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1: Now at that time a number of Bhikkhus dwelt in the woods; and they provided neither drinking-water, nor water for washing, nor fire, nor drill sticks nor tinder (for starting a fire) 2; nor did they know the stations of the constellations, nor the divisions of the (ten) 'directions' (of the sky).

Thieves went there and said to the Bhikkhus, 'Have you, Sirs, got drinking-water?'

p. 293

'No, friends, we have not.'

'Have you, Sirs, got water for washing?'

'No, friends, we have not.'

'Have you, Sirs, got fire?'

'No, friends, we have not.'

'Have you, Sirs, got sticks and tinder for producing fire?'

'No, friends, we have not.'

'With what (constellation is the moon now in) conjunction?'

'That, friends, we do not know.'

'Which direction is this?'

'That, friends, we do not know.'

[On hearing these answers] 1, the thieves said, 'These are thieves. These men are no Bhikkhus.' And they beat them, and went away.

The Bhikkhus told this matter to the Bhikkhus. The Bhikkhus told it to the Blessed One. Then the Blessed One, on that occasion and in that connection, after delivering a religious discourse, said to the Bhikkhus

'Therefore, O Bhikkhus, do I establish a rule of conduct for Bhikkhus dwelling in the woods, according to which they are to behave themselves therein.

2. 'A Bhikkhu, O Bhikkhus, who is dwelling in the woods, should rise betimes, place his bowl in the bag 2, hang it over his shoulder, arrange, his upper robe over his back (over both shoulders) 3, get on

p. 294

his sandals, put the utensils of wood and earthenware in order, close the doorway and lattice, and then leave his lodging-place.

'When he perceives that he is about to enter a village, he should take off his sandals, turn them upside down 1, beat them to get the dust out, put them into a bag, hang it over his shoulder, put on his waistcloth [and so on as laid down for a Bhikkhu entering the village for alms above, VIII, 5, 2, paragraph 1, to the end].

3. 'On leaving a village he should put the bowl into its bag, hang it over his shoulder, roll his robes up, put them on his head 2, get on his sandals, and then go.

'A Bhikkhu living in the woods, O Bhikkhus, should keep drinking-water, and water for washing, and fire, and drill sticks and tinder, and walking staves ready. He should learn the stations (of the moon) in the constellations, either in the whole or in part, and he should know the directions of the sky.

'This, O Bhikkhus, is the rule of conduct that I lay. down for Bhikkhus dwelling in the woods, according to which they should behave themselves therein.'


292:2 Arani-sahitam, on which Buddhaghosa merely says arani-sahite sati aggim kâtum pi vattati. In the Gâtaka Commentary (I, 212, ed. Fausböll) we have the phrase arani-sahitam nîharitvâ aggim karonti. At p. 34 of the Assalâyana Sutta (ed. Pischel) we hear of there being an upper and lower stick to the arani; and at p. 53 of the Milinda Pañha (ed. Trenckner) we find the same upper and lower sticks, the thong by which to turn the latter, and the piece of rag for tinder mentioned as the constituent parts of this ancient means of producing fire. The expression in the text is probably a collective term for the whole of these.

293:1 They are all repeated in the text.

293:2 Thavikâ. This is possibly one of the bags referred to in the permission granted by Mahâvagga VIII, 20, but it was only to be used when the bowl had to be carried a long distance, and not when passing through a village. (See the beginning of the next section.)

293:3 Kîvaram khandhe katvâ: either in contradistinction to p. 294 ekamsam kîvaram katvâ (on which question there is a great division among modern Buddhists. Compare Rh. D.'s note on the Mahâ-parinibbâna Sutta VI, 47), or possibly 'put it in a roll on his back.'

294:1 On this expression, see above, VIII, 1, 2.

294:2 See Mahâvagga VIII, 13, 1.

Next: Chapter 7