The Jataka, Volume I: Title Page



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


THE JĀTAKA

OR
STORIES OF THE BUDDHA'S FORMER BIRTHS.
TRANSLATED FROM THE PĀLI BY VARIOUS HANDS
UNDER THE EDITORSHIP OF

PROFESSOR E. B. COWELL.

VOL. I.

TRANSLATED BY

ROBERT CHALMERS, B.A.,

OF ORIEL COLLEGE, OXFORD.

[1895]

Scanned, proofed and formatted at sacred-texts.com, January, 2006, by John Bruno Hare. This text is in the public domain in the US because it was published prior to 1923.

TO

PROFESSOR T. W. RHYS DAVIDS, LL.D., PH.D.,

THIS VOLUME IS INSCRIBED

BY

HIS FRIEND AND PUPIL

THE TRANSLATOR


The Jataka, Volume I: Preface



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


p. vii

PREFACE.

IT was an almost isolated incident in Greek literary history 1, when Pythagoras claimed to remember his previous lives. Heracleides Ponticus relates that he professed to have been once born as Æthalides, the son of Hermes, and to have then obtained as a boon from his father ζῶντα καὶ τελευτῶντα μνήμην ἔχειν τῶν συμβαινόντων 2. Consequently he remembered the Trojan war, where, as Euphorbus, he was wounded by Menelaus, and, as Pythagoras, he could still recognise the shield which Menelaus had hung up in the temple of Apollo at Branchidæ; and similarly he remembered his subsequent birth as Hermotimus, and then as Pyrrhus, a fisherman of Delos. But in India this recollection of previous lives is a common feature in the histories of the saints and heroes of sacred tradition; and it is especially mentioned by Manu 3 as the effect of a self-denying and pious life. The doctrine of Metempsychosis, since the later Vedic period, has played such an important part in the history Of the national character and religious ideas that we need not be surprised to find that Buddhist literature from the earliest times (although giving a theory of its own to explain the transmigration) has always included the ages of the past as an authentic background to the founder's historical life as Gautama. Jātaka legends occur even in the Canonical Piṭakas; thus the Sukha-vihāri Jātaka and the Tittira Jātaka, which are respectively the 10th and the 37th in this volume, are found in the Culla Vagga, vii. 1 and vi. 6, and similarly the Khandhavatta Jātaka, which will be given in the next volume, is found in the Culla Vagga v. 6; and there are several other examples. So too one of the minor books of the Sutta Piṭaka (the Cariyā Piṭaka) consists of 35 Jātakas told in verse; and ten at least

p. viii

of these can be identified in the volumes of our present collection already published; and probably several of the others will be traced when it is all printed. The Sutta and Vinaya Piṭakas are generally accepted as at least older than the Council of Vesāli (380 B.C.?); and thus Jātaka legends must have been always recognised in Buddhist literature.

This conclusion is confirmed by the fact that Jātaka scenes are found sculptured in the carvings on the railings round the relic shrines of Sanchi and Amaravati and especially those of Bharhut, where the titles of several Jātakas are clearly inscribed over some of the carvings. These bas-reliefs prove that the birth-legends were widely known in the third century B.C. and were then considered as part of the sacred history of the religion. Fah-hian, when he visited Ceylon, (400 A.D.), saw at Abhayagiri "representations of the 500 bodily forms which the Bodhisatta assumed during his successive births 1," and he particularly mentions his births as Sou-to-nou, a bright flash of light, the king of the elephants, and an antelope 2. These legends were also continually introduced into the religious discourses 3 which were delivered by the various teachers in the course of their wanderings, whether to magnify the glory of the Buddha or to illustrate Buddhist doctrines and precepts by appropriate examples, somewhat in the same way as mediæval preachers in Europe used to enliven their sermons by introducing fables and popular tales to rouse the flagging attention of their hearers 4.

It is quite uncertain when these various birth-stories were put together in a systematic form such as we find in our present Jātaka collection. At first they were probably handed down orally, but their growing popularity would ensure that their kernel, at any rate, would ere long be committed to some more permanent form. In fact there is a singular parallel to this in the 'Gesta Romanorum', which was compiled by an uncertain author in the 14th century and contains nearly 200 fables and stories told to illustrate various virtues and vices, many of them winding up with a religious application.

p. ix

Some of the birth-stories are evidently Buddhistic and entirely depend for their point on some custom or idea peculiar to Buddhism; but many are pieces of folk-lore which have floated about the world for ages as the stray waifs of literature and are liable everywhere to be appropriated by any casual claimant. The same stories may thus, in the course of their long wanderings, come to be recognised under widely different aspects, as when they are used by Boccaccio or Poggio merely as merry tales, or by some Welsh bard to embellish king Arthur's legendary glories, or by some Buddhist samaṇa or mediæval friar to add point to his discourse. Chaucer unwittingly puts a Jātaka story into the mouth of his Pardonere when he tells his tale of 'the ryotoures three'; and another appears in Herodotus as the popular explanation of the sudden rise of the Alcmæonidæ through Megacles' marriage with Cleisthenes' daughter and the rejection of his rival Hippocleides.

The Pāli work, entitled 'the Jātaka', the first volume of which is now presented to the reader in an English form, contains 550 Jātakas or Birth-stories, which are arranged in 22 nipātas or books. This division is roughly founded on the number of verses (gāthās) which are quoted in each story; thus the first book contains 150 stories, each of which only quotes one verse, the second 100, each of which quotes two, the third and fourth 50 each, which respectively quote 3 and 4, and so on to the twenty-first with 5 stories, each of which quotes 80 verses, and the twenty-second with 10 stories, each quoting a still larger number. Each story opens with a preface called the paccuppannavatthu or 'story of the present', which relates the particular circumstances in the Buddha's life which led him to tell the birth-story and thus reveal some event in the long series of his previous existences as a bodhisatta or a being destined to attain Buddha-ship. At the end there is always given a short summary, where the Buddha identifies the different actors in the story in their present births at the time of his discourse,--it being an essential condition of the book that the Buddha possesses the same power as that which Pythagoras claimed but with a far more extensive range, since he could remember all the past events in every being's previous existences as well as in his own. Every story is also illustrated by one or more gāthās which are uttered by the Buddha while still a Bodhisatta and so playing his part in the narrative; but sometimes the verses are put into his mouth as the Buddha, when they are called abhisambuddha-gāthā.

p. x

Some of these stanzas are found in the canonical book called the Dhammapada; and many of the Jātaka stories are given in the old Commentary on that book but with varying details, and sometimes associated with verses which are not given in our present Jātaka text. This might seem to imply that there is not necessarily a strict connexion between any particular story and the verses which may be quoted as its moral; but in most cases an apposite stanza would of course soon assert a prescriptive right to any narrative which it seemed specially to illustrate. The language of the gāthās is much more archaic than that of the stories; and it certainly seems more probable to suppose that they are the older kernel of the work, and that thus in its original form the Jātaka, like the Cariyā-piṭaka, consisted only of these verses. It is quite true that they are generally unintelligible without the story, but such is continually the case with proverbial sayings; the traditional commentary passes by word of mouth in a varying form along with the adage, as in the well-known οὐ φροντὶς Ἱπποκλείδῃ or our own 'Hobson's choice', until some author writes it down in a crystallised form 1. Occasionally the same birth-story is repeated elsewhere in a somewhat varied form and with different verses attached to it; and we sometimes find the phrase iti vitthāretabbam 2, which seems to imply that the narrator is to amplify the details at his discretion.

The native tradition in Ceylon is that the original Jātaka Book consisted of the gāthās alone, and that a commentary on these, containing the stories which they were intended to illustrate, was written in very early times in Singhalese. This was translated into Pāli about 430 A.D. by Buddhaghosa, who translated so many of the early Singhalese commentaries into Pāli; and after this the Singhalese original was lost, The accuracy of this tradition has been discussed by Professor Rhys Davids in the Introduction to the first volume of his 'Buddhist Birth Stories' 3; and we may safely adopt his conclusion, that if the prose commentary was not composed by Buddhaghosa, it was composed not long afterwards; and as in any case it was merely a redaction of materials

p. xi

handed down from very early times in the Buddhist community, it is not a question of much importance except for Pāli literary history. The gāthās are undoubtedly old, and they necessarily imply the previous existence of the stories, though not perhaps in the exact words in which we now possess them.

The Jātakas are preceded in the Pāli text by a long Introduction, the Nidāna-kathā, which gives the Buddha's previous history both before his last birth, and also during his last existence until he attained the state of a Buddha 1. This has been translated by Professor Rhys Davids, but as it has no direct connexion with the rest of the work, we have omitted it in our translation, which commences with the first Birth-story.

We have translated the quasi historical introductions which always precede the different birth-stories, as they are an essential part of the plan of the original work,--since they link each tale with some special incident in the Buddha's life, which tradition venerates as the occasion when he is supposed to have recalled the forgotten scene of a long past existence to his contemporaries. But it is an interesting question for future investigation how far they contain any historical data. They appear at first sight to harmonise with the framework of the Piṭakas; but I confess that I have no confidence in their historical credibility,--they seem to me rather the laboured invention of a later age, like the legendary history of the early centuries of ancient Rome. But this question will be more easily settled, when we have made further progress in the translation.

The Jātakas themselves are of course interesting as specimens of Buddhist literature; but their foremost interest to us consists in their relation to folk-lore and the light which they often throw on those popular stories which illustrate so vividly the ideas and superstitions of the early times of civilisation. In this respect they possess a special value, as, although much of their matter is peculiar to Buddhism, they contain embedded with it an unrivalled collection of Folk-lore. They are also full of interest as giving a vivid picture of the social life and customs of ancient India. Such books as Lieutenant-Colonel Sleeman's 'Rambles' or Mr Grierson's 'Bihār Peasant Life' illustrate them at every turn. They form in fact an ever-shifting panorama of the village life such as Fah-hian and Hiouen-thsang saw it in the old days before the Muhammadan

p. xii

conquest, when Hindu institutions and native rule prevailed in every province throughout the land. Like all collections of early popular tales they are full of violence and craft, and betray a low opinion of woman; but outbursts of nobler feeling are not wanting, to relieve the darker colours.

Professor Rhys Davids first commenced a translation of the Jātaka in 1880, but other engagements obliged him to discontinue it after one volume had appeared, containing the Nidānakathā and 40 stories. The present translation has been undertaken by a band of friends who hope, by each being responsible for a definite portion, to complete the whole within a reasonable time. We are in fact a guild of Jātaka translators, çreshṭhi pūrvā vayaṃ çreṇiḥ; but, although we have adopted some common principles of translation and aim at a certain general uniformity in our technical terms and in transliteration, we have agreed to leave each individual translator, within certain limits, a free hand in his own work. The Editor only exercises a general superintendence, in consultation with the two resident translators, Mr Francis and Mr Neil.

Mr R. Chalmers of Oriel College, Oxford, has translated in the present volume the first volume of Prof. Fausböll's edition of the Pāli text (five volumes of which have already appeared). The second volume will be translated by Mr W. H. D. Rouse, late fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge, who will also be responsible for the fourth; the third will be translated by Mr H. T. Francis, Under-Librarian of the University Library at Cambridge, and late fellow of Gonville and Caius College, and Mr R. A. Neil, fellow and assistant-tutor of Pembroke College, who hope also to undertake the fifth 1.

E. B. COWELL.

 

 


Footnotes

vii:1 But compare the account of Aristeas of Proconnesus in Hdt. iv. 14, 15.

vii:2 Diogenes Laert. viii. 1.

vii:3 iv. 148.

viii:1 Beal's transl. p. 157.

viii:2 Hiouen-thsang twice refers to Jātakas, Julien, i. 137, 197.

viii:3 See Prof. M. M. Künté's paper, Journ. R. A. S. Ceylon, viii. 123.

viii:4 In the curious description of the Buddhist grove in the Harsha-carita, viii., Bāṇa mentions owls "which repeated the Bodhisattva's Jātakas, having gained illumination by continually hearing them recited."

x:1 We have an interesting illustration of the proverbial character of some of the Jātaka stories in the Sāṇkhya Aphorisms, iv. 11, "he who is without hope is happy like Piṅgalā," which finds its explanation in Jāt. 330. It is also referred to in the Mahābh. xii. 6520.

x:2 As e.g. Fausböll, iii. p. 495. Cf. Divyāvad. p. 377, 1.

x:3 See also several papers in the eighth volume of the Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the R. A. Society.

xi:1 This latter portion partly corresponds to the well-known Lalita-vistara of the Northern Buddhists.

xii:1 A complete index will be given at the end of the last volume.


The Jataka, Volume I: Contents



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


p. xiii

CONTENTS.

 

 

PAGE

 

PREFACE

vii

1.

APAṆṆAKA-JĀTAKA

1

 

(Two merchants travel with caravans across a desert. One, beguiled by goblins, throws away his drinking-water in the desert and is devoured with all his people and cattle; the other completes his journey safely.)

 

2.

VAṆṆUPATHA-JĀTAKA

9

 

(Travelling across a desert, a caravan through mistake throws away its water, &c. In their despair the leader has a well dug, till far down water is found, and perseverance saves the caravan from death.)

 

3.

SERIVĀṆIJA-JĀTAKA

12

 

(Two hawkers are successively offered by its unwitting owners a golden bowl. The greedy hawker over-reaches himself, whilst the honest one is richly rewarded.)

 

4.

CULLAKA-SEṬṬHI-JĀTAKA

14

 

(A young man picks up a dead mouse which he sells, and works up this capital till he becomes rich.)

 

5.

TAṆḌULANĀLI-JĀTAKA

21

 

(An incompetent valuer declares 500 horses worth a measure of rice, which measure. of rice in turn he is led to declare worth all Benares.)

 

6.

DEVADHAMMA-JĀTAKA

23

 

(Two princes going down to a haunted pool are seized by an ogre; the third, by correctly defining 'godlike,' saves his brothers.)

 

7.

KAṬṬHAHĀRI-JĀTAKA

27

 

(A king refuses to recognize his son by a chance amour; the mother throws the child into the air, praying that, if he be not the king's son, he may be killed by his fall. The child rests in mid-air, and the king recognizes him as his son.)

 

8.

GĀMANI-JĀTAKA

29

 

p. xiv

 

 

 

PAGE

9.

MAKHĀDEVA-JĀTAKA

30

 

(A king, finding a grey hair in his head, renounces his throne to prepare as a hermit for death.)

 

10.

SUKHAVIHĀRI-JĀTAKA

32

 

(A king who becomes a Brother proclaims the happiness he has found.)

 

11.

LAKKHAṆA-JĀTAKA

34

 

(Two stags; one through stupidity loses all his following, whilst the other brings his herd home in safety.)

 

12.

NIGRODHAMIGA-JĀTAKA

36

 

(Deer in a royal park, to avoid being hunted, decide that lots shall be cast to select a daily victim. The lot having fallen on a doe big with young, the king of the deer offers himself as a substitute at the block and saves not only his own life but also the lives of all living creatures.)

 

13.

KAṆḌINA-JĀTAKA

42

 

(A mountain-stag, enamoured of a doe, is by her allowed to fall prey to a hunter; the doe escapes.)

 

14.

VĀTAMIGA-JĀTAKA

44

 

(By a bait of honeyed grass a wild antelope is lured by slow degrees into a palace.)

 

15.

KHARĀDIYA-JĀTAKA

46

 

(A deer which would not come to be taught the ruses of deer, is caught in a trap.)

 

16.

TIPALLATTHAMIGA-JĀTAKA

47

 

(A deer which had learnt the ruses of deer, being caught in a snare, effects its escape.)

 

17.

MĀLUTA-JĀTAKA

50

 

(A tiger and a lion dispute whether it is the dark or the light half of the month which is cold.)

 

18.

MATAKABHATTA-JĀTAKA

51

 

(A goat, which was to be sacrificed by a brahmin, shows signs of great joy and of great sorrow. It explains the reason for each emotion.)

 

19.

ĀYĀCITABHATTA-JĀTAKA

53

 

(Offering sacrifice to get release from a vow, is not true 'Release.')

 

20.

NAḶAPĀNA-JĀTAKA

54

 

(Thirsty monkeys came to a pool haunted by an ogre. Their leader miraculously blows the knots out of canes and with these the monkeys safely slake their thirst.)

 

 

p. xv

 

 

 

PAGE

21.

KURUṄGA-JĀTAKA

57

 

(A hunter up a tree throws down fruits to lure a deer within aim. The deer detects the artifice and escapes.)

 

22.

KUKKURA-JĀTAKA

58

 

(Carriage-straps having been gnawed by palace dogs, a king orders all other dogs to be killed. The leader of a pack of dogs reveals the truth by causing an emetic to be applied to the royal dogs of the palace.)

 

23.

BHOJĀJĀNĪYA-JĀTAKA

61

 

(A charger falls wounded when his rider has captured six out of seven kings. Seeing that a hack is being saddled in his place, the charger asks to be saddled again, makes a last effort and dies in the hour of victory.)

 

24.

ĀJAÑÑA-JĀTAKA

63

 

(A story similar to the above about two chariot horses, one of whom is wounded and is about to be replaced by a sorry beast.)

 

25.

TITTHA-JĀTAKA

64

 

(A royal charger refuses to take his bath because a hack had bathed at the spot.)

 

26.

MAHILĀMUKHA-JĀTAKA

67

 

(An elephant listening to robbers' talk, kills his mahout; by listening to virtuous converse he becomes good again.)

 

27.

ABHIṆHA-JĀTAKA

69

 

(An elephant, missing his playmate, the dog, refuses to eat until the dog is restored to him.)

 

28.

NANDIVISĀLA-JĀTAKA

71

 

(How by incivil words to his bull a brahmin lost a bet, which by civility to the animal he afterwards won.)

 

29.

KAṆHA-JĀTAKA

73

 

(How a bull drew 500 carts in order to earn money for his poor mistress.)

 

30.

MUṆIKA-JĀTAKA

75

 

(A hard-worked ox is discontented with his own hard fare, when he sees a lazy pig being fattened up. Another ox explains that the pig is being fattened to be eaten; and the discontented ox accepts his position.)

 

31.

