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Sacred Books of the Buddhists
The Book of the Discipline,
Volume V Cullavagga
Khandhaka V. On Minor Matters

Chapter 31

Translated by I.B. Horner, M.A.,
Associate of Newham College, Cambridge

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[sbe] Now at that time monks did not chew[1] tooth-wood;[2] their mouths came to smell nasty.

They told this matter to the Lord.

He said:

"Monks, there are these five disadvantages in not chewing tooth-wood:[3]

it is bad for the eyes,

the mouth becomes nasty smelling,

the channels of taste are not purified,

phelgm and mucus get on food,

one's food is not enjoyed.

These, monks, are the five disadvantages of not chewing tooth-wood.

Monks, there are there five advantages in chewing tooth-wood:

it is good for the eyes,

the mouth does not become nasty smelling,

the channels of taste are purified,

phelgm and mucus do not get on food,

one's food is enjoyed.

These, monks, are the five advantages of chewing tooth-wood.

I allow, monks, tooth-wood."

 


 

Now at that time the group of six monks chewed long pieces of tooth-wood; they even flicked novices with these.

They told this matter to the Lord.

He said:

"Monks, a long piece of tooth-wood should not be chewed.

Whoever should chew one, there is an offence of wrong-doing.

I allow, monks, a piece of tooth-wood to be eight finger breadths (in length) at the most.

And a novice should not be flicked with it.

Whoever should flick him, there is an offence of wrong-doing."

Now at that time as a certain monk was chewing a piece of tooth-wood that was too short it became lodged in his throat.

They told this matter to the Lord.

He said:

" Monks, too short a piece of tooth-wood should not be chewed.

Whoever should chew one, there is an offence of wrong-doing.

I allow, monks, a piece of tooth-wood to be four finger breadths (in length) at the least."

 


[1] khādanti, eat.

[2] dantakaṭṭha, used in cleaning the teeth.

[3] As at A. iii. 250.


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