Udāna 1: Bodhivaggo
The Chapter (including the Discourses) about the Awakening (Tree)

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9: The Discourse about Those with Knotted Hair

 

Thus I heard:
at one time the Gracious One was dwelling near Gayā, on Gayā Peak.

Then at that time many knotted-haired ascetics, in the cold Winter nights, in between ‘the eights’, at the time of the snowfall, "The eights" (aṭṭhakā) refers to the eighth day after three of the Full Moons in Hemanta, i.e. at the coldest time of the year, at which times there were festivals when the brāhmaṇas worshipped their ancestors (see SED, aṣṭakā). Antaraṭṭhake therefore means between these times. See BHSD, s.v. aṣṭaka-rātri (on Lalitavistara 251.6) and CPD s.v. atthakā, anatraṭṭhaka. The Commentary says that aṭṭhakā means the last four days in Māgha and the first four in Phagguṇa, in the season of Sisira, which shows an unexpected ignorance of brāhmaṇical festivals, and is certainly wrong. 01 in the Gayā (river), were plunging out, and plunging in, were plunging out and in, were sprinkling (water), and were offering the fire sacrifice, (thinking): “Through this there is purity.”

The Gracious One saw that those many knotted-haired ascetics, in the Winter nights, in between ‘the eights’, at the time of the snowfall, in the Gayā (river), were plunging out and plunging in, were plunging out and in, were sprinkling (water), and were offering the fire sacrifice, (thinking): “Through this there is purity.”

Then the Gracious One, having understood the significance of it, on that occasion uttered this exalted utterance:

“Not through water is there purity   - many people bathe here!
In whom there is truth and Dhamma,   he is pure, and he is a brāhmaṇa.”