KULĀVAKA-JĀTAKA

76

 

(Through the practice of goodness tending to the diminution of crime in his village, a man is falsely accused by the headman and sentenced to be trampled to death by elephants. The elephants

 

 

p. xvi

 

 

 

PAGE

 

refuse to harm him. Being released, he builds a caravansery, in which good work (against his wish) three out of four of his wives take part: At death he is reborn as Sakka. His three good wives are reborn in heaven. He seeks out the fourth and exhorts her to goodness. As a crane she refuses to eat a fish which shewed signs of life; reborn a woman, she is eventually born a Titan and espoused by Sakka.)

 

32.

NACCA-JĀTAKA

83

 

(The animals choose kings. The daughter of the king of the birds (the Golden Mallard) chooses the peacock for her husband. In dancing for joy the peacock exposes himself and is rejected.)

 

33.

SAMMODAMĀNA-JĀTAKA

85

 

(Quails caught in a net, rise up in a body with the net and escape several times. After a time they quarrel and are caught.)

 

34.

MACCHA-JĀTAKA

87

 

(An uxorious fish being caught, fears his wife may misconstrue his absence. A brahmin sets him free.)

 

35.

VAṬṬAKA-JĀTAKA

88

 

(A baby-quail is about to be engulfed in a jungle-fire, when by an 'Act of Truth' he quenches the flames round him.)

 

36.

SAKUṆA-JĀTAKA

91

 

(A tree in which birds dwell is grinding its boughs together and beginning to smoke. The wise birds fly away; the foolish ones are burnt.)

 

37.

TITTIRA-JĀTAKA

92

 

(A partridge, a monkey and an elephant living together, decide to obey the senior. To prove seniority each gives his earliest recollection.)

 

38.

BAKA-JĀTAKA

95

 

(A crane by pretending that he was taking them to a big lake, devours all the fish of a pond. A wise crab nips the bird's head off.)

 

39.

NANDA-JĀTAKA

98

 

(How a slave was made to tell where his master's father had buried his hoard.)

 

40.

KHADIRAṄGĀRA-JĀTAKA

100

 

(In order to stop a Treasurer from giving alms to a Pacceka Buddha, Māra interposes a yawning gulf of fire. Undaunted, the Treasurer steps forward, to be borne up by a lotus from which he tenders his alms to Māra's discomfiture.)

 

 

p. xvii

 

 

 

PAGE

41.

LOSAKA-JĀTAKA

105

 

(How a Brother through jealous greed was condemned to rebirths entailing misery and hunger. Finally, when reborn a man, he is deserted by his parents and brings suffering on those around him. On board ship, he has to be cast overboard; on a raft he comes to successive island palaces of goddesses, and eventually to an ogre-island where he seizes the leg of an ogress in form of a goat. She kicks him over the sea to Benares, and he falls among the king's goats. Hoping to get back to the goddesses, he seizes a goat by the leg, only to be seized as a thief and to be condemned to death.)

 

42.

KAPOTA-JĀTAKA

112

 

(A pigeon lives in a kitchen. A greedy crow makes friends with him, and, being also housed in the kitchen, plans an attack on the victuals. The crow is tortured to death, and the pigeon flies away.)

 

43.

VEḶUKA-JĀTAKA

114

 

(A man rears a viper, which in the end kills its benefactor.)

 

44.

MAKASA-JĀTAKA

116

 

(A mosquito settles on a man's head. To kill it, his foolish son strikes the man's head with an axe with fatal effect.)

 

45.

ROHIṆĪ-JĀTAKA

117

 

(Like the last; a pestle takes the place of the axe.)

 

46.

ĀRĀMADŪSAKA-JĀTAKA

118

 

(Monkeys employed to water a pleasaunce pull up the trees in order to judge by the size of the roots how much water to give. The trees die.)

 

47.

VĀRUṆI-JĀTAKA

120

 

(Seeing customers whet their thirst with salt, a young potman mixes salt in the spirits for sale.)

 

48.

VEDABBHA-JĀTAKA

121

 

(Captured by robbers, a brahmin makes treasure rain from the sky; a second band kills him because he cannot repeat the miracle. Mutual slaughter leaves only two robbers with the treasure. One poisons the other's food and is himself slain by his fellow.)

 

49.

NAKKHATTA-JĀTAKA

124

 

(A chaplain thwarts a marriage on the ground that the day fixed is unlucky. The bride is given to another.)

 

50.

DUMMEDHA-JĀTAKA

126

 

(To put a stop to sacrifices of living creatures, a king vows to offer a holocaust of such as take life, &c. Sacrifices cease.)

 

 

p. xviii

 

 

 

PAGE

51.

MAHĀSĪLAVA-JĀTAKA

128

 

(A good king meets evil with good. Refusing to sanction war, he is captured and buried alive in a charnel-grove. How he escapes the jackals, acts as umpire for ogres, and regains his sovereignty.)

 

52.

CŪḶAJANAKA-JĀTAKA

133

53.

PUṆṆAPĀTI-JĀTAKA

134

 

(Rascals drug spirits for purposes of robbery. Their intended victim discovers the plot because they do not drink the liquor themselves.)

 

54.

PHALA-JĀTAKA

135

 

(How in defiance of warnings greedy fellows ate a poisonous fruit. How their leader knew it must be poisonous though it looked exactly like a mango.)

 

55.

PAÑCĀVUDHA-JĀTAKA

137

 

(How Prince Five-weapons fought the ogre Hairy-grip, and, though defeated, subdued the ogre by fearlessness.)

 

56.

KAÑCANAKKHANDHA-JĀTAKA

140

 

(A farmer finds a heavy nugget of gold. By cutting it up into four pieces, he is able to carry it away.)

 

57.

VĀNARINDA-JĀTAKA

142

 

(How the crocodile lay on a rock to catch the monkey, and how the latter outwitted the crocodile.)

 

58.

TAYODHAMMA-JĀTAKA

144

 

(A monkey gelds all his male offspring. One escapes; the father, seeking to kill him, sends his son to an ogre-haunted pool. By cleverness the son escapes death.)

 

59.

BHERIVĀDA-JĀTAKA

146

 

(A drummer by too much drumming is plundered by robbers in a forest.)

 

60.

SAṀKHADHAMANA-JĀTAKA

147

 

(A similar story about a conch blower.)

 

61.

ASĀTAMANTA-JĀTAKA

147

 

(The wickedness of women shewn by the endeavour of a hag to kill her good son in order to facilitate an intrigue with a youth.)

 

62.

AṆḌABHŪTA-JĀTAKA

151

 

(Another story of the innate wickedness of women. A girl is bred up from infancy among women only, without ever seeing any man but her husband. The story of her intrigue with a lover and of her deceits toward her husband.)

 

 

p. xix

 

 

 

PAGE

63.

TAKKA-JĀTAKA

155

 

(A wicked princess seduces a hermit who devotes himself to her. Being carried off by a robber chief, she lures the hermit to her new home in order that he may be killed. His goodness saves him and her ingratitude destroys her.)

 

64.

DURĀJĀNA-JĀTAKA

158

 

(Wives a bar to the higher life.)

 

65.

ANABHIRATI-JĀTAKA

160

 

(Women common to all.)

 

66.

MUDULAKKHAṆA-JĀTAKA

161

 

(How a hermit fell in love and was cured.)

 

67.

UCCHAṄGA-JĀTAKA

164

 

(A woman's husband, son and brother are condemned to death. Being offered a choice which she will save, she chooses her brother and gives the reason.)

 

68.

SĀKETA-JĀTAKA

166

 

(Why a Brahmin and his wife claimed the Buddha as their son.)

 

69.

VISAVANTA-JĀTAKA

167

 

(A viper bites a man and refuses under threat of death to suck out the poison.)

 

70.

KUDDĀLA-JĀTAKA

168

 

(Private property a bar to the higher life. Conquest over self the highest conquest. Sakka builds a monastery for a sage and a converted people.)

 

71.

VARAṆA-JĀTAKA

172

 

(How a lazy fellow, who picked green boughs for firewood, hurt himself and inconvenienced others.)

 

72.

SĪLAVANĀGA-JĀTAKA

174

 

(The story of the good elephant and the ungrateful man.)

 

73.

SACCAṀKIRA-JĀTAKA

177

 

(The ingratitude of a prince, and the gratitude of. a snake, a rat and a parrot.)

 

74.

RUKKHADHAMMA-JĀTAKA

181

 

(Union is strength, among trees as among men.)

 

75.

MACCHA-JĀTAKA

183

 

(How the good fish ended a drought And saved his kinsfolk.)

 

76.

ASAṀKIYA-JĀTAKA

185

 

(A caravan is saved by a wakeful hermit from being looted.)

 

 

p. xx

 

 

 

PAGE

77.

MAHĀSUPINA-JĀTAKA

187

 

(Sixteen wonderful dreams and their interpretation.)

 

78.

ILLĪSA-JĀTAKA

195

 

(How a miser was cured by his father reappearing on earth and distributing the son's wealth in the exact semblance of the son.)

 

79.

KHARASSARA-JĀTAKA

202

 

(A village headman privily incites robbers to carry off the taxes collected for the king.)

 

80.

BHĪMASENA-JĀTAKA

203

 

(A valiant dwarf and a cowardly giant. The dwarf does the work, and the giant gets the credit. The giant's growing pride is brought low in the face of danger; the dwarf is honoured.)

 

81.

SURĀPĀNA-JĀTAKA

206

 

(The effects of strong drink on hermits.)

 

82.

MITTAVINDA-JĀTAKA

209

 

(See No. 41.)

 

83.

KĀLAKAṆṆI-JĀTAKA

209

 

(Not the name but the heart within makes the man.)

 

84.

ATTHASSADVĀRA-JĀTAKA

211

 

(The paths to spiritual welfare.)

 

85.

KIMPAKKA-JĀTAKA

212

 

(Like No. 54.)

 

86.

SĪLAVĪMAṀSANA-JĀTAKA

213

 

(The brahmin who stole in order to see whether he was esteemed for goodness or otherwise. The good cobra.)

 

87.

MAṀGALA-JĀTAKA

215

 

(The folly of superstitious belief in omens and the like.)

 

88.

SĀRAMBHA-JĀTAKA

217

 

(Like No. 28.)

 

89.

KUHAKA-JĀTAKA

218

 

(The hypocritical hermit who stole the gold, but punctiliously returned a straw which was not his.)

 

90.

AKATAÑÑU-JĀTAKA

220

 

(A merchant is befriended by a merchant in another country, but refuses to return the service. The revenge taken by the good merchant's servants.)

 

 

p. xi

 

 

 

PAGE

91.

LITTA-JĀTAKA

221

 

(A sharper swallows dice which had been poisoned in order to teach him a lesson.)

 

92.

MAHĀSĀRA-JĀTAKA

222

 

(A queen's jewels are stolen by monkeys. Certain innocent persons confess to the theft. How the monkeys are proved to be the real culprits, and how the jewels are recovered.)

 

93.

VISSĀSABHOJANA-JĀTAKA

227

 

(A lion's fatal passion for a doe.)

 

94.

LOMAHAṀSA-JĀTAKA

229

 

(The futility of ascetic self-mortification.)

 

95.

MAHĀSUDASSANA-JĀTAKA

230

 

(How King Sudassana died.)

 

96.

TELAPATTA-JĀTAKA

232

 

(A prince wins a kingdom by resisting the fascinations of lovely ogresses. A king who yields, is eaten, with all his household.)

 

97.

NĀMASIDDHI-JĀTAKA

237

 

(Discontented with his name, a youth travels till he learns that the name does not make the man.)

 

98.

KŪṬAVĀṆIJA-JĀTAKA

239

 

(A rogue is hidden in a hollow tree, to feign to be the Tree-sprite who is to act as umpire in a dispute. A fire lighted at the bottom of the tree exposes the cheat.)

 

99.

PAROSAHASSA-JĀTAKA

240

 

(A brahmin dies and states his spiritual attainments in a formula which only one of his pupils understands.)

 

100.

ASĀTARŪPA-JĀTAKA

242

 

(A beleaguered city is captured by cutting off supplies of water and firewood.)

 

101.

PAROSATA-JĀTAKA

243

 

(= No. 99.)

 

102.

PAṆṆIKA-JĀTAKA

244

 

(To test his daughter's virtue, a man makes love to her.)

 

103.

VERI-JĀTAKA

245

 

(A merchant rejoices that he has outstripped robbers and reached his home in safety.)

 

 

p. xxii

 

 

 

PAGE

104.

MITTAVINDA-JĀTAKA

246

 

(An additional fragment of No. 41.)

 

105.

DUBBALAKAṬṬHA-JĀTAKA

246

 

(An elephant, having escaped from the trainer's goad, lives in constant dread.)

 

106.

UDAÑCANI-JĀTAKA

248

 

(A young hermit, seduced by a girl, is disenchanted by the number of errands she makes him run.)

 

107.

SĀLITTAKA-JĀTAKA

249

 

(A skilful marksman reduces a talkative brahmin to silence by flicking pellets of goat's dung down the latter's throat.)

 

108.

BĀHIYA-JĀTAKA

251

 

(Occasional decency a passport to greatness.)

 

19.

KUṆḌAKAPŪVA-JĀTAKA

252

 

(A Tree-sprite, whose worshipper feared his gift was too mean, asks for the gift and rewards the poor man by revealing the site of a buried hoard of money.)

 

110.

SABBASAṀHĀRAKA-PAÑHA

254

111.

GADRABHA-PAÑHA

254

112.

AMARĀDEVĪ-PAÑHA

254

113.

SIGĀLA-JĀTAKA

255

 

(Being belated in a city, a jackal, by a lying promise to reveal buried treasure, induces a brahmin to carry him safely out of the city. The greedy brahmin reaps only indignities from the ungrateful beast.)

 

114.

MITACINTI-JĀTAKA

256

 

(Of three fishes, two through folly are caught in a net; the third and wiser fish rescues them.)

 

115.

ANUSĀSIKA-JĀTAKA

257

 

(A greedy bird, after cunningly warning other birds against the dangers of the high road on which she found food, is herself crushed to death by a carriage on that road.)

 

116.

DUBBACA-JĀTAKA

259

 

(Being in liquor, an acrobat undertakes to jump more javelins than he can manage, and is killed.)

 

117.

TITTIRA-JĀTAKA

260

 

(A busybody is killed for his chatter by a jaundiced man; and the piping of a partridge attracts the hunter who kills it.)

 

 

p. xxiii

 

 

 

PAGE

118.

VAṬṬAKA-JĀTAKA

261

 

(A quail, being caught by a fowler, starves itself till no one will buy it, and in the end escapes.)

 

119.

AKĀLARĀVI-JĀTAKA

263

 

(A cock which crowed in and out of season has its neck wrung.)

 

120.

BANDHANAMOKKHA-JĀTAKA

264

 

(A queen, who had committed adultery with sixty-four footmen and failed in her overtures to the chaplain, accuses the latter of rape. He reveals her guilt and his own innocence.)

 

121.

KUSANĀḶI-JĀTAKA

267

 

(A grass-sprite and a tree-sprite are friends. The former saves the latter's tree from the axe by assuming the shape of a chameleon and making the tree look full of holes.)

 

122.

DUMMEDHA-JĀTAKA

269

 

(Being jealous of his elephant, a king seeks to make it fall over a precipice. The elephant flies through the air with its mahout to another and more appreciative master.)

 

123.

NAṄGALĪSA-JĀTAKA

271

 

(A stupid youth, being devoted to his teacher, props up the latter's bed with his own leg all night long. The grateful teacher yearns to instruct the dullard and tries to make him compare things together. The youth sees a likeness to the shaft of a plough in a snake, an elephant, sugar-cane and curds. The teacher abandons all hope.)

 

124.

AMBA-JĀTAKA

273

 

(In time of drought, a hermit provides water for the animals, who in gratitude bring him fruit enough for himself and 500 others.)

 

125.

KAṬĀHAKA-JĀTAKA

275

 

(A slave, educated beyond his station, manages by forging his master's name to marry a rich wife in another city. He gives himself airs till his old master comes, who, while not betraying the slave, teaches the wife verses whereby to restrain her husband's arrogance.)

 

126.

ASILAKKHAṆA-JĀTAKA

277

 

(Effects of two sneezes. One lost a sword-tester his nose, whilst the other won a princess for her lover.)

 

127.

KALAṆḌUKA-JĀTAKA

280

 

(A slave like the one in No. 125 is rebuked for arrogance to his wife by a parrot who knew him at home, The slave is recaptured.)

 

 

p. xxiv

 

 

 

PAGE

128.

BIḶĀRA-JĀTAKA

281

 

(A jackal, under guise of saintliness, eats rats belonging to a troop with which he consorts. His treachery is discovered and avenged.)

 

129.

AGGIKA-JĀTAKA

283

 

(A similar story about rats and a jackal whose hair had all been burnt off except a top-knot which suggested holiness.)

 

130.

KOSIYA-JĀTAKA

284

 

(The alternative of the stick or a draught of nauseous filth cures a wife of feigned illness.)

 

131.

ASAMPADĀNA-JĀTAKA

286

 

(A benefactor is repulsed by the man he had befriended. Hearing of this ingratitude, the king gives all the ingrate's wealth to the benefactor, who refuses to take back more than his own.)

 

132.

PAÑCAGARU-JĀTAKA

288

 

(Like No. 96. The king is thankful to have passed through great perils to great dominion.)

 

133.

GHATĀSANA-JĀTAKA

290

 

(Because the waters of his lake were befouled by birds roosting in an overhanging tree, a Naga darts flames among the boughs. The wise birds fly away; the foolish stay and are killed.)

 

134.

JHĀNASODHANA-JĀTAKA

291

 

(Like No. 99.)

 

135.

CANDĀBHA-JĀTAKA

292

 

(Like No. 99.)

 

136.

SUVAṆṆAHAṀSA-JĀTAKA

292

 

(The father of a family dies, leaving his family destitute. Being reborn a bird with golden plumage, and discovering the condition of his family, the father gives them a feather at a time to sell. The widow in her greed plucks all his feathers out, only to find that they are gold no more.)

 

137.

BABBU-JĀTAKA

294

 

(A mouse caught by successive cats buys them off by daily rations of meat. In the end, the mouse, ensconced in crystal, defies the cats, who dash themselves to pieces against the unseen crystal.)

 

138.

GODHA-JĀTAKA

297

 

(A hermit tries in vain to catch a lizard to eat.)

 

 

p. xxv

 

 

 

PAGE

139.

