Nava Sutta: The Simile of the Boat
translated from the Pali by
John D. Ireland
"He from whom a person learns the Dhamma should be venerated, as the devas venerate Inda, their Lord.  He, (a teacher) of great learning, thus venerated, will explain the Dhamma, being well-disposed towards one. Having paid attention and considered it, a wise man, practicing according to Dhamma, becomes learned, intelligent and accomplished by associating himself diligently with such a teacher.
"But by following an inferior and foolish teacher who has not gained (fine) understanding of the Dhamma and is envious of others, one will approach death without comprehending the Dhamma and unrelieved of doubt.
"If a man going down into a river, swollen and swiftly flowing, is carried away by the current — how can he help others across?
"Even so, he who has not comprehended the Dhamma, has not paid attention to the meaning as expounded by the learned, being himself without knowledge and unrelieved of doubt — how can he make others understand?
"But if (the man at the river) knows the method and is skilled and wise, by boarding a strong boat equipped with oars and a rudder, he can, with its help, set others across. Even so, he who is experienced and has a well-trained mind, who is learned and dependable,  clearly knowing, he can help others to understand who are willing to listen and ready to receive. 
"Surely, therefore, one should associate with a good man who is wise and learned. By understanding the meaning of what one has learned and practicing accordingly one who has Dhamma-experience  attains (supreme) happiness." 
1."Inda" (Sanskrit "Indra") is another name for Sakka, the ruler of the gods.
2.He has a character which remains unperturbed by the vicissitudes of life (Comy).
3.Possessing the supporting conditions for attaining the Paths and Fruits of stream-winning, once-returning, never-returning and Final Sainthood (arahatta).
4.One who has fully understood or experienced the Dhamma by penetrating to its essence through the practice taught by a wise teacher (Comy).
5.The transcendental happiness of the Paths and Fruits and of Nibbana.
Snp 2.8 PTS: Sn 316-323
Nava Sutta: A Boat
translated from the Pali by
Translator's note: Although it is often lost in translation, this poem in the Pali has a clearly articulated over-all structure. The first seven verses — coming under the "because" (yasma) — state reasons, while the last verse, under the "so" (tasma), draws the conclusion: find a good teacher and practice the Dhamma.
when you honor
— as the devas, Indra —
one from whom
you might learn the Dhamma,
he, learned, honored,
confident in you,
shows you the Dhamma.
You, enlightened, heedful,
befriending a teacher like that,
practicing the Dhamma in line with the Dhamma,
giving it priority,
But if you consort with a piddling fool
hasn't come to the goal,
you'll go to death
without having cleared up the Dhamma right here,
with your doubts unresolved.
Like a man gone down to a river —
turbulent, flooding, swift-flowing —
and swept away in the current:
how can he help others across?
he who hasn't
cleared up the Dhamma,
attended to the meaning
of what the learned say,
crossed over his doubts:
how can he get others
But as one who's embarked
on a sturdy boat,
with rudder & oars,
would — mindful, skillful,
knowing the needed techniques —
carry many others across,
an attainer-of-knowledge, learned,
can get other people to comprehend —
if they're willing to listen,
ready to learn.
you should befriend
a person of integrity —
as to know the goal,
when you've experienced the Dhamma,
you get bliss.