Not by means of slack endeavour,
Not by means of feeble effort,
Is this Nibbana to be achieved,
Release from all suffering.
This young man [by my side]
Is a supreme man indeed:
He carries about his final body,
Having conquered Mara and his mount.
SN, 21. Bhikkhusamyutta, 4 "The Newly Ordained Bhikkhu"
A head of gray hairs
doesn't mean one's an elder.
Advanced in years,
one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is
he's called an elder,
his impurities disgorged,
Wizard in the Forest wrote:What did the Buddha say?
Wizard in the Forest wrote:Since I began study and practice in the doctrine and the discipline much earlier and longer than some people who began later and have less experience, I feel fear to speak of what I know for fear of sounding conceited, arrogant, and dismissed as juvenile because they are still older than me.
The Venerable Sariputta’s humility was as great as his patience. He was willing to receive correction from anyone, not only with submission but with gratitude. It is told in the commentary to the Devaputta Samyutta, Susima Sutta, that once, through a momentary negligence, a corner of the Elder’s under-robe was hanging down, and a seven-year-old novice, seeing this, pointed it out to him. The Venerable Sariputta stepped aside at once and arranged the garment in the proper equally-circular way. Then he stood before the novice with folded hands, saying, “Now it is correct, teacher!”
There is a reference to this incident in the Questions of Milinda, where these verses are ascribed to the Venerable Sariputta:
One who this very day, at the age of seven, has gone forth—
If he should me, I accept it with (bended) head.
At sight of him, I give him ardent zeal and regard.
With respect may I again and again set him in the teacher’s place!