Showing posts with label Ekanipata. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ekanipata. Show all posts

Monday, May 16, 2011

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Ekanipata - Sanjiva Jataka

Jataka Vol. I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 150. Sañjīva-Jātaka

No. 150.
"Befriend a villain."--This story was told by the Master when at the
Bamboo-grove, about King Ajātasattu's adherence to false teachers 1. For he
believed in that rancorous foe of the Buddhas, the base and wicked Devadatta,
and in his infatuation, wishing to do honour to Devadatta, expended a vast sum
in erecting a monastery at Gayāsīsa. And following Devadatta's wicked counsels,
he slew
p. 320
the good and virtuous old King his father, who had entered on the Paths, thereby
destroying his own chance of winning like goodness and virtue, and bringing
great woe upon himself.
Hearing that the earth had swallowed up Devadatta, he feared a like fate for
himself. And such was the frenzy of his terror that he reeked not of his
kingdom's welfare, slept not upon his bed, but ranged abroad quaking in every
limb, like a young elephant in an agony of pain. In fancy he saw the earth
yawning for him, and the flames of hell darting forth; he could see himself
fastened down on a bed of burning metal with iron lances being thrust into his
body. Like a wounded cock, not for one instant was he, at peace. The desire came
on him to see the All-Wise Buddha, to be reconciled to him, and to ask guidance
of him; but because of the magnitude of his transgressions he shrank from coming
into the Buddha's presence. When the Kattikā festival came round, and by night
Rājagaha was illuminated and adorned like a city of the gods, the King, as he
sat on high upon a throne of gold, saw Jīvaka Komārabhacca sitting near. The
idea flashed across his mind to go with Jīvaka to the Buddha, but he felt he
could not say outright that he would not go alone but wanted Jīvaka to take him.
No; the better course would be, after praising the beauty of the night, [509] to
propose sitting at the feet of some sage or brahmin, and to ask the courtiers
what teacher can give the heart peace. Of course, they would severally praise
their own masters; but Jīvaka would be sure to extol the All-Enlightened Buddha;
and to the Buddha the King with Jīvaka would go. So he burst into fivefold
praises of the night, saying--"How fair, sirs, is this clear cloudless night!
How beautiful! How charming! How delightful! How lovely 1! What sage or brahmin
shall we seek out, to see if haply he may give our hearts peace?"
Then one minister recommended Pūraṇa Kassapa, another Makkhali Gosāla, and
others again Ajita Kesakambala, Kakudha Kaccāyana, Sañjaya Belaṭṭhiputta, or
Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta. All these names the King heard in silence, waiting for his
chief minister, Jīvaka, to speak. But Jīvaka, suspecting that the King's real
object was to make him speak, kept silence in order to make sure. At last the
King said, "Well, my good Jīvaka, why have you nothing to say?" At the word
Jīvaka arose from his seat, and with hands clasped in adoration towards the
Blessed One, cried, "Sire, yonder in my mango-grove dwells the All-Enlightened
Buddha with thirteen hundred and fifty Brethren. This is the high fame that has
arisen concerning him." And here he proceeded to recite the nine titles of
honour ascribed to him, beginning with 'Venerable 2.' When he had further shewn
how from his birth onwards the Buddha's powers had surpassed all the earlier
presages and expectations, Jīvaka said, "Unto him, the Blessed One, let the King
repair, to hear the truth and to put questions."
His object thus attained, the King asked Jīvaka to have the elephants got ready
and went in royal state to Jīvaka's mango-grove, where he found in the perfumed
pavilion the Buddha amid the Brotherhood which was tranquil as the ocean in
perfect repose. Look where he would, the King's eye saw only the endless ranks
of the Brethren, exceeding in numbers any following he had ever seen. Pleased
with the demeanour of the Brethren, the King bowed low and spoke words of
praise. Then saluting the Buddha, he seated himself, and asked him the question,
'What is the fruit of the religious life?' And the Blessed One gave utterance to
the Sāmaññaphala Sutta in two sections 3. Glad at heart, the King made his peace
with the Buddha at the close of the Sutta, and rising up departed with solemn
obeisance. Soon after the King had gone,
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the Master addressed the Brethren and said, "Brethren, this King is uprooted;
[510] had not this King slain in lust for dominion that righteous ruler his
father, he would have won the Arahat's clear vision of the Truth, ere he rose
from his seat. But for his sinful favouring of Devadatta he has missed the fruit
of the first path 1."
Next day the Brethren talked together of all this and said that Ajātasattu's
crime of parricide, which was due to that wicked and sinful Devadatta whom he
had favoured, had lost him salvation; and that Devadatta had been the King's
ruin. At this point the Master entered the Hall of Truth and asked the subject
of their converse. Being told, the Master said, "This is not the first time,
Brethren, that Ajātasattu has suffered for favouring the sinful; like conduct in
the past cost him his life." So saying, he told this story of the past.
Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born
into the family of a wealthy brahmin. Arriving at years of discretion, he went
to study at Takkasilā, where he received a complete education. In Benares as a
teacher he enjoyed world-wide fame and had five hundred young brahmins as
pupils. Among these was one named Sañjīva, to whom the Bodhisatta taught the
spell for raising the dead to life. But though the young man was taught this, he
was not taught the counter charm. Proud of his new power, he went with his
fellow-pupils to the forest wood-gathering, and there came on a dead tiger.
"Now see me bring the tiger to life again," said he.
"You can't," said they.
"You look and you will see me do it."
"Well, if you can, do so," said they and climbed up a tree forthwith.
Then Sañjīva repeated his charm and struck the dead tiger with a potsherd. Up
started the tiger and quick as lightning sprang at Sañjīva and bit him on the
throat, killing him outright. Dead fell the tiger then and there, and dead fell
Sañjīva too at the same spot. So there the two lay dead side by side.
The young brahmins took their wood and went back to their master to whom they
told the story. "My dear pupils," said he, "mark herein how by reason of showing
favour to the sinful and paying honour where it was not due, he has brought all
this calamity upon himself." And so saying he uttered this stanza:--
[511] Befriend a villain, aid him in his need,
And, like that tiger which Sañjīva 2 raised
To life, he straight devours you for your pains.
p. 322
Such was the Bodhisatta's lesson to the young brahmins, and after a life of
almsgiving and other good deeds he passed away to fare according to his deserts.
His lesson ended the Master identified the Birth by saying, "Ajātasattu was the
young brahmin of those days who brought the dead tiger to life, and I the
world-famed teacher."


319:1 See Vinaya, Cullav. vii. 3. 4-- (translated in S. B. E. XX. pp. 242 &c.).
In the Sāmaññaphala Sutta, the Dīgha Nikāya gives the incidents of this
introductory story and makes the King confess to having killed his father (Vol.
I. p. 85).
320:1 These exclamations are misprinted as verse in the Pāli text. It is curious
that the order is somewhat transposed here, as compared with the opening words
of the Sāmaññaphala Sutta.
320:2 See p. 49 of Vol. I. of the Dīgha Nikāya for the list.
320:3 In the Dīgha Nikāya there is no division of the Sutta into two bhāṇavāras
or sections.
321:1 Unlike the preceding sentence. this last sentence does not occur in the
Dīgha Nikāya. The interpolation is interesting as suggesting the license with
which words were put into the Master's mouth by Buddhist authors.
321:2 The gloss suggests that sañjīviko, (='of or belonging to Sañjīva') is an
acrid pun on the meaning of Sañjīvo, which means 'alive,'--the tiger having been
restored to life by Sañjīva, whom it bereft of life by way of reward.

Next: Index of Proper Names

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Ekanipata - Ekapanna Jataka

Jataka Vol. I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 149. Ekapaṇṇa-Jātaka

