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Verse 141: The Story or 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 casting off your robe etc., does not maker you an austere
Bhikkhu, since an austere Bhikkhu must also cast off his doubt."

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 141: Not by 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 a being,
who has not yet overcome doubt, purify his mind.

At the end of the discourse many attained Sotapatti Fruition.

Translated by Daw Mya Tin, M.A.,
Burma Pitaka Association, Rangoon, Burma 1986.

Saved: 24 December 2016  https://What-Buddha-Said.net/Canon/Sutta/KN/Dhammapada.Verse_141.story.htm