Showing posts with label Tika-Nipata. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tika-Nipata. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Tika-Nipata - Vaka Jataka

Jataka Vol. II: Book III. Tika-Nipāta: No. 300. Vaka-Jātaka

No. 300.
[449] "The wolf who takes," etc.--This story the Master told at Jetavana, about
old friendship. The circumstances were the same in detail as in the Vinaya 1;
this is an abstract of them. The reverend Upasena, a two-years' man, visited
p. 307
the Master along with a first year's man who lived in the same monastery; the
Master rebuked him, and he retired. Having acquired spiritual insight, and
attained to sainthood, having got contentment and kindred virtues, having
undertaken the Thirteen Practices of a Recluse, and taught them to his fellows,
while the Blessed One was secluded for three months, he with his brethren,
having accepted the blame first given for wrong speech and nonconformity,
received in the second instance approval, in the words, "Henceforth, let any
brothers visit me when they will, provided they follow the Thirteen Practices of
a Recluse." Thus encouraged, he returned and told it to the Brethren. After
that, the brothers followed these practices before coming to visit the Master;
then, when ho had come out from his seclusion, they would throw away their old
rags and put on clean garments. As the Master with all the body of the Brethren
went round to inspect the rooms, [450] he noticed these rags lying about, and
asked what they were. When they told him, he said, "Brethren, the practice
undertaken by these brothers is short-lived, like the wolf's holy day service";
and he told them an old-world tale.
Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta reigned king in Benares, the Bodhisatta came
to life as Sakka, king of the gods. At that time a Wolf lived on a rock by the
Ganges bank. The winter floods came up and surrounded the rock. There he lay
upon the rock, with no food and no way of getting it. The water rose and rose,
and the wolf pondered: "No food here, and no way to get it. Here I lie, with
nothing to do. I may as well keep a sabbath feast." Thus resolved to keep a
sabbath, as he lay he solemnly resolved to keep the religious precepts. Sakka in
his meditations perceived the wolf's weak resolve. Thought he, "I'll plague that
wolf"; and taking the shape of a wild goat, he stood near, and let the wolf see
"I'll keep Sabbath another day!" thought the Wolf, as he spied him; up he got,
and leapt at the creature. But the goat jumped about so that the Wolf could not
catch him. When our Wolf saw that he could not catch him, he came to a
standstill, and went back, thinking to himself as he lay down again, "Well, my
Sabbath is not broken after all."
Then Sakka, by his divine power, hovered above in the air; said he, "What have
such as you, all unstable, to do with keeping a Sabbath? You didn't know that I
was Sakka, and wanted a meal of goat's-flesh!" and thus plaguing and rebuking
him, he returned to the world of the gods.
"The wolf, who takes live creatures for his food,
And makes a meal upon their flesh and blood,
Once undertook a holy vow to pay,--
Made up his mind to keep the Sabbath day.
"When Sakka learnt what he resolved to do,
He made himself a goat to outward view.
Then the blood-bibber leaped to seize his prey,
His vow forgot, his virtue cast away. p. 308
[451] "Even so some persons in this world of ours,
That make resolves which are beyond their powers,
Swerve from their purpose, as the wolf did here
As soon as he beheld the goat appear."
When the Master had ended this discourse, he identified the Birth as follows:
"At that time I myself was Sakka."


306:1 Mahāvagga, i. 31. 3 foll. (trans. in S. B. E., i. p. 175); Folk-Lore
Journal, 3. 359; Morris, Contemp. Rev. xxix. 739.

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Tika-Nipata - Komaya-Putta Jataka

Jataka Vol. II: Book III. Tika-Nipāta: No. 299. Komāya-Putta-Jātaka

No. 299.
[447] "Aforetime you were used," etc.--This story the Master told in Pubbārāma,
about some Brethren who were rude and rough in their manners. These Brethren,
who lived on the floor below that where the Master was, talked of what they had
seen and heard, and were quarrelsome and abusive. The Master called
Mahāmoggallāna to him, and bade him go startle them. The Elder rose in the air,
and just touched the foundation of the house with his great toe. It shook to the
furthest edge of ocean! The Brothers were frightened to death, and came and
stood outside. Their rough behaviour became known among the Brethren. One day
they got to talking about it in the Hall of Truth. "Friend, there are some
Brethren who have retired to this house of salvation, who are rough and rude;
they do not see the impermanence, sorrow and unreality of the world, nor do
their duty." The Master came in, and asked what they were discussing as they sat
there. They told him. "This is not the first time, Brethren," said he, "that
they have been rough and rude. They were the same before." And he told them an
old-world tale.
Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta reigned king in Benares, the Bodhisatta was
born as a brahmin's son in a village. They named him Komāyaputta. By and bye he
went out and embraced the religious life in the region of Himalaya. There were
some frivolous ascetics who had made a hermitage in that region, and there they
lived. But they did not take the means to induce religious ecstasy. They fetched
the fruits from the woods, to eat; then they spent the time laughing and joking
together. They had a monkey, rude-mannered like themselves, which gave them
endless amusement by his grimaces and antics.
Long they lived in this place, till they had to go amongst men again to get salt
and condiments. After they went away, the Bodhisatta lived in their
dwelling-place. The monkey played his pranks for him as he had done for the
others. The Bodhisatta snapt his fingers at him, and gave him a lecture, saying,
"One who lives with well-trained ascetics [448]
p. 306
ought to behave properly, ought to be well-advised in his actions, and devoted
to meditation." After that, the monkey was always virtuous and well-behaved.
After this, the Bodhisatta moved away. The other ascetics returned with their
salt and condiments. But the monkey no longer played his pranks for them.
"What's this, my friend?" they asked. "Why don't you make sport, as you used to
do?" One of them repeated the first stanza:
"Aforetime you were used to play
Where in this hut we hermits stay.
O monkey! as a monkey do;
When you are good we love not you."
On hearing this, the Monkey repeated the second stanza:
"All perfect wisdom by the word
Of wise Komāya I have heard.
Think me not now as I was late
Now ’tis my love to meditate."
Hereupon the anchorite repeated the third:
"If seed upon the rock you sow,
Though rain should fall, it' will not grow.
You may hear perfect wisdom still;
But meditate you never will."
[449] When the Master had ended this discourse, he declared the Truths, and
identified the Birth: "At that time these Brothers were the frivolous
anchorites, but Komāyaputta was I myself."

305:1 Folk-Lore Journal, 3. 254.

Next: No. 300. Vaka-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Tika-Nipata - Udumbara Jataka

Jataka Vol. II: Book III. Tika-Nipāta: No. 298. Udumbara-Jātaka

No. 298.
"Ripe are the figs," etc.--This story the Master told at Jetavana, about a
certain Brother, who had made a hermitage to live in at a certain village on the
frontier. This delightful dwelling stood upon a flat rock; a little well-swept
spot, with enough water to make it pleasant, a village close at hand to go your
rounds in, and friendly people to give food. A Brother on his rounds arrived at
this place. The Elder who lived in it did the duties of host to the new arrival,
and next day took him along with him for his rounds. The people gave him food,
and invited him to visit them again next day. After the new-comer had thus fared
a few days, he meditated by what means he could oust the other [445] and get
hold of the hermitage. Once when he had come 2 to wait upon the Elder, he asked,
"Have you ever visited the Buddha, friend?" "Why no, Sir; there's
p. 304
no one here to look after my hut, or I should have gone before." "Oh, I'll look
after it while you are gone to visit the Buddha," said the new-comer; and so the
owner went, after laying injunctions upon the villagers to take care of the holy
Brother until his return. The new-comer proceeded to backbite his host, and
hinted to the villagers all sorts of faults in him. The other visited his
Master, and returned; but the new-corner refused him harbourage. He found a
place to abide in, and next day went on his rounds in the village. But the
villagers would not do their duty by hire. He was much discouraged, and went
hack to Jetavana, where he told the Brethren all about it. They began to discuss
the matter in their Ball of Truth: "Friend, Brother So-and-so has turned Brother
So-and-so out of his hermitage, and taken it for himself!" The Master came in,
and wanted to know what they were discussing as they sat there. They told him.
Said he, "Brethren, this is not the first time that this man turned the other
out of his dwelling;" and he told them an old-world tale.
Once on a time, when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta became
a Tree-spirit in the woods. At that time during the rainy season rain used to
pour down seven days on a stretch. A certain small red-faced Monkey lived in a
rock-cave sheltered from the rain. One day he was sitting at the mouth of it, in
the dry, quite happy. As he sat there, a big black-faced Monkey, wet through,
perishing with cold, spied him. "How can I get that fellow out, and live in his
hole?" he wondered. Puffing out his belly, and making as though he had eaten a
good meal, he stopped in front of the other, and repeated the first stanza:
"Ripe are the figs, the banyans good,
And ready for the Monkey's food.
Come along with me and eat!
Why should you for hunger fret?"
[446] Redface believed all this, and longed to have all this fruit to eat. So he
went off, and hunted here, and hunted there, but no fruit could he find. Then he
came back again; and there was Blackface sitting inside his cave! He determined
to outwit him; so stopping in front he repeated the second stanza:
"Happy he who honour pays
To his elders full of days;
Just as happy I feel now
After all that fruit, I vow!"
The big monkey listened, and repeated the third:
"When Greek meets Greek, then comes the tug of war;
A monkey scents a monkey's tricks afar.
Even a young one were too sharp by half;
But old birds never can be caught with chaff."
The other made off.
p. 305
When the Master ended this discourse, he summed up the birth-tale: "At that time
the owner of the hut was the little monkey, the interloper was the big black
monkey, but the Tree-spirit was I myself."

303:1 Folk-Lore Journal, 3. 255.
303:2 Reading āgantvā (which is surely right).

Next: No. 299. Komāya-Putta-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Tika-Nipata - Kama-Vilapa Jataka

Jataka Vol. II: Book III. Tika-Nipāta: No. 297. Kama-Vilapa Jataka

No. 297.
"O bird, that fliest," etc.--This story the Master told at Jetavana, about a man
who pined for his former wife. The circumstances which called it forth are 2
explained in the Puppharatta Birth-tale 3, and the tale of the past in the
Indriya Birth-tale 4.
p. 303
So the man was impaled alive. As he hung there, he looked up and saw a crow
flying through the air; and, nought reeking of the hitter pain, he hailed the
crow, to send a message to his dear wife, repeating these verses following:
"O bird, that fliest in the sky!
O winged bird, that fliest high!
Tell my wife, with thighs so fair:
Long will seem the time to her.
"She knows not sword and spear are set:
Full wroth and angry she will fret.
That is my torment and my fear,
And not that I am hanging here.
"My lotus-mail I have put by,
And jewels in my pillow lie,
And soft Benares cloth beside.
With wealth let her be satisfied."
[444] With these lamentations, he died.
When the Mister had ended this discourse, he declared the Truths, and identified
the Birth (now at the conclusion of the Truths, the lovesick brother attained
the fruition of the First Path): "The wife then was the wife now; but the spirit
who saw this, was I myself."

