Looking for rag robe simile, good and bad half of the cloth simile

Dear SuttaCentral D&D Members,

I would like to ask you for help regarding finding source of one simile.

I think I heard it in one of the many Ajahn Brahm’s dhamma talks. The simile is such: An ascetic finds many rag robes, and some of them have part of them that are good, very clean, nice, without holes etc., and the other parts are bad, dirty, torn apart, generally worn out. So he takes a knife or scissors and cut the good parts from all of them, discard the bad parts and sew new robe from the good parts. Taken together all the good parts, he’s got good new robe out of the old ones.

I think this simile relates to fact that many things in life, including people, have good and bad sides. But we can take whats good from each of them and create something beautiful. For example one person can teach us restraint, another one compassion, and another dhamma knowledge. If we take all together, take whats best of these people (instead of whats worst) we can grow in wholesome qualities.

I love that simile but I would like to find it’s source to be able to properly cite it. It could be loosely related to MN7: The Simile of the Cloth, but the spin of the simile is completely different. So either it is based on another sutta, or some teacher (maybe some Thai Forest monk or Ajahn Brahm or Jataka story or whatever) expanded that simile inspired by MN7, or based it on something else or created it by himself. Anyway if you know any source that relates to the simile as I’ve presented it above (ascetic sew new good robe out of parts of old ones he found), please let me know. :pray:

Thank you dear SuttaCentral D&D community for being there for help. :anjal: :slight_smile: Wishing you all a great day and thank you for taking your time reading my post! :slight_smile:


It is AN 5.162 Dutiya Aghatapativinaya Sutta: Getting Rid of Hate (on suttafriends.org)


Yes, this is it, thank you very much Venerable! :anjal: :slight_smile: Your help on this forum is most wholesome, Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu ! :slight_smile: :pray: It is amazing how quick one can get help on this board. :slight_smile:

From AN5.162:

Old cloth

“How should you get rid of hate for a person whose behaviour by way of body is impure, but whose behaviour by way of speech is pure? Suppose a monk wearing rag robes sees a rag by the side of the road. He’d hold it down with the left foot, spread it out with the right foot, tear out what was good, and take it away with him.

“In the same way, at that time you should ignore that person’s impure behaviour by way of body and focus on their pure behaviour by way of speech. That’s how to get rid of hate for that person.

I’m glad that this beautiful simile is EBT based! :slight_smile:

Thanks again SuttaCentral D&D and Snowbird in particular, wishing everyone a great day! :slight_smile: With Metta!


I’ve been experimenting with using an rss feed reader to experience the internet in a new way. So I get a small notification when there is a new post on the forum (which there are actually very few of each day).

And this is one of my favorite suttas to preach on, so I know it very well.


These also relate to that simile:

Theragāthā 18.1 - Mahākassapa

And SN 46.54 Mettāsahagatasutta - Full of Love


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