"I considered: 'This Dhamma that I have attained is profound, hard to see and hard to understand, peaceful and sublime, unattainable by mere reasoning, subtle, to be experienced by the wise. But this population delights in attachment, takes delight in attachment, rejoices in attachment. It is hard for such a population to see this truth, namely, specific conditionality, dependent origination. And it is hard to see this truth, namely, the stilling of all formations, the relinquishing of all acquisitions, the destruction of craving, dispassion, cessation, Nibbana. If I were to teach the Dhamma, others would not understand me, and that would be wearying and troublesome for me.'
Thereupon there came to me spontaneously these stanzas never heard before:
Enough with teaching the Dhamma that even I found hard to reach; For it will never be perceived by those who live in lust and hate.
Those dyed in lust, wrapped in darkness will never discern this abstruse Dhamma, which goes against the worldly stream, subtle, deep, and difficult to see.
Considering thus, my mind inclined to inaction rather than to teaching the Dhamma.
"Then, monks, the Brahma Sahampati knew with his mind the thought in my mind and he considered: 'The world will be lost, the world will perish, since the mind of the Tathagata, the Arahant, the Perfectly Enlightened One, inclines to inaction rather than to teaching the Dhamma.'
Then, just as quickly as a strong man might extend his flexed arm or flex his extended arm, the Brahma Sahampati vanished in the brahma world and appeared before me.
He arranged his upper robe on one shoulder, and extending his hands in reverential salutation toward me, said: 'Venerable sir, let the Blessed One teach the Dhamma, let the Sublime One teach the Dhamma. There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are perishing through not hearing the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.'
The Brahma Sahampati spoke thus, and then he said further:
'In Magadha there have appeared till now impure teachings devised by those still stained.
'Open the doors to the Deathless! Let them hear the Dhamma that the stainless one has found.
'Just as one who stands on a mountain peak
can see below the people all around,
so, O wise one, all-seeing sage,
ascend the palace of the Dhamma.
Let the sorrowless one survey this human breed,
engulfed in sorrow, overcome by birth and old age.
'Arise, victorious hero, caravan leader, Debtless one, and wander in the world. Let the Blessed One teach the Dhamma, There will be those who will understand.'
"Then I listened to the Brahma's pleading, and out of compassion for beings I surveyed the world with the eye of a Buddha.
Surveying the world with the eye of a Buddha, I saw beings with little dust in their eyes and with much dust in their eyes, with keen faculties and with dull faculties, with good qualities and with bad qualities, easy to teach and hard to teach, and some who dwelled seeing fear and blame in the other world.
Just as in a pond of blue or red or white lotuses, some lotuses that are born and grow in the water thrive immersed in the water without rising out of it, and some other lotuses that are born and grow in the water rest on the water's surface, and some other lotuses that are born and grow in the water rise out of the water and stand clear, unwetted by it; so too, surveying the world with the eye of a Buddha, I saw beings with little dust in their eyes and with much dust in their eyes, with keen faculties and with dull faculties, with good qualities and with bad qualities, easy to teach and hard to teach, and some who dwelled seeing fear and blame in the other world.
Then I replied to the Brahma Sahampati in stanzas:
'Open for them are the doors to the Deathless, Let those with ears now show their faith. Thinking it would be troublesome, O Brahma, I did not speak the Dhamma subtle and sublime.'
"Then the Brahma Sahampati thought: The Blessed One has consented to my request that he teach the Dhamma.' And after paying homage to me, keeping me on the right, he thereupon departed at once.
"I considered thus: 'To whom should I first teach the Dhamma? Who will understand this Dhamma quickly?'
It then occurred to me: 'Alara Kalama is wise, intelligent, and discerning; he has long had little dust in his eyes. Suppose I taught the Dhamma first to Alara Kalama. He will understand it quickly.'
Then deities approached me and said: 'Venerable sir, Alara Kalama died seven days ago.'
And the knowledge and vision arose in me: 'Alara Kalama died seven days ago.' I thought: 'Alara Kalama's loss is a great one. If he had heard this Dhamma, he would have understood it quickly'
"I considered thus: 'To whom should I first teach the Dhamma? Who will understand this Dhamma quickly?'
It then occurred to me: 'Uddaka Ramaputta is wise, intelligent, and discerning; he has long had little dust in his eyes. Suppose I taught the Dhamma first to Uddaka Ramaputta. He will understand it quickly.'
Then deities approached me and said: 'Venerable sir, Uddaka Ramaputta died last night.'
And the knowledge and vision arose in me: 'Uddaka Ramaputta died last night.' I thought: 'Uddaka Ramaputta's loss is a great one. If he had heard this Dhamma, he would have understood it quickly'
"I considered thus: 'To whom should I first teach the Dhamma? Who will understand this Dhamma quickly?' It then occurred to me: 'The monks of the group of five who attended upon me while I was engaged in my striving were very helpful. Suppose I taught the Dhamma first to them.'