302:2 Reading kathitaṁ.
302:3 No. 147 above, vol. i. page 312.
302:4 No. 423.

Next: No. 298. Udumbara-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Tika-Nipata - Samudda Jataka

Jataka Vol. II: Book III. Tika-Nipāta: No. 296. Samudda-Jātaka

No. 296.
"Over the salt sea wave," etc.--This story the Master told at Jetavana, about
Elder Upananda. This man was a great eater and drinker; there was no satisfying
him even with cartloads of provisions. During the rainy season he would pass his
time at two or three different settlements, leaving his shoes in one, his
walking-stick in another, and his water jar in a third, and one he lived in
himself. When he visited a country monastery, and saw the brothers with their
requisites all ready, he began to talk about the four classes of contented
ascetics 2; laid hold of their garments, and made them pick up rags from the
dust-heap; made them take earthen bowls, and give him any bowls that he fancied
and their metal bowls; then he filled a cart with them, and carried them off to
Jetavana. One day people began to talk in the Hall of Truth. "Friend, Upananda
of the Sakka clan, a great eater, a greedy fellow, has been preaching religion
to other people, and here he comes with a cartful of priests’ property!" The
Master came in, and wanted to know what they were talking of as they sat there.
They told him. "Brethren," said he, "Upananda has gone wrong before by talking
about this contentment. But a man ought first of all to become modest in his
desires, before praising the good behaviour of other people.
"Yourself first stablish in propriety,
Then teach; the wise should not self-seeking be."
p. 302
[paragraph continues] Pointing out this verse from the Dhammapada 1, and blaming
Upananda, he went on, "This is not the first time, Brethren, that Upananda has
been greedy. Long ago, he thought even the water in the ocean ought to be
saved." And he told an old-world tale.
Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta was king of Benares, the Bodhisatta became a
Sea-spirit. Now it so happened that a Water-crow was passing over the sea. He
went flying about, and trying to cheek the shoals of fish and flocks of birds,
"Don't drink too much of the sea-water! be careful of it!" [442] On seeing him,
the Sea-spirit repeated the first stanza:
"Over the salt sea wave who flies?
Who checks the shoals of fish, and tries
The monsters of the deep to stay
Lest all the sea be drunk away?"
The Water-crow heard this, and answered with the second stanza:
"A drinker never satisfied
So people call me the world wide,
To drink the sea I fain would trey,
And drain the lord of rivers dry.'"
On hearing which the Sea-spirit repeated the third:
"The ocean ever ebbs away,
And fills again the selfsame day.
Who ever knew the sea to fail?
To drink it up can none avail!"
With these words the spirit assumed a terrible shape and frightened the
Water-crow away.
When the Master had ended this discourse, he identified the Birth: "At that
time, Upananda was the Water-crow, but the Spirit was I myself."

301:1 Folk-Lore Journal, 3. 328.
301:2 See Childers, p. 56 b. The recluse who is contented with the robes
presented to him, with the food, with the bedding, and he who delights in
302:1 Verse 158.

Next: No. 297. Kāma-Vilāpa-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Tika-Nipata - Anta Jataka

Jataka Vol. II: Book III. Tika-Nipāta: No. 295. Anta Jataka

No. 295.
"Like to a bull," etc.--[440] This is another story told by the Master in the
same place and about the same people. The circumstances are the sane as before.
Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta was king of Benares, the Bodhisatta became
the spirit of a castor-oil-tree which stood in the approach to a certain
village. An old ox died in a certain village; and they dragged the carcase out
and threw it down in the grove of these trees by the village gate. A Jackal came
and began to eat its flesh. Then came a Crow, and perched upon the tree. When
she saw the Jackal, she cast about whether by flattery she could not get some of
this carcase to eat. And so she repeated the first stanza:
"Like to a bull your body seems to be,
Like to a lion your activity.
O king of beasts! all glory be to thee!
Please don't forget to leave a bit for inc."
p. 301
On hearing this the Jackal repeated the second:
"They that of gentle birth and breeding be
Know how to praise the gentle worthily,
O Crow, whose neck is like the peacock's neck,
Come down from off' the tree and take a peck!"
The Tree-spirit, on seeing this, repeated the third:
"The lowest of all beasts the Jackal is,
The Crow is lowest of all birds y-wis,
The Castor-oil of trees the lowest tree:
And now these lowest things are here all three!"
[441] When the Master had ended this discourse he identified the Birth: "At that
time Devadatta was the Jackal, Kokālika was the Crow, but the Tree-spirit was I

300:1 Folk-Lore Journal, 3. 363. Compare No. 294.

Next: No. 296. Samudda-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Tika-Nipata - Jambu-Khadaka Jataka

Jataka Vol. II: Book III. Tika-Nipāta: No. 294. Jambu-Khādaka-Jātaka

p. 299
No. 294.
"Who is it sits," etc.--This story the Master told at the Bamboo-grove, about
Devadatta and Kokālika. At the time when Devadatta began to lose his gettings
and his repute, Kokālika went from house to house, saying, "Elder Devadatta is
born of the line of the First Great King, of the royal stock of Okkāka 2, by an
uninterrupted noble descent, versed in all the scriptures, full of ecstatic
sanctity, sweet of speech, a preacher of the law. Give to the Elder, help him!"
In these words he praised up Devadatta. On the other hand, Devadatta praised up
Kokālika, in such words as these: "Kokālika comes from a northern brahmin
family; he follows the religious life; he is learned in doctrine, a preacher of
the law. Give to Kokālika, help him!" So they went about, praising each other,
and getting fed in different houses. One day the brothers began to talk about it
in the Hall of Truth. "Friend, Devadatta and Kokālika go about praising each
other for virtues which they haven't got, and so getting food." The Master came
in, and asked what they were talking about as they sat there. They told him.
Said he, "Brethren, this is not the first time that these men have got food by
praising each other. Long ago they did the same," and he told them an old-world
Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta was king of Benares, the Bodhisatta became a
tree-sprite in a certain rose-apple grove. [439] 9 Crow perched upon a branch of
his tree, and began to eat the fruit. Then came a Jackal, and looked up and
spied the Crow. Thought he, "If I flatter this creature, perhaps I shall get
some of the fruit to eat!" So in flattery he repeated the first stanza:
"Who is it sits in a rose-apple tree--
Sweet singer! whose voice trickles gently to me?
Like a young peacock she coos with soft grace,
And ever sits still in her place."
The Crow, in his praise, responded with the second:
"He that is noble in breeding and birth
Can praise others' breeding, knows what they are worth.
Like a young tiger thou seemest to be:
Come, eat, Sir, what I give to thee!"
With these words she shook the branch and made some fruit drop.
p. 300
[paragraph continues] Then the spirit of the tree, beholding these two eating,
after flattering each other, repeated the third stanza:
"Liars foregather, I very well know.
Here, for example, a carrion Crow,
And corpse-eating Jackal, with puerile clatter
Proceed one another to flatter!"
After repeating this stanza, the tree-sprite, assuming a fearful shape, scared
them both away.
When the Master had ended this discourse, he summed up the Birth-tale; "At that
time the Jackal was Devadatta, the Crow was Kokālika, but the Spirit of the Tree
was I myself."

299:1 Compare No. 295, and Æsop's fable of the Fox and the Crow.
299:2 A fabulous king, the same as Ikshvāku. See reff. in J. P. T. S. 1888, p.

Next: No. 295. Anta-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Tika-Nipata - Kaya-Vicchinda Jataka

Jataka Vol. II: Book III. Tika-Nipāta: No. 293. Kāya-Vicchinda-Jātaka

No. 293.
"Down smitten with a direful illness," etc.--This story the Master told at
Jetavana about a certain man. We learn that there lived at Sāvatthi a man
tormented by jaundice, given up by the doctors as a hopeless case. His wife and
p. 298
son wondered who could be found to cure him. The man thought, "If I can only get
rid of this disease, I will take to the religious life." Now it happened that
some days after he took something that did him good, and got well. Then he went
to Jetavana, and asked admission into the Order. He received the lesser and
greater orders from the Master, and before long attained to sainthood. One day
after this the brethren were talking together in the Hall of Truth: "Friend, So
and so had jaundice, and vowed that if he got well he would embrace the
religious life; he did so, and now he has attained sainthood." The Master came
in, and asked what they talked about, sitting there together. [437] They told
him. Then he said: "Brothers, this is not the only man who has done so. Long ago
wise men, recovering from sickness, embraced a religious life, and secured their
own advantage." And he told an old-world tale.
Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta was king of Benares, the Bodhisatta was born
in a Brahmin family. He grew up, and began to amass wealth: but he fell sick of
the jaundice. Even the physicians could do nothing for him, and his wife and
family were in despair. He resolved that if he ever got well, he would embrace
the religious life; and having taken something that did him good, he did get
well, whereupon he went away to Himalaya and became a religious. He cultivated
the Faculties and the Attainments, and dwelt in ecstatic happiness. "All this
time," thought he, "I have been without this great happiness!" and he breathed
out this aspiration:
"Down smitten with a direful illness, I
In utter torment and affliction lie,
My body quickly withers, like a flower
Laid in the sun upon the dust to dry.
"The noble seems ignoble, and pure the impure seems,
He that is blind, all beautiful a sink of foulness deems.
"Shame on that sickly body, shame, I say,
Loathsome, impure, and full of foul decay!
When fools are indolent, they fail to win
New birth in heaven, and wander from the way."
[438] Thus did the Great Being describe in various ways the nature of impurity
and constant disease, and being disgusted with the body and all its parts,
cultivated all his life the four excellent conditions of life, till he went to
Brahma's world.
When the Master had ended this discourse, he proclaimed the Truths, and
identified the Birth--many were they who attained the fruition of the First
Path, and so forth--"At that time I myself was the ascetic."

