Wednesday, 25 May 2016 12:22

Dhp 01:07 - The Pure Are Worthy Of The Yellow Robe But Not The Impure

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Dhp 01:07 - The Pure Are Worthy Of The Yellow Robe But Not The Impure

He who is stained (with defilements)
without self-control and truthfulness,
is not worthy of wearing the yellow robes. (9)

He who is purged of all stain,
is well-established in morals and
endowed with self-control and truthfulness,
is indeed worthy of the yellow robe. (10)


Once, the two Chief Disciples, the Venerable Sariputta and the Venerable Moggallana, went from Savatthi to Rajagaha. There, the people of Rajagaha invited them, with the other bhikkhus, to a morning meal. On that occasion someone handed over a very valuable piece of cloth to the organisers of the almsgiving ceremony. He instructed them to sell it should there be any shortage of funds. If there was no shortage, they were to offer it to any one of the bhikkhus they considered deserving of it. It so happened that there was no shortage of anything and the cloth was to be offered to one of the monks. Since the two Chief Disciples visited Rajagaha only occasionally, the people thought that it would be more appropriate to offer the cloth to Venerable Devadatta as he was a resident of Rajagaha. Thus they made the mistake of offering the cloth to Devadatta.

Devadatta promptly made the cloth into a robe and started wearing it. Then, a certain bhikkhu from Rajagaha came to Savatthi to pay homage to the Buddha, and told him about Devadatta and the robe. The Buddha then said that it was not the first time that Devadatta was wearing robes that he did not deserve. The Buddha then related the following story:

Devadatta was an elephant hunter in one of his previous existences. At that time, in a certain forest, there lived a large number of elephants. One day,the hunter noticed that these elephants knelt down to a paccekabuddha* on seeing him. Having observed that, the hunter stole the upper part of a yellow robe and covered his body and hand with it. Then, holding a spear in his hand, he waited for the elephants on their usual route. The elephants came, and mistaking him for a Paccekabuddha paid their respects and easily fell prey to the hunter. Thus, one by one, he killed the elephants.

The Bodhisatta (the Buddha-to-be) who was born as an elephant in the group, was the leader of the herd. Noticing the dwindling number of his herd he decided to investigate and followed his herd at the end of the line. He was alert, and was therefore able to evade the spear. He caught hold of the hunter in his trunk and was about to dash him against the ground. When he saw the yellow robe however, he desisted and spared the life of the hunter.

The hunter was wrong in trying to kill under cover of the yellow robe and for committing such an act of depravity. The hunter clearly should not have put on the yellow robe.

By revealing this story, the Buddha explained how Devadatta had misused the yellow robe even in one of his previous births.

Teaching Focus: A monk may be stained by defilements, bereft of self-control and awareness of reality. Such a monk, though he may wear the 'stained cloth' ( the monk's robe which has been specially coloured with dye obtained from wild plants), he is not worthy of such a saintly garb. (9) Whoever dons the 'stained cloth', being free of defilements, who is well conducted and tranquil within, having emotions under control and aware of reality, such a person is worthy of the sacred 'stained cloth'. (10)

Verse Translation (best effort)
Tiến Việt Ai mặc áo cà sa. tâm chưa rời uế trược, không tự chế, không thực, không xứng áo cà sa (9) Ai rời bỏ uế trược, giới luật khéo nghiêm trì, tự chế, sống chơn thực, thật xứng áo cà sa. (10)
Le Français Celui qui, non sans purulences, dénué de contrôle de soi même et d'essentialité, porterait la robe ocre n'en serait pas digne (9) Celui qui a vomi toutes les purulences, qui est bien établi dans les règles morales, pourvu du contrôle de soi même et d'essentialité, est vraiment digne de la robe ocre. (10)
Deutsch Wer nicht befreit von Flecken ist und zieht die gelbe Robe an, von aller Zähmungswahrheit fern, verdient die Gelbe wahrlich nicht. (9) Wer alle Flecken ausgespien, in Tugend wohlgesammelt ist, zur Zähmungswahrheit hingelangt, verdient die Gelbe wahrlich sich. (10)
Español Quienquiera que sea que carezca de autocontrol y no permanezca en la verdad, aunque se vista con la túnica amarilla, no es merecedor de ella. (9) El que se ha liberado de toda mancilla, está establecido en la moralidad y se curte en el autocontrol y la verdad, tal es merecedor de la túnica amarilla. (10)
Pу́сский язы́к Кто облачается в желтое одеяние, сам не очистившись от грязи, не зная ни истины, ни самоограничения, тот недостоин желтого одеяния. (9) Но кто избавился от грязи, кто стоек в добродетелях, исполнен истины и самоограничения, именно тот достоин желтого одеяния. (10)
Magyar Nyelv Ha sárga köntöst öltött fel, de vétkét nem vetkőzte le, hamisság s indulat rabja, nem érdemli meg e ruhát. (9) Ha vétkeit levetkőzte, az erényben szilárdan áll, hamisság s indulat nélkül, méltán viseli e ruhát. (10)
Read 1624 times Last modified on Wednesday, 08 June 2016 16:29
Rich Wermske

