum of money from one of the
lay-disciples. After the discourse they went back and cooked their meal at the
house of the second thief, the one who managed to get some money. The wife of
the second thief taunted the first thief, "You are so wise, you don't even
have anything to cook at your house." Hearing this remark, the first thief
thought to himself, "This one is so foolish that she thinks she is being
very smart." Then, together with some relatives, he went to the Buddha and
related the matter to him.
To the man, the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
Verse 63: The fool who knows that he is a fool can,
for that reason, be a wise man; but the fool who thinks that he is
wise is, indeed, called a fool.
At the end of the discourse, all the relatives of the man attained Sotapatti