Next: No. 294. Jambu-Khādaka-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Tika-Nipata - Supatta Jataka

Jataka Vol. II: Book III. Tika-Nipāta: No. 292. Supatta-Jātaka

No. 292.
[433] "Here, in Benares city," etc.--This story the Master told in Jetavana,
about a meal of rice mixed with new ghee, with red fish to flavour it, which was
given by Elder Sāriputta to Bimbādevī. The circumstances are like those given
above in the Abbhantara Birth-tale 2. Here too the holy Sister had a pain in the
stomach. The excellent Rāhula told the Elder. He seated Rāhula in his
waiting-room, and went to the king to get the rice, red fish and new ghee. The
lad gave it to the holy sister, his mother. No sooner had she eaten than the
pain subsided. The king sent messengers to make enquiries, and after that always
sent her that kind of food. One day they began to talk about it in the Hall of
Truth: "Friend, the Captain of the Faith satisfied the Sister with such and such
food." The Master came in, and asked what they were talking about: they told
him. Said he, "This is not the first time, Brother, that Sāriputta has given
Rāhula's mother what she wanted; he did the same before." So saying, he told an
old-world tale.
Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta was king in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born
as a Crow. He grew up, and became chief of eighty thousand crows, a Crow king,
by name, Supatta, or Fairwing; and his chief mate went by the name of Suphassā
or Softie, his chief Captain was called Sumukho--Prettybeak. With his eighty
thousand subjects, he dwelt hard by Benares.
One day he and his mate in search of food passed over the king's kitchen. The
king's cook had been preparing a host of dishes, of all sorts of fish, and he
had uncovered the dishes for a moment, to cool them. Queen Crow smelt the odour
of the food, and longed for a hit. But that day she said nothing.
p. 296
However the next day, when King Crow proposed that they should go a-feeding, she
said, "Go by yourself: there's something I want very much!"
"What is it?" asked he.
"I want some of the king's food to eat; [434] and as I can't get it, I am going
to die."
The Crow sat down to think. Prettybeak approached him and asked if anything had
displeased him. King Crow told him what it was. "Oh, that'll be all right," said
the Captain; and added, to console them both, "you stay where you are to-day,
and I'll fetch the meat."
So he gathered the Crows together, and told them the matter. "Now come, and
let's get it!" said he; and off they all flew together to Benares. He posted
them in companies here and there, near the kitchen to watch; and he, with eight
champions, sat on the kitchen roof. While waiting for the king's food to be
served, he gave his directions to these: "When the food is taken up, I'll make
the man drop the dishes. Once that is done there's an end of me. So four of you
must fill your mouths with the rice, and four with the fish, and feed our royal
pair with them; and if they ask where I am, say I'm coming."
Well, the cook got his various dishes all ready, hung them on a balance-pole,
and went off towards the king's rooms. As he passed through the court, the Crow
Captain with a signal to his followers flew and settled upon the carrier's
chest, struck him with extended claws, with his beak, sharp as a spear-point,
pecked the end of the man's nose, and with his two feet stopped up his jaws.
The king was walking up and down upon an upper floor, when looking out of a
large window he saw what the crow was doing. He hailed the carrier:"--Hullo you,
down with the dishes and catch the crow!" so the man dropt the dishes and caught
the crow tight.
"Come here!" cried the king.
Then the crows ate all they wanted, [435] and picked up the rest as they had
been told, and carried it off. Next all the others flocked up, and ate what
remained. The eight champions gave it to their king and queen to eat. The
craving of Softie was appeased.
The servant who was carrying the dinner brought his crow to the king.
"O Crow!" said he, "you have shown no respect for me! you have broken my
servitor's nose! you have smashed my dishes! you have recklessly thrown away
your life! What made you do such things?"
Answered the Crow, "O great king! Our king lives near Benares, and I am captain
of his forces. His wife (whose name is Softie) conceived a great longing, and
wanted a taste of your food. Our king told me what she craved. At once I devoted
my life. Now I have sent her the food;
p. 297
my desire is accomplished. This is the reason why I acted as I did." And to
explain the matter, he said
"Here in Benares city, O great king,
There dwells a king of Crows that Night Fairwing;
Who was attended by a following
Of eighty thousand Crows.
"Softie, his mate, had one o’ermastering wish:
She craved a supper of the king's own fish,
Fresh caught, cooked in his kitchen,--such a dish
As to kings' tables goes.
"You now behold me as their messenger;
It was my royal master sent me here;
And for that I my monarch do revere
I wounded that man's nose."
[436] When the king heard this, he said, "We do great honour to men, and yet
cannot make friends of them. Even though we make presents of such things as a
whole village, we can find no one willing to give his life for us. But this
creature, crow as he is, sacrifices life for his king. He is very noble,
sweet-speaking, and good." He was so pleased with the crow's good qualities that
he did him the honour of giving him a white umbrella. But the crow saluted the
king with this, his own gift, and descanted upon the virtues of Fairwing. The
king sent for him, and heard his teaching, and sent them both food of the same
sort as he ate himself; and for the rest of the crows he had cooked each day a
large measure of rice. He himself walked according to the monition of the
Bodhisatta, and protecting all creatures, practised virtue. The admonitions of
Fairwing the crow were remembered for seven hundred years.
When the Master had ended this discourse, he identified the Birth: "At that time
the king was Ānanda, the Captain was Sāriputta, but Supatta was I myself."

295:1 Folk-lore Journal, 3. 360.
295:2 No. 281, above.

Next: No. 293. Kāya-Vicchinda-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Tika-Nipata - Bhadra-Ghata Jataka

Jataka Vol. II: Book III. Tika-Nipāta: No. 291. Bhadra-Ghata Jataka

No. 291.
[431] "A ne’er-do-well did once," etc.--This story the Master told at Jetavana,
about a nephew of Anāthapiṇḍika. This person had squandered an inheritance of
forty crores of gold. Then the visited his uncle, who gave him a thousand, and
bade him trade with it. The man squandered this, and then came again; and
p. 294
once more he was given five hundred. Having squandered this like the rest, next
time his uncle gave him two coarse garments; and when he had worn these out, and
once more applied, his uncle had him taken by the neck and turned out of doors.
The fellow was helpless, and fell down by a side-wall and died. They dragged him
outside and threw him down there. Anāthapiṇḍika went and told the Buddha what
had happened to his nephew. Said the Master, "How could you expect to satisfy
the man whom I long ago failed to satisfy, even when I gave him the Wishing
Cup?" and at his request, he proceeded to tell him an old-world tale.
Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was
born as a rich merchant's son; and after his father's death, took his place. In
his house was buried a treasure of four hundred million. He had an only son. The
Bodhisatta gave alms and did good until he died, and then he came to life again
as Sakka, king of the gods. His son proceeded to make a pavilion across the
road, and sat down with many friends round him, to drink. He paid a thousand
pieces to runners and tumblers, singers and dancers, and passed his time in
drinking, gluttony, and debauchery; he wandered about, asking only for song,
music, and dancing, devoted to his boon-companions, sunk in sloth. So in a short
time he squandered all his treasure of four hundred millions, [432] all his
property, goods, and furniture, and got so poor and miserable that he had to go
about clad in rags.
Sakka, as he meditated, became aware how poor he was. Overcome with love for his
son, he gave him a Wishing Cup, with these words: "Son, take care not to break
this cup. So long as you keep it, your wealth will never come to an end. So take
good care of it!" and then he returned to heaven.
After that the man did nothing but drink out of it. One day, he was drunk, and
threw the cup into the air, catching it as it fell. But once he missed it. Down
it fell upon the earth, and smashed! Then he got poor again, and went about in
rags, begging, bowl in hand, till at last he lay down by a wall, and died.
When the Master had finished this tale, he went on:--
"A ne’er-do-well did once a Bowl acquire,
A Bowl that gave hire all his heart's desire.
And of this Bowl so long as he took care,
His fortunes were all fair.
"When, proud and drunken, in a careless hour,
He broke the Bowl that gave him all this power,
Naked, poor fool! in rags and tatters, he
Fell in great misery. p. 295
"Not otherwise whoso great fortune owes,
But in the enjoying it no measure knows,
Is scorched anon, even as the knave--poor soul!--
That broke his Wishing Bowl."
Repeating these stanzas in his perfect wisdom, he identified the Birth: "At that
time Anāthapiṇḍika's nephew was the rascal who broke the Lucky Cup, but I myself
was Sakka."

Next: No. 292. Supatta-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Tika-Nipata - Sila-Vimamsa Jataka

Jataka Vol. II: Book III. Tika-Nipāta: No. 290. Sila-Vimamsa Jataka

No. 290.
"Virtue is lovely," etc.--This story the Master told at Jetavana, about a
brahmin who put his reputation to the test. The circumstances which gave rise to
it, and the story itself, are both given in the Silavīmaṁsa Birth-tale, in the
First Book. Here, as before
When Brahmadatta was king of Benares, his chaplain resolved to test his own
reputation for virtue, and on two days abstracted a coin from the
p. 293
[paragraph continues] Treasurer's counter. On the third day they dragged him to
the king, and accused him of theft. On the way he noticed some snake-charmers
making a snake dance. The king asked him what he had done such a thing for. The
brahmin replied, "To try my reputation for virtue ": and went on
"Virtue is lovely--so the people deem--
Virtue in all the world is held supreme.
Behold! this deadly snake they do not slay,
'For he is good,' they say.
[430] "Here I proclaim how virtue is all-blest
And lovely in the world: whereof possest
He that is virtuous evermore is said
Perfection's path to tread.
"To kinsfolk dear, he shines among his friends;
And when his union with the body ends,
He that to practise virtue has been fain
In heaven is born again."
Having thus in three stanzas declared the beauty of virtue and discoursed to
them, the Bodhisatta went on--"Great king, a great deal has been given to you by
my family, my father's property, my mother's, and what I have gained myself:
there is no end to it. But I took these coins from the treasury to try my own
value. Now I see how worthless in this world is birth and lineage, blood and
family, and how much the best is virtue. I will embrace the religious life;
allow me to do so!" After many entreaties, the king at last consented. He left
the world, and retired to Himalaya, where he took to the religious life, and
cultivated the Faculties and the Attainments until he came to Brahma's world.
When the Master had ended this discourse, he identified the Birth: "At that time
the Brahman chaplain who tried his reputation for virtue was I myself."

292:2 Compare Nos. 86, 290, 305, 330, 362.

