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CHAPTER 2

THE ASCETIC PRACTICES


2.1. The Thera Maha Kassapa and the Thirteen Ascetic Practices
The Thera Maha Kassapa spent his monkhood observing all the thirteen ascetic
practices and he urged his companion monks to follow his suit as well.
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In consequence,
the Buddha awarded him with the title of the Foremost Monk in these scetic !ractices.
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Indeed, the closer we look at the wa# the Thera followed these thirteen practices strictl#
and painstakingl# throughout his life, the more admiration and the more respect we feel
for him.
The $ascetic practice% is originall# called dhutanga in !ali, which means an#
practice b# which one can destro# or get rid of such defilements as greed, hate and
ignorance. The defilements can worr#, trouble and impurif# the minds of beings.
&
The Buddha allowed thirteen ascetic practices for those who have strong
determination to discard ever# worldl# pleasure which will bring forth these defilements
and who lack an# care for their own life 'ust to attain (ibbana. The following are the
mentioned ascetic practices)
*
1. +efuse,ragman%s practice -Pansukulikanga.
". Three,rober%s practice -Tecivarikanga.
&. lms,man%s practice -Pindapatikanga.
*. /ouse,to,house,goer%s practice -Sapadanacarikanga.
0. 1ne,sessioner%s practice -Ekasanikanga.
2. Bowl,fooder%s practice -Pattapandikanga.
3. fterfood,refuser%s practice -Khalupaccabhattikanga.
4. Forester%s practice -Arannikanga.
5. Tree,rootman%s practice -Rukkhmulikanga.
16. 1pen,spacer%s practice -Abbhokasikanga.
11. Burning,grounder%s practice -Sosanikanga.
1". n#,bedder%s practice -Yathasantikanga.
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1&. 8itting,man%s practice -Nesajjikanga.
The term $dhutanga% is derived from $dhuta% and $anga%, where the former refers
to a bhikkhu who rids himself of defilements
0
and the latter means $the cause or the
means%.
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The bhikkhu gets rid of such defilements as lust, etc., b# means of the
samadhana cetana -volitional determination., that is, b# means of the above dhutangani
-the ascetic practices.. n# of the above,mentioned ascetic practices is, therefore,
characteri;ed b# having the following qualities.
1. as its nature, the volitional determination
". as its function, the potentialit# of killing the lustful desire which inhibits
the wholesome mind
&. as its manifestation, the freedom from such a lustful desire
*. as its pro<imate cause, such noble states as fewness of wishes, moralit#,
and so on.
2.1. The Procedure of Observing the Ascetic Practices
The general procedure
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of observing all the ascetic practices is given as follows.
In the Buddha=s lifetime, the aspirant for an# of these practices must go to /im to observe
the practice. In the absence of the Buddha, the aspirant can observe the practice under a
>hief 7isciple. In his absence, again, the practice can be observed under an arahant, or
under a never,returner, or under a once,returner, or under a stream,winner, or under a
scholar of three pitakas, or under a scholar of two pitakas, or under a scholar of one
pitaka. 1therwise, it can be observed under a scholar of one collection of discourses or
that of one gama or under a teacher of commentaries or under another observer of the
ascetic practices. In the absence of those people, the aspirant can go to a !agoda, sweep
and sit on its platform to observe the practices as if uttering them before the Buddha in
person.
ccording to the Milindapanna,
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the worth# observer the ascetic practices are of
ten kinds, depending on the personalit# that the# are.
1. the person who keeps faith
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:ism.I.05
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Miln.&&&
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". the person who is ashamed and afraid of misdeeds
&. the person with strong concentration
*. the person who never does wonderful mischief
0. the person who takes care of benefit
2. the person who lacks greed
3. the person who wishes for three trainings ? moralit#, concentration and wisdom
4. the person who keeps a habit or a practice firml#
5. the person who never speaks ill of others
16. the person who spends his time developing the metta -the radiation of loving,
kindness.
In the following sections, the procedures for observing the afore,mentioned
ascetic practices will be discussed.
2.3.1. The RefuseRag!an"s Practice #Pansukulikanga dhutanga$
@ith reference to this practice, the following are noteworth#)
1. n# robe that is found thrown awa# on the roadside, in the grave#ard -in the
burning,ground. or b# the rubbish pile is called pamsakula. A7erivation) pansu
-on earth. B kula -spreading cloth or cloth,like robe.C or pansu -like earth. B ku
-loathsome. B ula -robe.D
". bhikkhu who keeps the practice of wearing this robe, i.e., who observes the
refuse,ragman=s practice is called pansukulika.
&. The volition that makes the bhikkhu observe this practice is called
pansukulikanga dhutanga.
2.3.2. The Procedure of Observing the RefuseRag!an"s Practice
bhikkhu who decides to observe the refuse,ragman%s practice does it with either
one of the e<pressions) $ahapatidana civaram patikkhipami% -I refuse the robe offered
b# the householders..C $Pansukulikangam samadhi!ami% -I observe the refuse,ragman=s
practice..
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2.3.3. The T%ent&Three 'inds of Pansukula Robe
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lthough the most popular kind of pansukula robe is a dust# one found discarded
on the roadside, there are also other kinds. There are altogether twent#,three kinds of
robe which are relevant for the refuse,ragman%s practice. The# are
1. Burning,ground,rag, one thrown awa# in the burning,ground
". 8hop,rag, one thrown awa# at the door of a shop or a house
&. 8treet,rag, one thrown awa# in a street, on a road, or on a railroad
*. +ubbish,rag, one thrown awa# at a rubbish,heap
0. >hildbirth,rag, one thrown awa# after wiping the impurities of a womb at
childbirth
2. Bathing,place,rag, one thrown awa# at a river bathing,place
3. fter,return,rag, one thrown awa# b# funeral attendants on their wa# back from
the burning,ground
4. fter,bath,rag, one thrown awa# after taking a bath
5. Burnt,rag, one partiall# scorched b# fire
16. >attle,bitten,rag, one bitten b# a cow
11. @hite ant,bitten,rag, one bitten b# white ants
1". Mice,bitten,rag, one bitten b# a mouse
1&. 8ide,torn,rag, one torn at the side
1*. Border,torn,rag, one torn at the border
10. Flag,rag, one thrown awa# after use as a flag or a banner
12. 1blation,rag, one wrapped around an anthill as an offering to spirits
13. Monk%s rag, one thrown awa# b# another bhikkhu
14. >onsecration,rag, one thrown awa# at the place where the king was anointed
15. Ehibhikkhu,rag, one which supernaturall# came into e<istence at the end of the
Buddha%s initiating a bhikkhu b# calling $Ehibhikkhu ? >ome on, monk%
"6. +oadside,rag, one thrown awa# or fallen on a road or b# a roadside
"1. @ind,carried,rag, one carried b# a blowing wind
"". Fod,given,rag, one given b# devas or gods, and
"&. @ave,carried,rag, one carried ashore b# the waves of a sea
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The ascetic must pick up one of the above rag and discard the worn parts. /e then
d#es the rag and dons it b# throwing awa# the robes donated b# the supporters.