UBHATOBHAṬṬHA-JĀTAKA

298

 

(A fisherman, having hooked a snag, and thinking it a monster fish, wishes to keep it all to himself. How he lost his clothes and his eyes, and how his wife was beaten and fined.)

 

140.

KĀKA-JĀTAKA

300

 

(A wanton crow having befouled the king's chaplain, the latter prescribes crows' fat for the burns of the king's elephants. The leader of the crows explains to the king that crows have no fat and that revenge alone prompted the chaplain's prescription.)

 

141.

GODHA-JĀTAKA

302

 

(A chameleon betrays a tribe of iguanas to a hunter.)

 

142.

SIGĀLA-JĀTAKA

304

 

(In order to catch a jackal, a man pretends to be dead. To try him, the jackal tugs at the man's stick and finds his grip tighten.)

 

143.

VIROCANA-JĀTAKA

305

 

(A jackal, after attending a lion in the chase, imagines he can kill a quarry as well as the lion. In essaying to kill an elephant, the jackal is killed.)

 

144.

NAṄGUṬṬHA-JĀTAKA

307

 

(A votary of the God of Fire, having a cow to sacrifice to his deity, finds that robbers have driven it off. If the god, he reflects, cannot look after his own sacrifice, how shall he protect his votary?)

 

145.

RĀDHA-JĀTAKA

309

 

(A brahmin asks two parrots to keep an eye on his wife during his absence. They observe her misconduct and report it to the brahmin, without essaying the hopeless task of restraining her.)

 

146.

KĀKA-JĀTAKA

310

 

(A hen crow having been drowned in the sea, other crows try to bale the sea out with their beaks.)

 

147.

PUPPHARATTA-JĀTAKA

312

 

(In order to have smart holiday attire, a wife makes her husband break into the royal conservatories. Being caught and impaled, he has only the one grief that his wife will not have her flowers to wear.)

 

148.

SIGĀLA-JĀTAKA

314

 

(A jackal eats his way into a dead elephant's carcass and cannot get out.)

 

 

p. xxvi

 

 

 

PAGE

149.

EKAPAṆṆA-JĀTAKA

316

 

(By the analogy of a poisonous seedling, a wicked prince is reformed.)

 

150.

SAÑJĪVA-JĀTAKA

319

 

(A youth, who has learnt the charm for restoring the dead to life, tries it on a tiger, with fatal effects to himself.)

 

 

INDEX OF PROPER NAMES

323


The Jataka, Volume I: Errata



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


ERRATA.

P. 30, l. 36, read 'He who has trodden...'

P. 113, last l., read Cf. Vol. n. p. 362 (Pāli text).


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 1. Apaṇṇaka-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


p. 1

Praised be the Blessed One, the Arahat, the perfect Buddha.

BOOK I.--EKANIPĀTA 1.

No. 1.

APAṆṆAKA-JĀTAKA.

[95.] This 2 discourse regarding Truth was delivered by the Blessed One, while he was dwelling in the Great Monastery at Jetavana near Sāvatthi. But who, you ask, was it that led up to this tale?

Well; it was the Treasurer's five hundred friends, disciples of the sophists 3.

For, one day Anātha-piṇḍika 4 the Treasurer, took his friends the five hundred disciples of other schools, and went off with them to Jetavana, whither also he had a great store brought of garlands, perfumes, and unguents, together with oil, honey, molasses, cloths, and cloaks. After due salutation to the Blessed One, he made his offering to him of the garlands and the like, and handed over to the Order of the Brethren the medicinal oil and so forth together with the cloths; and, this done, he took his seat on one side eschewing the six faults in

p. 2

sitting down. Likewise, those disciples of other schools saluted the Buddha, and took their seats close by the side of Anātha-piṇḍika,--gazing upon the Master's countenance, glorious as the full moon, upon his excellent presence endowed with the signs and marks of Buddhahood and encompassed to a fathom's length with light, and upon the rich glory that marks a Buddha, a glory which issued as it were in paired garlands, pair upon pair.

Then, though in thunderous tones as of a young lion roaring in the Red Valley or as of a storm-cloud in the rainy season, bringing down as it were the Ganges of the Heavens 1. 6 and seeming to weave a chaplet of jewels,--yet in a voice of eightfold perfection, the charm of which ravished the ear, he preached to them the Truth in a discourse full of sweetness and bright with varied beauty.

They, after hearing the Master's discourse, rose up with hearts converted, and with due salutation to the Lord of Knowledge, burst asunder the other doctrines in which they had taken refuge, and betook themselves to the Buddha as their refuge. Thenceforth without ceasing they used to go with Anātha-piṇḍika, carrying in their hands perfumes and garlands and the like, to hear the Truth in the Monastery; and they abounded in charity, kept the Commandments, and kept the weekly fast-day.

Now the Blessed One went from Sāvatthi back to Rājagaha again. As soon as the Buddha had gone, they burst asunder their new faith, and returning to the other doctrines as their refuge, reverted to their original state.

After some seven or eight months' stay, the Blessed One came back to Jetavana. Once again too did Anātha-piṇḍika come with those friends of his to the Master, make his salutation and offering of perfumes and the like, and take his seat on one side. And the friends also saluted the Blessed One and took their seats in like manner. Then did Anātha-piṇḍika tell the Blessed One how, when the Buddha had departed on his alms-pilgrimage, his friends had forsaken their refuge for the old doctrines again, and had reverted to their original state.

Opening the lotus of his mouth, as though it were a casket of jewels, scented with scents divine and filled with divers perfumes by virtue of his having ever spoken aright throughout myriad æons, the Blessed One made his sweet voice come forth, as he enquired:--"Is the report true that you, disciples, have forsaken the Three Refuges 2 for the refuge of other doctrines?"

And when they, unable to conceal the fact, had confessed, saying, "It is true, Blessed One," then said the Master, "Disciples, not between the bounds of hell 3 below and the highest heaven above, not in all the infinite worlds that stretch right and left, is there the equal, much less the superior, of a Buddha in the excellences which spring from obeying the Commandments and from other virtuous conduct."

Then he declared to them the excellences of the Three Gems as they are revealed in the sacred texts, the following amongst the number,--"Of all creatures, Brethren, whether footless &c., of these the Buddha is the chief"; "Whatsoever riches there be in this or in other worlds &c."; and "Verily the chief of the faithful &c." Thence he went on to say:--"No disciples, male or female, who seek refuge in the Three Gems that are endowed with such peerless excellences, are ever reborn into hell and the like states; but, released from all rebirth into states of suffering, they pass to the Realm of Devas and there receive great glory. Therefore, in forsaking such a refuge for that offered by other doctrines, you have gone astray."

p. 3

(And here the following sacred texts should be cited to make it clear that none who, to find release and the supreme good, have sought refuge in the Three Gems, shall be reborn into states of suffering:--

[97] Those who have refuge in the Buddha found,
Shall not pass hence to states of suffering;
Straightway, when they shall quit their human frame,
A Deva-form these faithful ones shall fill 1.

              _______________

Those who have refuge in the Doctrine found
                  &c., &c.

              _______________

Those who have refuge in the Order found
                  &c., &c.

              _______________

They're manifold the refuges men seek,
--The mountain peak, the forest's solitude,

(and so on down to)

When he this refuge shall have sought and found,
Entire release is his from every pain.) 2

But the Master did not end his teaching to them at this point; for he went on to say:--"Disciples, meditation on the thought of the Buddha, meditation on the thought of the Truth, meditation on the thought of the Brotherhood, this it is that gives Entry to and Fruition of the First, the Second, the Third, and the Fourth Paths to Bliss 3." And when he had preached the Truth to them in these and other ways, he said, "In forsaking such a refuge as this, you have gone astray."

(And here the gift of the several Paths to those who meditate on the thought of the Buddha and so forth, should be made clear by such scriptures as the following:--"One thing there is, Brethren, which, if practised and developed, conduces to utter loathing of the world's vanities, to the cessation of passion, to the end of being, to peace, to insight, to enlightenment, to Nirvana. What is this one thing?--The meditation on the thought of the Buddha.")

When he had thus exhorted the disciples, the Blessed One said,--"So too in times past, disciples, the men who jumped to the fatuous conclusion that what was no refuge was a real refuge, fell a prey to goblins in a demon-haunted wilderness and were utterly destroyed; whilst the men who clave to the absolute and indisputable truth, prospered in the selfsame wilderness." And when he had said this, he became silent.

Then, rising up from his seat and saluting the Blessed One, the layman Anātha-piṇḍika burst into praises, and with clasped hands raised in reverence to his forehead, spoke thus:--"It is clear to us, Sir, that in these present days these disciples were led by error into forsaking the supreme refuge. But the bygone destruction of those opinionated ones in the demon-haunted wilderness, and the prospering of the men who clave to the truth, are hidden from us and known only to you. [98] May it please the Blessed One, as though causing the full moon to rise in the sky, to make this thing clear to us."

p. 4

Then said the Blessed One:--"It was solely to brush away the world's difficulties that by the display of the Ten Perfections 1 through myriad æons I won omniscience. Give ear and hearken, as closely as if you were filling a tube of gold with lion's marrow."

Having thus excited the Treasurer's attention, he made clear the thing that re-birth had concealed from them, as though he were releasing the full moon from the upper air, the birthplace of the snows.

_____________________________

Once on a time in the city of Benares in the Kāsi country there was a king named Brahmadatta. In those days the Bodhisatta was born into a merchant's family, and growing up in due course, used to journey about trading with, five hundred carts, travelling now from east to west and now from west to east. There was also at Benares another young merchant, a stupid blockhead, lacking resource.

Now at the time of our story the Bodhisatta had loaded five hundred carts with costly wares of Benares and had got them all ready to start. And so had the foolish young merchant too. Thought the Bodhisatta, "If this foolish young merchant keeps me company all along, and the thousand carts travel along together, it will be too much for the road; it will be a hard matter to get wood, water, and so forth for the men, or grass for the oxen. Either he or I must go on first." So he sent for the other and laid his view before him, saying, "The two of us can't travel together; would you rather go first or last?" Thought the other, "There will be many advantages if I go on first. I shall have a road which is not yet cut up; my oxen will have the pick of the grass; my men will have the pick of the herbs for curry; the water will be undisturbed; and, lastly, I shall fix my own price for the barter of my goods." Accordingly he replied, "I will go first, my dear sir." [99]

The Bodhisatta, on the other hand, saw many advantages in going last, for he argued thus to himself:--"Those who go first will level the road where it is rough,. whilst I shall travel along the road they have already travelled; their oxen will have grazed off the coarse old grass, whilst mine will pasture on the sweet young growth which will spring up in its place; my men will find a fresh growth of sweet herbs for curry where the old ones have been picked; where there is no water, the first caravan will have to dig to supply themselves, and we shall drink at the wells they dug. Haggling over prices is killing work; whereas I, following later, shall barter my wares at the prices they have already fixed." Accordingly, seeing all these advantages, he said to the other, "Then go you first, my dear sir."

p. 5

"Very well, I will," said the foolish merchant. And he yoked his carts and set out. Journeying along, he left human habitations behind him and came to the outskirts of the wilderness. (Now wildernesses are of the five following kinds:--robber wildernesses, wild-beast wildernesses, drought wildernesses, demon wildernesses, and famine wildernesses. The first is when the way is beset by robbers; the second is when the way is beset by lions and other wild beasts; the third is when there is no bathing or water to be got; the fourth is when the road is beset by demons; and the fifth is when no roots or other food are to be found. And in this fivefold category the wilderness in question was both a drought, and a demon, wilderness.) Accordingly this young merchant took great big water-jars on his carts, and filling them with water, set out to cross the sixty leagues of desert which lay before him. Now when he had reached the middle of the wilderness, the goblin who haunted it said to himself, "I will make these men throw away their stock of water, and devour them all when they are faint." So he 1 framed by his magic power a delightful carriage drawn by pure white young bulls. With a retinue of some ten or twelve goblins bearing bows and quivers, swords and shields, he rode along to meet them like a mighty lord in this carriage, with blue lotuses and white water-lilies wreathed round his head, with wet hair and wet clothes, and with muddy carriage-wheels. His attendants, too, in front and rear of him went along with their hair and clothes wet, with garlands of blue lotuses and white water-lilies on their beads, and with bunches of white lotuses in their hands, chewing the esculent stalks, and dripping with water and mire. Now the leaders of caravans have the following custom: whenever the wind blows in their teeth, they ride on in front in their carriage with their attendants round them, in order to escape the dust; but when the wind blows from behind them, then they ride in like fashion in the rear of the column. And, as on this occasion the wind was blowing against them, the young merchant was riding in front. When the goblin became aware of the merchant's approach, he drew his carriage aside from the track and greeted him kindly, asking him whither he was going. The leader of the caravan too caused his carriage to be drawn aside from the track so as to let the carts pass by, whilst he stayed by the way and thus addressed the goblin: "We are just on our way from Benares, sir. But I observe that you have lotuses and water-lilies on your heads and in your hands, and that your people are chewing the esculent stalks, and that you are all muddy and dripping with wet. Pray did it rain while you were on the road, and did you come on pools covered with lotuses and water-lilies?"

Hereon the goblin exclaimed, "What did you say? Why, yonder appears the dark-green streak of the forest, and thence onward there is nothing but water all through the forest. It is always raining there; the

p. 6

pools are full; and on every side are lakes covered with lotuses and water-lilies." Then as the line of carts 1 passed by, he asked where they were bound for. "To such and such a place," was the reply. "And what wares have you got in this cart and in this?" "So and so." "And what might you have in this last cart which seems to move as if it were heavily laden?" "Oh, there's water in that." "You did well to carry water with you from the other side. But there is no need for it now, as water is abundant on ahead. So break the jars and throw the water away, that you may travel easier." And he added, "Now continue on your way, as we have stopped too long already." Then he went a little way further on, till he was out of sight, when he made his way back to the goblin-city where he dwelt.

Such was the folly of that foolish merchant that he did the goblin's bidding, and had his jars broken and the water all thrown away,--without saving so much even as would go in the palm of a man's hand. Then he ordered the carts to drive on. Not a drop of water did they find on. ahead, and thirst exhausted the men. All day long till the sun went down they kept on the march; but at sunset they unyoked their carts and made a laager, tethering the oxen to the wheels. The oxen had no water to drink, and the men none to cook their rice with; and the tired-out band sank to the ground to slumber. But as soon as night fell, the goblins came out from their city, and slew every single one of those men and oxen; and when they had devoured their flesh, leaving only the bare bones, the goblins departed. Thus was the foolish young merchant the sole cause of the destruction of that whole band, whose skeletons were strewn in every conceivable direction, whilst the five hundred carts stood there with their loads untouched.

Now the Bodhisatta allowed some six weeks to pass by after the starting of the foolish young merchant, before he set out. Then he proceeded from the city with his five hundred carts, and in due course came to the outskirts of the. wilderness. Here he had his water-jars filled and laid in an ample stock of water; and by beat of drum he had his men assembled in camp [102], and thus addressed them:--"Let not so much as a palmful of water be used without my sanction. There are poison trees in this wilderness; so let no man among you eat any leaf, flower, or fruit which he has not eaten before, without first asking me." With this exhortation to his men, he pushed on into the wilderness with his 500 carts. When he had reached the middle of the wilderness, the goblin made his appearance on the Bodhisatta's path as in the former case. But, as soon as he became aware of the goblin, the Bodhisatta saw through him; for he thought to himself, "There's no water here, in this 'Waterless Desert.' This person with his red eyes and aggressive bearing, casts no shadow. Very likely he has induced the foolish young merchant who

p. 7

preceded me, to throw away all his water, and then, waiting till they were worn out, has eaten up the merchant with all his men. But he doesn't know my cleverness and ready wit." Then he shouted to the goblin, "Begone! We're men of business, and do not throw away what water we have got, before we see where more is to come from. But, when we do see more, we may be trusted to throw this water away and lighten our carts."

The goblin rode on a bit further till he was out of sight, and then betook himself back to his home in the demon city. But when the goblin had gone, the Bodhisatta's men said to him, "Sir, we heard from those men that yonder is the dark-green streak of the forest appearing, where they said it was always raining. They had got lotuses on their heads and water-lilies in their hands and were eating the stalks, whilst their clothes and hair were wringing wet, with water streaming off them. Let us throw away our water and get on a bit quicker with lightened carts." On hearing these words, the Bodhisatta ordered a halt and had the men all mustered. "Tell me," said he; "did any-man among you ever hear before today that there was a lake or a pool in this wilderness?" "No, sir," was the answer, "why it's known as 'the Waterless Desert'."

"We have just been told by some people that it is raining just on ahead, in the belt of forest; now how far does a rain-wind carry?" 1 3 "A league, sir." "And has this rain-wind reached any one man here?" "No, sir." "How far off can you see the crest of a storm-cloud?" "A league, sir." "And has any one man here seen the top of even a single storm-cloud?" "No, sir." "How far off can you see a flash of lightning?" "Four or five leagues, sir." "And has any one man here seen a flash of lightning?" "No, sir." How far off can a man hear a peal of thunder?" "Two or three leagues, sir." "And has any man here heard a peal of thunder?" "No, sir." "These are not men but goblins. They will return in the hope of devouring us when we are weak and faint after throwing away our water at their bidding. As the young merchant who went on before us was not a man of resource, most likely he has been fooled into throwing his water away and has been devoured when exhaustion ensued. We may expect to find his five hundred carts standing just as they were loaded for the start; we shall come on them today. Press on with all possible speed, without throwing away a drop of water."

Urging his men forward with these words, he proceeded on his way till he came upon the 500 carts standing just as they had been loaded and the skeletons of the men and oxen lying strewn in every direction. He had his carts unyoked and ranged in a circle so as to form a strong laager; he saw that his men and oxen had their supper early, and that the oxen were made to lie down in the middle with the men round them; and he himself with the leading men of his band stood on guard, sword in hand, through the three watches of the night, waiting for the day to dawn. On the

p. 8

morrow at daybreak when he had had his oxen fed and everything needful done, he discarded his own weak carts for stronger ones, and his own common goods for the most costly of the derelict goods. Then he went on to his destination, where he bartered his stock for wares of twice or three times their value, and came back to his own city without losing a single man out of all his company.

