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 Chapter XXVI - BRAHMANA VAGGA - The Brahmana



Yo'dha digham va rassam va anum thulam subhasubham
Loke adinnam nadiyati tam aham brumi brahmanam.

He who in this world takes nothing that is not given, be it long or short, small or great, fair or foul, - him I call a brahmana. [409]

XXVI: 26 The monk who was accused of theft

One day, a brahmin from Savatthi laid his upper garment on the ground outside his house to air it. A monk saw that garment as he was going back to the Jetavana monastery. Thinking that it was a piece of cloth thrown away by someone, he picked it up. The brahmin saw him picking up the piece of cloth and came after him, accusing and abusing him. 'You shaven head! You are stealing my clothing,' he said. The monk promptly returned the piece of cloth to the brahmin.

Back at the monastery, the monk related the above incident to other bhikkhus. The bhikkhus asked him jokingly whether the cloth was long, short, coarse or fine. He replied, 'Whether the clothing is long or short, coarse or fine, matters not to me: I am not at all attached to it.' Other bhikkhus then asked the Buddha, 'Venerable Sir! The monk says he has no more attachments. Is it true?' The Buddha said, 'Bhikkhus! The monk speaks the truth; an Arahant does not take anything that is not given to him, and he is not attached to material things.'

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This webpage was updated 31st July 2023