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/e is now allowed to receive an# robe donated to the 1rder, though the thread
and the water,filter are permissible.
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2.3.(. The Three )rades of the Observers of the RefuseRag!an"s Practice
There are three grades of bhikkhus on the basis of their observance of the refuse,
ragman%s practice.
1. The firm or strict man should onl# pick up a robe thrown awa# in the
burning,ground.
". The moderate man picks up a robe thrown awa# with the intention of
offering it to a monk.
&. 1n the other hand, the weak or soft man accepts a robe placed at his feet.
n# of these three bhikkhus might break the practice if the# happen to let
themselves don the robes given b# the donors. It ma# be because of their mere wish to do
so or because the# take into account the donors% generosit#.
2.3.*. The Advantages of the RefuseRag!an"s Practice
The following are the advantages that the refuse,ragman%s practice brings to the
observer)
1"
1. The observer has behaved according to the Buddha%s spiritual guidance that he is
a bhikkhu having a refuse,rag as his resource for clothing.
". The observer has established himself in the first order of (oble beings -Ari!ans..
&. The observer has no trouble looking after the robe.
*. +egarding the robes, the observer is independent on an#one else.
0. The observer is free of an# danger from thieves.
2. Gust is absent in the observer when he en'o#s the robes.
3. The observer has a rag which is suitable for being a monk%s robe.
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4. The observer has a thing which the Buddha praised as $cheap, easil# available and
faultless%.
5. The observer has the look of delightfulness due to the robes.
16. The observer has the #ielding of fewness of desires and so on.
11. The robes help the observer develop right conduct.
1". The observer sets an e<ample for the generations of bhikkhus to come.
2.(.1. The ThreeRober"s Practice #Tecivarikanga dhutanga$
@ith reference to this practice, the following are noteworth#)
1. n inner garment, an outer garment and a shoulder garment are together called
ticivarika.
". bhikkhu who keeps the practice of wearing onl# these three robes is called
tecivarika"
&. The volition that makes the bhikkhu observe this practice is called tecivarikanga
dhutanga.
2.(.2. The Procedure of Observing the ThreeRober"s Practice
bhikkhu who decides to observe the three,rober%s practice does it with either
one of the e<pressions) $#atutthaka civaram patikkhipami% -I refuse the fourth robe.C
$tecivarikangam samadhi!ami% -I observe the three,rober%s practice..
The observer of this practice, who gets a new piece of cloth meant for his robe,
can keep it as long as he is so sick that he cannot d#e and sew it, or he cannot find an#one
else who would make it suitable, or as long as he lacks such instruments as a needle and
so on. The keeping of the cloth is faultless. But once the cloth is d#ed, it cannot be kept.
If the observer kept it, he would become a thief of this ascetic practice.
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/owever, the :imatitika >ommentar# states differentl# that if the observer is not
read# to wear a d#ed cloth, then it can also be kept for ten da#s b# following the
adhitthana procedures suggested b# the >ode.
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2.(.3. The Three )rades of the Observers of the ThreeRober"s Practice
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There are three grades of bhikkhus on the basis of their observance of the three,
rober%s practice.
1. The firm or strict man never keeps the fourth robe even when he is d#ing
the robe. @hen it is time to d#e the robes, he d#es the outer garment
wearing the inner garment or he d#es the inner garment wearing the outer
garment. But he should not put on the shoulder garment. This is up to him
while in a village,monaster#. In the forest,dwelling, on the other hand, he
can first d#e an# one of the outer and inner garments although he has no
clothes on. But he must place a robe near him so that he can hide himself
under it in case someone see him.
". The moderate man wears an apron,like special robe while he is d#ing his
robes.
&. The weak or soft man wears the robe meant for common use among the
brethren, or he uses a bedspread to put on while doing the work of d#eing.
But the soft man is not allowed to bring the bedspread wherever he goes.
lternativel#, he ma# use the brethren%s common robe to wear off and on.
For all these three grades of bhikkhus, a #ellow shoulder,cloth is permitted as a
fourth piece as long as it is one span in breadth and three cubits in length. But the
moment the observer of an# kind accepts a fourth garment, he causes the breach of his
practice.
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2.(.(. The Advantages of the ThreeRober"s Practice
The following are the advantages that the three,rober%s practice brings to the
observer)
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1. The observer is contented with the bod#,protecting robe.
". /e can bring it along, 'ust in the same wa# as a bird brings its wings.
&. /e has little need of tendance.
*. /e does not have to save up clothes.
0. /e has lightness in travelling and livelihood.
2. /e abandons the lust for e<tra robes.
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3. /is life is simple in the sense that it is limited with what is actuall# needed.
4. /e onl# has few desires.
2.*.1. The A+!s!an"s Practice #Pindapatikanga dhutanga$
@ith reference to this practice, the following are noteworth#)
1. /aving fallen -pata. into the alms,bowl -pinda., the alms or food is called
pindapata.
". bhikkhu who accepts onl# such kind of food is called pindapatika.
&. The volition that makes the bhikkhu observe this practice of accepting onl# the
food that falls into his bowl is called pindapatikanga dhutanga.
2.*.2. The Procedure of Observing the A+!s!an,s Practice
bhikkhu who decides to observe the alms,man=s practice does it with either one
of the e<pressions) $Atirekalabham patikkhipami% -I refuse an e<cessive amount of food
such as food offered to the 1rder as a whole and so on..C $Pindapatikangam
samadhi!ami% -I observe the alms,man=s practice...