_____________________________

[104] This story ended, the Master said, "Thus it was, layman, that in times past the fatuous came to utter destruction, whilst those who clave to the truth, escaping from the demons' hands, reached their goal in safety and came back to their homes again." And when he had thus linked the two stories together, he, as the Buddha, spoke the following stanza for the purposes of this lesson on the Truth:

Then some declared the sole, the peerless truth;
But otherwise the false logicians spake.
Let him that 's wise from this a lesson take,
And firmly grasp the sole, the peerless truth.

[105] Thus did the Blessed One teach this lesson respecting Truth. And he went on to say: "What is called walking by truth, not only bestows the three happy endowments, the six heavens of the realms of sense, and the endowments of the higher Realm of Brahma, but finally is the giver of Arahatship [106]; whilst what is called walking by untruth entails re-birth in the four states of punishment or in the lowest castes of mankind." Further, the Master went on to expound in sixteen ways the Four Truths 1, at the close of which all those five hundred disciples were established in the Fruit of the First Path 2.

Having delivered his lesson and his teaching, and having told the two stories and established the connexion linking them together, the Master concluded by identifying the Birth as follows:--"Devadatta was the foolish young merchant. of those days; his followers were the followers of that merchant; the followers o the Buddha were the followers of the wise merchant, who was myself."

p. 9

[Note. See Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 1847, where Gogerly has given a translation of this Jātaka, as also of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th, and 38th, with a brief introduction to the Jātaka-book. See also page 108 of Hardy's Manual of Budhism, and Gogerly in the Ceylon Friend for August 1838. This Jātaka is quoted in the Milinda-pañho, p. 289 of Rhys Davids' translation in Vol. 35 of Sacred Books of the East. There is an Apaṇṇaka-Sutta in the Majjhima-Nikāya (No. 60), but it does not appear to be connected with this, the Apaṇṇaka-Jātaka.]


Footnotes

1:1 The canonical text of the Jātaka book, which consists exclusively of gāthās or stanzas, is divided into 'books,' or nipātas, according to the number of gāthās. The present volume contains the 150 stories which illustrate, and form the commentary of, a single gāthā in each ease, and compose the first book. The later books contain an increasing number of gāthās and a decreasing number of stories: e.g. the second book contains 100 two-gāthā stories, the third book 50 three-gāthā stories, and so on. The total number of the books or nipātas is 22, 21 of which form the text of the five published volumes of the Pāli text. The nipātas are subdivided into vaggas, or sets of about 10 stories, named as a rule after their first story. It has not been thought desirable to cumber the translation with these subdivisions.

1:2 The Introductory Story usually begins by quoting, as a catchword, the first words of the subsequent gāthā.

1:3 Literally 'sectaries'; but usually translated 'heretics,' a term which has come to have too theological a connotation to be applicable to philosophers. The six rivals with whom Gotama had chiefly to compete were Pūraṇa Kassapa, Makkhali Gosāla, Ajita Kesa-kambalī, Pakudha Kaccāyana, Sañjaya Belaṭṭhi-putta, and Nigaṇṭha Nāta-putta (see, e.g., the Sāmaññaphala Sutta in the Dīgha Nikāya, Vol. 1. p. 47).

1:4 This is a surname, meaning literally 'feeder of the poor.' His ordinary name was Sudatta. See the account in the Vinaya (Cullavagga, vi. 4, 9) of how he bought from Prince Jeta the latter's grove for as much money as would pave the ground, and how he built thereon the Great Monastery for the Buddha.

2:1 i.e. the Milky Way.

2:2 i.e. the Buddha, the Truth he preached, and the Brotherhood he founded. Infra this triad is spoken of its the 'Three Gems.'

2:3 Strictly speaking Buddhism knows no hells, only purgatories, which--though places of torment--are temporary and educational.

3:1 The word deva, which I have retained in its Pāli form, means an 'angel,' rather than a 'god,' in the godless creed of the Buddhist. See hereon Rhys Davids in his 'Buddhist Suttas,' page 162.

3:2 Dhammapada, v. 188-192.

3:3 See note 2 on p. 8

4:1 i.e. almsgiving, goodness, renunciation, wisdom, energy, patience, truth, resolution, loving-kindness, and equanimity. (See the Cariyā Piṭaka, pp. 45-7 of the Pāli text edited by Dr Morris for the Pāli Text Society); see also Jātaka No. 35 &c.

8:1 These four cardinal truths of Buddhism are as follows:--(i) individual existence is pain; (ii) cravings cause the continuance of individual existence; (iii) with the disappearance of cravings, individual existence also would disappear; and (iv) cravings disappear by following the Noble Eightfold Path pointed out by the Buddha. (See hereon Rhys Davids' Hibbert Lecture for 1881.)

8:2 The normal road to the Buddhist ideal after conversion is divided into four successive stages, called the cattāro maggā or 'four paths.' The first of these is that trodden by the sotāpanno (one 'who has entered the stream' which flows down to the ocean of Nirvana), who is assured of ultimately reaching his goal but has first to undergo seven more existences none of which can be in a state of suffering; the second path is that trodden by the sakadāgāmī, the disciple whose imperfections have been, so far eradicated that he has only to 'return' to a human-form once more before attaining Nirvana; the third path is that of the anagāmī, the disciple who will 'not return' to earth, but will attain the goal from a Brahma realm; whilst the fourth and last is Arahatship, which is Nirvana. Each of these four stages is further subdivided into two sub-stages, the lower called 'the path,' and the higher 'the fruit.' (See Mahā-parinibbāna Sutta and the commentary thereon of the Sumaṅgala Vilāsinī´.)


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 2. Vaṇṇupatha-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 2.

VAṆṆUPATHA-JĀTAKA.

"Untiring, deep they dug."--This discourse was delivered by the Blessed One whilst he was dwelling at Sāvatthi.

About whom, you ask?

About a Brother who gave up persevering.

Tradition says that, whilst the Buddha was dwelling at Sāvatthi, there came to Jetavana a scion of a Sāvatthi family, who, on hearing a discourse by the Master, realised that Lusts breed suffering, and was admitted to the first stage of the Brotherhood. After five years passed in preparing for admission to full Brotherhood 1, when he had learnt two summaries and had trained himself in the methods of Insight, he obtained from the Master a theme for meditation which commended itself to him. Retiring to a forest, he passed there the rainy season; but for all his striving during the three months, he could not develope a glimmer or an inkling of Insight. So the thought came to him, "The Master said there were four types of men, and I must belong to the lowest of all; in this birth, methinks, there is neither Path nor Fruit for me. What good shall I do by living in the forest? Back to the Master I will go, and live my life beholding the glories of the Buddha's presence and listening to his sweet teachings." And back again to Jetavana he came.

Now his friends and intimates said, "Sir, it was you who obtained from the Master a theme for meditation and departed to live the solitary life of a sage. Yet here you are back again, going about enjoying fellowship. Can it be that you have won the crown of the Brothers vocation and that you will never know re-birth?" "Sirs, as I won neither Path nor Fruit, I felt myself doomed to futility, and so gave up persevering and came back." "You have done wrong, Sir, in shewing a faint heart when you had devoted yourself to the doctrine of the dauntless Master. 1 Come, let us bring you to the Buddha's notice." And they took him with them to the Master.

p. 10

When the Master became aware of their coming, he said, "Brethren, you bring with you this Brother against his will. What has he done?"

"Sir, after devoting himself to so absolutely true a doctrine, this Brother has given up persevering in the solitary life of a sage, and is come back."

Then said the Master to him, "Is it true, as they say, that you, Brother, have given up persevering?" "It is true, Blessed One." "But how comes it that, after devoting yourself to such a doctrine, you, Brother, should be the one to show yourself not a man desiring little, contented, solitary, and determined, but a man lacking perseverance? Was it not you who were so stout-hearted in bygone days? Was it not by you single-handed, thanks to your perseverance, that in a sandy desert the men and the oxen belonging to a caravan of five hundred carts got water and were cheered? And how is it that, now, you are giving in?" These words sufficed to give heart to that Brother.

Hearing this talk, the Brethren asked the Blessed One, saying, "Sir, the present faintheartedness of this Brother is clear to us; but hidden from us is the knowledge of how, by the perseverance of this single man, the men and oxen got water in a sandy desert and were cheered. This is known only to you who are omniscient; pray tell us about it."

"Hearken, then, Brethren," said the Blessed One; and, having excited their attention, he made clear the thing that re-birth had concealed from them.

_____________________________

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was king in Benares in Kāsi the Bodhisatta was born into a trader's family. When he was grown up, he used to travel about trading with 500 carts. On one occasion he came to a sandy wilderness sixty leagues across, the sand of which was so fine that, when grasped, it slipped through the fingers of the closed fist. As soon as the sun got up, it grew as hot as a bed of charcoal-embers and nobody could walk upon it. Accordingly, those traversing it used to take fire-wood, water, oil, rice and so forth on their carts, and only travelled by night. At dawn they used to range their carts in a circle to form a laager, with an awning spread overhead, and after an early meal used to sit in the shade all the day long. When the sun went down, they had their evening meal; and, so soon as the ground became cool, they used to yoke their carts and move forward. Travelling on this desert was like voyaging over the sea; a 'desert-pilot,' as he was called, had to convoy them over by knowledge of the stars [108]. And this was the way in which our merchant was now travelling that wilderness.

When he had only some seven more miles before him, he thought to himself, "To-night will see us out of this sandy wilderness." So, after they had had their supper, he ordered the wood and water to be thrown away, and yoking his carts, set out on the road. In the front cart sat the pilot upon a couch looking up to the stars in the heavens and directing the course thereby. But so long had he been without sleep that he was tired out and fell asleep, with the result that he did not mark that the oxen had turned round and were retracing their steps. All night the oxen kept on their way, but at dawn the pilot woke up, and, observing the disposition of the stars overhead, shouted out, "Turn the carts round!

p. 11

turn the carts round!" And as they turned the carts round and were forming them into line, the day broke. "Why this is where we camped yesterday," cried the people of the caravan. "All our wood and water is gone, and we are lost." So saying, they unyoked their carts and made a laager and spread the awning overhead; then each man flung himself down in despair beneath his own cart. Thought the Bodhisatta to himself, "If I give in, every single one will perish." So he ranged to and fro while it was still early and cool, until he came on a clump of kusa-grass. "This grass," thought he, "can only have grown up here thanks to the presence of water underneath." So he ordered a spade to be brought and a hole to be dug at that spot. Sixty cubits down they dug, till at that depth the spade struck on a rock, and everybody lost heart. But the Bodhisatta, feeling sure there must be water under that rock, descended into the hole and took his stand upon the rock. Stooping down, he applied his ear to it, and listened. Catching the sound of water flowing beneath, he came out and said to a serving-lad, "My boy, if you give in, we shall all perish. So take heart and courage. Go down into the hole with this iron sledge-hammer, and strike the rock."

Obedient to his master's bidding, 1 the lad, resolute where all others had lost heart, went down and struck the rock. The rock which had dammed the stream, split asunder and fell in. Up rose the water in the hole till it was as high as a palm-tree; and everybody drank and bathed. Then they chopped up their spare axles and yokes and other surplus gear, cooked their rice and ate it, and fed their oxen. And as soon as the sun set, they hoisted a flag by the side of the well and travelled on to their destination. There they bartered away their goods for twice and four times their value. With the proceeds they returned to their own home, where they lived out their term of life and in the end passed away to fare thereafter according to their deserts. The Bodhisatta too after a life spent in charity and other good works, passed away likewise to fare according to his deserts.

_____________________________

When the Supreme Buddha had delivered this discourse, he, the All-Knowing One himself, uttered this stanza:

Untiring, deep they dug that sandy track
Till, in the trodden way, they water found.
So let the sage, in perseverance strong,
Flag not nor tire, until his heart find Peace.

[110] This discourse ended, he preached the Four Truths, at the close whereof the fainthearted Brother was established in the highest Fruit of all, which is Arahatship.

Having told these two stories, the Master established the connexion linking them both together, and identified the Birth by saying:--"This fainthearted Brother of to-day was in those days the serving-lad who, persevering, broke the rock and gave water to all the people; the Buddha's followers were the rest of the people of the caravan; and I myself was their leader."


Footnotes

9:1 The terms pabbajjā and upasampadā, which denote the two stages of initiation for a Brother of the Buddhist Order, and are comparable with the successive degrees of Bachelor and Master in a Faculty, suggest the successive ordinations of Deacon and Priest. But, as it is misleading to use Christian phraseology in speaking of the Buddhist philosophy, these convenient terms have been eschewed in the translation. As will be seen from the Vinaya (Mahāvagga I. 49-51), fifteen was the normal age for pabbajjā and twenty for upasampadā, the interval being that of five years mentioned in the text.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 3. Serivāṇija-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


p. 12

No. 3.

SERIVĀṆIJA-JĀTAKA.

"If in this faith." This lesson too was taught by the Blessed One while at Sāvatthi, also about a Brother who gave up persevering.

For, when the man was brought by the Brethren exactly as in the foregoing case, the Master said, "You, Brother, who after devoting yourself to this glorious doctrine which bestows Path and Fruit, 1 are giving up persevering, will suffer long, like the hawker of Seri who lost a golden bowl worth a hundred thousand pieces."

The Brethren asked the Blessed One to explain this to them. The Blessed One made clear a thing concealed from them by re-birth.

_____________________________

Once on a time in the kingdom of Seri, five aeons ago, the Bodhisatta dealt in pots and pans, and was called 'the Serivan.' In the company of another dealer in the same wares, a greedy fellow who was also known as 'the Serivan,' he came across the river Telavāha and entered the city of Andhapura. Apportioning the streets between the two of them, he set about hawking his wares round the streets of his district, and the other did the same in his district.

Now in that city there was a decayed family. Once they had been rich merchants, but by the time of our story they had lost all the sons and brothers and all their wealth. The sole survivors were a girl and her grandmother, and they got their living by working for hire. Nevertheless, they had got in their house the golden bowl out of which in the old days the great merchant, the head of the family, used to eat; but it had been thrown among the pots and pans, and having been long out of use, was grimed over with dirt, so that the two women did not know that it was gold. To the door of their house came the greedy hawker on his round, crying, "Waterpots to sell! Waterpots to sell!" And the damsel, when she knew be was there, said to her grandmother, "Oh, do buy me a trinket, grandmother."

"We're very poor, dear; what can we offer in exchange for it?" "Why here's this bowl which is no good to us. Let us change that for it."

The old woman had the hawker brought in and seated, and gave him the bowl, saying, "Take this, sir, and be so good as to give your sister something or other in exchange."

The hawker took the bowl in his hand, turned it over, and, suspecting it was gold, scratched a line on the back of it with a needle, whereby he

p. 13

knew for certain that it was real gold. Then, thinking that he would get the pot without giving anything whatever for it to the women, he cried, "What's the value of this, pray? Why it isn't worth half a farthing!" 1 2 And therewithal he threw the bowl on the ground, rose up from his seat, and left the house. Now, as it had been agreed between the two hawkers that the one might try the streets which the other had already been into, the Bodhisatta came into that same street and appeared at the door of the house, crying, "Waterpots to sell!" Once again the damsel made the same request of her grandmother; and the old woman, replied, "My dear, the first hawker threw our bowl on the ground and flung out of the house. What have we got left to offer now?"

"Oh, but that hawker was a harsh-spoken man, grandmother dear; whilst this one looks a nice man and speaks kindly. Very likely he would take it." "Call him in then." So he came into the house, and they gave him a seat and put the bowl into his hands. Seeing that the bowl was gold, he said, "Mother, this howl is worth a hundred thousand pieces; I haven't its value with me."

"Sir, the first hawker who came here said that it was not worth half a farthing; so he threw it to the ground and went away. It must have been the efficacy of your own goodness which has turned the bowl into gold. Take it; give us something or other for it; and go your way." At the time the Bodhisatta had 500 pieces of money and a stock worth as much more. The whole of this he gave to them, saying, "Let me retain my scales, my bag, and eight pieces of money." And with their consent he took these with him, and departed with all speed to the river-side where he gave his eight coins to the boatman and jumped into the boat. Subsequently that greedy hawker had come back to the house, and had asked them to bring out their bowl, saying he would give them something or other for it. But the old woman flew out at him with these words, "You made out that our golden bowl which is worth a hundred thousand pieces was not worth even a half-farthing. But there came an upright hawker (your master, I take it), who gave us a thousand pieces for it and took the bowl away."

Hereupon he exclaimed, "He has robbed me of a golden bowl worth a full hundred thousand pieces; he has caused me a terrible loss." And intense sorrow came upon him, so that he lost command over himself and became like one distraught. 1 3 His money and goods he flung away at the door of the house; he threw off his upper and under cloths; and, armed with the beam of his scales as a club, he tracked the Bodhisatta down to the river-side. Finding the latter already crossing, he shouted to the boatman to put back, but the Bodhisatta told him not to do so. As the other stood there gazing and gazing at the retreating Bodhisatta, intense sorrow seized upon him, His heart grew hot; blood gushed from his lips;

p. 14

and his heart cracked like the mud at the bottom of a tank, which the sun has dried up. Through the hatred which he had contracted against the Bodhisatta, he perished then and there. (This was the first time Devadatta conceived a grudge against the Bodhisatta.) The Bodhisatta, after a life spent in charity and other good works, passed away to fare according to his deserts.

_____________________________

When the Supreme Buddha had ended this lesson, he, the All-Knowing One himself, uttered this stanza:--

If in this faith you prove remiss, and fail
To win the goal whereto its teachings lead,
--Then, like the hawker called 'the Serivan 1,'
Full long you'll rue the prize your folly lost.

After having thus delivered his discourse in such a way as to lead up to Arahatship, the Master expounded the Four Truths, at the close whereof the fainthearted Brother was established in that highest Fruit of all, which is Arahatship.

And, after telling the two stories, the Master made the connexion linking them both together, and identified the Birth by saying in conclusion, "In those days Devadatta was the foolish hawker; and I myself was the wise and good hawker."


Footnotes

14:1 The scholium here gives the rascal's name as 'Serivā,' not recognising that the gāthā-word 'Serivāyaṁ' represents the 'sandhi' of Serivo (not Serivā) with ayaṁ, just as dukkhāyaṁ on p. 168 of Vol. I. of the text represents dukkho ayaṁ.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 4. Cullaka-Seṭṭhi-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 4.

CULLAKA-SEṬṬHI-JĀTAKA.