No. 149.
"If poison lurk."--This story was told about the Licchavi Prince Wicked of
Vesālī by the Master when he was living in the gabled house in the great forest
near Vesālī. In those days Vesālī enjoyed marvellous prosperity. A triple wall
encompassed the city, each wall a league distant from the next, and there were
three gates with watch-towers. In that city there were always seven thousand
seven hundred and seven kings to govern the kingdom, and a like number of
viceroys, generals, and treasurers. Among the kings' sons was one known as
Wicked Licchavi Prince, a fierce, passionate and cruel young man, always
punishing, like an enraged viper. Such was his passionate nature that no one
could say more than two or three words in his presence; and neither parents,
kindred, nor friends could make him better. So at last his parents resolved to
bring the ungovernable youth to the All-Wise Buddha, realising that none but he
could possibly tame their son's fierce spirit. So they brought him to the
Master, whom, with due obeisance, they besought to read the youth a lecture.
Then the Master addressed the prince and said: "Prince, human beings should not
be passionate or cruel or ferocious. The fierce man is one who is harsh and
unkind alike to the mother that bore him, to his father and child, to his
brothers and sisters, and to his wife, friends and kindred; inspiring terror
like a viper darting forward to bite, like a robber springing on his victim in
the forest, like an ogre advancing to devour, the fierce man straightway will be
re-born after this life in hell or other place of punishment; and even in this
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however much adorned he is, he looks ugly. Be his face beautiful as the orb of
the moon at the full, yet is it loathly as a lotus scorched by flames, as a disc
of gold overworn with filth. It is such rage that drives men to slay themselves
with the sword, to take poison, to hang themselves, and to throw themselves from
precipices; and so it comes to pass that, meeting their death by reason of their
own rage, they are re-born into torment. So too they who injure others, are
hated even in this life and shall for their sins pass at the body's death to
hell and punishment; and when once more they are born as men, [505] disease and
sickness of eye and ear and of every kind ever beset them, from their birth
onward. Wherefore let all men shew kindness and be doers of good, and then
assuredly hell and punishment have no fears for then."
Such was the power of this one lecture upon the prince that his pride was
humbled forthwith; his arrogance and selfishness passed from him, and his heart
was turned to kindness and love. Nevermore did he revile or strike, but became
gentle as a snake with drawn fangs, as a crab with broken claws, as a bull with
broken horns.
Marking this change of mood, the Brethren talked together in the Hall of Truth
of how the Licchavi Prince Wicked, whom the ceaseless exhortations of his
parents could not curb, had been subdued and humbled with a single exhortation
by the All-Wise Buddha, and how this was like taming six rutting elephants at
once. Well had it been said that, 'The elephant-tamer, Brethren, guides the
elephant he is breaking in, making it to go to right or left, backward or
forward, according to his will; in like manner the horse-tamer and the ex-tamer
with horses and oxen; and so too the Blessed One, the All-wise Buddha, guides
the man he would train aright, guides him whithersoever he wills along any of
the eight directions, and makes his pupil discern shapes external to himself.
Such is the Buddha and He alone,'--and so forth, down to the words,--'He that is
hailed as chief of the trainers of men, supreme in bowing men to the yoke of
Truth 1.' "For, sirs," said the Brethren, "there is no trainer of men like unto
the Supreme Buddha."
And here the Master entered the Hall and questioned them as to what they were
discussing. Then they told him, and he said, "Brethren, this is not the first
time that a single exhortation of mine has conquered the prince; the like
happened before."
And so saying, he told this story of the past.
Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta came to
life again as a brahmin in the North country, and when he grew up he first
learned the Three Vedas and all learning, at Takkasilā, and for some time lived
a mundane life. But when his parents died he became a recluse, dwelling in the
Himalayas, and attained the mystic Attainments and Knowledges. There he dwelt a
long time, till need of salt and other necessaries of life brought him back to
the paths of men, and he came to Benares, where he took up his quarters in the
royal pleasaunce. Next day he dressed himself with care and pains, and in the
best garb of an ascetic went in quest of alms to the city [506] and came to the
king's gate. The king was sitting down and saw the Bodhisatta from the window
and marked within himself how the hermit, wise in heart and soul, fixing his
gaze immediately before him, moved on in lion-like majesty, as though at every
p. 318
footstep he were depositing a purse of a thousand pieces. "If goodness dwell
anywhere," thought the king, "it must be in this man's breast." So summoning a
courtier, he bade him bring the hermit into the presence. And the courtier went
up to the Bodhisatta and with due obeisance, took his alms-bowl from his hand.
"How now, your excellency?" said the Bodhisatta. "The king sends for your
reverence," replied the courtier. "My dwelling," said the Bodhisatta, "is in the
Himalayas, and I have not the king's favour."
So the courtier went back and reported this to the king. Bethinking him that he
had no confidential adviser at the time, the king bade the Bodhisatta be
brought, and the Bodhisatta consented to come.
The king greeted him on his entrance with great courtesy and bade him be seated
on a golden throne beneath a royal parasol. And the Bodhisatta was fed on dainty
food which had ḅeen made ready for the king's own eating.
Then the king asked where the ascetic lived and learned that his home was in the
"And where are you going now?"
"In search, sire, of a habitation for the rainy season."
"Why not take up your abode in my pleasaunce?" suggested the king. Then, having
gained the Bodhisatta's consent, and having eaten food himself, he went with his
guest to the pleasaunce and there had a hermitage built with a cell for the day,
and a cell for the night. This dwelling was provided with the eight requisites
of an ascetic. Having thus installed the Bodhisatta, the king put him under the
charge of the gardener and went back to the palace. So it came to pass that the
Bodhisatta dwelt thenceforward in the king's pleasaunce, and twice or thrice
every day the king came to visit him.
Now the king had a fierce and passionate son who was known as Prince Wicked, who
was beyond the control of his father and kinsfolk. Councillors, brahmins and
citizens all pointed out to the young man the error of his ways, but in vain. He
paid no heed to their counsels. And the king felt that the only hope of
reclaiming his son lay with the virtuous ascetic. So as a last chance [507] he
took the prince and handed him over to the Bodhisatta to deal with. Then the
Bodhisatta walked with the prince in the pleasaunce till they came to where a
seedling Nimb tree was growing, on which as yet grew but two leaves, one on one
side, one on the other.
"Taste a leaf of this little tree, prince," said the Bodhisatta, "and see what
it is like."
The young man did so; but scarce had he put the leaf in his mouth, when he spat
it out with an oath, and hawked and spat to get the taste out of his mouth,
p. 319
"What is the matter, prince?" asked the Bodhisatta.
"Sir, to-day this tree only suggests a deadly poison; but, if left to grow, it
will prove the death of many persons," said the prince, and forthwith plucked up
and crushed in his hands the tiny growth, reciting these lines:--
If poison lurk in the baby tree,
What will the full growth prove to be?
Then said the Bodhisatta to him, "Prince, dreading what the poisonous seedling
might grow to, you have torn it up and rent it asunder. Even as you acted to the
tree, so the people of this kingdom, dreading what a prince so fierce and
passionate may become when king, will not place you on the throne but uproot you
like this Nimb tree and drive you forth to exile. Wherefore take warning by the
tree and henceforth shew mercy and abound in loving-kindness."
From that hour the prince's mood was changed. He grew humble and meek, merciful
and overflowing with kindness. Abiding by the Bodhisatta's counsel, [508] when
at his father's death he came to be king, he abounded in charity and other good
works, and in the end passed away to fare according to his deserts.
His lesson ended, the Master said, "So, Brethren, this is not the first time
that I have tamed Prince Wicked; I did the same in days gone by." Then he
identified the Birth by saying, "The Licchavi Prince Wicked of to-day was the
Prince Wicked of the story, Ānanda the king, and I the ascetic who exhorted the
prince to goodness."

317:1 The quotation has not been traced in published texts.

Next: No. 150. Sañjīva-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Ekanipata - Sigala Jataka

Jataka Vol. I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 148. Sigāla-Jātaka

p. 314
No. 148.
"Once bitten, twice shy."--This story was told by the Master when at Jetavana,
about subduing desires.
We are told that some five hundred rich friends, sons of merchants of Sāvatthi,
were led by listening to the Master's teachings to give their hearts to the
Truth, and that joining the Brotherhood they lived in Jetavana in the part that
Anātha-piṇḍika paved with gold pieces laid side by side 1.
Now in the middle of a certain night thoughts of lust took hold of them, and, in
their distress, they set themselves to lay hold once again of the lusts they had
renounced. In that hour the Master raised aloft the lamp of his omniscience to
discover what manner of passion had hold of the Brethren in Jetavana, and,
reading their hearts, perceived that lust and desire had sprung up within them.
Like as a mother watches over her only child, or as a one-eyed man is careful of
the one eye left him, even so watchful is the Master over his disciples;--at
morn or even, at whatsoever hour their passions war against them, he will not
let his faithful be overpowered but in that self-same hour subdues the raging
lusts that beset them. Wherefore the thought came to him, "This is like as when
thieves break into the city of an emperor; I will unfold the Truth straightway
to these Brethren, to the end that, subduing their lusts, I may raise them to
So he came forth from his perfumed chamber, and in sweet tones called by name
for the venerable Elder, Ānanda, Treasurer of the Faith. And the Elder came and
with due obeisance stood before the Master to know his pleasure. Then the Master
bade him assemble together in his perfumed chamber all the Brethren who dwelt in
that quarter of Jetavana. Tradition says that the Master's thought was that if
he summoned only those five hundred Brethren, they would conclude that he was
aware of their lustful mood, and would be debarred by their agitation from
receiving the Truth; accordingly he summoned all the Brethren who dwelt there.
And the Elder took a key and went from cell to cell summoning the Brethren till
all were assembled in the perfumed chamber. Then he made ready the Buddha-seat.
In stately dignity like Mount Sineru resting on the solid earth, the Master
seated himself on the Buddha-seat, making a glory shine round him of paired
garlands upon garlands of six-coloured light, which divided and divided into
masses of the size of a platter, of the size of a canopy, and of the size of a
tower, until, like shafts of lightning, the rays reached to the heavens above.
It was even as when the sun rises, stirring the ocean to the depths.
With reverent obeisance and reverent hearts, the Brethren entered and took their
seats around him, encompassing him as it were within an orange curtain. Then in
tones as of Mahā-Brahma the Master [502] said, "Brethren, a Brother should not
harbour the three evil thoughts,--lust, hatred and cruelty. Never let it be
imagined that wicked desires are a trivial matter. For such desires are like an
enemy; and an enemy is no trivial matter, but, given opportunity, works only
destruction. Even so a desire, though small at its first arising, has only to be
allowed to grow, in order to work utter destruction. Desire is like poison in
food, like the itch in the skin, like a viper, like the thunderbolt of Indra,
ever to be shunned, ever to be feared. Whensoever desire arises, forthwith,
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finding a moment's harbourage in the heart, it should be expelled by thought and
reflection,--like as a raindrop rolls at once off the leaf of the lotus. The
wise of former times so hated even a slight desire that they crushed it out
before it could grow larger." And so saying, he told this story of the past.
Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was
re-born into life as a jackal and dwelt in the forest by the river-side. Now an
old elephant died by the banks of the Ganges, and the jackal, finding the
carcass, congratulated himself on lighting upon such a store of meat. First he
bit the trunk, but that was like biting a plough-handle. "There's no eating
here," said the jackal and took a bite at a tusk. But that was like biting
bones. Then he tried an ear, but that was like chewing the rim of a
winnowing-basket. So he fell to on the stomach, but found it as tough as a
grain-basket. The feet were no better, for they were like a mortar. Next he
tried the tail, but that was like the pestle. "That won't do either," said the
jackal; and having failed elsewhere to find a toothsome part, he tried the rear
and found that like eating a soft cake. "At last," said he, "I've found the
right place," and ate his way right into the belly, where he made a plenteous
meal off the kidneys, heart and the rest, quenching his thirst with the blood.
And when night came on, he lay down inside. As he lay there, the thought came
into the jackal's mind, "This carcass is both meat and house to me, and
wherefore should I leave it?" So there he stopped, and dwelt in the elephant's
inwards, eating away. Time wore on till the summer sun and the summer winds
dried and shrank the elephant's hide, [503] until the entrance by which the
jackal had got in was closed and the interior was in utter darkness. Thus the
jackal was, as it were, cut off from the world and confined in the interspace
between the worlds. After the hide, the flesh dried up and the blood was
exhausted. In a frenzy of despair, he rushed to and fro beating against his
prison walls in the fruitless endeavour to escape. But as he bobbed up and down
inside like a ball of rice in a boiling saucepan, soon a tempest broke and the
downpour moistened the shell of the carcass and restored it to its former state,
till light shone like a star through the way by which the jackal had got in.
"Saved! saved!" cried the jackal, and, backing into the elephant's head made a
rush head-first at the outlet. He managed to get through, it is true, but only
by leaving all his hair on the way. And first he ran, then he halted, and then
sat down and surveyed his hairless body, now smooth as a palm-stem. "Ah!" he
exclaimed, "this misfortune has befallen me because of my greed and my greed
alone. Henceforth I will not be greedy nor ever again get into
p. 316
the carcass of an elephant." And his terror found expression in this stanza:--
Once bitten, twice shy. Ah, great was my fear!
Of elephants' inwards henceforth I'll steer clear.
And with these words the jackal made off, nor did he ever again so much as look
either at that or at any other elephant's carcass. And thenceforth he was never
greedy again.
His lesson ended, the Master said, "Brethren, never let desires take root in the
heart but pluck them out wheresoever they spring up." [504] Having preached the
Four Truths (at the close whereof those five hundred Brethren won Arahatship and
the rest won varying lesser degrees of salvation), the Master identified the
Birth as follows: "I was myself the jackal of those days."

