The Buddha used to criticise the extreme asceticism (Duskara-carya). In Dhammapada sutra, the Buddha taught:
“Not going naked, nor matted hair, nor filth,
nor fasting, not sleeping on bare earth,
no penance on heels, nor sweat nor grime
can purify a mortal still overcome by doubt.”
(The Path of Truth, English translation by Bhikkhu Khantipalo & Sister Susanna, Sydney, Australia, 1993).
At the Buddha’s time, He had many Disciples who vowed to adopt ascetic practices. Certainly, these ascetic practices must be different from the asceticism criticised by the Buddha. Thay Thich Truc Thai Minh discussed thirteen ascetic practices praised by the Buddha in a Dharma sermon.
Let’s watch this video to explore what thirteen.