[114] "With humblest start." This story was told by the Master about the Elder named Little Wayman, while in Jīvaka's Mango-grove 2 near Rājagaha. And here an account of Little Wayman's birth must be given. Tradition tells us that the daughter of a rich merchant's family in Rājagaha actually stooped to intimacy with a slave. Becoming alarmed lest her misconduct should get known, she said to the slave, "We can't live on here; for if my mother and father come to know of this sin of ours, they will tear us limb from limb. Let us go and live afar off." So with their belongings in their hands they stole together out by the hardly-opened door, and fled away, they cared not whither, to find a shelter beyond the ken of her family. Then they went and lived together in a certain place, with the result that she conceived. And when her full time was nearly come, she told her husband and said, "If I am taken in labour away from kith and kin, that will be a trouble to both of us. So let us go home." First he

p. 15

agreed to start to-day, and then he put it off till the morrow; and so he let the days slip by, till she thought to herself, "This fool is so conscious of his great offence that he dares not go. One's parents are one's best friends; so whether he goes or stays, I must go." So, when he went out, she put all her household matters in order and set off home, telling her next-door neighbour where she was going. Returning home, and not finding his wife, but discovering from the neighbours that she had started off home, he hurried after her and came up with her on the road; and then and there she was taken in labour.

"What's this, my dear?" said he.

"I have given birth to a son, my husband," said she.

Accordingly, as the very thing had now happened which was the only reason for the journey, they both agreed that it was no good going on now, and so turned back again. And as their child had been born by the way, they called him 'Wayman.'

[115] Not long after, she became with child again, and everything fell out as Before. And as this second child too was born by the way, they called him 'Wayman' too, distinguishing the elder as 'Great Wayman' and the younger as 'Little Wayman: Then, with both their children, they again went back to their own home.

Now, as they were living there, their way-child heard other boys talking of their uncles and grandfathers and grandmothers; so he asked his mother whether he hadn't got relations like the other boys. "Oh yes, my dear," said his mother; "but they don't live here. Your grandfather is a wealthy merchant in the city of Rājagaha, and you have plenty of relations there." "Why don't we go there, mother?" She told the boy the reason why they stayed away; but, as the children kept on speaking about these relations, she said to her husband, "The children are always plaguing me. Are my parents going to eat us at sight? Come, let us shew the children their grandfather's family." "Well, I don't mind taking them there; but I really could not face your parents." "All right;--so long as, some way or other, the children come to see their grandfather's family," said she.

So those two took their children and coming in due course to Rājagaha put up in a public rest-house by the city gate. Then, taking with them the two children, the woman caused their coming to be made known to her parents. The latter, on hearing the message, returned this answer, "True, it is strange to be without children unless one has renounced the world in quest of Arahatship. Still, so great is the guilt of the pair towards us that they may not stand in our sight. Here is a sum of money for them: let them take this and retire to live where they will. But the children they may send here." Then the merchant's daughter took the money so sent her, and despatched the children by the messengers. So the children grew up in their grandfather's house,--Little Wayman being of tender years, while Great Wayman used to go with his grand-father to hear the Buddha preach the Truth. And by constant hearing of the Truth from the Master's own lips, the lad's heart yearned to renounce the world for the life of a Brother.

"With your permission," said he to his grandfather, "I should like to join the Brotherhood." "What do I hear?" cried the old man. "Why, it would give me greater joy to see you join the Order than to see the whole world join. Become a Brother, if you feel able." And he took him to the Master.

"Well, merchant," said the Master, "have you brought your boy with you?" Yes sir; this is my grandson, who wishes to join your Brotherhood." 1 6 Then the Master sent for a Mendicant, and told him to admit the lad to the Order; and the Mendicant repeated the Formula of the Perishable Body 1 and

p. 16

admitted the lad as a novice. When the latter had learned by heart many words of the Buddha, and was old enough, he was admitted a full Brother. He now gave himself up to earnest thought till he won Arahatship; and as he passed his days in the enjoyment of Insight and the Paths, he thought whether he could not impart the like happiness to Little Wayman. So he went to his grandfather the merchant, and said, "Great merchant, with your consent, I will admit Little Wayman to the Order." "Pray do so, reverend sir," was the reply.

Then the Elder admitted the lad Little Wayman and established him in the Ten Commandments. But Little Wayman proved a dullard: with four months' study he failed to get by heart this single stanza:--

Lo! like a fragrant lotus at the dawn
Of day, full-blown, with virgin wealth of scent,
Behold the Buddha's glory shining forth,
As in the vaulted heaven beams the sun!

For, we are told, in the Buddhahood of Kassapa this Little Wayman, having himself attained to knowledge as a Brother, laughed to scorn a dull Brother who was learning a passage by heart. His scorn so confused his butt, that the latter could not learn or recite the passage. And now, in consequence, on joining the Brotherhood he himself proved a dullard. Each new line he learned drove the last out of his memory; and four months slipped away while he was struggling with this single stanza. Said his elder brother to him, "Wayman, you are not equal to receiving this doctrine. In four whole months you have been unable to learn a single stanza. How then can you hope to crown your vocation with supreme success? Leave the monastery." But, though thus expelled by his brother, Little Wayman was so attached to the Buddha's creed that he did not want to become a layman.

Now at that time Great Wayman was acting as steward. And Jīvaka Komārabhacca, going to his mango-grove with a large present of perfumes and flowers for the Master, had presented his offering and listened to a discourse; then, rising from his seat and bowing to the Buddha, he went up to Great Wayman and asked, "How many Brethren are there, reverend sir, with the Master?" "Just 500, sir." "Will you bring the 500 Brethren, with the Buddha at their head, to take their meal at my house to-morrow?" "Lay-disciple, one of them named Little Wayman is a dullard and makes no progress in the Faith," said the Elder; "I accept the invitation for everyone but him."

[117] Hearing this, Little Wayman thought to himself, "In accepting the invitation for all these Brethren, the Elder carefully accepts so as to exclude me. This proves that my brother's affection for me is dead. What have I to do with this proves? I will become a layman and live in the exercise of charity and other good works of a lay character." And on the morrow early he went forth, avowedly to become a layman again.

Now at the first break of day, as he was surveying the world, the Master became aware of this; and going forth even earlier than Little Wayman, he paced to and fro by the porch on Little Wayman's road. As the latter came out of the house, he observed the Master, and with a salutation went up to him. "Whither away at this hour, Little Wayman?" said the Master.

"My brother has expelled me from the Order, sir; and I am going to wander forth."

"Little Wayman, as it was under me that you took the vows, why did you not, when expelled by your brother, come to me? Conte, what have you to do with a layman's life? You shall stop with me." So saying, he took Little Wayman and seated him at the door of his own perfumed chamber. Then giving him a perfectly clean cloth which he had supernaturally created, the Master said, "Face towards the East, and as you handle this cloth, repeat these words--'Removal of Impurity; Removal of Impurity.'" Then at the time appointed the Master, attended by the Brotherhood, went to Jīvaka's house and sat down on the seat set for him.

p. 17

Now Little Wayman, with his gaze fixed on the sun, sat handling the cloth and repeating the words, "Removal of Impurity; Removal of Impurity." And as he kept handling the piece of cloth, it grew soiled. Then he thought, "Just now this piece of cloth was quite clean; but my personality has destroyed its original state and made it dirty. Impermanent indeed are all compounded  things! And even as he realised Death and Decay, he won the Arahat's Illumination. Knowing that Little Wayman's mind had won Illumination, the Master sent forth an apparition and in this semblance of himself appeared before him, as if seated in front of him and saying, "Heed it not, Little Wayman, that this mere piece of cloth has become dirty and stained with impurity; within thee are the impurities of lust and other evil things. Remove them." And the apparition uttered these stanzas:--

Impurity in Lust consists, not dirt;
And Lust we term the real Impurity.
Yea, Brethren, whoso drives it from his breast,
He lives the gospel of the Purified.

              _______________

[118] Impurity in Wrath consists, not dirt;
And Wrath we term the real Impurity.
Yea, Brethren, whoso drives it from his breast,
He lives the gospel of the Purified.

              _______________

Delusion is Impurity, not dirt;
We term Delusion real Impurity.
Yea, Brethren, whoso drives it from his breast,
He lives the gospel of the Purified.

At the close of these stanzas Little Wayman attained to Arahatship with the four branches of knowledge 1, whereby he straightway came to have knowledge of all the sacred texts. Tradition has it that, in ages past, when he was a king and was making a solemn procession round his city, he wiped the sweat from his brow with a spotless cloth which he was wearing; and the cloth was stained. Thought he, "It is this body of mine which has destroyed the original purity and whiteness of the cloth, and dirtied it. Impermanent indeed are all composite things." Thus he grasped the idea of impermanence; and hence it came to pass that it was the removal of impurity which worked his salvation.

Meantime, Jīvaka Komārabhacca offered the Water of Donation 2; but the Master put his hand over the vessel, saying, "Are there no Brethren, Jīvaka, in the monastery?"

Said Great Wayman, "There are no Brethren there, reverend sir." "Oh yes, there are, Jīvaka," said the Master. "Hi, there!" said Jīvaka to a servant; "just you go and see whether or not there are any Brethren in the monastery."

At that moment Little Wayman, conscious as he was that his brother was declaring there were no Brethren in the monastery, determined to shew him there were, and so filled the whole mango-grove with nothing but Brothers. Some were making robes, others dyeing, whilst others again were repeating the sacred texts:--each of a thousand Brethren he made unlike all the others. Finding this host of Brethren in the monastery, the man returned and said that the whole mango-grove was full of Brethren.

But as regards the Elder up in the monastery--

Wayman, a thousand-fold self-multiplied,
Sat on, till bidden, in that pleasant grove.

p. 18

"Now go back," said the Master to the man, "and say 'The Master sends for him whose name is Little Wayman.'

But when the man went and delivered his message, a thousand mouths answered, "I am Little Wayman! I am Little Wayman!"

Back came the man with the report, "They all say they are 'Little Wayman,' reverend sir."

"Well now go back," said the Master, "and take by the hand the first one of them who says he is Little Wayman, 1 and the others will all vanish." The man did as he was bidden, and straightway the thousand Brethren vanished from sight. The Elder came back with the man.

When the meal was over, the Master said, "Jīvaka, take Little Wayman's bowl; he will return thanks." Jīvaka did so. Then like a young lion roaring defiance, the Elder ranged the whole of the sacred texts through in his address of thanks. Lastly, the Master rose from his seat and attended by the Order returned to the monastery, and there, after the assignment of tasks by the Brotherhood, he rose from his seat and, standing in the doorway of his perfumed chamber, delivered a Buddha-discourse to the Brotherhood. Ending with a theme which he gave out for meditation, and dismissing the Brotherhood, he retired into his perfumed chamber, and lay down lion-like on his right side to rest.

At even, the orange-robed Brethren assembled together from all sides in the Hall of Truth and sang the Master's praises, even as though they were spreading a curtain of orange cloth round him as they sat.

"Brethren," it was said, "Great Wayman failed to recognise the bent of Little Wayman, and expelled him from the monastery as a dullard who could not even learn a single stanza in four whole months. But the All-Knowing Buddha by his supremacy in the Truth bestowed on him Arahatship with all its supernatural knowledge, even while a single meal was in progress. And by that knowledge he grasped the whole of the sacred texts. Oh! how great is a Buddha's power!"

Now the Blessed One, knowing full well the talk that was going on in the Hall of Truth, thought it meet to go there. So, rising from his Buddha-couch, he donned his two orange under-cloths, girded himself as with lightning, arrayed himself in his orange-coloured robe, the ample robe of a Buddha, and came forth to the Hall of Truth with the infinite grace of a Buddha, moving with the royal gait of an elephant in the plenitude of his vigour. Ascending the glorious Buddha-throne set in the midst of the resplendent hall, he seated himself upon the middle of the throne emitting those six-coloured rays which mark a Buddha,--like the newly-arisen sun, when from the peaks of the Yugandhara Mountains he illumines the depths of the ocean. Immediately the All-Knowing One came into the Hall, the Brotherhood broke off their talk and were silent. Gazing round on the company with gentle loving-kindness, the Master thought within himself, "This company is perfect! Not a man is guilty of moving hand or foot improperly; not a sound, not a cough or sneeze is to he heard! In their reverence and awe of the majesty and glory of the Buddha, not a man would dare to speak before I did, even if I sat here in silence all my life long. But it is my part to begin; and I will open the conversation." Then in his sweet divine tones he addressed the Brethren and said, 1 2 "What, pray, is the theme of this conclave? And what was the talk which was broken off?"

"Sir," said they, "it was no profitless theme, but your own praises that we were telling here in conclave."

And when they had told him word for word what they had been saying, the Master said, "Brethren, through me Little Wayman has just now risen to great things in the Faith; in times past it was to great things in the way of wealth that he rose,--but equally through me."

The Brethren asked the Master to explain this; and the Blessed One made clear in these words a thing which succeeding existences had hidden from them:--

_____________________________

p. 19

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares in Kāsi, the Bodhisatta was born into the Treasurer's family, and growing up, was made Treasurer, being called Treasurer Little. A wise and clever man was he, with a keen eye for signs and omens. One day on his way to wait upon the king, he came on a dead mouse lying on the road; and, taking note of the position of the stars at that moment, he said, "Any decent young fellow with his wits about him has only to pick that mouse up, and he might start a business and keep a wife."

His words were overheard by a young man of good family but reduced circumstances, who said to himself, "That's a man who has always got a reason for what he says." And accordingly he picked up the mouse, which he sold for a farthing at a tavern for their cat.

With the farthing he got molasses and took drinking water in a water-pot. Coming on flower-gatherers returning from the forest, he gave each a tiny quantity of the molasses and ladled the water out to them. Each of them gave him a handful of flowers, with the proceeds of which, next day, he came back again to the flower grounds provided with more molasses and a pot of water. That day the flower-gatherers, before they went, gave him flowering plants with half the flowers left on them; and thus in a little while he obtained eight pennies.

Later, one rainy and windy day, the wind blew down a quantity of rotten branches and boughs and leaves in the king's pleasaunce, and the gardener did not see how to clear them away. 1 2 Then up came the young man with an offer to remove the lot, if the wood and leaves might be his. The gardener closed with the offer on the spot. Then this apt pupil of Treasurer Little repaired to the children's playground and in a very little while had got them by bribes of molasses to collect every stick and leaf in the place into a heap at the entrance to the pleasaunce. Just then the king's potter was on the look out for fuel to fire bowls for the palace, and coming on this heap, took the lot off his hands. The sale of his wood brought in sixteen pennies to this pupil of Treasurer Little, as well as five bowls and other vessels. Having now twenty-four pennies in all, a plan occurred to him. He went to the vicinity of the city-gate with a jar full of water and supplied 500 mowers with water to drink. Said they, "You've done us a good turn, friend. What can we do for you?" "Oh, I'll tell you when I want your aid," said he; and as he went about, he struck up an intimacy with a land-trader and a sea-trader. Said the former to him, "To-morrow there will come to town a horse-dealer with 500 horses to sell." On hearing this piece of news, he said to the mowers, "I want each of you to-day to give me a bundle of grass and not to sell your own grass till mine is sold." "Certainly," said they, and delivered the 500 bundles of grass at his house. Unable to get grass for his horses elsewhere, the dealer purchased our friend's grass for a thousand pieces.

p. 20

[paragraph continues] Only a few days later his sea-trading friend brought him news of the arrival of a large ship in port; and another plan struck him. He hired for eight pence a well appointed carriage which plied for hire by the hour, and went in great style down to the port. Having bought the ship on credit and deposited his signet-ring as security, he had a pavilion pitched hard by and said to his people as he took his seat inside, "When merchants are being shewn in, let them be passed on by three successive ushers into my presence." 1 2 Hearing that a ship had arrived in port, about a hundred merchants came down to buy the cargo; only to he told that they could not have it as a great merchant had already made a payment on account. So away they all went to the young man; and the footmen duly announced them by three successive ushers, as had been arranged beforehand. Each man of the hundred severally gave him a thousand pieces to buy a share in the ship and then a further thousand each to buy him out altogether. So it was with 200,000 pieces that this pupil of Treasurer Little returned to Benares.

Actuated by a desire to shew his gratitude, he went with one hundred thousand pieces to call on Treasurer Little. "How did you come by all this wealth?" asked the Treasurer. "In four short months, simply by following your advice," replied the young man; and he told him the whole story, starting with the dead mouse. Thought Lord High Treasurer Little, on hearing all this, "I must see that a young fellow of these parts does not fall into anybody else's hands." So he married him to his own grown-up daughter and settled all the family estates on the young man. And at the Treasurer's death, he became Treasurer in that city. And the Bodhisatta passed away to fare according to his deserts.

_____________________________

[123] His lesson ended, the Supreme Buddha, the All-Knowing One himself, repeated this stanza:

With humblest start and trifling capital
A shrewd and able man will rise to wealth,
E’en as his breath can nurse a tiny flame.

Also the Blessed One said, "It is through me, Brethren, that Little Wayman has just now risen to great things in the Faith, as in times past to great things in the way of wealth." His lesson thus finished, the Master made the connexion between the two stories he had told and identified the Birth in these concluding words, "Little Wayman was in those days the pupil of Treasurer Little, and I myself Lord High Treasurer Little."

[Note. The 'Introductory Story' occurs in Chapter vi. of Capt. T. Rogers' Buddhaghosha's Parables, but the 'Story of the Past' there given is quite different. See Mrs Bode's 'Women Leaders of the Buddhist Reformation' in the J. R. A. S. 1893, p. 556. See also Dhammapada, p. 181, and compare Chapter xxxv. of the Divyāvadāna, edited by Cowell and Neil, 1886. The whole Jātaka, in an abbreviated form, forms the story of 'The Mouse Merchant' at pages 33, 34 of the first volume of Tawney's translation of the Kathā Sarit Sāgara. See also Kalilah and Dimnah, Chapter XVIII. (Knatchbull, page 358).]


Footnotes

14:2 Jīvaka, a prominent lay-follower of the Buddha, was physician to the Magadha King Seniya Bimbisāra. See, for his history, the account in the Vinaya (Mahavagga VIII. 1).

15:1 Buddhism teaches the impermanence of things, and chief of the trains of thought for realising this doctrine is the meditation on the body and its 32 impurities (see Sutta Nipāta I. 11, and the 12th Jātaka infra). At the present day every novice in Ceylon, when invested with the yellow robe of the Order, repeats the verses which enumerate the 32 impurities.

