A parable (upamàkathà) is a brief story told to make a moral point and a simile (upamà) is a figure of speech that compares one thing with another for didactic purposes. Being a teacher of remarkable creativity and skill, the Buddha was a master of the use of parables and similes. When asked a question, the Buddha would often say before replying: `I shall give you a simile, because some smart people understand better by means of a simile.' (S.II,114). The Jàtaka is a collection of parables told by the Buddha. Throughout the Sutta Piñaka there are roughly 550 similes, many of them ingenious, apt and memorable. See Blind Man and The Elephant.