Page 1 of 1

Monastic use of cosmetics

Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:57 pm
by Invokingvajras
As some may be aware, Nanda, the Buddha's half brother, was fond of wearing cosmetics for his eyes. According to the site in the link provided, it seems he continued to do this after ordination.

http://www.buddhisma2z.com/content.php?id=280
He was `finely formed, beautiful and handsome'(A.IV,165-6) and even after he became a monk `he pressed his robe on both sides, painted his eyes and walked around with a beautiful shiny bowl'(Vin.IV,173).
Out of curiosity, would this have been a breach in the training, or was the rule against using cosmetics established after Nanda's behavior?

Re: Monastic use of cosmetics

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:26 am
by Dhammanando
Invokingvajras wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:57 pm
As some may be aware, Nanda, the Buddha's half brother, was fond of wearing cosmetics for his eyes. According to the site in the link provided, it seems he continued to do this after ordination.

http://www.buddhisma2z.com/content.php?id=280
He was `finely formed, beautiful and handsome'(A.IV,165-6) and even after he became a monk `he pressed his robe on both sides, painted his eyes and walked around with a beautiful shiny bowl'(Vin.IV,173).
Out of curiosity, would this have been a breach in the training, or was the rule against using cosmetics established after Nanda's behavior?
It was probably established already, for if it hadn't been then this would have been the occasion that led to its establishment, but we know from the Vinaya Piṭaka's origin story that it was the notorious "group of six monks" whose behaviour led to this rule.

By the way, the second citation in your link is wrong. The mention of Nanda's shiny bowl is from the SN's Nandasutta (S.ii.281).
At Sāvatthī. Then the Venerable Nanda, the Blessed One’s maternal cousin, put on well-pressed and well-ironed robes, painted his eyes, took a glazed bowl, and approached the Blessed One. Having paid homage to the Blessed One, he sat down to one side, and the Blessed One said to him:

“Nanda, this is not proper for you, a clansman who has gone forth out of faith from the household life into homelessness, that you wear well-pressed and well-ironed robes, paint your eyes, and carry a glazed bowl. This is proper for you, Nanda, a clansman who has gone forth out of faith from the household life into homelessness, that you be a forest dweller, an almsfood eater, a rag-robes wearer, and that you dwell indifferent to sensual pleasures.”

This is what the Blessed One said … [who] further said this:

“When shall I see Nanda as a forest dweller,
Wearing robes stitched from rags,
Subsisting on the scraps of strangers,
Indifferent towards sensual pleasures?”

Then, some time later, the Venerable Nanda became a forest dweller, an almsfood eater, a rag-robes wearer, and he dwelt indifferent to sensual pleasures.

Commentary:

Spk: Why did the elder [Nanda] behave thus? To find out what the Teacher thought about it, thinking: “If the Teacher says, ‘My half-brother is beautiful like this,’ I’ll conduct myself in this way all my life. But if he points out a fault here, I’ll give this up, wear a rag-robe, and dwell in a remote lodging.”

Re: Monastic use of cosmetics

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:33 am
by Invokingvajras
Much obliged, Bhante.