2.*.3. The -ourteen 'inds of -ood refused b& this Practice
There are fourteen kinds of food which must be refused b# this alms,man=s
practice)
1. Food offered to the 1rder as a whole -Sanghikabatta.
". Food offered to one or more particular monks -$ddesabatta.
&. Food given b# invitation -Nimantanabatta.
*. Food given b# tickets -Salakabatta.
0. Food given on a da# of the waning or wa<ing of the month -Pakkhibatta.
2. Food given on a sacred da# -$posatikabatta.
3. Food given on the first da# of the moonlit fortnight -Patipadikabatta.
4. Food given to guests -Agantukabatta.
5. Food given to monks about to travel -amitabatta.
16. Food given to the sick -ilanabatta.
11. Food given to those who minister to the sick -ilanupathakabatta.
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1". Food given in honour of a monaster# -%iharabatta.
1&. Food given at a principal house -&hurabatta.
1*. Food given b# donors in turn -%araka.
If the donor offers food to the observer of this practice b# sa#ing, =The 1rder
partakes of food in our house. Ma# #ou also partake of it,= and he doesn=t sa#, =!artake of
food that has been given to the 1rder.=, then the observer of this practice ma# accept it.
Food obtained from the 1rder
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or from the monaster#
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, such as fruits and so on, is also
permitted to the observer of this practice.
2.*.(. The Three )rades of the Observers of the A+!s!an,s Practice
There are three grades of bhikkhus on the basis of their observance of the alms,
man%s practice.
1. The firm or strict man accepts food brought forth either from in front or from
behind. /e also accepts food given after he has sat down to eat in the dining,hall
after his almsround. /e ma# give his bowl to the people who receive it outside
their door. But he is not permitted to accept a certain promised food b# sitting and
waiting for it the whole da# long.
". 1n the other hand, the moderate man can accept a certain promised food b#
sitting and waiting for it the whole da# long. But he is not permitted to accept the
invitation for tomorrow=s food.
&. The weak or soft man accepts the food he is invited to for tomorrow or the da#
after tomorrow.
This being so, the latter two men do not get the bliss of independent life but the
strict man alone does.
2.*.*. The Advantages of the A+!s!an,s Practice
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The following are the advantages that the alms,man%s practice brings to the
observer)
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1. The observer has behaved according to the Buddha%s spiritual guidance
that he is a bhikkhu having morsels of alms as his resource for food.
". The observer has established himself in the second order of (oble beings
-Ari!ans..
&. +egarding the alms, the observer has an independent life as he is
independent on an#one else.
*. The observer has a thing which the Buddha praised as $cheap, easil#
available and faultless%.
0. The observer has overcome the la;iness for alms,gathering.
2. /is livelihood is pure.
3. /e fulfills the probationar# conduct through this practice.
4. /e does not rel# on others for nourishment, and nor is he relied on b# the
others.
5. /e does favour to the poor -the donors..
16. /e re'ects conceit.
11. /e checks the lust for tast# food.
1". /e is free from offences against the precepts concerning a meal.
1&. /is conduct is in harmon# with few wishes and so on.
1*. /e develops right conduct.
10. The observer sets an e<ample for the generations of bhikkhus to come.
2...1. The HousetoHouse)oer"s Practice #Sapadanacarikanga dhutanga$
@ith reference to this practice, the following are noteworth#)
1. 8tanding at random houses in the alms,round is dana while standing at one
house%s door after another%s in the alms,round is apadana. The series of these
successive houses in a bhikkhu%s alms,round is called sapadana.
". bhikkhu who keeps this house,to,house,goer%s practice is called
sapadanacarika"
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&. The volition that makes the bhikkhu observe this practice is called
sapadanacarikanga dhutanga.
2...2. The Procedure of Observing the HousetoHouse)oer"s Practice
bhikkhu who decides to observe the house,to,house,goer%s practice does it with
either one of the e<pressions) $'oluppacaram patikkhipami% -I set aside greed# behaviour
in alms,gathering..C $sapadanacarikangam samadhi!ami% -I observe the house,to,house,
goer%s practice..
If one wants to observe this practice, he should first see that there is no possible
danger ? such as wild beasts ? in his alms,gathering round. If there be an# danger
awaiting, he should leave that place, whether it is a street or a village. The bhikkhu needs
to follow this direction. But the bhikkhu is not allowed to leave a place 'ust because he
earns a small or no amount of alms in that place. The bhikkhu should also start his alms,
collecting round before the usual time so that he can choose to leave a place if there is
danger in it.
lthough the observer of this practice must not go at random houses lest he
should not get little food, he is permitted to accept the offering of those who meet him in
the monaster# or in his alms,round and take his bowl to give food.
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It is not b# an# means permissible for the observer of this practice to accept the
invitations to food. If one take the bhikkhu%s bowl and make full the bowl with food, then
the bhikkhu%s practice is not broken. 7ue to some or no food being gathered, he should
not go past the village. But he should go from one village to another in order.
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2...3. The Three )rades of the Observers of the HousetoHouse)oer"s Practice
There are three grades of bhikkhus on the basis of their observance of the house,
to,house,goer%s practice.
1. The firm or strict man never accepts food offered before he gets to a house, nor
does he accept it after he gets to a house or after he has sat down in the dining,hall
to eat on his return from his alms,round. But it is permitted that the bhikkhu hands
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his bowl to the donor at the donor%s door. In this respect, there is no one like the
Thera Mahakassapa in observing this practice.
". The moderate man can accept food of an# kind the strict man refuses, e<cept that
he must not look forward to the food promised for that da#.
&. The soft man is even allowed to wait for the food which has been promised.
The practice of the house,to,house goer is broken as soon as the bhikkhu goes
past a house, etc., with the hope that he might get more or better food in another house,
etc.
2...(. The Advantages of the HousetoHouse)oer"s Practice
The following are the advantages that the house,to,house,goer%s practice brings to
the observer)
""
1. The observer never gets into close friendship with his supporters.
". /e is $cool% like the moon.
&. /e re'ects meanness for his supporters.
*. /e gives impartial favour to his supporters.
0. (o sin abounds in him when he approaches his supporters.
2. /e does not accept invitations to food.
3. /e does not wish for a meal to be brought.
4. /e has conduct in harmon# with few wishes, and so on.
