Dhammapada Verse 394
Kim te jatahi dummedha
kim te ajinasatiya
abbhantaram te gahanam
Verse 394: O foolish one! What is the use of
wearing matted hair? What is the use of your wearing a garment made of antelope
skin? In you, there is a forest (of moral defilements); you clean yourself only
The Story of a Deceitful Brahmin
While residing at the Kutagara
monastery in Vesali, the Buddha uttered Verse (394) of this book, with reference
to a deceitful brahmin.
Once, a deceitful brahmin climbed
up a tree near the city-gate of Vesali and kept himself hanging upside down like
a bat from one of the branches of the tree. From this very awkward position, he
kept on muttering, "O people! Bring me a hundred heads of cattle, many
pieces of silver and a number of slaves. If you do not bring these to me, and if
I were to fall down from this tree and die, this city of yours will surely come
to ruin." The people of the town, fearing that their city night be
destroyed if the brahmin were to fall down and die, brought all the things he
demanded and pleaded with him to come down.
The bhikkhus hearing about this
incident reported to the Buddha and the Buddha replied that the deceitful one
could only cheat the ignorant people but not the wise ones.
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as
|Verse 394: O foolish
one! What is the use of wearing matted hair? What is the use of your
wearing a garment made of antelope skin? In you, there is a forest (of
moral defilements); you clean yourself only externally.