314:1 Or 'paved with crores.' See Vinaya, Cullav. vi. 4. 9, translated in S. B.
E., Volume XX., page 188. Cf. also Jātaka (text) I. 92.

Next: No. 149. Ekapaṇṇa-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Ekanipata - Puppharatta Jataka

Jataka Vol. I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 147. Puppharatta-Jātaka

No. 147.
"I count it not as pain."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana,
about a Brother who was passion-tost. Being questioned by the Master, he
admitted his frailty, explaining that he longed for the wife of his mundane
life, "For, oh sir!" said he, "she is so sweet a woman that I cannot live
without her."
"Brother," said the Master, "she is harmful to you. She it was that in former
days was the means whereby you were impaled on a stake; and it was for bewailing
her at your death that you were reborn in hell. Why then do you now long after
her?" And so saying, he told the following story of the past.
Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born
a Spirit of the Air. Now in Benares there was held the night-festival of
Kattikā; the city was decorated like a city of the gods, and the whole people
kept holiday. And a poor man had only a couple of coarse cloths which he had
washed and pressed till they were in a hundred, nay, a thousand creases. But his
wife said, "My husband, I want
p. 313
a safflower-coloured cloth to wear outside and one to wear underneath, as I go
about at the festival hanging round your neck."
"How are poor people like us to get safflowers?" said he. "Put on your nice
clean attire and come along."
"If I can't have them dyed with safflower, I don't want to go at all," said his
wife. "Get some other woman to go to the festival with you."
"Now why torment me like this? How are we to get safflowers?"
"Where there's a will, there's a way," retorted the woman. "Are there no
safflowers in the king's conservatories?" [500]
"Wife," said he, "the king's conservatories are like a pool haunted by an ogre.
There's no getting in there, with such a strong guard on the watch. Give over
this fancy, and be content with what you've got."
"But when it's night-time and dark," said she, "what's to stop a man's going
where he pleases?"
As she persisted in her entreaties, his love for her at last made him give way
and promise she should have her wish. At the hazard of his own life, he sallied
out of the city by night and got into the conservatories by breaking down the
fence. The noise he made in breaking the fence roused the guard, who turned out
to catch the thief. They soon caught him and with blows and curses put him in
fetters. In the morning he was brought before the king, who promptly ordered him
to be impaled alive. Off he was hauled, with his hands tied behind his back, and
led out of the city to execution to the sound of the execution-drum, and was
impaled alive. Intense were his agonies; and, to add to them, the crows settled
on his head and pecked out his eyes with their dagger-like beaks. Yet, heedless
of his pain, and thinking only of his wife, the man murmured to himself, "Alas,
I shall miss going to the festival with you arrayed in safflower-coloured
cloths, with your arms twined round my neck." So saying, he uttered this
I count it not as pain that, here impaled,
By crows I'm torn. My heartfelt pain is this,
That my dear wife will not keep holiday
Attired in raiment gay of ruddy dye.
And as he was babbling thus about his wife, he died and was reborn in hell.
His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "This husband and
wife were the husband and wife of those days also, and I was the Spirit of the
Air who made their story known."

Next: No. 148. Sigāla-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Ekanipata - Kaka Jataka

Jataka Vol. I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 146. Kaka-Jātaka

No. 146.
"Our throats are tired."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana,
about a number of aged Brethren. Whilst they were still of the world, they were
rich and wealthy squires of Sāvatthi, all friends of one another; and tradition
tells us that while they were engaged in good works they heard the Master
preach. At once they cried, "We are old; what to us are house and home? Let us
join the Brotherhood, and following the Buddha's lovely doctrine make an end of
So they shared all their belongings amongst their children and families, and,
leaving their tearful kindred, they came to ask the Master to receive them into
the Brotherhood. But when admitted, they did not live the life of Brethren;
p. 311
and because of their age they failed to master the Truth 1. As in their life as
householders, so now too when they were Brethren they lived together, building
themselves a cluster of neighbouring huts on the skirts of the Monastery. Even
when they went in quest of alms, they generally made for their wives' and
children's houses and ate there. In particular, all these old men were
maintained by the bounty of the wife of one of their number, to whose house each
brought what he had received and there ate it, with sauces and curries which she
furnished. An illness having carried her oft; the aged Brethren went their way
back to the monastery, and falling on one another's necks walked about bewailing
the death of their benefactress, the giver of sauces. The noise of their
lamentation brought the Brethren to the spot to know what ailed them. And the
aged men told how their kind benefactress was dead, and that they wept because
they had lost her and should never see her like again. Shocked at such
impropriety, the Brethren talked together in the Hall of Truth about the cause
of the old men's sorrow, and they told the Master too, on his entering the Hall
and asking what they were discussing. "Ah, Brethren," said he, "in times past,
also, this same woman's death made them go about weeping and wailing; in those
days she was a crow and was drowned in the sea, and these were toiling hard to
empty all the water out of the sea in order to get her out, when the wise of
those days saved them."
And so saying he told this story of the past.
Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was a
sea-sprite. Now a crow with his mate came down in quest of food to the sea-shore
[498] where, just before, certain persons had been offering to the Nāgas a
sacrifice of milk, and rice, and fish, and meat and strong drink and the like.
Up came the crow and with his mate ate freely of the elements of the sacrifice,
and drank a great deal of the spirits. So they both got very drunk. Then they
wanted to disport themselves in the sea, and were trying to swim on the surf,
when a wave swept the hen-crow out to sea and a fish came and gobbled her up.
"Oh, my poor wife is dead," cried the crow, bursting into tears and
lamentations. Then a crowd of crows were drawn by his wailing to the spot to
learn what ailed him. And when he told them how his wife had been carried out to
sea, they all began with one voice to lament. Suddenly the thought struck them
that they were stronger than the sea and that all they had to do was to empty it
out and rescue their comrade! So they set to work with their bills to empty the
sea out by mouthfuls, betaking themselves to dry land to rest so soon as their
throats were sore with the salt water. And so they toiled away till their mouths
and jaws were dry and inflamed and their eyes bloodshot, and they were ready to
drop for weariness. Then in despair they turned to one another and said that it
was in vain they laboured to empty the sea,
p. 312
for no sooner had they got rid of the water in one place than more flowed in,
and there was all their work to do over again; they would never succeed in
baling the water out of the sea. And, so saying, they uttered this stanza:--
Our throats are tired, our mouths are sore;
The sea refilleth evermore.
Then all the crows fell to praising the beauty of her beak and eyes, her
complexion, figure and sweet voice, saying that it was her excellencies that had
provoked the sea to steal her from them. But [499] as they talked this nonsense,
the sea-sprite made a bogey appear from the sea and so put them all to flight.
In this wise they were saved.
His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "The aged Brother's
wife was the hen-crow of those days, and her husband the male crow; the other
aged Brethren were the rest of the crows, and I the sea-sprite."

311:1 Buddhism combined reverence for age with mild contempt for aged novices
who, after a mundane life, vouchsafed the selvage of their days and faculties to
a creed only to be mastered by hard thinking and ardent zeal.

Next: No. 147. Puppharatta-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Ekanipata - Radha Jataka

Jataka Vol. I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 145. Rādha-Jātaka

No. 145.
"How many more?"--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about
hankering after the wife of one's mundane life. The incidents of the
introductory story will be told in the Indriya-jātaka 1.
The Master spoke thus to the Brother, "It is impossible to keep a guard over a
woman; no guard can keep a woman in the right path. You yourself found in former
days that all your safeguards were unavailing; and how can you now expect to
have more success?"
And so saying, he told this story of the past.
Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born
a parrot. A certain brahmin in the Kāsi country was as a father to him and to
his younger brother, treating them like his own children. Poṭṭhapāda was the
Bodhisatta's name, and Rādha his brother's.
Nov the brahmin had a bold bad wife. And as he was leaving home on business, he
said to the two brothers, "If your mother, my wife, is minded to be naughty,
stop her." "We will, papa," said the Bodhisatta, "if we can; [496] but if we
can't, we will hold our peace."
Having thus entrusted his wife to the parrots' charge, the brahmin set out on
his business. Every day thenceforth his wife misconducted herself; there was no
end to the stream of her lovers in and out of the house. Moved by the sight,
Rādha said to the Bodhisatta, "Brother, the parting injunction of our father was
to stop any misconduct on his wife's part, and now she does nothing but
misconduct herself. Let us stop her."
p. 310
[paragraph continues] "Brother," said the Bodhisatta, "your words are the words
of folly. You might carry a woman about in your arms and yet she would not be
safe. So do not essay the impossible." And so saying he uttered this stanza:--
How many more shall midnight bring? Your plan
Is idle. Naught but wifely love could curb
Her lust; and wifely love is lacking quite.
And for the reasons thus given, the Bodhisatta did not allow his brother to
speak to the brahmin's wife, who continued to gad about to her heart's content
during her husband's absence. On his return, the brahmin asked Poṭṭhapāda about
his wife's conduct, and the Bodhisatta faithfully related all that had taken
"Why, father," he said, "should you have anything more to do with so wicked a
woman?" And he added these words,--"My father, now that I have reported my
mother's wickedness, we can dwell here no longer." So saying, he bowed at the
brahmin's feet and flew away with Rādha to the forest.
His lesson ended, the Master taught the Four Truths, at the close whereof the
Brother who hankered after the wife of his mundane life was established in the
fruition of the first Path.
"This husband and wife," said the Master, "were the brahmin and his wife of
those days, Ānanda was Rādha, and I myself Poṭṭhapāda."