2./.1. The OneSessioner"s Practice #Ekasanikanga dhutanga$
@ith reference to this practice, the following are noteworth#)
1. The act of eating food at not more than one sitting is called ekasana".
". bhikkhu who keeps the one,sessioner%s practice is called ekasanika"
&. The volition that makes the bhikkhu observe this practice is called ekasanikanga
dhutanga.
2./.2. The Procedure of Observing the OneSessioner"s Practice
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:ism.I.20
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bhikkhu who decides to observe the one,sessioner%s practice does it with either
one of the e<pressions) $Nanasana bhojanam patikkhipami% -I refuse to eat food at more
than one sitting.C $Ekasanikangam samadhi!ami% -I observe the one,sessioner%s practice..
The bhikkhu who observes the one,sessioner%s practice never sits in the seat
reserved for the Elder brethren, but he finds a seat that would be suitable for him. If his
teacher or preceptor arrives in the middle of his meal, then he should stop to stand up and
pa# respects to his teacher. The Thera >ulabha#a once decided not to resume his meal
after he had paid his respects to his teacher who had arrived while he was eating.
2./.3. The Three )rades of the Observers of the OneSessioner"s Practice
There are three grades of bhikkhus on the basis of their observance of the one,
sessioner%s practice.
1. The firm or strict man never picks up more food apart from the food he has laid
his hand on. /e should accept more onl# when his supporters tells him that it is
meant for medicine to cure him.
". The moderate man should accept more food until he has finished eating all the
food in his alms,bowl.
&. The soft man will accept more food as long as he is sitting although he has
finished his meal.
For all these three grades of bhikkhus, eating at more than one sitting is the main
cause of the breach of the practice.
2./.(. The Advantages of the OneSessioner"s Practice
The following are the advantages that the one,sessioner%s practice brings to the
observer)
"&
1. The observer is free from sickness.
". /e is free from tiredness.
&. /e is light in movements.
*. /e is strong.
0. /e lives comfortabl#.
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2. /e is not prone to committing an offence because he refuses e<cessive food.
3. /e repels the craving for tast# food.
4. /e has conduct in harmon# with few wishes, and so on.
2.0.1. The 1o%+-ooder"s Practice #Pattapandikanga dhutanga$
@ith reference to this practice, the following are noteworth#)
1. The food in a single bowl is collectivel# called patthapida.
". bhikkhu who keeps the practice of eating onl# the food in a single bowl is
called patthapidika"
&. The volition that makes the bhikkhu observe this practice is called
patthapidikanga dhutanga.
2.0.2. The Procedure of Observing the 1o%+-ooder"s Practice
bhikkhu who decides to observe the bowl,fooder%s practice does it with either
one of the e<pressions) $&uti!abhojanam patikkhipami% -I refuse a second bowl.C
$Pattapindikangam samadhi!ami% -I observe the bowl,fooder%s practice..
@hen the observer of this practice drinks the rice gruel, he would find it
loathsome if he had put the curr# of fish, especiall# rotten fish, etc into the gruel. 8o he
should first either eat the curr# or drink the gruel. /one#, sugar and so on can be put in
the gruel because the# are not loathsome. Freen vegetables can also be eaten as dippers.
>are must be taken not to eat even a tree,leave, let alone a second bowl, apart from the
first bowl.
2.0.3. The Three )rades of the Observers of the 1o%+-ooder"s Practice
There are three grades of bhikkhus on the basis of their observance of the bowl,
fooder%s practice.
1. E<cept when he is chewing the sugar,cane, the firm or strict man does not throw
awa# the lumps of rice, fish, meat and cakes in a second bowl, nor does he eat b#
separating the lumps.
". The moderate man, however, ma# eat separating them with one hand. /ence, the
moderate man comes to called ()attha*!ogi+ -/and scetic..
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&. The soft man ma# separate an# of his bowl food b# his hand or teeth. 1therwise,
he ma# eat it. /e is therefore called (Patta*!ogi+ -Bowl scetic..
For all these three grades of bhikkhus, an# observer breaks his practice when he
en'o#s eating in a second bowl.
2.0.(. The Advantages of the 1o%+-ooder"s Practice
The following are the advantages that the bowl,fooder%s practice brings to the
observer)
"*
1. The observer repels the craving for taste of different kinds.
". /e repels the desire for taste in more than one bowl.
&. /e sees the main purpose and right measure of food.
*. /e rids himself of the trouble of carr#ing various dishes and so on.
0. /e has the act of undistracted eating.
2. /is conduct is in conformit# with few wishes, and so on.
2.2.1. The AfterfoodRefuser"s Practice #Khalupaccabhattikanga dhutanga$
@ith reference to this practice, the following are noteworth#)
1. The food obtained after the bhikkhu has decided to stop his meal is called
pacchabhatta.
". bhikkhu who eats this food is called pacchabhattika" bhikkhu who refuses to
eat this food is called khalupacchabhattika"
&. The volition that makes the bhikkhu observe this practice is called
pacchabhattikanga dhutanga.
2.2.2. The Procedure of Observing the AfterfoodRefuser"s Practice
bhikkhu who decides to observe the afterfood,refuser%s practice does it with
either one of the e<pressions) $Atirittabhojanam patikkhipami% -I refuse e<tra food, that
is, the food obtained after I have decided to stop m# meal.C $Khalupacchabhattikangam
samadhi!ami% -I observe the afterfood,refuser%s practice..
"*
:ism.I.23,24
, 10 ,
2.2.3. The Three )rades of the Observers of the AfterfoodRefuser"s Practice
There are three grades of bhikkhus on the basis of their observance of the three,
rober%s practice.
1. 8ince his vow or determination applies not to the first almsfood but to the refusal
of more food while he is eating it, the strict or firm man who has made his vow
does not eat a second almsfood after his first.
". The moderate man who has made his vow finishes his meal he is eating in his
bowl, although he refuses the second bowl.
&. The soft man eats so long as he has not stood up.
For all these three grades of bhikkhus, the afterfood,refuser%s practice is broken
once an# of them eats the e<tra food he has determined not to eat.
2.2.(. The Advantages of the AfterfoodRefuser"s Practice
The following are the advantages that the afterfood,refuser%s practice brings to the
observer)
"0
1. The observer is awa# from offences regarding e<tra food.
". /e never makes his stomach full.
&. /e is free of storing food.
*. /e is free of worr#ing to search for food again.
