The Perfection of Truthfulness - Matted Hair (Jatila Sutta)

In the “Verses of Uplift” (Udana), Ch 1, no. 9, Matted Hair (Jatila) it has been explained that if one does not accumulate sati-sampajanna, one will become deluded. We read:

“Thus have I heard:

On a certain occasion the Exalted One was staying near Gaya, on Gaya Head.

Now on that occasion a great number of ascetics,

on the cold winter nights between the eighths in time of snowfall,

were plunging up and down (in the water)

and sprinkling and burning sacrifice,

thinking: This way comes purity.


Now the Exalted One saw that great number of ascetics so doing,

and at that time, seeing the meaning of it,

gave utterance to this verse of uplift:


‘Not by water is one pure, tho’ many folk bathe here.


In whom is truth and dhamma, he is pure and he’s a brahmin.’ ”

  We read in the “Paramatthadipaní”, the Commentary to the “Verses of Uplift” (Udana), Khuddaka Nikaya, the following explanation of this Sutta:

“... Or else there is no one who is clean,

no being said to be purified from the stain of evil,

through the aforementioned water. Why?

Or abundant folk would bathe here.

For were there that which is known as purity from evil

through submersion in the water and so on as aforementioned,

abundant folk would bathe here in the water,

just as there would be purity from evil for them all-

for the one performing evil acts such as matricide and so on,

as well as for any other (creature) upwards from and including fish and tortoises

even, such as cows and buffaloes and so forth;

but this is not the case. Why?

On account of bathing not being an opponent of the root-causes of evil.

For surely (something can only be said to be) an opponent of that which it destroys,

as is light that of darkness,

and knowledge that of ignorance-bathing being no such (opponent) of evil.

Therefore the conclusion has to be reached that

‘There is no being clean through water’.

He then says ‘In whom there be truth’ and so on

to indicate the means by which there is, rather, being clean.

Herein, In whom (yamhi): in the person in whom.

There be truth (saccam):

there be both telling the truth and truth as abstinence (from lying speech).

Or alternatively there be that which is true (saccam):

there be both that which is true in the form of knowledge

and that which is true in its highest sense.

Dhamma (dhammo): Dhamma in the form of the ariyan paths

and Dhamma in the form of their fruitions;

in the person in whom all of this is discovered-

that is the one who is clean

and that is the one who is the brahmin (so suci so ca brahmano):

that ariyapuggala, especially the one in whom the asavas have been destroyed,

is the one who, by way of a purity that is perpetual, clean and the brahmin.

But why, in this connection, is truth included separately from Dhamma?

On account of the fact of truth being of great service.

For instance, the virtues of truth are made manifest in countless sutta passages.”



Topic 283