309:1 No. 423.

Next: No. 146. Kāka-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Ekanipata - Nanguttha Jataka

Jataka Vol. I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 144. Naṅguṭṭha-Jātaka

No. 144.
"Vile Jātaveda."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, touching
the false austerity of the Ājīvikas, or naked ascetics. Tradition tells us that
behind Jetavana they used to practise false austerities 1. A number of the
Brethren seeing them there painfully squatting on their heels, swinging in the
air like bats, reclining on thorns, scorching themselves with five fires, and so
forth in
p. 308
their various false austerities,--were moved to ask the Blessed One whether any
good resulted therefrom. "None whatsoever," answered the Master. "In days gone
by, the wise and good went into the forest with their birth-fire, thinking to
profit by such austerities; but, finding themselves no better for all their
sacrifices to Fire and for all similar practices, straightway doused the
birth-fire with water till it went out. By an act of Meditation the Knowledges
and Attainments were gained and a title won to the Brahma Realm." So saying he
told this story of the past.
[494] Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta
was born a brahmin in the North country, and on the day of his birth his parents
lit a birth-fire.
In his sixteenth year they addressed him thus, "Son, on the day of your birth we
lit a birth-fire for you. Now therefore choose. If you wish to lead a family
life, learn the Three Vedas; but if you wish to attain to the Brahma Realm, take
your fire with you into the forest and there tend it, so as to win Mahā-Brahmā's
favour and hereafter to enter into the Brahma Realm."
Telling his parents that a family life had no charms for him, he went into the
forest and dwelt in a hermitage tending his fire. An ox was given him as a fee
one day in a border-village, and when he had driven it home to his hermitage,
the thought came to him to sacrifice a cow to the Lord of Fire. But finding that
he had no salt, and feeling that the Lord of Fire could not eat his
meat-offering without it, he resolved to go back and bring a supply from the
village for the purpose. So he tied up the ox and set off again to the village.
While he was gone, a band of hunters came up and, seeing the ox, killed it and
cooked themselves a dinner. And what they did not eat they carried off, leaving
only the tail and hide and the shanks. Finding only these sorry remains on his
return, the brahmin exclaimed, "As this Lord of Fire cannot so much as look
after his own, how shall he look after me? It is a waste of time to serve him,
bringing neither good nor profit." Having thus lost all desire to worship Fire,
he said--"My Lord of Fire, if you cannot manage to protect yourself, how shall
you protect me? The meat being gone, you must make shift to fare on this offal."
So saying, he threw on the fire the tail and the rest of the robbers' leavings
and uttered this stanza:--
Vile Jātaveda 1, here's the tail for you;
And think yourself in luck to get so much! [495]
The prime meat's gone; put up with tail to-day.
p. 309
So saying the Great Being put the fire out with water and departed to become a
recluse. And he won the Knowledges and Attainments, and ensured his re-birth in
the Brahma Realm.
His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "I was the ascetic
who in those days quenched the fire."

307:1 See (e.g.) Majjhima Nikāya, pp. 77-8, for a catalogue of ascetic
austerities, to which early Buddhism was strongly opposed.
308:1 See No. 35, p. 90.

Next: No. 145. Rādha-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Ekanipata - Virocana Jataka

Jataka Vol. I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 143. Virocana-Jātaka

No. 143.
"Your mangled corpse."--This story was told by the Master while at the
Bamboo-grove, about Devadatta's efforts to pose as a Buddha at Gayāsīsa 1. For
when his spiritual Insight left him and he lost the honour and profit which once
were his, he in his perplexity asked the Master to concede the Five Points. This
being refused, he made a schism in the Brotherhood and departed to Gayāsīsa with
five hundred young Brethren, pupils of the Buddha's two chief disciples, but as
yet unversed in the Law and the Rule. With this following he performed the acts
of a separate Brotherhood gathered together within the same precincts. Knowing
well the time when the knowledge of these young Brethren should ripen, the
Master sent the two Elders to them. Seeing these, [491] Devadatta joyfully set
to work expounding far into the night with (as he flattered himself) the
masterly power of a Buddha. Then posing as a Buddha he said, "The assembly,
reverend Sāriputta, is still alert and sleepless. Will you be so good as to
think of some religious discourse to address to the Brethren? My back is aching
with my labours, and I must rest it awhile." So saying he went away to lie down.
Then those two chief disciples taught the Brethren, enlightening them as to the
Fruitions and the Paths, till in the end they won them all over to go back to
the Bamboo-grove.
Finding the Monastery emptied of the Brethren, Kokālika went to Devadatta and
told him how the two disciples had broken up his following and left the
Monastery empty; "and yet here you still lie asleep," said he. So saying he
stripped off Devadatta's outer cloth and kicked him on the chest with as little
compunction as if he were knocking a roof-peg into a mud-wall. The blood gushed
out of Devadatta's mouth, and ever after he suffered from the effects of the
blow 2.
p. 306
Said the Master to Sāriputta, "What was Devadatta doing when you got there?" And
Sāriputta answered that, though posing as a Buddha, evil had befallen him. Said
the Master, "Even as now, Sāriputta, so in former times too has Devadatta
imitated me to his own hurt." Then, at the Elder's request, he told this story
of the past.
Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was a
maned lion and dwelt at Gold Den in the Himalayas. Bounding forth one day from
his lair, he looked North and West, South and East, and roared aloud as he went
in quest of prey. Slaying a large buffalo, he devoured the prime of the carcass,
after which he went down to a pool, and having drunk his fill of crystal water
turned to go towards his den. Now a hungry jackal, suddenly meeting the lion,
and being unable to make his escape, threw himself at the lion's feet. Being
asked what he wanted, the jackal replied, "Lord, let me be thy servant." "Very
well," said the lion; "serve me and you shall feed on prime meat." So saying, he
went with the jackal following to Gold Den. Thenceforth the lion's leavings fell
to the jackal, and he grew fat.
Lying one day in his den, the lion told the jackal to scan the valleys from the
mountain top, to see whether there were any elephants or horses or buffalos
about, or any other animals [492] of which he, the jackal, was fond. If any such
were in sight, the jackal was to report and say with due obeisance, "Shine forth
in thy might, Lord." Then the lion promised to kill and eat, giving a part to
the jackal. So the jackal used to climb the heights, and whenever he espied
below beasts to his taste, he would report it to the lion, and falling at his
feet, say, "Shine forth in thy might, Lord." Hereon the lion would nimbly bound
forth and slay the beast, even if it were a rutting elephant, and share the
prime of the carcass with the jackal. Glutted with his meal, the jackal would
then retire to his den and sleep.
Now as time went on, the jackal grew bigger and bigger till be grew haughty.
"Have not I too four legs?" he asked himself. "Why am I a pensioner day by day
on others' bounty? Henceforth I will kill elephants and other beasts, for my own
eating. The lion, king of beasts, only kills them because of the formula, 'Shine
forth in thy might, Lord.' I'll make the lion call out to me, 'Shine forth in
thy might, jackal,' and then I'll kill an elephant for myself." Accordingly he
went to the lion, and pointing out that he had long lived on what the lion had
killed, told his desire to eat an elephant of his own killing, ending with a
request to the lion to let him, the jackal, couch in the lion's corner in Gold
Den whilst the lion was to climb the mountain to look out for an elephant. The
quarry found, he asked that the lion should come to him in the den and say,
'Shine forth in
p. 307
thy might, jackal.' He begged the lion not to grudge him this much. Said the
lion, "Jackal, only lions can kill elephants, nor has the world ever seen a
jackal able to cope with them. Give up this fancy, and continue to feed on what
I kill." But say what the lion could, the jackal would not give way, and still
pressed his request. So at last the lion gave way, and bidding the jackal couch
in the den, climbed the peak and thence espied an elephant in rut. Returning to
the mouth of the cave, he said, "Shine forth in thy might, jackal." Then from
Gold Den the jackal [493] nimbly bounded forth, looked around him on all four
sides, and, thrice raising its howl, sprang at the elephant, meaning to fasten
on its bead. But missing his aim, he alighted at the elephant's feet. The
infuriated brute raised its right foot and crushed the jackal's head, trampling
the bones into powder. Then pounding the carcass into a mass, and dunging upon
it, the elephant dashed trumpeting into the forest. Seeing all this, the
Bodhisatta observed, "Now shine forth in thy might, jackal," and uttered this
Your mangled corpse, your brains mashed into clay,
Prove how you've shone forth in your might to-day.
Thus spake the Bodhisatta, and living to a good old age he passed away in the
fulness of time to fare according to his deserts.
His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "Devadatta was the
jackal of those days, and I the lion."

305:1 See pp. 34 and 35 supra.
305:2 The Vinaya account (Cullavagga vii. 4) omits the kicking, simply stating
that Kokālika "awoke" Devadatta, and that, at the news of the defection, "warm
blood gushed out of Devadatta's mouth." In other accounts (Spence Hardy and
Bigandet) it is stated that Devadatta died then and there.