0. /is livelihood is in conformit# with few wishes and so on.
2.13.1. The -orester"s Practice #Arannakanga dhutanga$
@ith reference to this practice, the following are noteworth#)
1. n# forest is called aranna.
". bhikkhu who observes the practice of dwelling in a particular forest is called
arannaka.
&. The volition that makes the bhikkhu observe this practice is called arannakanga.
2.13.2. The Procedure of Observing the -orester"s Practice
"0
:ism.I.24,25
, 12 ,
bhikkhu who decides to observe the forester%s practice does it with either one of
the e<pressions) $amantasena!anam patikkhipami% -I refuse dwelling in a village.C
$Arannakingam samadhi!ami% -I observe the forester%s practice..
The bhikkhu who decides to observe this practice should leave a village,dwelling
and be in the forest at dawn. forest monaster# in which he decides to start dwelling
should be at least 066 bow,lengths
"2
awa# from the village precincts.
"3
If the village could
not be reached b# a straight path due to obstacles such as hills, rivers, etc., although it
were so near that dwellers of the monaster# could hear the voices or noises from it, then
the measurement of the distance from the village precinct and the forest monaster# can be
taken b# an# water,path, if ever. @hosoever puts such obstacles in between the village
and the forest monaster# with the intention of fulfilling the requisite measurement, is a
thief of the ascetic practice in question.
"4

If the observer of the practice had an ill preceptor or teacher, then he should take
his teacher to a nearb# village for an# medical treatment. /e should then leave the village
and be in the forest at dawn. But if at dawn his teacher%s illness worsened, then he should
do his dut# to take care of his teacher, pa#ing no heed to his ascetic practice.
"5

The observer of the forester%s practice should spend his time pondering over the
advantages of the practice in the following wa#) the observer must take care to keep his
practiceC the village,dwelling allows the wandering of mind, but the forest,dwelling does
notC the forest,dwelling ensures the attainment of one viveka for the observerC the
observers should never quit the forest,dwelling until he attains rahantshipC the forest,
dwelling is also praised b# the BuddhaC and if he persists in forest,dwelling, then it ma#
entice other fellow bhikkhus into the forest, too, thus bringing the above,said advantages
for them as well.
&6
2.13.3. The Three )rades of the Observers of the -orester"s Practice
"2
$bow% in $bow,length% measures * cubits. See >oncise M#anmar 7ictionar# :ol.1 -1534. p.11
"3
:ism.I.25,36
"4
:in..II.&64
"5
:ism.I.36
&6
:in..II.5&, :in.8angaha."0
, 13 ,
There are three grades of bhikkhus on the basis of their observance of the
practice.
1. The firm or strict man should alwa#s be in the forest at dawn.
". The moderate man lives in the village for the rain# four months.
&. The weak or soft man allows himself to live in the village for the four,
month,long winter as well.
n# of these three bhikkhus might break the practice amid the term of their
forest,life if the# happen to let the da# dawn upon them in the village without an# special
reason or with the reason that the# want to sleep a moment after listening to sermons. But
the practice is not broken if the# meet the dawn while listening to the sermon or while on
their wa# back to their forest,dwelling.
2.13.(. The Advantages of the -orester"s Practice
The following are the advantages that the forester%s practice brings to the
observer)
1. B# attending to the perception of the forest, the observer can acquire
concentration not #et acquired or can maintain the concentration that he has
acquired.
". The Buddha /imself is pleased with the practice -and thus the observer deserves
the Buddha%s praise..
&. The observer%s mind will not be distracted b# the improper ob'ects of sight and so
on.
*. The observer is free from fear.
0. The observer gains the potential to discard the attachment to life.
2. The observer en'o#s the bliss of solitude that the lack of sensuous ob'ects brings
to him.
2.11.1. The TreeRoot!an"s Practice #Rukkhmulikanga dhutanga$
@ith reference to this practice, the following are noteworth#)
1. The root or the foot of a tree is a rukkhamula.
". bhikkhu who lives at the tree,root is called rukkhumilika""
, 14 ,
&. The volition that makes the bhikkhu observe this practice is called
rukkhmulikanga dhutanga.
2.11.2. The Procedure of Observing the TreeRoot!an"s Practice
bhikkhu who decides to observe the tree,rootman=s practice does it with either
one of the e<pressions) $#hannam patikkhipami% -I refuse a covered
&1
dwelling.C
$Rukkhmulikangam samadhi!ami% -I observe the tree,rootman=s practice..
The bhikkhu observes the practice, resorting to a tree that grows on the frontier
between two countries or a sacred tree or a resinous tree or a fruit,bearing tree or a tree
where bats are living or a hollow tree or a tree that grows in the middle of a monaster#.
But he should resort to a tree on the outskirt of a monaster#.
2.11.3. The Three )rades of the Observers of the TreeRoot!an"s Practice
There are three grades of bhikkhus on the basis of their observance of the tree,
rootman=s practice.
1. The strict man does not allow himself to resort to a tree he pleases. Instead, he 'ust
makes a clearing underneath it and dwells under it removing with his foot the
fallen leaves.
". The moderate man ma# let the voluntar# visitors make a clearing.
&. The soft man ma# call upon the monaster# students and ask them to make a
clearing, to level it, to spread sand on it, to make an enclosure and to fi< a door so
that he can dwell there.
1n a feast da#, the observer of this ascetic practice must not remain at the foot of
the tree but go to a certain hidden place.
2.11.(. The Advantages of the TreeRoot!an"s Practice
The following are the advantages that the tree,rootman=s practice brings to the
observer)
&"
&1
n# dwelling covered b# one of five kinds of roof ? terracotta tiles, stone slab, cement, thatch, and palm
leaf. See :in.I:.&61
&"
:ism.I.31,3"
, 15 ,
1. The observer has attainment according to the third requisite for his ordination as
e<pressed in, = monk depending on a dwelling at the tree,root=.
". The Buddha praised the practice.
&. /e easil# has the perception of impermanence due to the sight of the constant
change in leaves and foliage.
*. /e is absent of meanness for a dwelling.
0. /e is absent of delight in new work due to the possession of a dwelling.
2. /e shares the tree with the guardian gods of the tree.
3. /is conduct is in conformit# with fewness of wishes and so forth.