Next: No. 291. Bhadra-Ghaṭa-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Tika-Nipata - Nana-Cchanda Jataka

Jataka Vol. II: Book III. Tika-Nipāta: No. 289. Nāna-Cchanda-Jātaka

No. 289.
"We live in one house," etc.--This story the Master told in Jetavana, about the
venerable Ānanda's taking a valuable article. The circumstances will be
explained in the Juṇha Birth, in the Eleventh Book 1.
[427] Now once upon a time, when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the
Bodhisatta was horn as the son of his Queen Consort. He grew up, and was
educated at Takkasilā,; and became king on his father's death. There was a
family priest of his father's who had been removed from his post, and being very
poor lived in an old house.
One night it happened that the king was walking about the city in disguise, to
explore it. Some thieves, their work done, had been drinking in a wine-shop, and
were carrying some more liquor home in a jar. They spied him there in the
street, and crying--"Halloo, who are you?" they knocked him down, and took his
upper robe; then, they picked up their jar, and off they went, scaring him the
The aforesaid brahmin chanced at the time to be in the street observing the
constellations. He saw how the king had fallen into unfriendly hands, and called
to his wife; quickly she came, asking what it was. Said he 2, "Wife, our king
has got into the hands of his enemies!" "Why,
p. 291
your reverence," said she, "what dealings have you with the king? His brahmins
will see to it." This the king heard, and, going on a little, called out to the
rascals, "I'm a poor man, masters--take my robe and let me go!" As he said this
again and again, they let him go out of pity. He took note of the place they
lived in, and turned back again.
Said the brahmin to his wife, "Wife, our king has got away from the hands of his
enemies!" The king heard this as before; and entered his palace.
When dawn came, the king summoned his brahmins, and asked then a question.
"Have you been taking observations?"
"Yes, my lord."
"Was it lucky or unlucky?"
"Lucky, my lord."
"No eclipse?"
"No, my lord, none."
Said the king, "Go and fetch me the brahmin from such and such a house," giving
them directions.
So they fetched the old chaplain, and the king proceeded to question him. [428]
"Did you take observations last night, master?"
"Yes, my lord, I did."
"Was there any eclipse?"
"Yes, my lord: last night you fell into the hands of your enemies, and in a
moment you got free again."
The king said, "That is the kind of man a star-gazer ought to be." He dismissed
the other brahmins; he told the old one that he was pleased with him, and bade
him ask a boon. The man asked leave to consult with his family, and the king
allowed him.
The man summoned wife and son, daughter-in-law and maidservant, and laid the
matter before them. "The king has granted me a boon; what shall I ask?"
Said the wife, "Get me a hundred milch kine."
The son, named Chatta, said, "For me, a chariot drawn by fine lily-white
Then the daughter-in-law, "For me, all manner of trinkets, earrings set with
gems, and so forth!"
And the maidservant (whose name was Puṇṇā), "For me, a pestle and mortar, and a
winnowing basket."
The brahmin himself wanted to have the revenue of a village as his boon. So when
he returned to the king, and the king wanted to know whether his wife had been
asked, the brahmin replied, "Yes, my lord
p. 292
king; but those who are asked are not all of one mind"; and he repeated a couple
of stanzas:--
"We live in one house, O king,
But we don't all want the same thing.
My wife's wish--a hundred kine;
A prosperous village is mine;
The student's of course is a carriage and horses,
Our girl wants an earring fine.
While poor little Puṇṇā, the maid,
Wants pestle and mortar, she said!"
"All right," said the king, "they shall all have what they want"; and repeated
the remaining lines:--[429]
"Give a hundred kine to the wife,
To the goodman a village for life,
And a jewelled earring to the daughter:
A carriage and pair be the student's share,
And the maid gets her pestle and mortar 1."
Thus the king gave the brahmin what he wished, and great honour besides; and
bidding him thenceforward busy himself about the king's business, he kept the
brahmin in attendance upon himself.
When the Master had ended this discourse, he identified the Birth: "At that time
the Brahmin was Ānanda, but the king was I myself."

290:1 No. 456.
290:2 sā is a mistake for so.
292:1 I hope the indulgent reader will pardon the rime.

Next: No. 290. Sīla-Vīmaṁsa-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Tika-Nipata - Macch Uddana Jataka

Jataka Vol. II: Book III. Tika-Nipāta: No. 288. Macch Uddana Jataka

p. 288
No. 288.
"Who could believe the story," etc.--This story the Master told at Jetavana
about a dishonest merchant. The circumstances have been told above.
Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta was king of Benares, the Bodhisatta was born
in the family of a landed proprietor.
When he grew up, he became a wealthy man. He had a young brother. Afterwards
their father died. They determined to arrange some business of their father's.
This took them to a village, where they were paid a thousand pieces of money. On
their way back, as they waited on a river-bank for the boat, they ate a meal out
of a leaf-pottle. The Bodhisatta threw what he left into the Ganges for the
fishes, giving the merit to the river-spirit. The spirit accepted this with
gratification, which increased her divine power, and on thinking over this
increase of her power, became aware what had happened. The Bodhisatta [424] laid
his upper garment upon the sand, and there he lay down and went to sleep.
Now the young brother was of a rather thievish nature. He wanted to filch the
money from the Bodhisatta and keep it himself; so he packed a parcel of gravel
to look like the parcel of money, and put them both away.
When they had got aboard, and were come to mid-river, the younger stumbled
against the side of the boat, and dropt overboard the parcel of gravel, as he
thought, but really the money.
"Brother, the money's overboard!" he cried. "What's to be done?"
"What can we do? What's gone is gone. Never mind about it," replied the other.
But the river-spirit thought how pleased she had been with the merit she had
received, and how her divine power had been increased, and resolved to take care
of his property. So by her power she made a big-mouthed fish swallow the parcel,
and took care of it herself:
When the thief got home, he chuckled over the trick he had served his brother,
and undid the remaining parcel. There was nothing but gravel to be seen! His
heart dried up; he fell on his bed, and clutched the bedstead.
p. 289
Now some fishermen just then cast their nets for a draught. By power of the
river-spirit, this fish fell into the net. The fishers took it to town to sell.
People asked what the price was.
"A thousand pieces and seven annas," said the fishermen.
Everybody made fun of them. "We have seen a fish offered for a thousand pieces!"
they laughed.
The fishers brought their fish to the Bodhisatta's door, and asked him to buy
"What's the price?" he asked.
"You may have it for seven annas," they said.
"What did you ask other people for it?"
"From other people we asked a thousand rupees and seven alms; but you may have
it for seven arenas," they said.
He paid seven arenas for it, and sent it to his wife. She cut it open, and there
was the parcel of money! [425] She called the Bodhisatta. He gave a look, and
recognising his mark, knew it for his own. Thought he, "These fishers asked
other people the price of a thousand rupees and seven annas, but because the
thousand rupees were mine, they let me have it for seven annas only! If a man
does not understand the meaning of this, nothing will ever make him believe:"
and then he repeated the first stanza:--
"Who could believe the story, were he told,
That fishes for a thousand should be sold?
They're seven pence to me: how I could wish
To buy a whole string of this kind of fish!"
When he had said this, he wondered how it was that he had recovered his money.
At the moment the river-spirit hovered invisibly in the air, and declared--
"I am the Spirit of the Ganges. You gave the remains of your meal to the fishes,
and let me have the merit. Therefore I have taken care of your property;" and
she repeated a stanza:--
"You fed the fish, and gave a gift to me.
This I remember, and your piety."
[426] Then the spirit told about the mean trick which the younger brother had
played. Then she added, "There he lies, with his heart dried up within him.
There is no prosperity for the cheat. But I have brought you your own, and I
warn you not to lose it. Don't give it to your young thief of a brother, but
keep it all yourself." Then she repeated the third stanza:--
"There's no good fortune for the wicked heart,
And in the sprites' respect he has no part;
Who cheats his brother of paternal wealth
And works out evil deeds by craft and stealth."
p. 290
[paragraph continues] Thus spoke the spirit, not wishing that the treacherous
villain should receive the money. But the Bodhisatta said, "That is impossible,"
and all the same sent the brother five hundred.
After this discourse, the Master declared the Truths:--at the conclusion of
which the merchant entered upon the fruition of the first path:--and identified
the Birth:--"At that time the younger brother was the dishonest merchant, but
the elder was I myself."

288:1 Folk-lore Journal, iii. 364.

Next: No. 289. Nāna-Cchanda-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Tika-Nipata - Labha-Garaha Jataka

Jataka Vol. II: Book III. Tika-Nipāta: No. 287. Labha-Garaha Jataka

p. 287
No. 287.
"He that hath madness," etc.--This story the Master told at Jetavana, about a
fellow-priest of the Elder Sāriputta. [421] This brother came and greeted the
Elder, and sitting on one side, he asked him to tell the way in which one could
get gain, and how he could get dress and the like. The Elder replied, "Friend,
there are four qualities which make a man successful in getting gain. He must
get rid of modesty from his heart, must resign his orders, must seem to be mad
even if he is not; he must speak slander; he must behave like a dancer; he must
use unkind words everywhere." Thus he explained how a man gets a great deal. The
brother objected to this method, and went away. The Elder went to his Master,
and told him about it. The Master said, "This is not the first time that this
brother spoke in dispraise of gain; he did the same before;" and then, at the
request of the Elder, he told an old-world tale.
Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta was king of Benares, the Bodhisatta was born
in a Brahmin family. When he grew up to the age of sixteen years, he had already
mastered the three Vedas and the eighteen accomplishments; and he became a
far-famed teacher, who educated a body of five hundred young men. One young man,
a youth of virtuous life, approached his teacher one day with the question, "How
is it these people get gain?
The teacher answered, "My son, there fife four qualities which procure gain for
those people;" and he repeated the first stanza:--
"He that hath madness, he that slanders well,
That hath an actor's tricks, ill tales doth tell,
Such is the man that wins prosperity
Where all are fools: let this your maxim be."
[422] The pupil, on hearing his master's words, expressed his disapproval of
gain-getting in the two following stanzas:--
"Shame upon him that gain or glory wins
By dire destruction and by wicked sins.
"With bowl in hand a homeless life I'll lead
Rather than live in wickedness and greed."
[423] Thus did the youth praise the quality of the religious life; and straight
became a hermit, and craved alms with righteousness, cultivating the
Attainments, until he became destined to Brahma's world.
When the Master had ended this discourse he thus identified the Birth:--"At that
time the brother who disapproved of gain was the young man, but his teacher was
I myself."