Next: No. 144. Naṅguṭṭha-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Ekanipata - Sigala Jataka

Jataka Vol. I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 142. Sigāla-Jātaka

p. 304
No. 142.
"Thy tightening grip."--This story was told by the Master while at the
Bamboo-grove, about Devadatta's going about to kill him. For, hearing the
Brethren talking together as to this in the Hall of Truth, the Master said that,
as Devadatta acted now, so he acted in times gone by, yet failed--to his own
grievous hurt--of his wicked purpose. And so saying, he told this story of the
Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Behaves, the Bodhisatta was born
a jackal, and dwelt in a charnel-grove with a great following of jackals of whom
he was king. And at that time there was a festival held at Rājagaha, and a very
wet festival it was, with everybody drinking hard. Now a parcel of rogues got
hold of victual and drink in abundance, and putting on their best clothes sang
and made merry over their fare. By midnight the meat was all gone, though the
liquor still held out. Then on one asking for more meat and being told there was
none left, said the fellow, "Victuals never lack while I am about. I'll off to
the charnel-grove, kill a jackal prowling about to eat the corpses, and bring
back some meat." So saying he snatched up a club and made his way out of the
city by the sewer to the place, where he lay down, club in hand, feigning to be
dead. Just then, followed by the other jackals, the Bodhisatta came up and
marked the pretended corpse. Suspecting the fraud, he determined to sift the
matter. So he went round to the lee side and knew by the scent that the man was
not really dead. Resolving to make the man look foolish before leaving him, the
Bodhisatta stole near and took hold of the club with his teeth and tugged at it.
The rascal did not leave go: not perceiving the Bodhisatta's approach, he [490]
took a tighter grip. Hereon the Bodhisatta stepped back a pace or two and said,
"My good man, if you had been dead, you would not have tightened your grip on
your club when I was tugging at it, and so have betrayed yourself." So saying,
he uttered this stanza:--
Thy tightening grip upon thy club doth show
Thy rank imposture--thou’rt no corpse, I trow.
Finding that he was discovered, the rogue sprang to his feet and flung his club
at the Bodhisatta, but missed his aim, "Be off, you brute," said
p. 305
he, "I've missed you this time." Turning round, the Bodhisatta said, "True you
have missed me, but be assured you will not miss the torments of the Great Hell
and the sixteen Lesser Hells."
Empty-handed, the rogue left the cemetery and, after bathing in a ditch, went
back into the city by the way he had come.
His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "Devadatta was the
rogue of those times, and I the king of the jackals."

Next: No. 143. Virocana-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Ekanipata - Godha Jataka

Jataka Vol. I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 141. Godha-Jātaka

No. 141.
[487] "Bad company."--This story was told by the Master while at the
Bamboo-grove, about a traitorous Brother. The introductory incident is the same
as that told in the Mahilā-mukha jātaka 1.
Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born
an iguana. When he grew up he dwelt in a big burrow in the river bank with a
following of many hundreds of other iguanas. Now the Bodhisatta had a son, a
young iguana, who was great friends with a chameleon, whom he used to clip and
embrace. This intimacy being reported to the iguana king, he sent for his young
son and said that such friendship was misplaced, for chameleons were low
creatures, and that if the intimacy was persisted in, calamity would befall the
whole of the tribe of iguanas. And he enjoined his son to haw no more to do with
the chameleon. But the son continued in his intimacy. Again and again did the
Bodhisatta speak with his son, but finding his words of no avail, and foreseeing
danger to the iguanas from the chameleon, he had an outlet cut on one side of
their burrow, so that there might be a means of escape in time of need.
Now as time went on, the young iguana grew to a great size, whilst the chameleon
never grew any bigger. And as these mountainous embraces of the young giant grew
painful indeed, the chameleon foresaw
p. 303
that they would be the death of him if they went on a few days longer, and he
resolved to combine with a hunter to destroy the whole tribe of iguanas.
One day in the summer the ants came out after a thunder-storm 1, and [488] the
iguanas darted hither and thither catching them and eating them. Now there came
into the forest an iguana trapper with spade and dogs to dig out iguanas; and
the chameleon thought what a haul he would put in the trapper's way. So he went
up to the man, and, lying down before him, asked why he was about in the forest.
"To catch iguanas," was the reply. "Well, I know where there's a burrow of
hundreds of them," said the chameleon; "bring fire and brushwood and follow me."
And he brought the trapper to where the iguanas dwelt. "Now," said the
chameleon, "put your fuel in there and smoke the iguanas out. Meantime let your
dogs be all round and take a big stick in your hand. Then as the iguanas dash
out, strike them down and make a pile of the slain." So saying, the treacherous
chameleon withdrew to a spot hard by, where he lay down, with his head up,
saying to himself,--"This day I shall see the rout of my enemy."
The trapper set to work to smoke the iguanas out; and fear for their lives drove
them helter-skelter from their burrow. As they came out, the trapper knocked
them on the head, and if he missed them, they fell a prey to his dogs. And so
there was great slaughter among the iguanas. Realising that this was the
chameleon's doing, the Bodhisatta cried, "One should never make friends of the
wicked, for such bring sorrow in their train. A single wicked chameleon has
proved the bane of all these iguanas." So saying, he escaped by the outlet he
had provided, uttering this stanza:--
Bad company can never end in good.
Through friendship with one sole chameleon
The tribe of iguanas met their end.
[489] His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "Devadatta
was the chameleon of those days; this traitorous Brother was the disobedient
young iguana, the son of the Bodhisatta; and I myself the king of the iguanas."

302:1 No. 26.
303:1 Makkhikā may refer to the wings which the ants get in India at the
beginning of the rainy season; cf. p. 297.

Next: No. 142. Sigāla-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Ekanipata - Kaka Jataka

Jataka Vol. I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 140. Kaka-Jātaka

p. 300
No. 140.
"In ceaseless dread."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana,
about a sagacious counsellor. The incidents will be related in the twelfth book
in connection with the Bhaddasāla-jātaka 1.
Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born
a crow. One day the King's chaplain went out from the city to the river, bathed
there, and having perfumed and garlanded himself, donned his bravest array and
came back to the city. On the archway of the city gate there sat two crows; and
one of them said to his mate, "I mean to foul this brahmin's head." "Oh, don't
do any such thing," said the other; "for this brahmin is a great man, and it is
an evil thing to incur the hatred of the great. If you anger him, he may destroy
the whole of our kind." "I really must," said the first. "Very well, you're sure
to be found out," said the other, and flew quickly away. Just when the brahmin
was under the battlements, down dropped the filth upon him as if the crow were
dropping a festoon. The enraged brahmin forthwith conceived hatred against all
Now at this time it chanced that a female slave in charge of a granary spread
the rice out in the sun at the granary door and was sitting there to watch it,
when she fell asleep. Just then up came a shaggy goat and fell to eating the
rice till the girl woke up and drove it away. Twice or three times the goat came
back, as soon as she fell asleep, and ate the rice. [485] So when she had driven
the creature away for the third time she bethought her that continued visits of
the goat would consume half her store of rice and that steps must be taken to
scare the animal away for good and so save her from so great a loss. So she took
a lighted torch, and, sitting down, pretended to fall asleep as usual. And when
the goat was eating, she suddenly sprang up and hit its shaggy back with her
torch. At once the goat's shaggy hide was all ablaze, and to ease its pain, it
dashed into a hay-shed near the elephant's stable and rolled in the hay. So the
shed caught fire and the flames spread to the stables. As these stables caught
fire, the elephants began to suffer, and many of them were badly burnt beyond
the skill of the elephant-doctors to cure. When this
p. 301
was reported to the King, he asked his chaplain whether he knew what would cure
the elephants. "Certainly I do, sire," said the chaplain, and being pressed to
explain, said his nostrum was crows' fat. Then the King ordered crows to be
killed and their fat taken. And forthwith there was a great slaughter of crows,
but never was any fat found on them, and so they went on killing till dead crows
lay in heaps everywhere. And a great fear was upon all crows.
Now in those days the Bodhisatta had his dwelling in a great cemetery, at the
head of eighty thousand crows. One of these brought tidings to him of the fear
that was upon the crows. And the Bodhisatta, feeling that there was none but him
who could essay the task, resolved to free his kinsfolk from their great dread.
Reviewing the Ten Perfections, and selecting therefrom Kindness as his guide, he
flew without stopping right up to the King's palace, and entering in at the open
window alighted underneath the King's throne. Straightway a servant tried to
catch the bird, but the King entering the chamber forbade him.
Recovering himself in a moment, the Great Being, remembering Kindness, came
forth from beneath the King's throne and spoke thus to the King;--"Sire, a king
should remember the maxim that kings should not walk according to lust and other
evil passions in ruling their kingdoms. Before taking action, it is meet first
to examine and know the whole matter, and then only to do that which being done
is salutary. If kings do that which being done is not salutary, they fill
thousands with a great fear, even the fear of death. [486] And in prescribing
crows' fat, your chaplain was prompted by revenge to lie; for crows have no
By these words the King's heart was won, and he bade the Bodhisatta be set on a
throne of gold and there anointed beneath the wings with the choicest oils and
served in vessels of gold with the King's own meats and drink. Then when the
Great Being was filled and at ease, the King said, "Sage, you say that crows
have no fat. How comes it that they have none?"
"In this wise," answered the Bodhisatta with a voice that filled the whole
palace, and he proclaimed the Truth in this stanza:--
In ceaseless dread, with all mankind for foes,
Their life is passed; and hence no fat have crows.
This explanation given, the Great Being taught the King, saying, "Sire, kings
should never act without examining and knowing the whole matter." Well pleased,
the King laid his kingdom at the Bodhisatta's feet, but the Bodhisatta restored
it to the King, whom he established in the Five Precepts, beseeching him to
shield all living creatures from harm. And the King was moved by these words to
grant immunity to all living
p. 302
creatures, and in particular he was unceasingly bountiful to crows. Every day he
had six bushels of rice cooked for them and delicately flavoured, and this was
given to the crows. But to the Great Being there was given food such as the Bing
alone ate.
His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "Ānanda was King of
Benares in those days, and I myself the king of the crows.'