2.12.1. The O4enS4acer"s Practice #Abbhokasikanga dhutanga$
@ith reference to this practice, the following are noteworth#)
1. n open space is called abbhokasa.
". bhikkhu who lives on that kind of space is called abbhokasika"
&. The volition that makes the bhikkhu observe this practice is called
abbhokasikanga dhutanga.
2.12.2. The Procedure of Observing the O4enS4acer"s Practice
bhikkhu who decides to observe the open,spacer=s practice does it with either
one of the e<pressions) $Annanca rukkhamulanca patikkhipami% -I refuse a roof as well as
the root of a tree.C $Abbhokasikangam samadhi!ami% -I observe the open,spacer=s
practice..
The observer of this practice ma# go into a roofed building with the intention of
listening to the sermons, keeping the 8abbath, doing the sacred duties, inviting the elder
thera or brethren to a meal, learning or teaching the !ali >anon, or bringing bedsteads
and stools inside. If it begins to rain when entering the ordination hall, then he is allowed
to remain there until the rain ceases. If it begins to rain when carr#ing a requisite that
belongs to his seniors, then he is allowed to enter a resting house b# the roadside for
shelter. But the ascetic must not hasten but go with his ordinar# steps to the resting house.
The rules for this observer also appl# to the observer of the tree,rootman=s
practice.
, "6 ,
2.12.3. The Three )rades of the Observers of the O4enS4acer"s Practice
There are three grades of bhikkhus on the basis of their observance of the open,
spacer=s practice.
1. The strict man ma# not live depending on a tree, a mountain or a house. /e
should live under the open sk# in a hut made of tree leaves.
". The moderate man ma# live depending on a tree, a mountain or a house so long as
he does not enter it.
&. The soft man ma# live in a cave not covered with a roof, in a pavilion of
branches, under a d#ed cloth,cover, or in a hut in the field deserted b# field,
watchers and so on.
For all these three grades of bhikkhus, the open,spacer=s practice is broken the
moment an# of them seeks a covered shelter or a tree,root for dwelling.
2.12.(. The Advantages of the O4enS4acer"s Practice
The following are the advantages that the open,spacer=s practice brings to the
observer)
&&
1. The observer cuts off the nuisances of an abode.
". /e dispels sloth and torpor.
&. /e deserves the Buddha=s praise that bhikkhus wander homeless and with no
binding 'ust in the same wa# deer do.
*. /e is free from attachment to the dwelling.
0. /e ma# go at his will in an# of the four directions.
2. /is livelihood and conduct are in conformit# with fewness of wishes and so on.
2.13.1. The 1urning)rounder"s Practice #Sosanikanga dhutanga$
@ith reference to this practice, the following are noteworth#)
1. burning ground is called sosana.
". bhikkhu who lives at a burning ground is called sosanika"
&. The volition that makes the bhikkhu observe this practice is called sosanikanga
dhutanga.
&&
:ism.I.3",3&
, "1 ,
2.13.2. The Procedure of Observing the 1urning)rounder"s Practice
bhikkhu who decides to observe the burning,grounder=s practice does it with
either one of the e<pressions) $Na susanam patikkhipami% -I refuse to dwell at a place that
is not a burning ground.C $Sosanikangam samadhi!ami% -I observe the burning,grounder=s
practice..
The observer of this practice should not choose a newl#,fi<ed burning ground of a
village, for the place is not a proper burning ground #et until a dead bod# is burnt on it. It
is a burning ground although the place has been deserted for as man# as twelve #ears
since a dead bod# was burnt there. The observer ma# not have there promenades and
pavilions and so forth built, bedsteads and stools arranged, water and food brought, and
live there teaching the Gaw. This ascetic practice is too difficult for bhikkhus to observe.
Therefore the observer should tell the Elder of the 8angha and the authorities concerned
and live without negligence so that there ma# not be an# danger arising.
@hile walking to and fro, the observer should do so looking with half,closed e#es
at the burning of dead bodies. @hile going to the burning ground, he should leave the
main road used b# the village people but he should choose a side path. /e should note
an# ob'ect there b# da#light so that the ob'ect in illusion ma# not appear to him fearful at
night. For, once, a monk b# the name of Pi!agamika
,-
who observed the practice for the
sake of offerings met with such an e<perience. Either, he should not throw an#thing such
as a stone or stick at an#, if ever, unhuman beings like ogres and ghosts. /e should not let
a da# pass without his going to the burning ground. ccording to the nguttara (ika#a
holders, the ascetic ma# live at the burning ground well be#ond midnight.
The ascetic should not partake of such foodstuffs as sesamum
&0
, flour, peas, rice,
fish, meat, milk, oil, molasses
&2
and so on and nor should he enter the house of his
supporters.
2.13.3. The Three )rades of the Observers of the 1urning)rounder"s Practice
&*
M..I.1"6
&0
The M#anmar translation works specif# that $sesamum% here is a fried cake of broken peanuts and
sesames attached to each other as if glued. See >oncise M#anmar 7ictionar# :ol." -1535. p.0
&2
s in $sesamum%, $molasses% here is interpreted as a semi,solid liquid derived from cooking the mi<ed
'uices of sugar cane, todd# and hone#.
, "" ,
There are three grades of bhikkhus on the basis of their observance of the
burning,grounder=s practice.
1. The strict man lives at a burning ground where there are continual burning,
continual smell of dead bodies, and continual weeping.
". The moderate man lives at a burning ground where there is one of these present.
&. The soft man lives at a place which 'ust fulfils the requirements of a burning
ground.
n# observer of this practice breaks his practice when he lives at a place which is
not a burning ground.
2.13.(. The Advantages of the 1urning)rounder"s Practice
The following are the advantages that the burning,grounder=s practice brings to
the observer)
1. The observer easil# attains mindfulness regarding death.
". /e lives free from negligence.
&. /e acquires the outward sign of the foul -subhanimita..
*. /e dispels sensual lust.
0. /e alwa#s sees the intrinsic nature of the human bod#.
2. The growth of agitation occurs in him.
3. /e re'ects the pride of good health and so on.
4. /e defeats fear and fright of danger ? whether serious or not.
5. /e is paid respect b# un,human beings such as ogres and ghosts.
16. /is livelihood is in accordance with fewness of wishes and so on.