17:1 These four branches were (i) understanding of the sense of the sacred books, (ii) understanding of their ethical truth, (iii) ability to justify an interpretation grammatically, logically, &c., and (iv) the power of public exposition.

17:2 When a gift was made, the donor poured water over the hand of the donee. The gift that was here made by Jīvaka was the food bestowed on the Brotherhood, as the Milinda-pañho explains (p. 118) in its version of this story.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 5. Taṇḍulanāli-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


p. 21

No. 5.

TAṆḌULANĀLI-JĀTAKA.

"Dost ask how much a peck of rice is worth?"--This was told by the Master, whilst at Jetavana, about the Elder Udāyi, called the Dullard.

At that time the reverend Dabba, the Mallian, was manciple to the Brotherhood 1. When in the early morning Dabba was allotting the checks for rice, sometimes it was choice rice and sometimes it was an inferior quality which fell to the share of the Elder Udāyi. On days when he received the inferior quality, he used to make a commotion in the check-room, by demanding, "Is Dabba the only one who knows how to give out checks? Don't we know?" One day when he was making a commotion, they handed him the check-basket, saying, "Here! you give the checks out yourself to-day!" Thenceforth, it was Udāyi who gave out the checks to the Brotherhood. But, in his distribution, he could not tell the best from the inferior rice; nor did he know what seniority 2 was entitled to the best rice and what to the inferior. So too, when he was making out the roster, he had not an idea of the seniority of the Brethren thereon. Consequently, when the Brethren took up their places, he made a mark on the ground or on the wall to shew that one detachment stood here, and another there. Next day there were fewer Brethren of one grade and more of another in the check-room; where there were fewer, the mark was too low down; where the number was greater, it was too high up. But Udāyi, quite ignorant of detachments, gave out the checks simply according to his old marks.

Hence, the Brethren said to him, "Friend Udāyi, the mark is too high up or too low down; the best rice is for those of such and such seniority, and the inferior quality for such and such others." But he put them back with the argument, "If this mark is where it is, what are you standing here for? Why am I to trust you? It's my mark I trust."

Then, the boys and novices 1 2 4 thrust him from the check-room, crying, "Friend Udāyi the Dullard, when you give out the checks, the Brethren are docked of what they ought to get; you're not fit to give them out; get you gone from here." Hereupon, a great uproar arose in the check-room.

Hearing the noise, the Master asked the Elder Ānanda, saying, "Ānanda, there is a great uproar in the check-room. What is the noise about?"

The Elder explained it all to the Buddha. "Ānanda," said he, "this is not the only time when Udāyi by his stupidity has robbed others of their profit; he did just the same thing in bygone times too."

The Elder asked the Blessed One for an explanation, and the Blessed One made clear what had been concealed by re-birth.

_____________________________

Once on a time Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares in Kāsi. In those days our Bodhisatta was his valuer. He used to value horses, elephants, and the like; and jewels, gold, and the like; and he used to pay over to the owners of the goods the proper price, as he fixed it.

p. 22

But the king was greedy and his greed suggested to him this thought: "This valuer with his style of valuing will soon exhaust all the riches in my house; I must get another valuer." Opening his window and looking out into his courtyard, he espied walking across a stupid, greedy hind in whom he saw a likely candidate for the post. So the king had the man sent for, and asked him whether he could do the work. "Oh yes," said the man; and so, to safeguard the royal treasure, this stupid fellow was appointed valuer. After this the fool, in valuing elephants and horses and the like, used to fix a price dictated by his own fancy, neglecting their true worth; but, as he was valuer, the price was what he said and no other.

At that time there arrived from the north country 1 a horse-dealer with 500 horses. The king sent for his new valuer and bade him value the horses. And the price he set on the whole 500 horses was just one measure of rice, which he ordered to be paid over to the dealer, directing the horses to be led off to the stable [125]. Away went the horse-dealer to the old valuer, to whom he told what had happened, and asked what was to be done. "Give him a bribe," said the ex-valuer, "and put this point to him: 'Knowing as we do that our horses are worth just a single measure of rice, we are curious to learn from you what the precise value of a measure of rice is; could you state its value in the king's presence?' If he says he can, then take him before the king; and I too will be there."

Readily following the Bodhisatta's advice, the horse-dealer bribed the man and put the question to him. The other, having expressed his ability to value a measure of rice, was promptly taken to the palace, whither also went the Bodhisatta and many other ministers. With due obeisance the horse-dealer said, "Sire, I do not dispute it that the price of 500 horses is a single measure of rice; but I would ask your majesty to question your valuer as to the value of that measure of rice." Ignorant of what had passed, the king said to the fellow, "Valuer, what are 500 horses worth?" "A measure of rice, sire," was the reply. "Very good, my friend; if 500 horses then are worth one measure of rice, what is that measure of rice worth?" "It is worth all Benares and its suburbs," was the fool's reply.

(Thus we learn that, having first valued the horses at a measure of hill-paddy to please the king, he was bribed by the horse-dealer to estimate that measure of rice at the worth of all Benares and its suburbs. And that though the walls of Benares were twelve leagues round by themselves, while the city and suburbs together were three hundred leagues round!

p. 23

[paragraph continues] Yet the fool priced all this vast city and its suburbs at a single measure of rice!)

[126] Hereupon the ministers clapped their hands and laughed merrily. "We used to think," they said in scorn, "that the earth and the realm were beyond price; but now we learn that the kingdom of Benares together with its king is only worth a single measure of rice! What talents the valuer has! How has he retained his post so long? But truly the valuer suits our king admirably."

Then the Bodhisatta repeated this stanza 1:

Dost ask how much a peck of rice is worth?
--Why, all Benares, both within and out.
Yet, strange to tell, five hundred horses too
Are worth precisely this same peck of rice!

Thus put to open shame, the king sent the fool packing, and gave the Bodhisatta the office again. And when his life closed, the Bodhisatta passed away to fare according to his deserts.

_____________________________

His lesson ended and the two stories told, the Master made the connexion linking both together, and identified the Birth by saying in conclusion,--"Udāyi the Dullard was the stupid rustic valuer of those days, and I myself the wise valuer."


Footnotes

21:1 See Vinaya, Vol. III. p. 158.

21:2 Compare Vinaya, Vol. II. p. 167, and commentary thereon (Sāmanta-pāsādikā) for the right of seniors, according to the roster, to be served first. The manciple was to call out the roster.

22:1 In the Ceylon R. A. S. J. 1884, p. 127, it is argued from the indefinite use of uttarā-patha for all countries north of Benares that the date of writing must be before the 3rd century B.C., when Buddhistic embassies were sent to Mysore and North Canara and when the Dakshiṇāpatha was familiar.

23:1 The text of this stanza does not occur in Fausböll's Pāli text, but is given by Léon Feer at page 520 of the Journal Asiatique for 1876 and is embodied in the 'Corrections and Additions' of Fausböll. That the stanza originally formed part of the Sinhalese recension is shown by the quotation of the opening words as the 'catchword' at the Commencement of the Jātaka. See also Dickson in Ceylon J. R. A. S. 1884, p. 185.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 6. Devadhamma-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 6.

DEVADHAMMA-JĀTAKA.

"Those only 'godlike' call."--This story was told by the Blessed One while at Jetavana, about a wealthy Brother.

Tradition tells us that, on the death of his wife, a squire of Sāvatthi joined the Brotherhood. When he was joining, he caused to be built for himself a chamber to live in, a room for the fire, and a store-room; and not till he had stocked his store-room with ghee, rice, and the like, did he finally join. Even after he had become a brother, he used to send for his servants and make them cook him what he liked to eat. He was richly provided with the requisites 2,--having an entire change of clothing for night and another for day; and he dwelt aloof on the outskirts of the monastery.

p. 24

One day when he had taken out his cloths and bedding and had spread them out to dry in his chamber, a number of Brethren from the country, who were on a pilgrimage from monastery to monastery 1, came in their journeying to his cell and found all these belongings.

"Whose are these?" they asked. "Mine, sirs," he replied. "What, sir?" they cried; "this upper-cloth and that as well; this under-cloth as well as that; and that bedding too, is it all yours?" "Yes, nobody's but mine." "Sir," said they, "the Blessed One has only sanctioned three cloths; and yet, though the Buddha, to whose doctrine you have devoted yourself, is so simple in his wants, you forsooth have amassed all this stock of requisites. Come! we must take you before the Lord of Wisdom." And, so saying, they went off with him to the Master.

Becoming aware of their presence, the Master said, 1 2 "Wherefore is it, Brethren, that you have brought the Brother against his will?" "Sir, this Brother is well-off and has quite a stock of requisites." "Is it true, Brother, as they say, that you are so well-off?" "Yes, Blessed One." "But why, Brother, have you amassed these belongings? Do not I extol the virtues of wanting little, contentment, and so forth, solitude, and determined resolve?"

Angered by the Master's words, he cried,--"Then I'll go about like this!" And, flinging off his outer clothing, he stood in their midst clad only in his waist-cloth.

Then, as a moral support to him, the Master said, "Was it not you, Brother, who in bygone days were a seeker after the shamefacedness that fears to sin, and even when you were a water-demon lived for twelve years seeking after that shamefacedness? How then comes it that, after vowing to follow the weighty doctrine of the Buddha, you have flung off your outer robes and stand here devoid of shame?"

At the Master's word, his sense of shame was restored; he donned his robes again, and, saluting the Master, seated himself at the side.

The Brethren having asked the Blessed One to explain to them the matter he had mentioned, the Blessed One made clear what had been concealed from them by re-birth.

_____________________________

Once on a time Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares in Kāsi. The Bodhisatta, having come to birth in those days as the king's son by the queen, was duly named Prince Mahiṃsāsa. By the time he could run about, a second son was born to the king, and the name they gave this child was Prince Moon; but by the time he could run about, the Bodhisatta's mother died. Then the king took another queen, who was his joy and delight; and their love was crowned with the birth of yet another prince, whom they named Prince Sun. In his joy at the birth of the boy, the king promised to grant her any boon she might ask on the child's behalf. But the queen treasured up the promise to be fulfilled at her own good time hereafter. Later, when her son had grown up, she said to the king, "Sire, when my boy was born, you granted me a boon to ask for him. Let him be king."

p. 25

"Nay," said the king; "two sons have I, radiant as flaming fires; I cannot give the kingdom to your son." But when he saw that, undaunted by this refusal, the queen kept plaguing him time after time, to grant her request, 1 2 the king, fearing lest the woman should plot evil against his sons, sent for them and said, "My children, when Prince Sun was born, I granted a boon; and now his mother wants the kingdom for him. I have no wish to give him the kingdom; but women are naturally wicked, and she will be plotting evil against you. You had better retire to the forest, to return at my death to rule in the city which belongs by right to our house." So saying, with tears and lamentations, the king kissed his two sons on the head and sent them forth.

As the princes were leaving the palace after their adieux to their father, who should see them but Prince Sun himself, who was playing in the courtyard? And no sooner did he learn what was the matter than he made up his mind to go with his brothers. So he too went off in their company.

The three came to the region of the Himalayas; and here the Bodhisatta, who had turned aside from the road and was sitting at the foot of a tree, said to Prince Sun, "Run down to the pool yonder, Sun dear; drink and bathe there; and then bring us too some water back in a lotus-leaf."

(Now that pool had been delivered over to a certain water-sprite by Vessavaṇa 1, who said to him, "With the exception of such as know what is truly god-like, all that go down into this pool are yours to devour. Over those that do not enter the waters, you have no power granted to you." And thenceforth the water-sprite used to ask all who went down into the pool what was truly godlike, devouring everyone who did not know.)

Now it was into this pool that Prince Sun went down, quite unsuspiciously, with the result that he was seized by the water-sprite, who said to him, "Do you know what is truly godlike?" "O yes," said he; "the sun and moon." "You don't know," said the monster, and hauling the prince down into the depths of the water, imprisoned him there in his own abode. Finding that his brother was a long time gone, the Bodhisatta sent Prince Moon. He too was seized by the water-sprite and asked whether he knew what was truly godlike. "Oh yes, I know," said he; "the four. quarters of heaven are." "You don't know," said the water-sprite as he hauled this second victim off to the same prison-house.

Finding that this second brother too tarried long, the Bodhisatta felt sure that something had happened to them. So away he went after them and tracked their footsteps down into the water. 1 2 Realising at once

p. 26

that the pool must be the domain of a water-sprite, he girded on his sword, and took his bow in his hand, and waited. Now when the demon found that the Bodhisatta had no intention of entering the water, he assumed the shape of a forester, and in this guise addressed the Bodhisatta thus: "You're tired with your journey, mate; why don't you go in and have a bathe and a drink, and deck yourself with lotuses? You would travel on comfortably afterwards." Recognising him at once for a demon, the Bodhisatta said, "It is you who have seized my brothers." "Yes, it was," was the reply. "Why?" Because all who go down into this pool belong to me." "What, all?" "Not those who know what is truly godlike; all save these are mine." "And do you want to know the godlike?" "I do." "If this be so, I will tell you what is truly godlike." "Do so, and I will listen."

"I should like to begin," said the Bodhisatta, "but I am travel-stained with my journey." Then the water-sprite bathed the Bodhisatta, and gave him food to eat and water to drink, decked him with flowers, sprinkled him with scents, and laid out a couch for him in the midst of a gorgeous pavilion. Seating himself on this couch, and making the water-sprite sit at his feet, the Bodhisatta said, "Listen then and you shall hear what the truly godlike is." And he repeated this stanza:--

Those only 'godlike' call who shrink from sin,
The white-souled tranquil votaries of Good.

[132] And when the demon heard this, he was pleased, and said to the Bodhisatta, "Man of wisdom, I am pleased with you, and give you up one of your brothers. Which shall I bring?" "The youngest." "Man of wisdom, though you know so well what the truly godlike is, you don't act on your knowledge." "How so?" "Why, you take the younger in preference to the elder, without regard to his seniority." "Demon, I not only know but practise the godlike. It was on this boy's account that we sought refuge in the forest; it was for him that his mother asked the kingdom from our father, and our father, refusing to fulfil her demand, consented to our flight to the refuge of the forest. With us came this boy, nor ever thought of turning back again. Not a soul would believe me if I were to give out that he had been devoured by a demon in the forest; and it is the fear of odium that impels me to demand him at your hands."

"Excellent! excellent! O man of wisdom," cried the demon in approval; "you not only know but practise the godlike." 1 3 And in token of his pleasure and approval he brought forth the two brothers and gave them both to the Bodhisatta.

Then said the latter to the water-sprite, "Friend, it is in consequence of your own evil deeds in times past that you have now been born a demon subsisting on the flesh and blood of other living creatures; and in this present birth too you are continuing to do evil. This evil conduct

p. 27

will for ever bar you from escaping re-birth in hell and the other evil states. Wherefore, from this time forth renounce evil and live virtuously."

Having worked the demon's conversion, the Bodhisatta continued to dwell at that spot under his protection, until one day he read in the stars that his father was dead. Then taking the water-sprite with him, he returned to Benares and took possession of the kingdom, making Prince Moon his viceroy and Prince Sun his generalissimo. For the water-sprite he made a home in a pleasant spot and took measures to ensure his being provided with the choicest garlands, flowers, and food. He himself ruled in righteousness until he passed away to fare according to his deeds.

_____________________________

His lesson ended, the Master preached the Truths, at the close whereof that Brother won the Fruit of the First Path. And the All-knowing Buddha, having told the two stories, made the connexion linking the two together, and identified the Birth, by saying, "The well-to-do Brother was the water-demon of those days; Ānanda was Prince Sun, Sāriputta Prince Moon, and I myself the eldest brother, Prince Mahiṃsāsa."

[Note. See Fausböll's Dhammapada, p. 302, and Ten Jātakas, p. 88.]


Footnotes

23:2 I.e. an alms-bowl, three cloths, a girdle, a razor, a needle and a water-strainer.

24:1 I take this to be the meaning of senāsana-cārikā, in contradistinction to the ordinary cārikā in which the destination was uncertain and in which alms were received from the laity.

25:1 This is another name for Kuvera, the Hindū Plutus, half-brother of Rāvaṇa, the demon-king of Ceylon in the Rāmāyaṇa. As appears from Jātaka No. 74, Vessavaṇa had rule over Tree-sprites as well as Water-sprites, holding his office from Sakka.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 7. Kaṭṭhahāri-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 7.

KAṬṬHAHĀRI-JĀTAKA.

"Your son am I."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana about the story of Vāsabha-Khattiyā, which will be found in the Twelfth Book in the Bhaddasāla-jātaka 1. Tradition tells us that she was the daughter of Mahānāma Sakka by a slave-girl named Nāgamuṇḍā, and that she afterwards became the consort of the king of Kosala. She conceived a son by the king; but the king, coming to know of her servile origin, degraded her from her rank, and also degraded her son Viḍūḍabha. Mother and son never came outside the palace.

Hearing of this, the Master at early dawn came to the palace attended by five hundred Brethren [134], and, sitting down on the seat prepared for him, said, "Sire, where is Vāsabha-Khattiyā?"

Then the king told him what had happened.

Sire, whose daughter is Vāsabha-Khattiyā?" "Mahānāma's daughter, sir." "When she came away, to whom did she come as wife?" "To me, sir." "Sire, she is a king's daughter; to a king she is wed; and to a king she bore her

p. 28

son. Wherefore is that son not in authority over the realm which owns his father's sway? In bygone days, a monarch who had a son by a casual 1 faggot-gatherer gave that son his sovereignty."

The king asked the Blessed One to explain this. The Blessed One made clear what had been concealed from him by re-birth.

_____________________________

Once on a time in Benares Brahmadatta the king, having gone in great state to his pleasaunce, was roaming about looking for fruits and flowers when he came on a woman who was merrily singing away as she picked up sticks in the grove. Falling in love at first sight, the king became intimate with her, and the Bodhisatta was conceived then and there. Feeling as heavy within as though weighed down with the bolt of Indra, the woman knew that she would become a mother, and told the king so. He gave her the signet-ring from his finger and dismissed her with these-words:--"If it be a girl, spend this ring on her nurture; but if it be a boy, bring ring and child to me."

