Dhammapada Verse 141
Bahubhandika Bhikkhu Vatthu
Na naggacariya na jata na panka
nanasaka thandilasayika va
sodhenti maccam avitinnakankham.
Verse 141: Not going naked, nor having matted hair, nor smearing oneself with
mud, nor fasting, nor sleeping on bare ground, nor covering oneself with dust,
nor striving by squatting can purify a being, who has not yet overcome doubt.
The Story of Bhikkhu Bahubhandika
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (141) of
this book, with reference to Bahubhandika, a bhikkhu with many possessions.
Once there was a rich man in Savatthi. After the death of his wife, he
decided to become a bhikkhu. But before he entered the Order, he built a
monastery, which included a kitchen and a store room. He also brought his own
furniture, utensils and a large stock of rice, oil, butter and other provisions.
Whatever dishes he wanted was cooked for him by his servants. Thus, even as a
bhikkhu he was living in comfort, and because he had so many things with him, he
was known as 'Bahubhandika.' One day, other bhikkhus took him to the Buddha, and
in his presence told the Buddha about the many things he had brought along with
him to the monastery, and also how he was still leading the luxurious life of a
rich man. So, the Buddha said to Bahubhandika, "My son, I have been
teaching all of you to live an austere life; why have you brought so much
property with you?" When reprimanded even this much, that bhikkhu lost
his temper and said angrily, "Indeed, Venerable Sir! I will now live as you
wish me to." So saying, he cast off his upper robe.
Seeing him thus, the Buddha said to him, "My son, in your last
existence you were an ogre; even as an ogre you had a sense of shame and a sense
of fear to do evil. Now that you are a bhikkhu in my Teaching, why do you have
to throw away the sense of shame, and the sense of fear to do evil?"
When he heard those words, the bhikkhu realized his mistake; his sense of shame
and fear to do evil returned, and he respectfully paid obeisance to the Buddha
and asked that he should be pardoned. The Buddha then said to him,
"Standing there without your upper robe is not proper; just discarding your
robe etc., does not maker you an austere bhikkhu; a bhikkhu must also discard
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
|Verse 141: Not going naked, nor having matted hair,
nor smearing oneself with mud, nor fasting, nor sleeping on bare
ground, nor covering oneself with dust, nor striving by squatting can
purify a being, who has not yet overcome doubt.
At the end of the discourse many attained Sotapatti Fruition.