2.1(.1. The An&1edder"s Practice #Yathasantikanga dhutanga$
@ith reference to this practice, the following are noteworth#)
1. The dwelling allotted to the observer b# the distributor b# sa#ing, =This place is
for #ou= is called !athasantata"
". bhikkhu who lives in such an allotted dwelling is called !athasantatika"
&. The volition that makes the bhikkhu observe this practice is called
!athasantatikanga dhutanga.
, "& ,
2.1(.2. The Procedure of Observing the An&1edder"s Practice
bhikkhu who decides to observe the an#,bedder=s practice does it with either
one of the e<pressions) $Sensanaloluppam patikkhipami% -I set aside greed# behaviour as
regards dwelling.C $Yathasantatikangam samadhi!ami% -I observe the an#,bedder=s
practice..
The ascetic should be content with whatsoever dwelling is allotted to him b# the
distributor bhikkhu or the instructor bhikkhu.
2.1(.3. The Three )rades of the Observers of the An&1edder"s Practice
There are three grades of bhikkhus on the basis of their observance of the an#,
bedder=s practice.
1. The strict man is not allowed to inquire about a dwelling he is allotted to, as to
whether it is too far or near, troubled b# such beings as ogres and snakes, or
whether it is hot or cold.
". The moderate man is allowed to inquire about the dwelling but he must not go
there to e<amine it.
&. The soft man ma# go and e<amine it so that he ma# choose another dwelling if he
does not like the present one.
For all these three grades of bhikkhus, the emergence of greed# behaviour with
regard to dwelling is the cause of the breach of the practice.
2.1(.(. The Advantages of the An&1edder"s Practice
The following are the advantages that the an#,bedder=s practice brings to the
observer)
1. The observer obe#s the advice given b# the Buddha as =1ne should be content
with what he has got=.
". /e seeks the benefit of his fellow,bhikkhus.
&. /e abandons the thought of what is inferior and superior.
*. /e discards approval and disapproval.
, "* ,
0. /e =closes the door= of covetousness.
2. /is livelihood is in conformit# with fewness of wishes and so on.
2.1*.1. The Sitting5an"s Practice #Nesajjikanga dhutanga$
@ith reference to this practice, the following are noteworth#)
1. n# posture -sitting, standing or walking. apart from l#ing is called nisajja.
". bhikkhu who keeps such a posture and gives up l#ing is called nesajjika"
&. The volition that makes the bhikkhu observe this practice is called nesajjikanga
dhutanga.
2.1*.2. The Procedure of Observing the Sitting5an"s Practice
bhikkhu who decides to observe the sitting,man=s practice does it with either
one of the e<pressions) $Sa!!am patikkhipami% -I refuse to lie down or I give up l#ing
down.C $Khalupacchabhattikangam samadhi!ami% -I observe the sitting,man=s practice..
2.1*.3. The Three )rades of the Observers of the Sitting5an"s Practice
There are three grades of bhikkhus on the basis of their observance of the sitting,
man=s practice.
1. The strict man should not use these three things
&3
? a plank with a back support or
a cushion of cloth for squatting on, or a bandage cloth.
". The moderate man is allowed them.
&. The soft man is allowed not onl# them but also a pillow, a five,limbed seat, and a
seven,limbed seat. The limbs here means four legs, a back support and two arms.
2.1*.(. The Advantages of the Sitting5an"s Practice
The following are the advantages that the sitting,man=s practice brings to the
observer)
&4
1. The observer cuts off mental bondage described b# the Buddha as =8ome -bad.
monks live devoted to the pleasure of l#ing down, the pleasure of l#ing on one=s
side, the pleasure of torpor.
&3
See :ism. -(ew (issa#a.. I."1"
&4
:ism.25,32
, "0 ,
". /e is fit for application to all sub'ects of meditation.
&. /is postures are satisfactor#.
*. /e is agreeable due to his strenuous effort.
0. /e develops the right attainment.
The Thera Maha 9asspa, who was the Third >hief 7isciple, was the foremost
among the ascetics who observed these practices. The Thera therefore claimed to be
foremost b# sa#ing that he had no rivals but the Buddha in the Buddha=s 7omain among
those observing the practices.
&5

The Buddha also agreed that Maha 9assapa was the foremost among the ascetics
who observed the ascetic practices in the Buddha=s 7ispensation.
*6
2.1*.1. Three Chief Ascetic Practices
1ut of the above,said ascetic practices, the practices of the house,to,house,goer,
one,sessioner, and open,spacer are the three chief practices. For whosoever keeps the
house,to,house,goer=s practice ma# also keep the almsman=s practice ver# easil#.
@hosoever keeps the one,sessioner=s practice ma# also find himself read# to observe the
practices of the bowl,fooder and afterfood,refuser. The observer of the open,spacer=s
practice keeps the practices of the tree,rootman and the an#bedder. Thus these three
practices of the house,to,house,goer, one,sessioner, and open,spacer are the chief
practices.
2.1*.2. Three Se4arate Ascetic Practices
The five practices of the forester, refuse,ragman, three,folder, sitting,man, and
burning grounder are related to the other practices and thus the# are the separate or
unmi<ed ascetic practices.
2.1*.3. T%o Ascetic Practices Concerning the Robe
The two practices of the refuse,ragman and the three,rober are concerned with the
use of robes.
2.1*.(. -ive Ascetic Practices Concerning the A+!sfood
&5
Thag.&0&, Thag..II.**0
*6
(.I."&
, "2 ,
The five practices of the almsman, house,to,house,goer, open,spacer, bowl,
fooder, and afterfood,refuser are related to the other practices and thus the# are the
separate or unmi<ed ascetic practices.
2.1*.*. -ive Ascetic Practices Concerning the 6%e++ing
The five practices of the forester, tree,rootman, open,spacer, an#bedder, and
burning grounder are concerned with the dwelling.
*1

The Suttanipata >ommentar# also adds the sitting,man=s practice to these five,
resulting in the si< practices concerning the dwelling.
*"
The Anguttara and %isudhimagga >ommentaries, on the other hand, assign the
sitting,man=s practice to the group of the practices in relation with diligence.
*&

2.1.. -our 'inds of Peo4+e Concerning the Practices
There are four kinds of people concerning the ascetic practices.
Firstl#, the Thera Bakula observed the dhutangani -practices. but he never urged
others to do so. In other words, Bakula was a dhuta -one who got rid of defilements b#
himself. but not a dhutavada -the proponent of the dhuta*ism..