Next: No. 288. Macch-Uddāna-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Tika-Nipata - Saluka Jataka

Jataka Vol. II: Book III. Tika-Nipāta: No. 286. Sālūka-Jātaka

No. 286.
[419] "Envy not what Celery eats" etc.--This story the Master told in Jetavana,
about the temptation springing from a fat girl. The circumstances will be
explained in the Cullanāradakassapa 2 story. So the Master asked this brother
whether it was true he had fallen in love. Yes, he said. "With whom?" the Master
asked. "With a fat girl." "That woman, brother," said the Master, "is your bane;
long ago, as now, you became food for the crowd through your desire to marry
her." Then at the request of the brethren he told an old-world tale.
Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta reigned in Benares, the Bodhisatta was an ox
named Big Redcoat, and he had a young brother called Little Redcoat. Both of
them worked for a family in some village.
p. 286
There was in this family a grown-up girl, who was asked in marriage by another
family. Now in the first family a pig called Sālūka or Celery 1, was being
fatted, on purpose to serve for a feast on the wedding-day; it used to sleep in
a sty 2.
One day, Little Redcoat said to his brother, "Brother, we work for this family,
and we help them to get their living. Yet they only give us grass and straw,
while they feed you pig with rice porridge, and let it sleep in a sty; and what
can it do for them?"
"Brother," said Big Redcoat, "don't covet his porridge. They want to make a
feast of him on our young lady's wedding-day, that's why they are fattening him
up. Wait a few days, and you'll see him dragged out of his sty, killed, chopped
into bits, and eaten up by the visitors." So saying, he composed the first two
stanzas: [420]
"Envy not what Celery eats;
Deadly is the food he gets.
Be content and eat your chaff:
It means long life on your behalf.
"By and bye the guest will come,
With his gossips all and some.
All chopt up poor Celery
With his big flat snout will lie."
A few days after, the wedding guests came, and Sālūka was killed and made a meal
of. Both oxen, seeing what became of him, thought their own chaff was the best.
The Master, in his perfect wisdom, repeated the third stanza by way of
"When they saw the flat-snout lie
All chopt up, poor Celery,
Said the oxen, Best by half
Surely is our humble chaff!"
When the Master had finished this discourse, he declared the Truths, and
identified the Birth:--at the conclusion of the Truths, the Brother in question
attained the fruition of the First Path:--"At that time, the stout girl was the
same, the lovesick brother was Sālūka, Ānanda was Little Redcoat, and I was Big
Redcoat myself." '

285:1 Compare No. 30, Vol. i. p. 75, and No. 477; parallels are quoted by
Benfey, Pañcatantra pref. pp. 228, 229. Æsop's fable of the Calf and the Ox will
occur to the reader. See also Rhys Davids' note to his translation of No, 30.
285:2 No. 477.
286:1 Lit. edible lotus root.
286:2 Heṭṭhamañca, 'perhaps the platform outside the house under the eaves, a
favourite resort.' Cp. Rhys Davids, Buddhist Birth Stories, p. 277.

Next: No. 287. Lābha-Garaha-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Tika-Nipata - Manisukara Jataka

Jataka Vol. II: Book III. Tika-Nipāta: No. 285. Maṇisūkara-Jātaka

p. 283
No. 285.
"To hell shall go he" etc.--This story the Master told at Jetavana, about the
murder of Sundarī. At that time we learn that the Bodhisatta was honoured and
respected. The circumstances were the same as in the Kandhaka 2; this is an
abstract of them. The brotherhood of the Blessed One had received gain and
honour like five rivers pouring in a mighty flood; the heretics, finding that
gain and honour came to them no longer, becoming dim like fireflies at sunrise,
they collected together, and took counsel: "Ever since the priest Gotama
appeared, our gain and glory has gone from us. Not a soul ever knows that we
exist. Who will help us to bring reproach on Gotama, and prevent him from
getting all this?" Then an idea occurred to them. "Sundarī will make us able to
do it." So when one day Sundarī visited the heretics' grove, they gave her
greeting, but said nothing more. She addressed them again and again, but
received no answer. "Has anything annoyed the holy fathers?" she asked. "Why,
sister," said they, "do not you see how the priest Gotama annoys us, depriving
us of alms and honour?" "What can I do about it?" she said. "You, sister, are
fair and lovely. You can bring disgrace upon Gotama, and your words will
influence a great many, [416] and you can thus restore our gains and good
repute." She agreed, and took her leave. After this she used to take flowers and
scents and perfumes, camphor, condiments and fruits, and at evening time, when a
great crowd had entered the city after hearing the Master's discourse, she would
set her face towards Jetavana. If any asked where she was going, she would say,
"To the Priest Gotama; I live with him in one perfumed chamber." Then she spent
the night in a heretical settlement, and in the morning entered the road which
led from Jetavana into the city. If any asked her where she was going, she
replied, "I have been with the priest Gotama in one perfumed chamber, and he
made love to me." After the lapse of some days they hired some ruffians to kill
Sundarī before Gotama's chamber and throw her body into the dust-heap. And so
they did. Then the heretics made a hue and cry after Sundarī, and informed the
king. He asked where their suspicions pointed. They answered that she had gone
the last few days to Jetavana, but what happened afterwards they did not know.
He sent them to search for her. Acting on this permission, they took his own
servants, and went to Jetavana, where they hunted about till they found her in
the dust-heap. Calling for a litter, they brought the body into the town, and
told the king that the disciples of Gotama had killed Sundarī, and thrown her in
the dust-heap, in order to cloak the sin of their Master. The king bade them
scour the city. All through the streets they went, crying, "Come and see what
has been done by the priests of the Sakya prince!" and came back to the palace
door. The king had placed the body of Sundarī upon a platform, and had it
watched in the cemetery. All the populace, except the holy disciples, went about
inside the town, outside the town, in the parks and in the woods, abusing the
Brethren, and crying out, "Come and see what the priests of the Sakya prince
have done!" The Brethren told all this to the Buddha. Said the Master, "Well, go
and reprove these people in these words:
p. 284
"To hell shall go he that delights in lies,
And he who having done a thing, denies:
[417] Both these, when death has carried them away,
As men of evil deeds elsewhere shall rise 1."
The king directed some men to find out whether Sundarī had been killed by
anybody else. Now the ruffians had drunk the blood-money, and were quarrelling
together. Said one to another, "You killed Sundarī with one blow, and then threw
her in the dust-heap, and here you are, buying liquor with the blood-money!"
"All right, all right," said the king's messengers; and they caught the ruffians
and dragged them before the king. "Did you kill herd" asked the king. They said,
yes, they did. "Who bade you?" "The heretics, my lord." The king had the
heretics summoned. "Lift up Sundarī," said he, "and carry her round the city,
crying as you go: 'This woman Sundarī wanted to bring disgrace upon the priest
Gotama; we had her murdered; the guilt is not Gotama's, nor his disciples’; the
guilt is ours!'" They did so. A multitude of the unconverted believed, and the
heretics were kept out of mischief by receiving the punishment for murder.
Thenceforward the Buddha's reputation grew greater and greater. And then one day
they began to gossip in the Hall of Truth: "Friend, the heretics thought to
blacken the Buddha, and they only blackened themselves: ever since, our gains
and glory have increased!" The Master came in, and asked what they were talking
about? They told him. "Brethren," said he, "it is impossible to make the Buddha
impure. Trying to stain the Buddha, is like trying to stain a gem of the first
water. In bygone ages people have wished to stain a fine jewel, and no matter
how they tried, they failed to do it." And he told them an old-world tale.
Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta was king of Benares, the Bodhisatta was born
into a Brahmin family. When he grew up, perceiving the suffering that arises
from desire, he went away, and traversed three ranges of Himalaya, where he
became a hermit, and lived in a hut of leaves.
Near his hut was a crystal cave, in which lived thirty Boars. Near the cave a
Lion used to range. [418] His shadow used to be reflected in the crystal. The
Boars used to see this reflection, and terror made them lean and thin-blooded.
Thought they, "We see the reflection because this crystal is clear. We will make
it dirty and discolour it." So they got some mud from a pool close by, and
rubbed and rubbed the crystal with it. But the crystal, being constantly
polished by the boars' bristles, got brighter than ever.
They did not know how to manage it; so they determined to ask the hermit how
they might sully the crystal. To him therefore they came, and after respectful
greeting, they sat down beside him, and gave utterance to these two verses:
"Seven summers we have been
Thirty in a crystal grot.
Now we are keen to dull the sheen--
But dull it we can not. p. 285
"Though we try with all our might
To obscure its brilliancy,
Still more bright shines forth the light,
What can the reason be?"
The Bodhisatta listened. Then he repeated the third stanza:
"’Tis precious crystal, spotless, bright, and pure;
No glass--its brilliancy for ever sure.
Nothing on earth its brightness can impair.
Boars, you had best betake yourselves elsewhere."
And so they did, on hearing this answer. The Bodhisatta lost himself in
rapturous ecstasy, and became destined to Brahma's world.
After this discourse was ended, the Master identified the Birth: "At that time,
I was the hermit."

283:1 Cf. Morris, Folk-lore Journal, iv. 58.
283:2 This story is given in Udānaṁ, iv. 8 (p. 43). Khandhakaṁ seems to mean the
Vinaya (Childers s. v., J. P. T. S. 1888 s. v.), but I cannot find the story
284:1 Dhammapada, v. 306; Sutta Nipāta, v. 661.

Next: No. 286. Sālūka-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Tika-Nipata - Siri Jataka

