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Academic Sutta Name Notes PSA Plae Vagga Nikaya PTS Keywords

XXII:8 The misguided naked ascetics

One day, some naked ascetics went on an almsround with their bowls covered with a piece of cloth. A number of bhikkhus seeing them commented, 'Those ascetics who cover the front part of the body are more respectable compared to these naked ascetics who go about without wearing anything but covering their begging bowl.' Hearing this comment, the naked ascetics retorted, 'Yes, indeed we do cover our bowls but we cover them up to keep away dust from our food, for even dust contains life in it.'

When the bhikkhus reported what the ascetics had said, the Buddha replied, 'Bhikkhus, those naked ascetics are not ashamed of what they should be ashamed of, but are ashamed of what they should not be ashamed of. Because of their wrong view, their future state cannot be happy.'

55/170 Dhammapada & Commentary Khuddhaka J.i.106ff. despair

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Last modified on: Sunday, 13 August 2000.