300:1 No. 465.

Next: No. 141. Godha-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Ekanipata - Ubhatobhattha Jataka

Jataka Vol. I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 139. Ubhatobhaṭṭha-Jātaka

No. 139.
"His blinding and her beating."--This story the Master told while at the Bamboo
Grove, about Devadatta. We hear that the Brethren, meeting together in the Hall
of Truth, spoke one with another, saying that even as a torch from a pyre,
charred at both ends and bedunged in the middle, does not serve as wood either
in forest-tree or village-hearth, so Devadatta by giving up the world to follow
this saving faith had only achieved a twofold shortcoming and failure, seeing
that he had missed the comforts of a-lay life yet had fallen short of his
vocation as a Brother.
Entering the Hall, the Master asked and was told what the Brethren were talking
of together. "Yes, Brethren," said he, "and so too in days gone by Devadatta
came to just such another two-fold failure." So saying, he told this story of
the past.
Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in-Benares, the Bodhisatta was born
a Tree-Sprite, and there was a certain village where
p. 299
line-fishermen dwelt in those days. And one of these fishermen taking his tackle
went off with his little boy, and cast his hook into the most likely waters
known to his fellow-fishermen. Now [483] a snag caught his hook and the
fisherman could not pull it up. "What a fine fish!" thought he. "I'd better send
my boy off home to my wife and tell her to get up a quarrel and keep the others
at home, so that there'll be none to want to go shares in my prize." Accordingly
he told the lad to run off home and tell his mother what a big fish he had
hooked and how she was to engage the neighbours' attention. Then, fearing his
line might break, he flung off his coat and dashed into the water to secure his
prize. But as he groped about for the fish, he struck against the snag and put
out both his eyes. Moreover a robber stole his clothes from the hank. In an
agony of pain, with his hands pressed to his blinded eyes, he clambered out
trembling in every limb and tried to find his clothes.
Meantime his wife, to occupy the neighbours by a quarrel on purpose, had tricked
herself out with a palm-leaf behind one ear, and had blacked one eye with soot
from the saucepan. In this guise, nursing a dog, she came out to call on her
neighbours. "Bless me, you've gone mad," said one woman to her. "Not mad at
all," retorted the fisherman's wife; "you abuse me without cause with your
slanderous tongue. Come your ways with me to the zemindar and I'll have you
fined eight pieces 1 for slander."
So with angry words they went off to the zemindar. But when the matter was gone
into, it was the fisherman's wife who was fined; and she was tied up and beaten
to make her pay the fine. Now when the Tree-Sprite saw how misfortune had
befallen both the wife in the village and the husband in the forest, he stood in
the fork of his tree and exclaimed, "Ah fisherman, both in the water and on land
thy labour is in vain, and twofold is thy failure." So saying he uttered this
His blinding, and her beating, clearly show
A twofold failure and a twofold woe 2.
[484] His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "Devadatta
was the fisherman of those days, and I the Tree-Sprite."

299:1 The Pāli word here, as in No. 137, is kahāpaṇa. But there it is shewn by
the context to be a golden coin; whereas here the poverty of the fisher-folk
supports the view that the coin was of copper, as commonly. The fact seems to be
that the word kahāpaṇa, like some other names of Indian coins, primarily
indicated a weight of any coined metal,--whether gold, silver or copper.
299:2 Cf. Dhammapada, page 147.

Next: No. 140. Kāka-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Ekanipata - Godha Jataka

Jataka Vol. I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 138. Godha-Jātaka

p. 297
No. 138.
"With matted hair."--This story was told by the boaster while at Jetavana, about
a hypocrite. The incidents were like those above related 1.
Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born
a lizard; and in a but hard by a village on the borders there lived a rigid
ascetic who had attained the Five Knowledges, and was treated with great respect
by the villagers. In an ant-hill at the end of the walk where the recluse paced
up and down, dwelt the Bodhisatta, and twice or thrice each day he would go to
the recluse and hear words of edification and holiness. Then with due obeisance
to the good man, the Bodhisatta would depart to his own abode. After a certain
time the ascetic bade farewell to the villagers and went away. In his stead
there came another ascetic, a rascally fellow, to dwell in the hermitage.
Assuming the holiness of the new-comer, the Bodhisatta acted towards him as to
the first ascetic. One day an unexpected storm in the dry season brought out the
ants on their hills 2, and the lizards, coming abroad to eat them, were caught
in great numbers [481] by the village folk; and some were served up with vinegar
and sugar for the ascetic to eat. Pleased with so savoury a dish, he asked what
it was, and learned that it was a dish of lizards. Hereon he reflected that he
had a remarkably fine lizard as his neighbour, and resolved to dine off him.
Accordingly he made ready the pot for cooking and sauce to serve the lizard in,
and sat at the door of his hut with a mallet hidden under his yellow robe,
awaiting the Bodhisatta's coming, with a studied air of perfect peace. At
evening the Bodhisatta came, and as he drew near, marked that the hermit did not
seem quite the same, but had a look about him that boded no good. Snuffing up
the wind which was blowing towards him from the hermit's cell, the Bodhisatta
smelt the smell of lizard's flesh, and at once realised how the taste of lizard
had made the ascetic want to kill him with a mallet and eat him up. So he
retired homeward without calling on the ascetic. Seeing that the Bodhisatta did
not come, the ascetic judged that the lizard must have divined his plot, but
marvelled how he could have discovered it. Determined that the lizard should not
escape, he drew out the mallet and threw
p. 298
it, just hitting the tip of the lizard's tail. Quick as thought the Bodhisatta
dashed into his fastness, and putting his head out by a different hole to that
by which he had gone in, cried, "Rascally hypocrite, your garb of piety led me
to trust you, but now I know your villainous nature. What has a thief like you
to do with hermit's clothing?" Thus upbraiding the false ascetic, the Bodhisatta
recited this stanza:--
With matted hair and garb of skin
Why ape th’ ascetic's piety?
A saint without, thy heart within
Is choked with foul impurity 1.
[482] In this wise did the Bodhisatta expose the wicked ascetic, after which he
retired into his ant-hill. And the wicked ascetic departed from that place.
His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "The hypocrite was
the wicked ascetic of those days, Sāriputta the good ascetic who lived in the
hermitage before him, and I myself the lizard."

297:1 Apparently No. 128. Cf. No. 325.
297:2 Cf. p. 303.
298:1 Dhammapada v. 394.

Next: No. 139. Ubhatobhaṭṭha-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Ekanipata - Babbu Jataka

Jataka Vol. I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 137. Babbu-Jātaka

No. 137.
"Give food to one cat."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana,
about the precept respecting Kāṇā's mother. She was a lay-sister at Sāvatthi
known only as Kāṇā's mother, who had entered the Paths of Salvation and was of
the Elect. Her daughter Kāṇā 1 was married to a husband of the same caste in
another village, and some errand or other made her go to see her mother. A few
days went by, and her husband sent a messenger to say he wished her to come
back. The girl asked her mother whether she should go, and the mother said she
could not go back empty-handed after so long an absence, and set about making a
cake. Just then up came a Brother going his round for alms, and the mother sat
him down to the cake she had just baked. Away he went
p. 295
and told another Brother, who came up just in time to get the second cake that
was baked for the daughter to take home with her. He told a third, and the third
told a fourth, and so each fresh cake was taken by a fresh comer. The result of
this was that the daughter did not start on her way home, and the husband sent a
second and a third messenger after her. And the message he sent by the third was
that if his wife did not come back, he should get another wife. And each message
had exactly the same result. So the husband took another wife, and at the news
his former wife fell a-weeping. Knowing all this, the Master put on his robes
early in the morning and went with his alms-bowl to the house of Kāṇā's mother
and sat down on the seat set for him. Then he asked why the daughter was crying,
and, being told, spoke words of consolation to the mother, and arose and went
back to the Monastery.
Now the Brethren came to know how Kāṇā had been stopped three times from going
back to her husband owing to the action of the four Brothers; and one day they
met in the Hall of Truth and began to talk about the matter. The Master came
into the Hall [478] and asked what they were discussing, and they told him.
"Brethren," said he, "think not this is the first time those four Brothers have
brought sorrow on Kāṇā's mother by eating of her store; they did the like in
days gone by too." So saying he told this story of the past.
Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in. Benares, the Bodhisatta was
born a stone-cutter, and growing up became expert in working stones. Now in the
Kāsi country there dwelt a very rich merchant who had amassed forty crores in
gold. And when his wife died, so strong was her love of money that she was
re-born a mouse and dwelt over the treasure. And one by one the whole family
died, including the merchant himself. Likewise the village became deserted and
forlorn. At the time of our story the Bodhisatta was quarrying and shaping
stones on the site of this deserted village; and the mouse used often to see him
as she ran about to find food. At last she fell in love with him; and,
bethinking her how the secret of all her vast wealth would die with her, she
conceived the idea of enjoying it with him. So one day she came to the
Bodhisatta with a coin in her mouth. Seeing this, he spoke to her kindly, and
said, "Mother, what has brought you here with this coin?" "It is for you to lay
out for yourself, and to buy meat with for me as well, my son." Nowise loth, he
took the money and spent a halfpenny of it on meat which he brought to the
mouse, who departed and ate to her heart's content. And this went on, the mouse
giving the Bodhisatta a coin every day, and he in return supplying her with
meat. But it fell out one day that the mouse was caught by a cat.
"Don't kill me," said the mouse.
"Why not?" said the cat. "I'm as hungry as can be, and really must kill you to
allay the pangs."
"First, tell me whether you're always hungry, or only hungry today."
"Oh, every day finds me hungry again."
"Well then, if this be so, I will find you always in meat; [479] only let me
p. 296
"Mind you do then," said the cat, and let the mouse go.
As a consequence of this the mouse had to divide the supplies of meat she got
from the Bodhisatta into two portions and gave one half to the cat, keeping the
other for herself.
Now, as luck would have it, the same mouse was caught another day by a second
cat and had to purchase her release on the same terms. So now the daily food was
divided into three portions. And when a third cat caught the mouse and a like
arrangement had to be made, the supply was divided into four portions. And later
a fourth cat caught her, and the food had to be divided among five, so that the
mouse, reduced to such short commons, grew so thin as to be nothing but skin and
bone. Remarking how emaciated his friend was getting, the Bodhisatta asked the
reason. Then the mouse told him all that had befallen her.
"Why didn't you tell me all this before?" said, the Bodhisatta. "Cheer up, I'll
help you out of your troubles." So he took a block of the purest crystal and
scooped out a cavity in it and made the mouse get inside. "Now stop there," said
he, "and don't fail to fiercely threaten and revile all who come near."
So the mouse crept into the crystal cell and waited. Up came one of the cats and
demanded his meat. "Away, vile grimalkin," said the mouse; "why should I supply
you? go home and eat your kittens!" Infuriated at these words, and never
suspecting the mouse to be inside the crystal, the cat sprang at the mouse to
eat her up; and so furious was its spring that it broke the walls of its chest
and its eyes started from its head. So that cat died and its carcase tumbled
down out of sight. And the like fate in turn befell all four cats. And ever
after the grateful mouse brought the Bodhisatta two or three coins instead of
one as before, and by degrees she thus gave him the whole of the hoard. In
unbroken friendship the two lived together, till their lives ended and they
passed away to fare according to their deserts.
The story told, the boaster, as Buddha, uttered this stanza:-- [480]
Give food to one cat, Number Two appears:
A third and fourth succeed in fruitful line;
--Witness the four that by the crystal died.
His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "These four
Brethren were the four cats of those days, Kāṇā's mother was the mouse, and I
the stone-cutter."
[Note. See Vinaya IV. 79 for the Introductory Story.]

