1. Now at that time the venerable Pilindavakkha had head-ache 2.
'I allow, O Bhikkhus, the use of a little oil on the head.'
(The disease) became no better 3.
'I allow, O Bhikkhus, the practice of taking up (medicine) through the nose 4.'
The nose ran.
'I allow, O Bhikkhus, the use of a nose-spoon 1.'
Now at that time the Khabbaggiya Bhikkhus had various kinds of nose-spoons--made of gold, and of silver. People were annoyed, murmured, and became angry, saying, 'Like those who still live in the world.'
They told this thing to the Blessed One.
'Various kinds of nose-spoons, O Bhikkhus, are not to be used. Whosoever does so, is guilty of a dukkata offence. I allow, O Bhikkhus, the use of such nose-spoons made of bone (&c., as in chap. 12. 1, down to:) or of the chank-shell.'
2. The nose took up the medicament in unequal proportions.
'I allow, O Bhikkhus, the use of a double nose-spoon 2.'
(The disease) became no better.
'I allow you, O Bhikkhus, to sniff up the aroma.'
They used to spread the drugs on a wick before they sniffed up the aroma 3: and their throats got burnt.
'I allow, O Bhikkhus, the use of a pipe to conduct the aroma.'
Now at that time the Khabbaggiya Bhikkhus had various kinds of pipes (&c., as in the last clauses of § 1, down to the end).
Now at that time the aroma-pipes came open: and worms got in.
I allow, O Bhikkhus, the use of a lid to the pipes.'
Now at that time the Bhikkhus carried the pipes about in their hands.
'I allow, O Bhikkhus, the use of a bag to carry the aroma-pipes in.'
The aroma-pipes rubbed against one another.
'I allow, O Bhikkhus, the use of a double bag.'
They had no shoulder strap.
'I allow, O Bhikkhus, the use of a shoulder strap (by which to carry the double bag), or of a thread (by which to sew it on).'
53:2 Sîsâbhitâpo, literally 'heat in the head.'
53:3 Compare Mahâ-parinibbâna Sutta II, 31, and below, 13. 2; 14. 3.
53:4 Natthu-kamma. In the commentary on the Dhammapada, pp. 83 and foll., there is an example of the way in which a physician administers medicinal oil in this manner to a sick Bhikkhu.
54:1 Natthu-karanî, that is, an instrument to hold up the nose, so that the medicinal oil does not run out.
54:2 Yamaka-natthu-karanî, that is, one that would go up both nostrils. The last sentence of § 1 would come in better after this clause.
54:3 They used to burn the drugs by smearing them on wicks, and then inhale the smoke through their nostrils.