1. Now at that time the venerable Belatthasîsa, the superior of the venerable Ânanda, had a disease of thick scabs; and by reason of the discharge thereof his robes stuck to his body. The Bhikkhus moistened those robes with water, and loosened them (from his body).
The Blessed One, as he was going on his rounds through the sleeping-places, saw them [doing so], and going up to the place where they were, he asked them:
'What is the matter, O Bhikkhus, with this Bhikkhu?'
'The venerable one has the disease of thick scabs; and by reason of the discharge thereof his robes stick to his body. So we are moistening those robes thoroughly with water, to loosen them (from his body).'
2. Then the Blessed One on that occasion, after having delivered a religious discourse, addressed the Bhikkhus, and said:
'I allow, O Bhikkhus, to whomsoever has the itch, or boils, or a discharge, or scabs, the use of an itch-cloth 1.'
226:3 This introductory story is also given as the introduction to Mahâvagga VI, 9.
227:1 According to the 90th Pâkittiya such a cloth must not be more than four spans in length, and two in breadth.