294:1 The name Kāṇā means 'one-eyed'.

Next: No. 138. Godha-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Ekanipata - Suvannahamsa Jataka

Jataka Vol. I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 136. Suvaṇṇahaṁsa-Jātaka

No. 136.
"Contented be."--This story was told by the Master about a Sister named Fat
A lay-brother at Sāvatthi had offered the Sisterhood a supply of garlic, and,
sending for his bailiff; had given orders that, if they should come, each Sister
was to receive two or three handfuls. After that they made a practice [475] of
p. 293
to his house or field for their garlic. Now one holiday the supply of garlic in
the house ran out, and the Sister Fat Nandā, coming with others to the house,
was told, when she said she wanted some garlic, that there was none left in the
house, it had all been used up out of hand, and that she must go to the field
for it. So away to the field she went and carried off an excessive amount of
garlic. The bailiff grew angry and remarked what a greedy lot these Sisters
were! This piqued the more moderate Sisters; and the Brethren too were piqued at
the taunt when the Sisters repeated it to them, and they told the Blessed One.
Rebuking the greed of Fat Nandā, the Master said, "Brethren, a greedy person is
harsh and unkind even to the mother who bore him; a greedy person cannot convert
the unconverted, or make the converted grow in grace, or cause alms to come in,
or save them when come in; whereas the moderate person can do all these things."
In such wise did the Master point the moral, ending by saying, "Brethren, as Fat
Nandā is greedy now, so she was greedy in times gone by." And thereupon he told
the following story of the past.
Once upon a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was
born a Brahmin, and growing up was married to a bride of his own rank, who bore
him three daughters named Nandā, Nanda-vatī and Sundari-nandā. The Bodhisatta
dying, they were taken in by neighbours and friends, whilst he was born again
into the world as a golden mallard endowed with consciousness of its former
existences. Growing up, the bird viewed its own magnificent size and golden
plumage, and remembered that previously it had been a human being. Discovering
that his wife and daughters were living on the charity of others, the mallard
bethought him of his plumage like hammered and beaten gold and how by giving
them a golden feather at a time he could enable his wife and daughters to live
in comfort. So away he flew to where they dwelt and alighted on the top of the
central beam of the roof. Seeing the Bodhisatta, [476] the wife and girls asked
where he had come from; and he told them that he was their father who had died
and been born a golden mallard, and that he had come to visit them and put an
end to their miserable necessity of working for hire. "You shall have my
feathers," said he, "one by one, and they will sell for enough to keep you all
in ease and comfort." So saying, he gave them one of his feathers and departed.
And from time to time he returned to give them another feather, and with the
proceeds of their sale these brahmin-women grew prosperous and quite well-to-do.
But one day the mother said to her daughters, "There's no trusting animals, my
children. Who's to say your father might not go away one of these days and never
come back again? Let us use our time and pluck him clean next time he comes, so
as to make sure of all his feathers." Thinking this would pain him, the
daughters refused. The mother in her greed called the golden mallard to her one
day when he came, and then took him with both hands and plucked him. Now the
Bodhisatta's feathers had this property that if
p. 294
they were plucked out against his wish, they ceased to be golden and became like
a crane's feathers. And now the poor bird, though he stretched his wings, could
not fly, and the woman flung him into a barrel and gave him food there. As time
went on his feathers grew again (though they were plain white ones now), and he
flew away to his own abode and never came back again.
At the close of this story the Master said, "Thus you see, Brethren, how Fat
Nandā was as greedy in times past as she is now. And her greed then lost her the
gold in the same way as her greed now will lose her the garlic. Observe,
moreover, how her greed has deprived the whole Sisterhood of their supply of
garlic, and learn therefrom to be moderate in your desires and to be content
with what is given you, however small that may be." So saying, he uttered this
Contented be, nor itch for further store.
They seized the swan--but had its gold no more.
So saying, the Master soundly rebuked the erring Sister and laid down the
precept that any Sister who should eat garlic would have to do penance. Then,
[477] making the connexion, he said, "Fat Nandā was the brahmin's wife of the
story, her three sisters were the brahmin's three daughters, and I myself the
golden mallard."
[Note. The story occurs at pp. 258-9 of Vol. IV. of the Vinaya. Cf. La poule aux
œufs d’or in La Fontaine (v. 13) &c.]

Next: No. 137. Babbu-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Ekanipata - Candabha Jataka

Jataka Vol. I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 135. Candābha-Jātaka

p. 292
No. 135.
"Who sagely meditates."--This story too was told by the Master while at Jetavana
about the interpretation of a problem by the Elder Sāriputta at the gate of
Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta, as he
expired in his forest-home, answered his disciples' enquiries with the
words--"Moonlight and Sunlight." With these words he died and passed to the
Radiant Realm.
Now when the chief disciple interpreted the Master's words his fellows did not
believe him. Then back came the Bodhisatta and from mid-air recited this
Who sagely meditates on sun and moon,
Shall win (when Reason unto Ecstasy
Gives place) his after-lot in Radiant Realms 1.
Such was the Bodhisatta's teaching, and, first praising his disciple, he went
his way back to the Brahma Realm.
His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "Sāriputta was the
chief disciple of those days, and I Mahā-Brahmā."

292:1 These technical lines imply that, by taking the Sun and Moon as his
kammaṭṭhāna, or subject for meditation, a Buddhist, by attaining Jhāna (or
Insight) in the second (i.e. supra-rational) degree, can save himself from
re-birth in a lower sphere of existence than the Ābhassaraloka or Radiant Realm
of the corporeal Brahma-world.

Next: No. 136. Suvaṇṇahaṁsa-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Ekanipata - Jhanasodhana Jataka

Jataka Vol. I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 134. Jhānasodhana-Jātaka.

No. 134.
"With conscious."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about
the interpretation by Sāriputta, Captain of the Faith, at the gate of Saṁkassa
town, of a problem tersely propounded by the Master. And the following was the
story of the past he then told.
Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares,...&c.... the
Bodhisatta, as he expired in his forest-home, exclaimed, "Neither conscious nor
unconscious." And the recluses did not believe the interpretation which the
Bodhisatta's chief disciple gave of the Master's words. Back came the Bodhisatta
from the Radiant Realm, and from mid-air recited this stanza:--
With conscious, with unconscious, too,
Dwells sorrow. Either ill eschew.
Pure bliss, from all corruption free,
Springs but from Insight's ecstasy.
His lesson ended, the Bodhisatta praised his disciple and went back to the
Brahma Realm. Then the rest of the recluses believed the chief disciple.
His lesson taught, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "In those days
Sāriputta was the chief disciple, and I Mahā-Brahma."

Next: No. 135. Candābha-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Ekanipata - Ghatasana Jataka

Jataka Vol. I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 133. Ghatāsana-Jātaka

p. 290
No. 133.
"Lo! in your stronghold."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana,
about a certain Brother who was given by the Master a subject for meditation,
and, going to the borders, took up his abode in the forest near a hamlet. Here
he hoped to pass the rainy season, but during the very first month his hut was
burnt down whilst he was in the village seeking alms. Feeling the loss of its
sheltering roof, he told his lay friends of his misfortune, and they readily
undertook to build him another hut. But, in spite of their protestations, three
months slipped away without its being rebuilt. Having no roof to shelter him,
the Brother had no success in his meditation. Not even the dawn of the Light had
been vouchsafed to him when at the close of the rainy season he went back to
Jetavana and stood respectfully before the Master. In the course of talk the
Master asked whether the Brother's meditation had been successful. Then that
Brother related from the beginning the good and ill that had befallen him. Said
the Master, "In days gone by, even brute beasts could discern between what was
good and what bad for them and so quitted betimes, ere they proved dangerous,
the habitations that had sheltered them in happier days. And if beasts were so
discerning, how could you fall so far short of them in wisdom?" So saying, at
that Brother's request, the Master told this story of the past.
Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born
a bird. When he came to years of discretion, good fortune attended him and he
became king of the birds, taking up his abode with his subjects in a giant tree
which stretched its leafy branches over the waters of a lake. And all these
birds, [472] roosting in the boughs, dropped their dung into the waters below.
Now that lake was the abode of Caṇḍa, the Naga King, who was enraged by this
fouling of his water and resolved to take vengeance on the birds and burn them
out. So one night when they were all roosting along the branches, he set to
work, and first he made the waters of the lake to boil, then he caused smoke to
arise, and thirdly he made flames dart up as high as a palm-tree.
Seeing the flames shooting up from the water, the Bodhisatta cried to the birds,
"Water is used to quench fire; but here is the water itself on fire. This is no
place for us; let us seek a home elsewhere." So saying, he uttered this
Lo! in your stronghold stands the foe,
And fire doth water burn;
So from your tree make haste to go,
Let trust to trembling turn.
p. 291
And hereupon the Bodhisatta flew off with such of the birds as followed his
advice; but the disobedient birds, who stopped behind, all perished.
His lesson ended, the Master preached the Four Truths (at the close whereof that
Brother won Arahatship) and identified the Birth by saying, "The loyal and
obedient birds of those days are now become my disciples, and I myself was then
the king of the birds."