Jataka Vol. II: Book III. Tika-Nipāta: No. 284. Siri Jataka

No. 284.
"Whatever riches they who strive," etc.--This story the Master told about a
brahmin who stole good luck. [410] The circumstances of this birth-tale are
given above in the Khadiraṅga Birth 1. As before, the heretical spirit that
lived in the gate tower of Anāthapiṇḍika's house, doing penance, brought four
and fifty crores of gold and filled the store-rooms, and became a friend of the
great man. He led her before the Master. The Master discoursed to her. She
heard, and entered on the stream of conversion. Thenceforward the great man's
honour was great as before. Now there was living in Sāvatthi a brahmin, versed
in lucky marks, who thought on this wise. "Anāthapiṇḍika was poor, and then
became famous. What if I make as though I went to see him, and steal his luck?"
So to the house he went, and was welcomed hospitably. After exchanging
civilities, the host asked why he had come. The brahmin was looking about to see
where the man's luck lay. Now Anāthapiṇḍika had a white cock, white as a scoured
shell, which he kept in a golden cage, and in the comb of this cock lay the
great man's luck. The brahmin looked about and spied where the luck lay. "Noble
sir," said he, "I teach magic charms to five hundred young fellows. We are
plagued by a cock that crows at the wrong time. Your cock crows at the right
time. For him I have come; will you give him to me?" "Yes," said the other: and
at the instant the word was uttered, the hick left the cockscomb, and settled in
a jewel put away in the pillow. The brahmin observed that the luck had gone into
this jewel, and asked for it too. As soon as the owner agreed to give it, the
luck left the jewel, and settled in a club for self-defence which lay upon the
pillow. The brahmin saw it and asked again. "Take it, and take your leave," said
the owner; and in an instant the luck left the club, and settled on the head of
the owner's chief wife, who was named the Lady Puññalakkhaṇā. The thievish
brahmin thought, when he saw this, "This is an inalienable article which I
cannot ask for." Then he told the great man, "Noble sir," said he, "I came to
your house to steal your luck. The luck was in the comb of your
p. 280
cock. But when you gave me the cock, the luck passed into this jewel; when you
gave me the jewel it passed into your stick; when you gave the stick to me, it
went out of it [411] and passed into the head of the Lady Puññalakkhaṇā. Surely
this is inalienable, I can never get it. It is impossible to steal your
luck--keep it, then!" and rising from his seat, he departed. Anāthapiṇḍika
determined to tell the Master; so he came to the monastery, and after
respectfully greeting him, sat on one side, and told the Buddha all about it.
The Master listened, and said, "Goodman, now-a-days the luck of one man does not
go to another. But formerly the luck belonging to those of small wit went to the
wise;" and he told him an old-world tale.
Once on a time, when Brahmadatta reigned in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born
into a Brahmin family in the realm of Kāsi. On growing up, he was educated at
Takkasilā, and lived among his family; but when his parents died, much
distressed he retired to the life of a recluse in Himalaya, and there he
cultivated the Faculties and the Attainments.
A long time passed, and he came down to inhabited parts for salt and savouring,
and took up his quarters in the gardens of the king of Benares. Next day, on his
begging rounds, he came to the door of an elephant-trainer. This man took a
fancy to his ways and manners, fed him, and gave him lodging in his own grounds,
waiting upon him continually.
Now it happened just then that a man whose business it was to gather firewood
failed to get back to town from the woods in time. He lay down for the night in
a temple, placing a bundle of sticks under his head for a pillow. At this temple
there were a number of cocks quite free, which had perched close by on a tree.
Towards morning, one of them, who was roosting high, let fall a dropping on the
back of a bird below. "Who dropt that on me?" cried this one. "I did," cried the
first. "And why?" "Didn't think," said the other; and then did it again.
Hereupon they both began to abuse each other, crying--"What power have you? what
power have you?" At last the lower one said, "Anybody who kills me, and eats my
flesh roasted on the coals, [412] gets a thousand pieces of money in the
morning!" And the one above answered--"Pooh, pooh, don't boast about a little
thing like that! Anybody who eats my fleshy parts will become king; if he eats
my outside, he'll become commander-in-chief or chief queen, according as he's
man or woman; if he eats the flesh by my bones, he'll get the post of royal
Treasurer, if he be a householder; or, if a holy man, will become the king's
The stick-picker heard all this, and pondered. "Now if I become king, there'll
be no need of a thousand pieces of money." Quietly he climbed the tree, caught
the topmost. cock and killed him: he fastened
p. 281
him in a fold of his dress, saying to himself--"Now I'll be king!" As soon as
the gates were opened, in he walked. He plucked the fowl, and cleaned it, and
gave it to his wife, bidding her make the meat nice for eating. She got ready
the meat with some rice, and set it before him, bidding her lord eat.
"Goodwife," said he, "there's great virtue in this meat. By eating it I shall
become king, and you my queen!" So they took the meat and rice down to the
Ganges bank, intending to bathe before eating it. Then, putting meat and rice
down upon the bank, in they went to bathe.
Just then a breeze stirred up the water, which washed away the meat. Down the
river it floated, till it came in sight of an elephant-trainer, a great
personage, who was giving his elephants a bath lower down. "What have we here?"
said he, and picked it up. "It's fowl and rice, my lord," was the reply. He bade
wrap it up, and seal it, and sent it home to his wife, with a message to open it
for him when he returned.
The stick-picker also ran off, with his belly puffed out with sand and water
which he had swallowed.
Now a certain ascetic, who had divine vision, the favourite chaplain of the
elephant-trainer, was thinking to himself, "My patron friend does not leave his
post with the elephants. When will he attain promotion?" As he thus pondered, he
saw this man by his divine insight, and perceived what was a-doing. He went on
before, and sat in the patron's house.
When the master returned, [413] he greeted him respectfully and sat down on one
side. Then, sending for the parcel, he ordered food and water to be brought for
the ascetic. The ascetic did not accept the food which was offered him; but
said, "I will divide this food." The master gave him leave. Then separating the
meat into portions, he gave to the elephant-trainer the fleshy parts, the
outside to his wife, and took the flesh about the bones for his own share. After
the meal was over, he said, "On the third day from this you will become king.
Take care what you do!" and away he went.
On the third day a neighbouring king came and beleaguered Benares. The king told
his elephant-trainer to dress in the royal robes, bidding him go mount his
elephant and fight. He himself put on a disguise, and mingled with the ranks;
swift came an arrow, and pierced him, so that he perished then and there. The
trainer, learning that the king was dead, sent for a great quantity of money,
and heat the drum, proclaiming, "Let those who want money, advance, and fight!"
The warrior host in a twinkling slew the hostile king.
After the king's obsequies the courtiers deliberated who was to be
p. 282
made king. Said they, "While our king was yet alive, he put his royal robes upon
the elephant-trainer. This very man has fought and won the kingdom. To him the
kingdom shall be given!" And they consecrated him king, and his wife they made
the chief queen. The Bodhisatta became his confidant.
After this discourse the Master, in his perfect wisdom, gave utterance to the
two stanzas following:
"Whatever riches they who strive amain
Without the aid of luck can ever gain,
All that, by favour of the goddess Luck,
Both skilled and unskilled equally obtain.
"All the world over many meet our sight,
Not only good, but creatures different quite,
Whose lot it is fruition to possess
Of wealth in store which is not theirs by right."
[414] After this the Master added, "Good air, these beings have no other
resource but their merit won in previous births; this enables you to obtain
treasures in places where there is no mine." Then he recited the following
scripture 1.
"There is a treasury of all good things
Which both to gods and men their wishes brings.
Fine looks, voice, figure, form, and sovranty
With all its pomp, lies in that treasury.
Lordship and government, imperial bliss,
The crown of heaven, within that treasure is.
All human happiness, the joys of heaven,
Nirvana's self, from out that store is given.
True ties of friendship, wisdom's liberty,
Firm self-control, lies in that treasury.
Salvation, understanding, training fit
To make Pacceka Buddhas come from it.
Thus hath this merit a virtue magical;
The wise and stedfast praise it one and all."
(415] Lastly the Fowl repeated the third stanza, explaining the treasures in
which lay the luck of Anāthapiṇḍika,
"A fowl, a gem, a club, a wife--
All these with lucky marks were rife.
For all these treasures, be it known,
A good and sinless man did own."
Then he identified the Birth: "Elder Ānanda was the King, and the family priest
was the Very Buddha."

279:1 No. 40, vol. i. page 100.
282:1 Khud. Pātha, p

Next: No. 285. Maṇisūkara-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Tika-Nipata - Vaddhaki-Sukara Jataka

Jataka Vol. II: Book III. Tika-Nipāta: No. 283. Vaḍḍhaki-Sūkara-Jātaka

p. 275
No. 283.
"The best, the best you always," etc.--This story the Master told in Jetavana
about the Elder Dhanuggahatissa. Mahākosala, the father of king Pasenadi, when
he married his daughter, the Lady Kosalā, to king Bimbisāra, gave a village of
Kāsi, producing a revenue of a hundred thousand, for bath and perfume money.
When Ajātasattu murdered the king his father, the lady Kosala died of grief.
Then thought king Pasenadi, "Ajātasattu has killed his father, my sister has
died from sympathy with her husband's misfortune; I will not give the Kāsi town
to the parricide." So he refused to give it to Ajātasattu. About this village
there was war betwixt these two from time to time. Ajātasattu was fierce and
strong, and Pasenadi was a very old man, so he was beaten again and again, and
the people of Mahākosala were generally conquered. Then the king asked his
courtiers, "We are constantly being beaten; what is to be done?" "My lord," said
they, "the reverend fathers are skilled in incantations. We must hear the word
of the Brothers who dwell in the Jetavana monastery." Then the king despatched
couriers, bidding them listen to the converse of the Brothers at a suitable
time. Now at the time there were two old Elders living in a leaf-hut close to
the monastery, whose names were Elder Utta and Elder Dhanuggahatissa. [404]
Dhanuggahatissa had slept through the first and second watch of the night; and
awaking in the last watch, he broke some sticks, lit a fire, and sitting down
said, "Utta, my friend!" "What is it, friend Tissa?" "Are you not asleep?" "Now
we are awake, what's to do?" "Get up, now, and sit by me." So he did, and began
to talk to him. "That stupid, pot-bellied Kosala never has a jar full of boiled
rice without letting it spoil; how to plan a war he knows not a bit. He is
always being beaten and forced to pay." "But what should he do?" Now just then
the couriers stood listening to their talk. The Elder Dhanuggahatissa discussed
the nature of war. "War, Sir," said he, "consists of three kinds: the lotus
army, the wheel army, and the waggon army 2. If those who wish to capture
Ajātasattu will post garrisons in two hill-forts right away in the hills, and
pretend that they are weak, and watch till they get him among the hills, and bar
his passage, leap out from the two forts and take him in front and in the rear,
and shout aloud, they will quickly have him like a landed fish, like a frog in
the fist; and so they will be able to secure him." All this the couriers told
their king. The king caused the drum to be beaten for the attack, arranged his
army waggon-wise, took Ajātasattu alive; his daughter, Princess Vajirā he gave
in marriage to his sister's son, and dismissed her with the Kāsi village for her
This event became known among the Brotherhood. One day, they were all talking
about it in the Hall of Truth; "Friend, I hear that the king of Kosala conquered
Ajātasattu through the instructions of Dhanuggahatissa." The Master
p. 276
came in; "What do you sit here talking about now, Brothers?" asked he. They told
him. He said, "This is not the first time that Dhanuggahatissa was clever in
discussing war": and he told them an old-world tale.
[405] Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta
came to life as a tree-spirit. At that time there were some carpenters settled
in a village near Benares. One of them, on going into the forest to get wood,
found a young boar fallen in a pit, which he took home and kept. He grew big,
with curved tusks, and was a well-mannered creature. Because the carpenter kept
him, he went by the name of Carpenter's Boar. When the carpenter was chopping up
a tree, the boar used to turn the tree over with his snout, and with his teeth
fetch hatchet and adze, chisel and mallet, and pull along the measuring line by
the end. The carpenter was afraid somebody might eat him up; so he took him and
let him go in the forest. The Boar ran into the forest, looking for a safe and
pleasant place to live in; and at last he espied a great cave up in a mountain
side, with plenty of bulbs, and roots, and fruits, a pleasant living-place. Some
hundreds of other boars saw him and approached him.
Said he to them, "You are just what I am looking for, and here I have found you.
This seems a nice place; and here I mean to live now with you."
"A nice place it certainly is," said they, "but dangerous."
"Ah," said he, "as soon as I saw you, I wondered how it was that those who dwell
in so plentiful a place could be so meagre in flesh and blood. What is it you
are afraid of?"
"There is a tiger comes in the morning, and every one he sees he seizes and
carries off."
"Does this always happen, or only now and then?"
"How many tigers are there?"
"Only one."
"What--one alone too many for all of you!"
"Yes, Sir."
"I'll catch him, if you only do what I tell you. Where does this tiger live?"
"On that hill yonder."
So at night he drilled the Boars and prepared them for war; explaining to them
the science. [406] "War is of three kinds--the lotus army, the wheel army, and
the waggon army:" and he arranged them after the lotus pattern. He knew the
place of vantage; so, says he, "Here we must set our battle." The mothers and
their suckling brood he placed
p. 277
in the middle; around these he put the sows that had no young; around these, the
little boars; around these, those which were rather young; around these, all
whose tusks were grown; around these, the boars fit for battle, strong and
powerful, by tens and by twenties; thus he placed them in serried ranks. Before
his own position he had a round hole dug; behind it, a pit getting gradually
deeper and deeper, shaped like a winnowing basket 1. As he moved about amongst
them, followed by sixty or seventy Boars, bidding them be of good courage, the
dawn broke.
The Tiger awoke. "Time now!" thought he. He trotted up till he caught sight of
them; then stopped still upon the plateau, glaring at the crowd of Boars. "Glare
back!" cried the Carpenter's Boar, with a signal to the rest, They all glared.
The Tiger opened his mouth, and drew a long breath: the Boars all did the same.
The Tiger relieved himself: so did the Boars. Thus whatever the Tiger did, the
Boars did after him.
"Why, what's this!" the Tiger wondered. "They used to take to their heels as
soon as they saw me--indeed, they were too much frightened even to run. Now so
far from running, they actually stand up against me! Whatever I do, they mimic.
There's a fellow yonder on a commanding position: he it is who has organised the
rabble. Well, I don't see how to get the better of them." And he turned away and
went back to his lair.
Now there was a sham hermit, who used to get a share of the Tiger's prey. This
time the Tiger returned empty-handed. Noticing this, the hermit repeated the
following stanza. [407]
"The best, the best you always brought before
When you went hunting after the wild boar.
Now empty-handed you consume with grief,
To-day where is the strength you had of yore?"
At this address, the Tiger repeated another stanza:
"Once they would hurry-scurry all about
To find their holes, a panic-stricken rout.
But now they grunt in serried ranks compact:
Invincible, they stand and face me out."
"Oh, don't be afraid of them!" urged the hermit. "One roar and one leap will
frighten them out of their wits, and send them pell-mell." The Tiger yielded to
this insistence. Plucking up his courage, he went back and stood upon the
Carpenter's Boar stood between the two pits. "See Master! here's the scoundrel
again! "cried the Boars. "Oh, don't be afraid," said he, "we have him now."
p. 278
With a roar the Tiger leapt upon Carpenter's Boar. At the very instant he
sprang, [408] the Boar dodged and dropped straight into the round hole. The
Tiger could not stop, but tumbled over and over and fell all of a heap in the
jaws of the other pit, where it got very narrow. Up jumps the Boar out of his
hole, and quick as lightning ran his tusk into the Tiger's thighs, tore him
about the kidneys, buried his fangs in the creature's sweet flesh, and wounded
his head. Then he tosses him out of the pit, crying aloud--"Here's your enemy
for you!" They who came first had tiger to eat; but they who came after went
about sniffing at the others' mouths, and asking what tiger's flesh tasted like!
But the Boars were still uneasy. "What's the matter now?" asked our Hog, who had
noticed their movements.
"Master," said they, "it's all very well to kill one tiger, but the sham hermit
can bring ten tigers more!"
"Who is he?"
"A wicked ascetic."
"The tiger I have killed; do you suppose a man can hurt me? Come along, and
we'll get hold of him." So they all set forth.
Now the man had been wondering why the Tiger was so long in coming. Could the
Boars have caught him? he thought. At last he started to meet him on the way;
and as he went, there came the Boars! He snatched up his belongings, and off he
ran. The Boars tore after him. He threw away his encumbrances, and with all
speed climbed up a fig-tree.
"Now, Master, it's all up!" cried the herd. "The man has climbed a tree!"
"What tree?" their leader asked.
They replied, "A fig-tree."
"Oh, very well," said the leader. "The sows must bring water, the young ones dig
about the tree, the tuskers tear at the roots, and the rest surround it and
watch." They did their several tasks as he bade them; he meanwhile charged full
at a great thick root, [409]--’twas like an axe-blow; and with this one blow he
felled the tree to the ground. The Boars who were waiting for the man, knocked
him down, tore him to pieces, gnawed the bones clean in a moment!
Now they perched Carpenter's Boar on the tree-trunk. They filled the dead man's
shell with water, and sprinkled the Boar to consecrate him for their king; a
young sow they consecrated to be his Consort.
This, the saying goes, is the origin of the custom still observed. When people
make a king now-a-days, he is placed on a fine chair of fig-wood, and sprinkled
out of three shells.
A sprite that dwelt in that forest beheld this marvel. Appearing
p. 279
before the Boars in a cleft of his tree-trunk, he repeated the third stanza:
"Honour to all the tribes assembled be!
A wondrous union I myself did see!
How tuskers once a tiger overcame
By federal strength and tusked unity!"
After this discourse the Master identified the Birth: "Dhanuggaha the Elder was
the Carpenter's Boar, and I was the tree-sprite."