1n the other hand, the Thera Hpananda urged others to observe the practices
though he himself was not the observer of the practices. /e was 'ust a dhutavada but not
a dhuta.
(e<t, the Thera 9aluda#i was neither a dhuta nor a dhutavada for he neither
observed the practices nor urged others to do so.
**
Gastl#, the Thera Maha 9assapa
*0
, the Thera 8ariputta
*2
, the Thera
!indolabharadva'a
*3
and the Thera Hpasena
*4
were dhutavadas -proponents. as well as
dhutas -observers..
*5
*1
:ism.I.35, 7(..III.154,5
*"
8!..II.32
*&
(..II."4*, :ism.I.35, 8n..II.30,32
**
:ism.I.35
*0
(..I.1"3
*2
:ism.I.34
*3
Hd..II.""5, Hd.1"3
*4
:in..I.&&3
*5
(.I."&
, "3 ,
2.1/. The Ascetic Practices Avai+ab+e to 7a& Peo4+e
The :isuddhimagga firml# states that the ascetic practices are not confined to the
brethren of the 1rder aloneC the# ma# also be observed b# the sisters of the 1rder, the
novices male and female, and la# devotees male and female.
The brethren are allowed to observe an# of the thirteen ascetic practices, but the
sisters are allowed to observe eight of them, e<cluding the two practices of the forester
and afterfood,refuser because these practices have been prohibited b# precept, and the
three practices of the open,spacer, tree,rootman, and the burning,grounder all of them
being impractical for sisters to carr# out.
Male novices have the right to observe all the practices but the three,robers, while
female novices ma# observe all the practices observable b# the sisters but the three,
robers. Ga# devotees, male and female, ma# observe the practices of the sitting,man and
bowl,fooders.
Thus, the ascetic practices are fort#,two in detail) , thirteen for brethren, eight for
sisters, twelve for novices, seven for female novices, two for la#,disciples male and
female.
06
2.10. Ho% the 1uddha 4raised the Observer of the Ascetic Practices
The ascetic practices have been praised b# the Buddha and the following stor#
illustrates how the Buddha praised an observer of the ascetic practices.
1nce, the Buddha was so'ourning in the Ieta Frove Monaster# when /e called
and reminded the bhikkhus not to approach /im, e<cept b# the alms,bringer monk,
during the Genten months because /e wanted to en'o# solitude. Thus the bhikkhus
promised each other not to approach the Buddha, prohibiting themselves b# the Pacitti!a
offence.
01

In the meantime, the Thera Hpasena, son of :ankanta the Brahmin, paid a visit to
the Buddha together with his follower monks. The# sat at a suitable place before the
Buddha, who was quite satisfied with the Thera Hpasena and his followers because of
their behaviour. /e then asked the Thera how he had taught them. The Thera said in repl#
06
:ism.I.46
01
:in.I.&&2
, "4 ,
that when the# came to him to enter into the 1rder, he had taught them to follow his suit
of observing the ascetic practices such as those of the forester, bowl,fooder, refuse,
ragman, and three robbers. Those who were not happ# with his teaching were not
permitted to be ordained.
0"

The Buddha applauded the Thera Hpasena=s repl# b# sa#ing =@ell,done= and gave
privileged permission to the observers of those practices to approach /im whenever the#
wish to.
0&

2.12. -ives Intentiona+ Reasons for Observing the Ascetic Practices
The observers of the ascetic practices have one or more of the following five
intentional reasons for observing their practices)
0*
1. The# ma# keep the practices without the proper knowledge of their advantages.
". The# ma# keep the practices for offerings and fame.
&. The# ma# keep the practices through foll# or cra;iness.
*. The# ma# keep the practices because these practices have been praised b# the
Buddha and the 7isciples.
0. The# ma# keep the practices for the sake of fewness of wishes or contentedness.
00
bhikkhu observes the practices due to an# of these reasons, of which the first
two reasons have been despised b# the Buddha and onl# the last reason is claimed to be
the noblest one.
02

2.23. The Ascetic Practices in Re+ation %ith the Character T&4es
The practices are especiall# recommended to those who have the character t#pes
of the lustful man and the ignorant man. (on,indulgence or asceticism in these practices
puts out the fire of lust while heedfulness discards ignorance. The bhikkhu who possesses
0"
:in.I.&&3,&*6, :in.I..""2, Miln.&&6
0&
Miln.&*1
0*
bh.I:.135, bh. I:..55, :in.:."&&, :in..133, (.:.15&, (..:.2*,20
00
.e/ness o0 .our 1ishes) fewness of wishes for four assets, for concealment of one%s own asceticism, for
concealment of one%s learning, and for concealment of one%s attainment of brahma or supramundane states.
T/elve Kinds o0 #ontentedness) & kinds of contentedness-contentedness with earnings, contentedness with
one%s abilit#, contentedness with one%s modest lifest#le. multiplied b# * assets -alms, robes, dwelling,
medicine. See +esearcher%s 7ictionar# of >ategories b# the :en. 1bhasabhivamsa, and 8(.J&&5, 8(.J
.106.
02
:in.:.&&0, Miln.&&4
, "5 ,
the character t#pe of the angr# man should observe the practices of the forester and tree,
rootman, since the forest dwellers are usuall# free from anger or stress.
03
The Thera Maha 9assapa had observed the ascetic practices since the first da# of
his ordination. /e was the noblest leading figure among the observers of these ascetic
practices. It was not onl# in that life that he observed the ascetic practices but he kept
them in the past five hundred e<istences. The Thera was declared b# the Buddha to be the
foremost among those who observe the ascetic practices and those who urge others to do
so.
The Thera Maha 9assapa, Foremost 1bserver of the scetic !ractices in this
Buddha=s 7ispensation, was also elevated to the rank of the Third >hief 7isciple.
Furthermore, he attained rahantship on the eighth da# of his bhikkhuhood.
04

Iust like the Thera Maha 9assapa, the ;ealous observers of the ascetic practices
are bound to have man# benefits accrued in this life and life hereafter.
05

03
:ism.I.35
04
(.I."&, (..I.16*,1"2, Thag.&0&, Thag..II.*00, p..I."5&
05
Miln.&&&,&&5
, &6 ,