Next: No. 134. Jhānasodhana-Jātaka.

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Ekanipata - Pancagaru Jataka

Jataka Vol. I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 132. Pañcagaru-Jātaka

No. 132.
"Wise counsels heeding."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana
about the Sutta concerning the Temptation by the Daughters of Māra 1 at the
Goat-herds' Banyan-tree. The Master quoted the Sutta, beginning with its opening
In all their dazzling beauty on they came,
--Craving and Hate and Lust. Like cotton-down
Before the wind, the Master made them fly.
p. 289
After he had recited the Sutta right through to the end, the Brethren met
together in the Hall of Truth and spoke of how the Daughters of Māra drew near
in all their myriad charms yet failed to seduce the All-Enlightened One. For he
did not as much as open his eyes to look upon them, so marvellous was he!
Entering the hall, the Master asked, and was told, what they were discussing.
"Brethren," said he, "it is no marvel that I did not so much as look upon the
Daughters of Māra in this life when I have put sin from me and have won
enlightenment. In former days when I was but in quest of Wisdom, when sin still
dwelt within me, I found strength not to gaze even upon loveliness divine by way
of lust in violation of virtue; and by that continence I won a kingdom." So
saying, he told this story of the past.
Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was the
youngest of a hundred brothers, and his adventures are to be detailed here, as
above [470] in the Takkasilā-Jātaka 1. When the kingdom had been offered to the
Bodhisatta by the people, and when he had accepted it and been anointed king,
the people decorated the town like a city of the gods and the royal palace like
the palace of Indra. Entering the city the Bodhisatta passed into the spacious
hall of the palace and there seated himself in all his godlike beauty on his
jewelled throne beneath the white umbrella of his Kingship. Round him in
glittering splendour stood his ministers and brahmins and nobles, whilst sixteen
thousand nautch girls, fair as the nymphs of heaven, sang and danced and made
music, till the palace was loud with sounds like the ocean when the storm bursts
in thunder on its waters 2. Gazing round on the pomp of his royal state, the
Bodhisatta thought how, had he looked upon the charms of the ogresses, he would
have perished miserably, nor ever have lived to see his present magnificence,
which he owed to his following the counsels of the Pacceka Buddhas. And as these
thoughts filled his heart, his emotion found vent in these verses:--
Wise counsels heeding, firm in my resolve,
With dauntless heart still holding on my course,
I shunned the Sirens' dwellings and their snares,
And found a great salvation in my need.
[471] So ended the lesson which these verses taught. And the Great Being ruled
his kingdom in righteousness, and abounded in charity and other good works till
in the end he passed away to fare according to his deserts.
His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "I was the prince
of those days who went to Takkasilā and won a kingdom."

288:1 See pp. 78 and 79 of Volume I. of the text for the temptation. I have not
been able to trace the Palobhana Sutta referred to.
289:1 Apparently the reference is to No. 96. For a like confusion of title see
note 1, p. 112.
289:2 Or is the meaning 'like the vault of heaven filled with thunder-clouds'?
Cf. arṇava in the Rigveda.

Next: No. 133. Ghatāsana-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Ekanipata - Asampadana Jataka

Jataka Vol. I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 131. Asampadāna-Jātaka

p. 286
No. 131.
"If a friend."--This story was told by the Master while at the Bamboo-grove,
about Devadatta. For at that time the Brethren were discussing in the Hall of
Truth the ingratitude of Devadatta and his inability to recognise the Master's
goodness, when the Master himself entered and on enquiry was told the subject of
their talk. "Brethren," said he, "this is not the first time that Devadatta has
been ungrateful; he was just as ungrateful in bygone days." So saying, he told
this story of the past.
[466] Once on a time, when a certain king of Magadha was reigning in Rājagaha,
the Bodhisatta was his Treasurer, worth eighty crores, and known as the
'Millionaire.' In Benares there dwelt a Treasurer also worth eighty crores, who
was named Piliya, and was a great friend of the Millionaire. For some reason or
other Piliya of Benares got into difficulties, and lost all his property, and
was reduced to beggary. In his need he left Benares, and with his wife journeyed
on foot to Rājagaha, to see the Millionaire, the last hope left him. And the
Millionaire embraced his friend and treated him as an honoured guest, asking, in
due course, the reason of the visit. "I am a ruined man," answered Piliya, "I
have lost everything, and have come to ask you to help me."
"With all my heart! Have no fear on that score," said the Millionaire. He had
his strong-room opened, and gave to Piliya forty crones. Also he divided into
two equal parts the whole of his property, live stock and all, and bestowed on
Piliya the just half of his entire fortune. Taking his wealth, Piliya went back
to Benares, and there dwelt.
Not long after a like calamity overtook the Millionaire, who, in his turn, lost
every penny he had. Casting about whither to turn in the hour of need, he
bethought him how he had befriended Piliya to the half of his possessions, and
might go to him for assistance without fear of being thrown over. So he set out
from Rājagaha with his wife, and came to Benares. At the entrance to the city he
said to her, "Wife, it is not befitting for you to trudge along the streets with
me. Wait here a little till I send a carriage with a servant to bring you into
the city in proper state." So saying, he left her under shelter, and went on
alone into the town, till he came to Piliya's house, where he bade himself be
announced as the Millionaire from Rājagaha, come to see his friend.
"Well, show him in," said Piliya; but at sight of the other's condition he
neither rose to meet him, nor greeted him with words of welcome, but only
demanded what brought him here.
p. 287
"To see you," was the reply.
[467] "Where are you stopping?"
"Nowhere, as yet. I left my wife under shelter and came straight to you."
"There's no room here for you. Take a dole of rice, find somewhere to cook and
eat it, and then begone and never come to visit me again." So saying, the rich
man despatched a servant with orders to give his unfortunate friend
half-a-quartern of pollard to carry away tied up in the corner of his
cloth;--and this, though that very day he had had a thousand waggon-loads of the
best rice threshed out and stored up in his overflowing granaries. Yes, the
rascal, who had coolly taken four hundred millions, now doled out
half-a-quartern of pollard to his benefactor! Accordingly, the servant measured
out the pollard in a basket, and brought it to the Bodhisatta, who argued within
himself whether or no he should take it. And he thought, "This ingrate breaks
off our friendship because I am a ruined man. Now, if I refuse his paltry gift,
I shall be as bad as he. For the ignoble, who scorn a modest gift, outrage the
first idea of friendship. Be it, therefore, mine to fulfil friendship so far as
in me lies, by taking his gift of pollard." So he tied up the pollard in the
corner of his cloth, and made his way back to where he had housed his wife.
"What have you got, dear?" said she.
"Our friend Piliya gives us this pollard, and washes his hands of us."
"Oh, why did you take it? Is this a fit return for the forty crores?"
"Don't cry, dear wife," said the Bodhisatta. "I took it simply because I wanted
not to violate the principle of friendship. Why these tears?" So saying, he
uttered this stanza:--
If a friend plays the niggard's part,
A simpleton is cut to th’ heart;
[468] His dole of pollard I will take,
And not for this our friendship break.
But still the wife kept on crying.
Now, at that moment a farm-servant whom the Millionaire had given to Piliya was
passing by and drew near on hearing the weeping of his former mistress.
Recognising his master and mistress, he fell at their feet, and with tears and
sobs asked the reason of their coming. And the Bodhisatta told him their story.
"Keep up your spirits," said the man, cheerily; and, taking them to his own
dwelling, there made ready perfumed baths, and a meal for them. Then he let the
other slaves know that their old master and mistress had come, and after a few
days marched them in a body to the King's palace, where they made quite a
The King asked what the matter was, and they told him the whole
p. 288
story. So he sent forthwith for the two, and asked the Millionaire whether the
report was true that he had given four hundred millions to Piliya.
"Sir," said he, "when in his need nay friend confided in me, and came to seek my
aid, I gave him the half, not only of my money, but of my live stock and of
everything that I possessed."
"Is this so?" said the king to Piliya.
"Yes, sire," said he.
"And when, in his turn, your benefactor confided in you and sought you out, did
you show him honour and hospitality?"
Here Piliya was silent.
"Did you have a half-quartern of pollard doled out into the corner of his
[469] Still Piliya was silent.
Then the king took counsel with his ministers as to what should be done, and
finally, as a judgment on Piliya, ordered them to go to Piliya's house and give
the whole of Piliya's wealth to the Millionaire.
"Nay, sire," said the Bodhisatta; "I need not what is another's. Let me be given
nothing beyond what I formerly gave him."
Then the king ordered that the Bodhisatta should enjoy his own again; and the
Bodhisatta, with a large retinue of servants, came back with his regained wealth
to Rājagaha, where he put his affairs in order, and after a life spent in
charity and other good works, passed away to fare according to his deserts.
His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "Devadatta was the
Treasurer Piliya of those days, and I myself the Millionaire."

Next: No. 132. Pañcagaru-Jātaka