275:1 See Morris, Folk-lore Journal, iv. 48.
275:2 These are technical terms in Sanskrit also (padmavyūho, çakaṭa°, cakra°);
see Manu 7. 188, 7. 187, and B. R. diet. s.v. The 'wheel' explains itself: the
'waggon' was a wedge-shaped phalanx; the 'lotus,' as noted by Bühler (trans. of
Manu in S. B. E. page 246), is "equally extended on all sides and perfectly
circular, the centre being occupied by the king."
277:1 The winnowing basket has low walls on three sides, two of them sloping
towards the open end. See a picture in Grierson, Bihar Peasant Life, 118.

Next: No. 284. Siri-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Tika-Nipata - Seyya Jataka

Jataka Vol. II: Book III. Tika-Nipāta: No. 282. Seyya-Jātaka

p. 273
No. 282.
"’Tis best that you should know," etc.--This tale the Master told at Jetavana,
about a courtier of the king of Kosala. This man was very useful to the king, we
are told, and did everything that had to be done. Because he was very useful,
the king did him great honour. The others were jealous, and concocted a slander,
and calumniated him. The king believed their saying, and without enquiring into
his guilt, bound him in chains, though virtuous and innocent, and cast him into
prison. There he dwelt all alone; but, by reason of his virtue, he had peace of
mind, and with mind at peace he understood the conditions of existence, and
attained the fruition of the First Path. By and bye the king found that he was
guiltless, and broke his chains and gave him honour more than before. The man
wished to pay his respects to the Master; and taking flowers and perfumes, he
went to the monastery, and did reverence to the Buddha, and sat respectfully
aside. The Master talked graciously with him. "We have heard that ill fortune
befel you," said he. "Yes, sir, but I made my ill fortune into good; and as I
sat in prison, I produced the fruition of the First Path." "Good friend," said
the Master, "you are not the only one who has turned evil into good; for wise
men in the olden time turned evil into good as you did." And he told an
old-world tale.
Once on a time, when Brahmadatta was king of Benares, the Bodhisatta was born as
the son of his Queen Consort. He grew up and was educated at Takkasilā; and on
his father's death he became king, and kept the ten royal rules: he gave alms,
practised virtue, [401] and observed the sacred day.
Now one of his courtiers intrigued among the king's wives. The servants noticed
it, and told the king that so and so was carrying on an intrigue. The king found
out the very truth of the matter, and sent for him. "Never show yourself before
me again," said he, and banished him. The man went off to the court of a
neighbouring king, and then all happened as described above in the Mahāsīlava
Birth 1. Here too this king thrice tested him, and believing the word of the
courtier came with a great army before Benares with intent to take it. When this
was known to the chief warriors of the king of Benares, five hundred in number,
they said to the king,
"Such and such a king has come here, wasting the country, with intent to take
Benares--here, let us go and capture him!
"I want no kingdom that must be kept by doing harm," said the king. "Do nothing
at all."
p. 274
The marauding king surrounded the city. Again the courtiers approached the king,
and said,
"My lord, be advised--let us capture him!"
"Nothing can be done," said the king. "Open the city gates." Then, surrounded by
his court, he sate down in state upon the great dais.
The marauder entered the town, felling the men at the four gates and ascended
the terrace. There he took prisoner the king with all his court, threw chains
upon them and cast them into prison. The king, as he sat in prison, pitied the
marauder, and an ecstasy of pity was stirred in him, By reason of this pity, the
other king felt great torment in his body; he burnt all through as though with a
twofold flame; and smitten with great pain, he asked what the matter was.
They replied, "You have cast a righteous king into prison, that is why this is
come upon you."
He went and craved pardon of the Bodhisatta, and restored his kingdom, saying,
"Your kingdom be your own. [402] Henceforward leave your enemies for me to deal
with." He punished the evil counsellor, and returned to his own city.
The Bodhisatta sat in state upon his high dais, in festal array, with his court
around him; and addressing them repeated the first two stanzas:
"’Tis best that you should know, the better part
Is evermore the better thing to do.
By treating one with kindliness of heart,
I saved an hundred men from death their due.
"Therefore to all the world I bid you show
The grace of kindliness and friendship dear;
And then alone to heaven you shall not go.
O people of the Kāsi country, hear!"
Thus the great Being praised virtue in the way of pitying the great multitude;
and leaving the white umbrella in the great city of Benares, twelve leagues in
extent, retired to Himalaya, and embraced the religious life.
[403] The Master, in his perfect wisdom, repeated the third stanza:
"These are the words that I, king Kaṁsa, said,
I the great ruler of Benares town.
I laid my bow, I laid my quiver down,
And my self-mastery I perfected."
When the Master had ended this discourse, he identified the Birth: "At that time
Ānanda was the marauding king, but the king of Benares was I myself."

273:1 No. 51 (vol. i. p. 129 of this translation).