Then I thought: 'Where are the monks of the group of five now living?'
And with the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, I saw that they were living at Baranasi in the Deer Park at Isipatana.
"Then, monks, when I had stayed at Uruvela as long as I chose, I set out to wander by stages to Baranasi.
Between Gaya and the Bodhi, the Ajivaka Upaka saw me on the road and said: 'Friend, your faculties are clear, the color of your skin is pure and bright. Under whom have you gone forth, friend? Who is your teacher? Whose Dhamma do you profess?'
I replied to the Ajivaka Upaka in stanzas:
'I am one who has transcended all, a knower of all, unsullied among all things, renouncing all, by craving's ceasing freed. Having known this all for myself, to whom should I point as teacher?
I have no teacher, and one like me exists nowhere in all the world With all its devas, because I have no person for my counterpart.
For I am the arahant in the world, I am the teacher supreme. I alone am a Perfectly Enlightened One whose fires are quenched and extinguished.
I go now to the city of Kasi to set in motion the wheel of Dhamma. In a world that has become blind I go to beat the drum of the Deathless.'
'By your claims, friend, you ought to be the universal victor.'
'The victors are those like me who have won the destruction of taints. I have vanquished all evil states, Therefore, Upaka, I am a victor.'
"When this was said, the Ajivaka Upaka said: 'May it be so, friend.'
Shaking his head, he took a bypath and departed.
"Then, monks, wandering by stages, I eventually came to Baranasi, to the Deer Park at Isipatana, and I approached the monks of the group of five.
The monks saw me coming in the distance, and they greed among themselves thus: 'Friends, here comes the ascetic Gotama who lives luxuriously, who gave up his striving and reverted to luxury. We should not pay homage to him or rise up for him or receive his bowl and outer robe. But a seat may be prepared for him. If he likes, he may sit down.'
However, as I approached, those monks round themselves unable to keep their pact. One came to meet me and took my bowl and outer robe, another prepared a seat, and another set out water for my feet; however, they addressed me by name and as 'friend.'
"Thereupon I told them: 'Monks, do not address the Tathagata by name and as "friend." The Tathagata is an Arahant, a Perfectly Enlightened One. Listen, monks, the Deathless has been attained. I shall instruct you, I shall teach you the Dhamma. Practicing as you are instructed, by realizing it for yourselves here and now through direct knowledge you will soon enter and dwell in that supreme goal of the holy life for the sake of which clansmen rightly go forth from the home life into homelessness.'
"When this was said, the monks of the group of five answered me thus: 'Friend Gotama, by the conduct, the practice, and the performance of austerities that you undertook, you did not achieve any superhuman distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones. Since you now live luxuriously, having given up your striving and reverted to luxury, how could you have achieved any superhuman distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones?'
When this was said, I told them: 'The Tathagata does not live luxuriously, nor has he given up his striving and reverted to luxury. The Tathagata is an Arahant, a Perfectly Enlightened One. Listen, monks, the Deathless has been attained ... from the home life into homelessness.'
"A second time the monks of the group of five said to me: 'Friend Gotama ... how could you have achieved any superhuman distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones?'
A second time I told them: 'The Tathagata does not live luxuriously ... from the home life into homelessness.'
A third time the monks of the group of five said to me: 'Friend Gotama ... how could you have achieved any superhuman distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones?'
"When this was said I asked them: 'Monks, have you ever known me to speak like this before?'—'No, venerable sir.'—'Monks, the Tathagata is an Arahant, a Perfectly Enlightened One. Listen, monks, the Deathless has been attained. I shall instruct you, I shall teach you the Dhamma. Practicing as you are instructed, by realizing it for yourselves here and now through direct knowledge, you will soon enter and dwell in that supreme goal of the holy life for the sake of which clansmen rightly go forth from the home life into homelessness.'
"I was able to convince the monks of the group of five. Then I sometimes instructed two monks while the other three went for alms, and the six of us lived on what those three monks brought back from their almsround. Sometimes I instructed three monks while the other two went for alms, and the six of us lived on what those two monks brought back from their almsround.
"Then the monks of the group of five, thus taught and instructed by me, being themselves subject to birth, having understood the danger in what is subject to birth, seeking the unborn supreme security from bondage, Nibbana, attained the unborn supreme security from bondage, Nibbana; being themselves subject to aging, sickness, death, sorrow, and defilement, having understood the danger in what is subject to aging, sickness, death, sorrow, and defilement, seeking the unaging, unailing, deathless, sorrowless, and undefiled supreme security from bondage, Nibbana, they attained the unaging, unailing, deathless, sorrowless, and undefiled supreme security from bondage, Nibbana. The knowledge and vision arose in them: 'Our liberation is unshakable; this is our last birth; now there is no more renewed existence.'"

(from MN 26: Ariyapariyesana Sutta; 1167-73)