David N. Snyder wrote::) Yeah, the Buddha thought of everything! It is great that we have such a great wealth of teachings from the Buddha. The Anguttara Nikaya has the most suttas dealing with everyday life and for lay people.
Now if we could just get the lay people to brush their teeth! It's kind of nasty when someone gets close to you talking right next to your face and they haven't brushed in perhaps days, weeks.
BMC1 PC40 wrote: 40. Should any bhikkhu take into his mouth an edible that has not been given — except for water and tooth-cleaning sticks (§) — it is to be confessed.
"Now at that time a certain bhikkhu, living entirely off of what was thrown away (§), was staying in a cemetery. Not wanting to receive gifts from people, he himself took the offerings for dead ancestors — left in cemeteries, under trees, and on thresholds — and ate them. People criticized and complained and spread it about, 'How can this bhikkhu himself take our offerings for our dead ancestors and eat them? He's robust, this bhikkhu. He's strong. Perhaps he feeds on human flesh.'"
BMC2 personal grooming wrote:Care of the teeth. Toothbrushes, dental floss, toothpaste, and tooth powders were unknown in the time of the Buddha. However, there is an allowance for tooth wood, which is the same thing as the tooth-cleaning stick discussed under Pc 40. The Buddha extolled the virtues of using tooth wood as follows: "There are five advantages in chewing tooth wood: It makes the mouth attractive, the mouth does not smell foul, the taste buds are cleaned, bile and phlegm do not coat one's food, one enjoys one's food." At present, toothbrushes and dental floss would come under the allowance for tooth wood. Because tooth wood should not be less than four fingerbreadths long, many Communities extend this prohibition to include toothpicks less than four fingerbreadths as well. Toothpaste and tooth powder, because they are composed of mineral salts, would come under the allowance of salts for medicine.
"There are five advantages in chewing tooth wood: It makes the mouth attractive (§), the mouth does not smell foul, the taste buds are cleaned, bile and phlegm do not coat one's food, one enjoys one's food. I allow tooth wood." — Cv.V.31.1
"A long piece of tooth wood is not to be chewed. Whoever should chew one: an offense of wrong doing. I allow tooth wood eight fingerbreadths long at most. And novices are not to be flicked with it. Whoever should do so: an offense of wrong doing"... "An overly short piece of tooth wood is not to be chewed. Whoever should chew one: an offense of wrong doing. I allow tooth wood four fingerbreadths long at the very least." — Cv.V.31.2
Cittasanto wrote:is there a footnote to that "toothbrush"
it is commonly rendered as tooth wood, although PTS has tooth-pick.
If I remember correctly Ajahn Chah talks about using a charcoal stick although the common (version) used now (if it is different?) has one end like a tooth-pick and the other end is beaten into individual strands to be bitten.
Cittasanto wrote:not specifically although they are available in Thailand
It is good for one’s eyes
SamKR wrote:Nice one. Thanks, cooran.
Perhaps the Buddha had to deal with people with bad breath.It is good for one’s eyes
But I don't understand how brushing is good for one's eyes. Does it mean teeth would look good to other's eyes?
I'm just dipping into Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation of the Anguttara Nikaya - The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha - and am interested to see that there was no aspect of ordinary life that could not benefit from advice from the Blessed One.
Ven. Bodhi: When I read the suttas on dependent origination and nonself, I thought: the Buddha is certainly enlightened, but maybe not perfectly so. However, when I came to the Sigalaka Sutta (Digha Nikaya 31) my doubts were dispelled. When I read this sutta, particularly the section on “worshipping the six directions” (In the Buddha’s Words, pp. 116–18), and saw how one who had fathomed the deepest truths of existence could also teach in detail parents how to bring up their children, a husband and a wife how to love and respect each other, and an employer how to care for his workers, I then knew: This teacher is indeed perfectly enlightened. To my mind, this sutta showed that the Buddha possessed not only the “ascendant wisdom” that rises up to the highest truth, but the “descending wisdom” embraced by compassion that drops down again to the level of the world and, in the light of the fullest realization, teaches and guides others in the way that suits them best.
A chewstick, called a suwak, was probably the earliest toothbrush.
The chewstick for cleaning teeth was apparently borrowed from the Chinese and Babylonians. It is first mentioned as a common method of cleaning the teeth by the Romans. It consists of a stick a little smaller in diameter.than a pencil and about 6 inches long. It is made from any one of a number of fibrous woods. One end is chewed to separate the fibers and then the teeth are scrubbed one at a time. This method is still used in many parts of Africa and many Islamic countries.
Khalil Bodhi wrote:Hey everyone, here is a link to the tooth sticks which were probably used in the Buddha's day: http://www.miswakstick.com/miswak.html
Surprising, they are also considered a traditional accompaniment to the wudu (ablutions) of Muslims and were praised by the Prophet Muhammed. I may get a tooth stick myself!