Next: No. 283. Vaḍḍhaki-Sūkara-Jātaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Jataka - Tika-Nipata - Abbhantara Jataka

Jataka Vol. II: Book III. Tika-Nipāta: No. 281. Abbhantara-Jātaka

No. 281.
"There grows a tree," etc.--This story the Master told in Jetavana, about the
Elder Sāriputta giving mango juice to the Sister Bimbādevī. When the Supreme
Buddha inaugurated the universal reign of religion, whilst living in a room at
Vesāli, the chief wife of the Gotama with five hundred of the Sākiya clan asked
for initiation, and received initiation and full orders. Afterwards the five
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hundred Sisters became saints on hearing the preaching of Nandaka. But when the
Master was living near Sāvatthi, the mother of Rāhula thought to herself, "My
husband on embracing the religious life has become omniscient; my son too has
become a religious, and lives with hire. What am I to do in the midst of the
house? I will enter on this life, and go to Sāvatthi, and I will live looking
upon the Supreme Buddha and my son continually." So she betook herself to a
nunnery, and entered the order, and went and lived in a cell at Sāvatthi, in
company of her teachers and preceptors, beholding the Master and her beloved
son. The novice Rāhula came and saw his mother.
One day, the Sister was afflicted with flatulence; [393] and when her son came
to see her, she could not get to see him, but some others came and told him she
was ill. Then he went in, and asked his mother, "What ought you to take?" "Son,"
said she, "at home this pain used to be cured by mango juice flavoured with
sugar; but now we live by begging, and where can we get it?" Said the novice,
"I'll get it for you," and departed. Now the preceptor of his reverence Rāhula
was the Captain of the Faith, his teacher was the great Moggallāna, his uncle
was the Elder Ānanda, and his father was the Supreme Buddha: thus he had great
luck. However, he went to no other save only to his preceptor; and after
greeting him, stood before him with a sad look. "Why do you seem sad, Rāhula?"
asked the Elder. "Sir," he replied, "my mother is ill with flatulence." "What
must she take?" "Mango juice and sugar does her good." "All right, I'll get
some; don't trouble about it." So next day he took the lad to Sāvatthi, and
seating him in a waiting-room, went up to the palace. The king of Kosala bade
the Elder be seated. At that very moment the gardener brought a basket of sweet
mangoes ripe for food. The king removed the skin, sprinkled sugar, crushed them
up himself, and filled the Elder's bowl for him. The Elder returned to the place
of waiting and gave them to the novice, bidding him give them to his mother; and
so he did. No sooner had the Sister eaten, than her pain was cured. The king
also sent messengers, saying, "The Elder did not sit here to eat the mango
juice. Go and find out whether he gave it to any one." The messenger went along
with the elder, and found out, and then returned to tell the king. Thought the
king: "If the Master should return to a worldly life, he would be an universal
monarch; the novice Rāhula would be his treasure the Crown Prince 1, the holy
Sister would be his treasure the Empress, and all the universe would belong to
them. I must go and attend upon them. Now they are living close by there is no
time to be lost." So from that day he continually gave mango syrup to the
It became known among the Brothers how the Elder gave mango syrup to the holy
Sister. [394] And one day they fell a-talking in the Hall of Truth: "Friend, I
hear that the Elder Sāriputta comforted Sister Bimbādevī with mango syrup." The
Master came in and asked, "What are you talking about now?" When they told
him--"This is not the first time, Brothers, that Rāhula's mother was comforted
with mango syrup by the Elder; the same happened before;" and he told them an
old-world tale.
Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was
born in a brahmin family living in a village of Kāsi. When he grew up, he was
educated at Takkasilā, settled down into family life, and on the death of his
parents embraced the religious life. After that he remained in the region of
Himalaya, cultivating the Faculties and the Attainments. A body of sages
gathered round him, and he became their teacher.
p. 269
At the end of a long time he came down from the hills to get salt and seasoning,
and in the course of his wanderings arrived at Benares, where he took up his
abode in a park. And at the glory of the virtue of this company of holy men the
palace of Sakka shook. Sakka reflected, and perceived what it was. Thought he,
"I will do an injury to their dwelling; then their stay will he disturbed; they
will be too much distressed to have tranquillity of mind. Then I shall be
comfortable again." As he bethought him how to do it, he hit upon a plan. "I
will enter the chamber of the chief queen, just at the middle watch of the
night, and hovering in the air, I will say--'Lady, if you eat a midmost mango 1,
you will conceive a son 2, who shall become a universal monarch.' She will tell
the king, and he will send to the orchard for a mango fruit: I will cause all
the fruit to disappear. They will tell the king that there is none, and when he
asks who eats it, they will say 'The ascetics'." So just in the middle watch, he
appeared in the queen's chamber, and hovering in the air, revealed his godhead,
and conversing with her, repeated the first two stanzas:--[395]
"There grows a tree, with fruit divine thereon;
Men clepe it Middlemost: and if one be
With child, and eat of it, she shall anon
Bear one to hold the whole wide earth in fee.
"Lady, you are a mighty Queen indeed;
The King, your husband, holds you lief and dear.
Bid him procure the mango for your need,
And he the Midmost fruit will bring you here."
These stanzas did Sakka recite to the queen; and then bidding her be careful,
and make no delay, but tell the matter to the king herself, he encouraged her,
and went back to his own place.
Next day, the queen lay down, as though ill, giving instructions to her maidens.
The king sat upon his throne, under the white umbrella, and looked on at the
dancing. Not seeing his queen, he asked a handmaid where she was.
"The queen is sick," replied the girl.
So the king went to see her; and sitting by her side, stroked her back, and
asked, "What is the matter, lady?"
"Nothing," said she, "but that I have a craving for something."
"What is it you want, lady?" he asked again.
"A middle mango, my lord."
"Where is there such a thing as a middle mango?"
p. 270
"I don't know what a middle mango is; but I know that I shall die if I don't get
"All right, we will get you one; don't trouble about it."
So the king consoled her, and went away. He took his seat upon the royal divan,
and sent for his courtiers. [396] "My queen has a great craving for a middle
mango. What is to be done?" said he.
Some one told him, "A middle mango is one which grows between two others. Send
to your park, and find a mango growing between two others; pluck its fruit and
let us give it to the queen." So the king sent men to do after this manner.
But Sakka by his power made all the fruit disappear, as though it had been
eaten. The men who came for the mangoes searched the whole park through, and not
a mango could they find; so back they went to the king, and told him that
mangoes there were none.
"Who is it eats the mangoes?" asked the king.
"The ascetics, my lord."
"Give the ascetics a drubbing, and bundle them out of the park!" he commanded.
The people heard and obeyed: Sakka's wish was fulfilled. The queen lay on and
on, longing for the mango.
The king could not think what to do. He gathered his courtiers and his brahmins,
and asked them, "Do you know what a middle mango is?"
Said the brahmins: "My lord, a middle mango is the portion of the gods. It grows
in Himalaya, in the Golden Cave. So we have heard by immemorial tradition."
"Well, who can go and get it?"
"A human being cannot go; we must send a young parrot."
At that time there was a fine young parrot in the king's family, as big as the
nave of the wheel in the princes' carriage, strong, clever, and full of sharp
devices. This parrot the king sent for, and thus addressed him,
"Dear parrot, I have done a great deal for you: you live in a golden cage; you
have sweet grain to eat on a golden dish; you have sugared water to drink.
There's something I want you to do for me,"
"Speak on, my lord," said the parrot.
"Son, my queen has a craving for a middle mango; this mango grows in Himalaya,
in the Golden Mountain; it is the gods' portion, [397] no human being can go
thither. You must bring the fruit back from thence."
"Very good, my king, I will," said the parrot. Then the king gave him sweetened
grain to eat, on a golden plate, and sugar-water to drink; and anointed him
beneath the wings with oil an hundred times refined; then he took him in both
hands, and standing at a window, let him fly away.
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The parrot, on the king's errand, flew along in the air, beyond the ways of men,
till he came to some parrots which dwelt in the first hill-region of Himalaya.
"Where is the middle mango?" he asked them; "tell me the place."
"We know not," said they, "but the parrots in the second range of hills will
The parrot listened, and flew away to the second range. After that he went on to
the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth. There too the parrots said, "We do not
know, but those in the seventh range will know." So he went on there, and asked
where the middle mango tree grew.
"In such and such a place, on the Golden Hill," they said.
"I have come for the fruit of it," said he, "guide me thither, and procure the
fruit for me."
"That is the portion of the king Vessavaṇa. It is impossible to get near it. The
whole tree from the roots upwards is encircled with seven iron nets; it is
guarded by thousands of millions of Kumbhaṇḍa goblins; if they see any one, he's
done for. The place is like the fire of the dissolution and the fire of hell. Do
not ask such a thing!"
"If you will not go with me, then describe the place to me," said he.
So they told him to go by such and such a way. He listened carefully to their
instructions. He did not show himself by day; but at dead of night, when the
goblins were asleep, he approached the tree, and began softly to climb on one of
its roots, when clink! went the iron net [398]--the goblins awoke--saw the
parrot, and seized him, crying, "Thief!" Then they discussed what was to be done
with him.
Says one, "I'll throw him into my mouth, and swallow him!"
Says another, "I'll crush him and knead him in my hands and scatter him in
Says a third, "I'll split him in two, and cook him on the coals and eat him!"
The parrot heard them deliberating. Without any fear he addressed them, "I say,
Goblins, whose men are you?"
"We belong to king Vessavaṇa."
"Well, you have one king for your master, and I have another for mine. The king
of Benares sent me here to fetch a fruit of the middle mango tree. Then and
there I gave my life to my king, and here I am. He who loses his life for
parents or master is born at once in heaven. Therefore I shall pass at once from
this animal form to the world of the gods!" and he repeated the third stanza:
"Whatever be the place which they attain
Who, by heroic self-forgetfulness,
Strive with all zeal a master's end to gain--
To that same place I soon shall win access."
p. 272
After this fashion did he discourse, repeating this stanza. The goblins
listened, and were pleased in their heart. "This is a righteous creature," said
they, "we must not kill him--let him go!" So they let him go, and said, "I say,
Parrot, you're free! Go unharmed out of our hands!" [399]
"Do not let me return empty-handed," said the parrot: "give me a fruit off the
"Parrot," they said, "it is not our business to give you fruit off this tree.
All the fruit on this tree is marked. If there is one fruit wrong we shall lose
our lives. If Vessavaṇa is angry and looks but once, a thousand goblins are
broken up and scattered like parched peas hopping about on a hot plate. So we
cannot give you any. But we will tell you a place where you can get some."
"I care not who gives it," said the parrot, "but the fruit I must have. Tell me
where I may get it."
"In one of the tortuous paths of the Golden Mountain lives an ascetic, by name
Jotirasa, who watches the sacred fire in a leaf-thatched hut, called
Kañcana-patti or Goldleaf, a favourite of Vessavaṇa; and Vessavaṇa sends him
constantly four fruits from the tree; go to him."
The parrot took his leave, and came to the ascetic; he gave him greeting, and
sat down on one side. The ascetic asked him,
"Where have you come from?" "From the king of Benares." "Why are you come?"
"Master, our Queen has a great craving for the fruit of the middle mango, and
that is why I am come. Howbeit the goblins would not give me any themselves, but
sent me to you."
"Sit down, then, and you shall have one," said the ascetic. Then came the four
which Vessavaṇa used to send. The ascetic ate two of them, gave the parrot one
to eat, and when this was eaten he hung the fourth by a string, and made it fast
around the parrot's neck, and let him go--"Off with you, now!" said he. The
parrot flew back and gave it to the Queen. She ate it, and satisfied her
craving, but still all the same she had no son.
[400] When the Master had ended this discourse, he identified the Birth in these
words: "At that time Rāhula's mother was the Queen, Ānanda was the parrot,
Sāriputta was the ascetic who gave the mango fruit, but the ascetic who lived in
the park was I myself."

268:1 Two of the seven ratanas, or Treasures of the Empire of an universal
269:1 The phrase is meant to be enigmatical. It is explained below.
269:2 The idea of conception by eating of fruit and in other abnormal ways is
fully discussed in The Legend of Perseus, E. S. Hartland, vol. i. chaps. 4-6.

Next: No. 282. Seyya-Jātaka