The Buddha continued: "I will now show you the (self-) nature which is beyond birth and death. Great King, how old were you when you first saw the Ganges?" The King replied: "When I was three my mother took me to worship the deva Jiva. As we crossed the river, I knew it was the Ganges. The Buddha asked: "Great King, as you just said, you were older at twenty than at ten; and until you were sixty, as days, months and years succeeded one another, your (body) changed in every moment of thought. When you saw the Ganges at three, was its water (the same as it was) when you were thirteen?" The King replied: "It was the same when I was three and thirteen, and still is now that I am sixty two." The Buddha said: "As you now notice your white hair and wrinkled face, there must be many more wrinkles than when you were a child. Today when you see the Ganges, do you notice that your seeing is 'old' now while it was 'young' then?" The King replied: "It has always been the same, World Honoured One." The Buddha said: "Great King, though your face is wrinkled, the nature of this essence of your seeing is not. Therefore, that which is wrinkled changes and that which is free from wrinkles is unchanging." Extract from "The Surangama Sutra" (translated by Lu K'an Yu, BI Publications 1978, p.26).