When the woman's time was come, she bore the Bodhisatta. And when he could run about and was playing in the playground, a cry would arise, "No-father has hit me!" Hearing this, the Bodhisatta ran away to his mother and asked who his father was.

"You are the son of the King of Benares, my boy." "What proof of this is there, mother?" "My son, the king on leaving me gave me this signet-ring and said, 'If it be a girl, spend this ring on her nurture; but if it be a boy, bring ring and child to me.'" "Why then don't you take me to my father, mother?"

[135] Seeing that the boy's mind was made up, she took him to the gate of the palace, and bade their coming be announced to the king. Being summoned in, she entered and bowing before his majesty said, "This is your son, sire."

The king knew well enough that this was the truth, but shame before all his court made him reply, "He is no son of mine." "But here is your signet-ring, sire; you will recognise that." "Nor is this my signet-ring." Then said the woman, "Sire, I have now no witness to prove my words, except to appeal to truth. Wherefore, if you be the father of my child, I pray that he may stay in mid-air; but if not, may he fall to earth and be killed." So saying, she seized the Bodhisatta by the foot and threw him up into the air.

p. 29

Seated cross-legged in mid-air, the Bodhisatta in sweet tones repeated this stanza to his father, declaring the truth:--

Your son am I, great monarch; rear me, Sire!
The king rears others, but much more his child.

Hearing the Bodhisatta thus teach the truth to him from mid-air, the king stretched out his hands and cried, "Come to me, my boy! None, none but me shall rear and nurture you!" A thousand hands were stretched out to receive the Bodhisatta; 1 3 6 but it was into the arms of the king and of no other that he descended, seating himself in the king's lap. The king made him viceroy, and made his mother queen-consort. At the death of the king his father, he came to the throne by the title of King Kaṭṭhavāhana--the faggot-bearer--, and after ruling his realm righteously, passed away to fare according to his deserts.

_____________________________

His lesson to the king of Kosala ended, and his two stories told, the Master made the connexion linking them both together, and identified the Birth by saying:--"Mahāmāyā was the mother of those days, King Suddhodana was the father, and I myself King Kaṭṭhavāhana."

[Note. Cf. Dhammapada, p. 218, Jātaka No. 465, and Rogers' Buddhaghosha's Parables, p. 146. See also an endeavour, in the Ceylon R.AṢ. Journal, 1884, to trace this Jātaka back to the story of Dushyanta and Çakuntalā in the Mahābhārata and to Kālidāsa's drama of the Lost Ring.]


Footnotes

27:1 No. 465.

28:1 The word muhuttikāya means, literally, "momentary," or perhaps may be translated "with whom he consorted but a little while." Professor Künte (Ceylon R. A. S. Journal, 1884, p. 128) sees in the word a reference to the Muhūrta (mohotura) form of marriage, which "obtains among the Mahrathas other than the Brahmanas," and which he compares with the familiar Gāndharva form, i.e. (legal) union by mutual consent, on the spur of the moment, without any preliminary formalities.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 8. Gāmani-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 8.

GĀMANI-JĀTAKA.

"Their heart's desire."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana about a Brother who gave up persevering. In this Jātaka both the Introductory Story and the Story of the Past will be given in the Eleventh Book in connexion with the Saṃvara-jātaka 1;--the incidents are the same both for that Jātaka and for this, but the stanzas are different.

Abiding stedfast in the counsels of the Bodhisatta, Prince Gāmani, finding himself--though the youngest of a hundred brothers--surrounded by those hundred brothers as a retinue and seated beneath the white canopy of kingship,

p. 30

contemplated his glory and thought--"All this glory I owe to my teacher." And, in his joy, he burst into this heartfelt utterance:--

Their heart's desire 1 they reap, who hurry not;
Know, Gāmani, ripe excellence is thine.

[137] Seven or eight days after he had become king, all his brothers departed to their own homes. King Gāmani, after ruling his kingdom in righteousness, passed away to fare according to his deserts. The Bodhisatta also passed away to fare according to his deserts.

_____________________________

His lesson ended, the Master preached the Truths, at the close whereof the faint-hearted Brother won Arahatship. Having told the two stories, the Master shewed the connexion linking them both together and identified the Birth.


Footnotes

29:1 No. 462.

30:1 As to the alternative of the gloss ("phalāsā ti āsāphalam," i.e. "'the desire of the fruit' means 'the fruit of the desire'") Professor Künte (Ceylon R. A. S. J. 1884) says--"the inversion requires a knowledge of metaphysical grammar such as was not cultivated in India before the 6th century A.D. ..Ṭhe gloss was written about the Brahminical and Jain revival."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 9. Makhādeva-Jātaka



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No. 9.

MAKHĀDEVA-JĀTAKA.

"Lo! these grey hairs."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana about the Great Renunciation, which has already been related in the Nidāna-Kathā 2.

On this occasion the Brethren sat praising the Renunciation of the Lord of Wisdom. Entering the Hall of Truth and seating himself on the Buddha-seat, the Master thus addressed the Brethren:--"What is your theme, Brethren, as you sit here in conclave?"

"It is naught else, sir, than the praise of your own Renunciation." "Brethren," rejoined the Master, "not only in these latter days has the Tathāgata 3 made a Renunciation; in bygone days too he similarly renounced the world."

The Brethren asked the Blessed One for an explanation of this. The Blessed One made clear what had been concealed from them by re-birth.

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p. 31

Once on a time in Mithilā in the realm of Videha there was a king named Makhādeva, who was righteous and ruled righteously. For successive periods of eighty-four thousand years he had respectively amused himself as prince, ruled as viceroy, and reigned as king. All these long years had he lived, when one day he said to his barber,--"Tell me, friend barber, when you see any grey hairs in my head." So one day, years and years after, 1 3 the barber did find among the raven locks of the king a single grey hair, and he told the king so. "Pull it out, my friend," said the king; "and lay it in my palm." The barber accordingly plucked the hair out with his golden tongs, and laid it in the king's hand. The king had at that time still eighty-four thousand years more to live; but nevertheless at the sight of that one grey hair he was filled with deep emotion. He seemed to see the King of Death standing over him, or to be cooped within a blazing but of leaves. "Foolish Makhādeva!" he cried; "grey hairs have come upon you before you have been able to rid yourself of depravities." And as he thought and thought about the appearance of his grey hair, he grew aflame within; the sweat rolled down from his body; whilst his raiment oppressed him and seemed intolerable. "This very day," thought he, "will I renounce the world for the Brother's life."

To his barber he gave the grant of a village, which yielded a hundred thousand pieces of money. He sent for his eldest son and said to him, "My son, grey hairs are come upon me, and I am become old. I have had my fill of human joys, and fain would taste the joys divine; the time for my renunciation has come. Take the sovereignty upon yourself; as for me, I will take up my abode in the pleasaunce called Makhādeva's Mango-grove, and there tread the ascetic's path."

As he was thus bent on leading the Brother's life, his ministers drew near and said, "What is the reason, sire, why you adopt the Brother's life?"

Taking the grey hair in his hand, the king repeated this stanza to his ministers:--

Lo, these grey hairs that on my head appear
Are Death's own messengers that come to rob
My life. ’Tis time I turned from worldly things,
And in the hermit's path sought saving peace.

[paragraph continues] 1 3 And after these words, he renounced his sovereignty that self-same day and became a recluse. Dwelling in that very Mango-grove of Makhādeva, he there during eighty-four thousand years fostered the Four Perfect States within himself, and, dying with insight full and unbroken, was reborn in the Realm of Brahma. Passing thence, he became a king again in Mithilā, under the name of Nimi, and after uniting his scattered family, once more became a hermit in that same

p. 32

[paragraph continues] Mango-grove, winning the Four Perfect States and passing thence once more to the Realm of Brahma.

_____________________________

After repeating his statement that he had similarly renounced the world in bygone days, the Master at the end of his lesson preached the Four Truths. Some entered the First Path, some the Second, and some the Third. Having told the two stories, the Master shewed the connexion between them and identified the Birth, by saying:--"In those days Ānanda was the barber, Rāhula the son, and I myself King Makhādeva."

[Note. See Majjhima-Nikāya, Sutta No. 83 of which is entitled the Makhādeva Sutta. According to Léon Feer (J. As. 1876, p. 516) the Bigandet MS. calls this the Devadūta-jātaka. Bigandet in his Life or Legend of Gaudama (p. 408) gives a version of this Jātaka, in which the king is named Minggadewa, and in which the doings of King Nemi (= Nimi above) are given in great detail. See Upham's Mahāvansi, vol. i. p. 14, and the 'Nemy' Jātaka referred to by him as the 544th Jātaka. See also Cariyū-Piṭaka, p. 76, and Plate XLVIII. (2) of the Stūpa of Bharhut, where the name is carved Magha-deva, a spelling which is retained in modern Burmese manuscripts of the Majjhima Sutta from which this Jātaka was manifestly compiled.]


Footnotes

30:2 See p. 61 et seqq. of Vol. i. of Fausböll's text for this account of how Prince Siddhattha, the future Buddha, renounced the world for the Truth.

30:3 The meaning of this frequently recurring title of the Buddha is far from clear, and the obscurity is deepened by the elaborate gloss of Buddhaghosa at pp. 59-68 of the Sumaṅgala-vilāsinī, where eight different interpretations are given. Perhaps the word may mean 'He who has trod the path which the earlier Buddhas trod'; but there is much to be said for the view put forward on p. 82 of Vol. XIII. of the Sacred Books of the East, that the meaning is 'He who has arrived there,' i.e. at emancipation.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 10. Sukhavihāri-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 10.

SUKHAVIHĀRI-JĀTAKA.

[140] "The man who guards not."--This story was told by the Master while in the Anūpiya Mango-grove near the town of Anūpiya, about the Elder Bhaddiya (the Happy), who joined the Brotherhood in the company of the six young nobles with whom was Upāli 1. Of these the Elders Bhaddiya, Kimbila, Bhagu, and Upāli attained to Arahatship; the Elder Ānanda entered the First Path; the Elder Anuruddha gained all-seeing vision; and Devadatta obtained the power of ecstatic self-abstraction. The story of the six young nobles, up to the events at Anūpiya, will be related in the Khaṇḍahāla-jātaka 2.

The venerable Bhaddiya, who used in the days of his royalty to guard himself as though he were appointed his own tutelary deity, bethought him of the state of fear in which he then lived when he was being guarded by numerous guards and when he used to toss about even on his royal couch in his private apartments high up in the palace; and with this he compared the absence of fear in which, now that he was an Arahat, he roamed hither and thither in forests and desert places. And at the thought he burst into this heartfelt utterance--"Oh, happiness! Oh, happiness!"

p. 33

This the Brethren reported to the Blessed One, saying, "The venerable Bhaddiya is declaring the bliss he has won."

"Brethren," said the Blessed One, "this is not the first time that Bhaddiya's life has been happy; his life was no less happy in bygone days."

The Brethren asked the Blessed One to explain this. The Blessed One made clear what had been concealed from them by re-birth.

_____________________________

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born a wealthy northern brahmin. Realising the evil of lusts and the blessings that flow from renouncing the world, he abjured lusts, and retiring to the Himalayas there became a hermit and won the eight Endowments. His following waxed great, amounting to five hundred ascetics. Once when the rains set in, he quitted the Himalayas and travelling along on an alms-pilgrimage with his attendant ascetics through village and town came at last to Benares, where he took up his abode in the royal pleasaunce as the pensioner of the king's bounty. After dwelling here for the four rainy months, he came to the king to take his leave. But the king said to him, "You are old, reverend sir. Wherefore should you go back to the Himalayas'? Send your pupils back thither 1 4 and stop here yourself."

The Bodhisatta entrusted his five hundred ascetics to the care of his oldest disciple, saying, "Go you with these to the Himalayas; I will stop on here."

Now that oldest disciple had once been a king, but had given up a mighty kingdom to become a Brother; by the due performance of the rites appertaining to concentrated thought he had mastered the eight Endowments. As he dwelt with the ascetics in the Himalayas, one day a longing came upon him to see the master, and he said to his fellows, "Live on contentedly here; I will come back as soon as I have paid my respects to the master." So away he went to the master, paid his respects to him, and greeted him lovingly. Then he lay down by the side of his master on a mat which he spread there.

At this point appeared the king, who had come to the pleasaunce to see the ascetic; and with a salutation he took his seat on one side. But though he was aware of the king's presence, that oldest disciple forbore to rise, but still lay there, crying with passionate earnestness, "Oh, happiness! Oh, happiness!"

Displeased that the ascetic, though he had seen him, had not risen, the king said to the Bodhisatta, "Reverend sir, this ascetic must have had his fill to eat, seeing that he continues to lie there so happily, exclaiming with such earnestness."

"Sire," said the Bodhisatta, "of old this ascetic was a king as you are. He is thinking how in the old days when he was a layman and

p. 34

lived in regal pomp with many a man-at-arms to guard him, he never knew such happiness as now is his. It is the happiness of the Brother's life, and the happiness that Insight brings, which move him to this heartfelt utterance." And the Bodhisatta further repeated this stanza to teach the king the Truth:--

The man who guards not, nor is guarded, sire,
Lives happy, freed from slavery to lusts.

[paragraph continues] 1 2 4 Appeased by the lesson thus taught him, the king made his salutation and returned to his palace. The disciple also took his leave of his master and returned to the Himalayas. But the Bodhisatta continued to dwell on there, and, dying with Insight full and unbroken, was re-born in the Realm of Brahma.

_____________________________

His lesson ended, and the two stories told, the Master shewed the connexion linking them both together, and identified the Birth by saying,--"The Elder Bhaddiya was the disciple of those days, and I myself the master of the company of ascetics."

[Note. For the Introductory Story compare Cullavagga, VII. l. 5--.]


Footnotes

32:1 Cf. Oldenberg's Vinaya, Vol. in pp. 180-4 (translated at p. 232 of Vol. XX. of the Sacred Books of the East), for an account of the conversion of the six Sākyan princes and the barber Upāli.

32:2 No. 534 in Westergaard's list; not yet edited by Fausböll.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 11. Lakkhaṇa-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 11.

LAKKHAṆA-JĀTAKA.

"The upright man."--This story was told by the Master in the Bamboo-grove near Rājagaha about Devadatta. The story of Devadatta 1 will be related, up to the date of the Abhimāra-employment, in the Khaṇḍahāla-jātaka 2; up to the date of his dismissal from the office of Treasurer, in the Cullahaṃsa-jātaka 3; and, up to the date of his being swallowed up by the earth, in the Sixteenth Book in the Samudda-vāṇija-jātaka 4.

For, on the occasion now in question, Devadatta, through failing to carry the Five Points which he had pressed for, had made a schism in the Brotherhood and had gone off with five hundred Brethren to dwell at Gayā-sīsa. Now, these Brethren came to a riper knowledge; and the Master, knowing this, called the

p. 35

two chief disciples 1 and said, "Sāriputta, your five hundred pupils who were perverted by Devadatta's teaching and went off with him, have now come to a riper knowledge. Go thither with a number of the Brethren, preach the Truth to them, enlighten these wanderers respecting the Paths and the Fruits, and bring them back with you."

They went thither, preached the Truth, enlightened them respecting the Paths and the Fruits, and next day 1 3 4 at dawn came back again with those Brethren to the Bamboo-grove. And whilst Sāriputta was standing there after saluting the Blessed One on his return, the Brethren spoke thus to him in praise of the Elder Sāriputta, "Sir, very bright was the glory of our elder brother, the Captain of the Truth, as he returned with a following of five hundred Brethren; whereas Devadatta has lost all his following."

"This is not the only time, Brethren, when glory has been Sāriputta's on his return with a following of his kinsfolk; like glory was his too in bygone days. So too this is not the only time when Devadatta has lost his following; he lost it also in bygone days."

The Brethren asked the Blessed One to explain this to them. The Blessed One made clear what had been concealed by re-birth.

_____________________________

Once on a time in the city of Rājagaha in the kingdom of Magadha there ruled a certain king of Magadha, in whose days the Bodhisatta came to life as a stag. Growing up, he dwelt in the forest as the leader of a herd of a thousand deer. He had two young ones named Luckie and Blackie. When he grew old, he handed his charge over to his two sons, placing five hundred deer under the care of each of them. And so now these two young stags were in charge of the herd.

Towards harvest-time in Magadha, when the crops stand thick in the fields, it is dangerous for the deer in the forests round. Anxious to kill the creatures that devour their crops, the peasants dig pitfalls, fix stakes, set stone-traps, and plant snares and other gins; so that many deer are slain.

Accordingly, when the Bodhisatta marked that it was crop-time, he sent for his two sons and said to them, "My children, it is now the time when crops stand thick in the fields, and many deer meet their death at this season. We who are old will make shift to stay in one spot; but you will retire each with your herd to the mountainous tracts in the forest and come back when the crops have been carried." "Very good," said his two sons, and departed with their herds, as their father bade.

Now the men who live along the route, know quite well the times at which deer take to the hills and return thence. And 1 4 lying in wait in hiding-places here and there along the route, they shoot and kill numbers of them. The dullard Blackie, ignorant of the times to travel and the

p. 36

times to halt, kept his deer on the march early and late, both at dawn and in the gloaming, approaching the very confines of the villages. And the peasants, in ambush or in the open, destroyed numbers of his herd. Having thus by his crass folly worked the destruction of all these, it was with a very few survivors that he reached the forest.

Luckie on the other hand, being wise and astute and full of resource, never so much as approached the confines of a village. He did not travel by day, or even in the dawn or gloaming. Only in the dead of night did he move; and the result was that he reached the forest without losing a single head of his deer.

Four months they stayed in the forest, not leaving the hills till the crops were carried. On the homeward way Blackie by repeating his former folly lost the rest of his herd and returned solitary and alone; whereas Luckie had not lost one of his herd, but had brought back the whole five hundred deer, when he appeared before his parents. As he saw his two sons returning, the Bodhisatta framed this stanza in concert with the herd of deer:--

The upright kindly man bath his reward.
Mark Luckie leading back his troop of kin,
While here comes Blackie shorn of all his herd.

[145] Such was the Bodhisatta's welcome to his son; and after living to a good old age, he passed away to fare according to his deserts.

_____________________________

At the close of his lesson, when the Master had repeated that Sāriputta's glory and Devadatta's loss had both had a parallel in bygone days, he shewed the connexion linking the two stories together and identified the Birth, by saying, "Devadatta was the Blackie of those days; his followers were Blackie's following; Sāriputta was the Luckie of those days, and his following the Buddha's followers; Rāhula's mother was the mother of those days; and I myself was the father."

