The Self-Pampered Monk



The Self-Pampered Monk :



What Buddha said… : Going naked, having matted hair, covering oneself with mud or dust, fasting, sleeping on bare ground, or squatting (in penance) cannot purify a being if he has not yet overcome ignorance.

What Buddha said… : Even though he may be well dressed, if he is calm, free from defilements with his senses controlled, established in the holy way, perfectly pure, and has laid aside enmity toward all beings, he is indeed a holy man, a renunciant, a monk.

ONCE THERE WAS A MAN who lived a life free from any financial worries. After his wife passed away, he decided to leave home and become a monk. Before he received his ordination, however, he built for himself a shelter that included a room to store beans, cooking oil, butter and other provisions and a kitchen where his servants could prepare his favorite dishes. He even brought his own furniture so he could sit and sleep in comfort.

Seeing him live such a luxurious life, the other monks went and reported him to the Buddha. The Buddha then sent for the rich monk and asked him why he had brought so many things to the monastery with him. “Haven’t I been teaching you to live the simple life?" the Buddha asked. The rich monk got angry. He took off his upper robe and threw it to the ground, standing half naked in front of the Buddha. “Is this how you advise me to live?" he smirked, daring to challenge the Buddha.

The Buddha admonished the self-pampered monk and told him that even while he was an evil spirit in a previous lifetime, he still had some sense of shame. Now, as a monk, however, he did not seem to have any at all. In addition, the Buddha told him that discarding his robe did not make him an austere bhikkhu. It was his ignorance he had to discard, for it was not by one’s external appearance that one became holy. The bhikkhu realized his mistake and asked the Buddha for forgiveness. He then corrected his ways and lived according to the Buddha’s admonitions.

What Buddha said… : Going naked, having matted hair, covering oneself with mud or dust, fasting, sleeping on bare ground, or squatting (in penance) cannot purify a being if he has not yet overcome ignorance.

What Buddha said… : Even though he may be well dressed, if he is calm, free from defilements with his senses controlled, established in the holy way, perfectly pure, and has laid aside enmity toward all beings, he is indeed a holy man, a renunciant, a monk.


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