My pedigree and bona fides are published elsewhere. That said, I respect that a few may wish to learn more about the private person behind the writing.  While I accept I am exceptionally introverted (tending toward the misanthropic), I do enjoy socializing and sharing time with like-minded individuals. I have a zeal for integrity, ethics, and the economics of both interpersonal and organizational behavior.

The product of multi-generational paternal dysfunction, I practice healthy recovery (sobriety date December 11, 2001).  I am endogamous in my close personal relationships and belong to a variety of tribes that shape my worldview (in no particular order):

☯ I participate in and enjoy most geek culture. ☯ I am a practicing Buddhist and a legally ordained minister. I like to believe that people of other spiritual/faith systems find me approachable.  I am a member of the GLBTQA community -- I married my long-time partner in a ceremony officiated by Jeralita "Jeri" Costa of Joyful Joinings on November 18, 2013, certificated in King County, Seattle WA. We celebrate an anniversary date of February 2, 2002.  I am a service-connected, disabled, American veteran (USAF).  I am a University of Houston alumnus (BBA/MIS) and currently studying as a post baccalaureate for an additional degree in Philosophy and Law, Values, & Policy.  I am a retired Bishop in the Church of Commerce and Capitalism; the story arch of my prosecuting and proselytizing the technological proletariat is now behind me.  I am a native Houstonian (and obviously Texan).  At 50 years old, I am a "child of the sixties" and consider the 80's to be my formative years.

As I still struggle with humility, I strive to make willingness, honesty, and open mindedness cornerstones in all my affairs. Fourteen years of sobriety has taught me that none of "this" means a thing if I'm unwilling, dishonest, or close minded.  Therefore I work hard on the things I believe in --

  • I believe we can always achieve more if we collaborate and compromise.
  • I believe that liberal(ism) is a good word/concept and something to be proud to support.  The modern, systematic corruption of liberal ideas is a living human tragedy.
  • I believe in a worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality. The pragmatism of this site and my journey is rooted in both classical and social liberalism.
  • I believe in democratic elections and institutions including a media free of commercial and governmental bias.  Liberty and equality perish when a society becomes uneducated and/or ill-informed.
  • I believe in diversity of life and ideas.  Life and ideas can only flourish when the gene pool is vast and abundantly differentiated.
  • I believe in advancing balance in civil, social, and privacy rights such that all of humanity is continuously uplifted.
  • I believe in separation of church (spirituality) and state (governance) -- with neither in supremacy nor subjugation.
  • I believe in private (real or tangible) property explicitly excluding ideas, knowledge, and methods; such non-tangibles, by natural law, being free for all humanity and emancipated at conception.

While change and the uncertainty of the future may be uncomfortable, I do not fear the unknown; therefore:

    • I believe I must be willing to make difficult choices, that those choices may not be all that I desire, and that such may result in undesirable (or unintended) consequences;
    • I believe we must be willing to make mistakes or be wrong; and I am willing to change my mind if necessary.
I undertake to abide the five precepts of Buddhism; therefore:
  1. I believe it is wrong to kill or to knowingly allow others to kill.
  2. I believe it is wrong to steal or to knowingly allow others to steal.
  3. I believe in abstention from sexual misconduct.
  4. I believe it is wrong to lie or to knowingly allow others to lie.
  5. I believe in abstention from non-medicinal intoxicants as such clouds the mind.

Suicide, major depression, borderline personality, and alcoholism are feral monsters ever howling at my doorstep. However, despite my turbulent and tragic past, rare is the day where I have to rationalize, defend, or justify the actions of that person I see looking back at me in the mirror...

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