At the city of Sāvatthī.
There the Buddha said, “Monks, suppose a universal king were to rule over these four continents. After death, he’s reborn in heaven, among the gods of the Tāvatiṁsa. There he entertains himself in the Nandana Park, attended by a band of goddesses, and provided with divine pleasures. Still, as he’s lacking four things, he’s not free from taking rebirth in hell, the animal world, or the ghost world. He’s not free from taking rebirth in miserable worlds.
“Now, suppose a noble disciple wears a dress made of old dirty cloths and lives on any type of food given to him by people. Still, as he has four factors in his life, he’s free from rebirth in hell, the animal world, and the ghost world. He’s free from taking rebirth in miserable worlds.
“What four? It’s when a noble disciple has unshakable confidence in the Buddha, ‘That Blessed One is liberated, self-enlightened, has true knowledge and pure conduct, attained Nibbāna, knower of worlds, supreme trainer of beings, teacher of gods and humans, the most generous and the most fortunate.’
“He has unshakable confidence in the Dhamma: ‘The Dhamma is well explained by the Buddha—visible in this very life, immediately effective, inviting inspection, applied to oneself and wise people can realize it for themselves.’
“He has unshakable confidence in the Saṅgha: ‘The order of the Buddha’s disciples practice the pure way, upright way, wise way, and generous way. It consists of the four pairs, the eight individuals. The order of the Buddha’s disciples is worthy of offerings, worthy of hospitality, worthy of gifts, worthy of greeting with joined palms, and is the supreme field of merit for the world.’
“A noble disciple has virtue which is loved by the noble ones, unbroken, flawless, unblemished, not caught up in craving, freed from wrong views, praised by wise people and leads to concentration.
“These are the four factors of stream-entry he has. And, monks, gaining rulership over these four continents is not worth one sixteenth of gaining these four factors.”