[Note. See Dhammapada, p. 146, for the above verse and for a parallel to the Introductory Story of this Jātaka.]


Footnotes

34:1 See Cullavagga, VII. 1--et seqq. The "Five Points" of Devadatta are there given (VII. 3. 14) as follows:--"The Brethren shall live all their life long in the forest, subsist solely on doles collected out of doors, dress solely in rags picked out of dust-heaps, dwell under trees and never under a roof, never eat fish or flesh." These five points were all more rigid in their asceticism than the Buddha's rule, and were formulated by Devadatta in order to outbid his cousin and master.

34:2 Cf. p. 32, note 2.

34:3 No. 533.

34:4 No. 466.

35:1 The two chief disciples, of whom only one is named in the text, were Sāriputta (surnamed 'the Captain of the Faith') and Moggallāna, two Brahmin friends, originally followers of a wandering ascetic, whose conversion to Buddhism is related in the Mahāvagga, I. 23--. Unlike this Jātaka, the Vinaya account (Cullavagga, VII. 4) of the re-conversion of the backsliders gives a share of the credit to Moggallāna.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 12. Nigrodhamiga-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 12.

NIGRODHAMIGA-JĀTAKA.

"Keep only with the Banyan Deer."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana about the mother of the Elder named Prince Kassapa. The daughter, we learn, of a wealthy merchant of Rājagaha was deeply rooted in goodness and scorned all temporal things; she had reached her final existence, and within her breast, like a lamp in a pitcher, glowed her sure hope of winning

p. 37

[paragraph continues] Arahatship. As soon as she reached knowledge of herself, she took no joy in a worldly life but yearned to renounce the world. With this aim, she said to her mother and father, "My dear parents, my heart takes no joy in a worldly life; fain would I embrace the saving doctrine of the Buddha. Suffer me to take the vows."

"What, my dear? Ours is a very wealthy family, and you are our only daughter. You cannot take the vows."

Having failed to win her parents' consent, though she asked them again and again, she thought to herself, "Be it so then; when I am married into another family, I will gain my husband's consent and take the vows." And when, being grown up, she entered another family, she proved a devoted wife and lived a life of goodness and virtue 1 in her new home. Now it came to pass that she conceived, though she knew it not.

There was a festival proclaimed in that city, 1 4 6 and everybody kept holiday, the city being decked like a city of the gods. But she, even at the height of the festival, neither anointed herself nor put on any finery, going about in her every-day attire. So her husband said to her, "My dear wife, everybody is holiday-making; but you do not put on your bravery."

"My lord and master," she replied, "the body is filled with two-and-thirty component .parts. Wherefore should it be adorned? This bodily frame is not of angelic or archangelic mould; it is not made of gold, jewels, or yellow sandal-wood; it takes not its birth from the womb of lotus-flowers, white or red or blue; it is not filled with any immortal balsam. Nay, it is bred of corruption, and born of mortal parents; the qualities that mark it are the wearing and wasting away, the decay and destruction of the merely transient; it is fated to swell a graveyard, and is devoted to lusts; it is the source of sorrow, and the occasion of lamentation; it is the abode of all diseases, and the repository of the workings of Karma. Foul within,--it is always excreting. Yea, as all the world can see, its end is death, passing to the charnel-house, there to be the dwelling-place of worms 2 [147]. What should I achieve, my bridegroom, by tricking out this body? Would not its adornment be like decorating the outside of a close-stool?"

"My dear wife," rejoined the young merchant, "if you regard this body as so sinful, why don't you become a Sister?"

"If I am accepted, my husband, I will take the vows this very day." "Very good," said he, "I will get you admitted to the Order." And after he had shewn lavish bounty and hospitality to the Order, he escorted her with a large following to the nunnery and had her admitted a Sister,--but of the following of Devadatta. Great was her joy at the fulfilment of her desire to become a Sister.

As her time drew near, the Sisters, noticing the change in her person, the swelling in her hands and feet and her increased size, said, "Lady, you seem about to become a mother; what does it mean?"

"I cannot tell, ladies; I only know I have led a virtuous life."

So the Sisters brought her before Devadatta, saying, "Lord, this young gentle-woman, who was admitted a Sister with the reluctant consent of her husband, has now proved to be with child; but whether this dates from before her admission to the Order or not, we cannot say. What are we to do now?"

Not being a Buddha, and not having any charity, love or pity, Devadatta thought thus: "It will be a damaging report to get abroad that one of my Sisters is with child, and that I condone the offence. My course is clear;--I must expel this woman from the Order." Without any enquiry, starting forward as if to thrust aside a mass of stone, he said, "Away, and expel this woman!"

Receiving this answer, they arose and with reverent salutation withdrew to their own nunnery. But the girl said to those Sisters, "Ladies, Devadatta the Elder is not the Buddha. My vows were taken not under Devadatta, but under

p. 38

the Buddha, the Foremost of the world. Rob me not of the vocation I won so hardly; but take me before the Master at Jetavana." So they set out with her for Jetavana, and journeying over the forty-five leagues thither from Rājagaha, came in due course to their destination, where with reverent salutation to the Master, they laid the matter before him.

Thought the Master, "Albeit the child was conceived while she was still of the laity, yet it will give the heretics an occasion to say that the ascetic Gotama 1 4 has taken a Sister expelled by Devadatta. Therefore, to cut short such talk, this case must be heard in the presence of the king and his court." So on the morrow he sent for Pasenadi king of Kosala, the elder and the younger Anātha-piṇḍika, the lady Visākhā the great lay-disciple, and other well-known personages; and in the evening when the four classes of the faithful were all assembled--Brothers, Sisters, and lay-disciples, both male and female--he said to the Elder Upāli, "Go, and clear up this matter of the young Sister in the presence of the four classes of my disciples."

"It shall be done, reverend sir," said the Elder, and forth to the assembly he went and there, seating himself in his place, he called up Visākhā the lay-disciple in sight of the king, and placed the conduct of the enquiry in her hands, saying, "First ascertain the precise day of the precise month on which this girl joined the Order, Visākhā; and thence compute whether she conceived before or since that date." Accordingly the lady had a curtain put up as a screen, behind which she retired with the girl. Spectatis manibus, pedibus, umbilico, ipso ventre puellæ, the lady found, on comparing the days and months, that the conception had taken place before the girl had become a Sister. This she reported to the Elder, who proclaimed the Sister innocent before all the assembly. And she, now that her innocence was established, reverently saluted the Order and the Mater, and with the Sisters returned to her own nunnery.

When her time was come, she bore the son strong in spirit, for whom she had prayed at the feet of the Buddha Padumuttara ages ago. One day, when the king was passing by the nunnery, he heard the cry of an infant and asked his courtiers what it meant. They, knowing the facts, told his majesty that the cry came from the child to which the young Sister had given birth. "Sirs," said the king, "the care of children is a clog on Sisters in their religious life; let us take charge of him." So the infant was handed over by the king's command to the ladies of his family, and brought up as a prince. When the day came for him to be named, he was called Kassapa, but was known as Prince Kassapa because he was brought up like a prince.

At the age of seven he was admitted a novice under the Master, and a full Brother when he was old enough. As time went on, he waxed famous among the expounders of the Truth. So the Master gave him precedence, saying, "Brethren, the first in eloquence among my disciples is Prince Kassapa." Afterwards, by virtue of the Vammīka Sutta 1, he won Arahatship. So too his mother, the Sister, grew to clear vision and won the Supreme Fruit. Prince Kassapa the Elder shone in the faith of the Buddha 1 4 even as the full-moon in the mid-heaven. Now one day in the afternoon when the Tathāgata on return from his alms-round had addressed the Brethren, he passed into his perfumed chamber. At the close of his address the Brethren spent the daytime either in their night-quarters or in their day-quarters till it was evening, when they assembled in the hall of Truth and spoke as follows: "Brethren, Devadatta, because he was not a Buddha and because he had no charity, love or pity, was nigh being the ruin of the Elder Prince Kassapa and his reverend mother. But the All-enlightened Buddha, being the Lord of Truth and being perfect in charity, love and pity, has proved their salvation." And as they sat there telling the praises of the Buddha, he entered the hall with all the grace of a Buddha, and asked, as he took his. seat, what they were talking of as they sat together.

"Of your own virtues, sir," said they, and told him all.

p. 39

"This is not the first time, Brethren," said he, "that the Tathāgata has proved the salvation and refuge of these two: he was the same to them in the past also."

Then, on the Brethren asking him to explain this to them, he revealed what re-birth had hidden from them.

_____________________________

Once on a time, when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born a deer. At his birth he was golden of hue; his eyes were like round jewels; the sheen of his horns was as of, silver; his mouth was red as a bunch of scarlet cloth; his four hoofs were as though lacquered; his tail was like the yak's; and he was as big as a young foal. Attended by five hundred deer, he dwelt in the forest under the name of King Banyan Deer. And hard by him dwelt another deer also with an attendant herd of five hundred deer, who was named Branch Deer, and was as golden of hue as the Bodhisatta.

In those days the king of Benares was passionately fond of hunting, and always had meat at every meal. Every day he mustered the whole of his subjects, townsfolk and countryfolk alike, to the detriment of their business, and went hunting. Thought his people, "This king of ours stops all our work. Suppose we were 1 5 to sow food and supply water for the deer in his own pleasaunce, and, having driven in a number of deer, to bar them in and deliver them over to the king!" So they sowed in the pleasaunce grass for the deer to eat and supplied water for them to drink, and opened the gate wide. Then they called out the townsfolk and set out into the forest armed with sticks and all manner of weapons to find the deer. They surrounded about a league of forest in order to catch the deer within their circle, and in so doing surrounded the haunt of the Banyan and Branch deer. As soon as they perceived the deer, they proceeded to beat the trees, bushes and ground with their sticks till they drove the herds out of their lairs; then they rattled their swords and spears and bows with so great a din that they drove all the deer into the pleasaunce, and shut the gate. Then they went to the king and said, "Sire, you put a stop to our work by always going a-hunting; so we have driven deer enough from the forest to fill your pleasaunce. Henceforth feed on them."

Hereupon the king betook himself to the pleasaunce, and in looking over the herd saw among them two golden deer, to whom he granted immunity. Sometimes he would go of his own accord and shoot a deer to bring home; sometimes his cook would go and shoot one. At first sight of the bow, the deer would dash off trembling for their lives, but after receiving two or three wounds they grew weary and faint and were slain. The herd of deer told this to the Bodhisatta, who sent for Branch and said, "Friend, the deer are being destroyed in great numbers; and, though they

p. 40

cannot escape death, at least let them not be needlessly wounded. Let the deer go to the block 1 by turns, one day one from my herd, and next day one from yours,--the deer on whom the lot falls to go to the place of execution and lie down with its head on the block. In this wise the deer will escape wounding." The other agreed; and thenceforth the deer whose turn it was, used to go 1 5 and lie down with its neck ready on the block. The cook used to go and carry off only the victim which awaited him.

Now one day the lot fell on a pregnant doe of the herd of Branch, and she went to Branch and said, "Lord, I am with young. When I have brought forth my little one, there will be two of us to take our turn. Order me to be passed over this turn." "No, I cannot make your turn, another's," said he; "you must bear the consequences of your own fortune. Begone!" Finding no favour with him, the doe went on to the Bodhisatta and told him her story. And he answered, "Very well; you go away, and I will see that the turn passes over you." And therewithal he went himself to the place of execution and lay down with his head on the block, Cried the cook on seeing him, "Why here's the king of the deer who was granted immunity! What does this mean?" And off he ran to tell the king. The moment he heard of it, the king mounted his chariot and arrived with a large following. "My friend the king of the deer," he said on beholding the Bodhisatta, "did I not promise you your life? How comes it that you are lying here?

"Sire, there came to me a doe big with young, who prayed me to let her turn fall on another; and, as I could not pass the doom of one on to another, I, laying down my life for her and taking her doom on myself, have laid me down here. Think not that there is anything behind this, your majesty."

"My lord the golden king of the deer," said the king, "never yet saw I, even among men, one so abounding in charity, love and pity as you. Therefore am I pleased with you. Arise! I spare the lives both of you and of her."

"Though two be spared, what shall the rest do, O king of men?" "I spare their lives too, my lord." "Sire, only the deer in your pleasaunce will thus have gained immunity; what shall all the rest do?" "Their lives too I spare, my lord." "Sire, deer will thus be safe; but what will the rest of four-footed creatures do?" [152]. "I spare their lives too, my lord." "Sire, four-footed creatures will thus be safe; but what will the flocks of birds do?" "They too shall be spared, my lord." "Sire, birds will thus be safe; but what will the fishes do, who live in the water?" "I spare their lives also, my lord."

After thus interceding with the king for the lives of all creatures, the

p. 41

Great Being arose, established the king in the Five Commandments, saying, "Walk in righteousness, great king. Walk in righteousness and justice towards parents, children, townsmen, and countryfolk, so that when this earthly body is dissolved, you may enter the bliss of heaven." Thus, with the grace and charm that marks a Buddha, did he teach the Truth to the king. A few days he tarried in the pleasaunce for the king's instruction, and then with his attendant herd he passed into the forest again.

And that doe brought forth a fawn fair as the opening bud of the lotus, who used to play about with the Branch deer. Seeing this his mother said to him, "My child, don't go about with him, only go about with the herd of the Banyan deer." And by way of exhortation, she repeated this stanza:

Keep only with the Banyan deer, and shun
The Branch deer's herd; more welcome far
Is death, my child, in Banyan's company,
Than e’en the amplest term of life with Branch.

Thenceforth, the deer, now in the enjoyment of immunity, used to eat men's crops, and the men, remembering the immunity granted to them, did not dare to hit the deer or drive them away. So they assembled in the king's courtyard and laid the matter before the king. Said he, "When the Banyan deer won my favour, 1 3 5 I promised him a boon. I will forego my kingdom rather than my promise. Begone! Not a man in my kingdom may harm the deer."

But when this came to the ears of the Banyan deer, he called his herd together and said, "Henceforth you shall not eat the crops of others." And having thus forbidden them, he sent a message to the men, saying, "From this day forward, let no husbandman fence his field, but merely indicate it with leaves tied up round it." And so, we hear, began a plan of tying up leaves to indicate the fields; and never was a deer known to trespass on a field so marked. For thus they had been instructed by the Bodhisatta.

Thus did the Bodhisatta exhort the deer of his herd, and thus did he act all his life long, and at the close of a long life passed away with them to fare according to his deserts. The king too abode by the Bodhisatta's teachings, and after a life spent in good works passed away to fare according to his deserts.

_____________________________

At the close of this lesson, when the Master had repeated that, as now, so in bygone days also he had been the salvation of the pair, he preached the Four Truths. He then shewed the connexion, linking together the two stories he had told, and identified the Birth by saying,--"Devadatta was the Branch Deer of

p. 42

those days, and his followers were that deer's herd; the nun was the doe, and Prince Kassapa was her offspring; Ānanda was the king; and I myself was King Banyan Deer."

[Note. This Jātaka is referred to in Milindapañho (page 289 of Rhys Davids' translation), and is figured in Plates XXV. (1) and XLIII. (2) of Cunningham's Stūpa of Bharhut several illegible words in the copytext--JBH See also Julien's Huen Thsang, ii. 361. For the stanza and the Introductory Story see Dhammapada, pp. 327-330.]


Footnotes

37:1 Or, perhaps, "was beautiful."

37:2 A long string of repulsive stanzas as to the anatomy of the body is here omitted.

38:1 The 23rd Sutta of the Majjhima Nikāya.

40:1 For dhammagaṇḍikā see Jāt. II. 124; III. 41.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 13. Kaṇḍina-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 13.

KAṆḌINA-JĀTAKA.

"Cursed be the dart of love."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana about the temptation caused to Brethren by the wives of their mundane life. This will be related in the Indriya-jātaka 1 in the Eighth Book. Said the Blessed One to the Brother, "Brother, it was because of this very woman that in bygone days you met your death and were roasted over glowing embers." The Brethren asked the Blessed One to explain this. The Blessed One made clear what had been concealed from them by re-birth.

[154] (Henceforth we shall omit the words respecting the Brethren's request for an explanation and the making clear what had been concealed by re-birth; and we shall only say "told this story of the past." When only this is said, all the rest is to be supplied and repeated as above,--the request, the simile of setting free the moon from the clouds, and the making clear what had been concealed by re-birth.)

_____________________________

Once on a time in the kingdom of Magadha the king was reigning in Rājagaha, and when the crops were grown the deer were exposed to great perils, so that they retired to the forest. Now a certain mountain-stag of the forest, having become attached to a doe who came from near a village, was moved by his love for her to accompany her when the deer returned home from the forest. Said she, "You, sir, are but a simple stag of the forest, and the neighbourhood of villages is beset with peril and danger.

So don't come down with us." But he because of his great love for her would not stay, but came with her.

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When they knew that it was the time for the deer to cone down from the hills, the Magadha folk posted themselves in ambush by the road; and a hunter was lying in wait just by the road along which the pair were travelling. Scenting a man, the young doe suspected that a hunter was in ambush, and let the stag go on first, following herself at some distance. With a single arrow the hunter laid the stag low, and the doe seeing him struck was off like the wind. Then that hunter came forth from his hiding place and skinned the stag and lighting a fire cooked the sweet flesh over the embers. Having eaten and drunk, he took off home the remainder of the bleeding carcass on his carrying-pole to regale his children.

Now in those clays the Bodhisatta was a fairy dwelling in that very grove of trees, and he marked what had come to pass. "’Twas not father or mother, but passion alone that destroyed this foolish deer [155]. The dawn of passion is bliss, but its end is sorrow and suffering,--the painful loss of hands, and the misery of the five forms of bonds and blows. To cause another's death is accounted infamy in this world; infamous too is the land which owns a woman's sway and rule; and infamous are the men who yield themselves to women's dominion." And therewithal, while the other fairies of the wood applauded and offered perfumes and flowers and the like in homage, the Bodhisatta wove the three infamies into a single stanza, and made the wood re-echo with his sweet tones as he taught the truth in these lines:

Cursed be the dart of love that works men pain!
Cursed be the land where women rule supreme!
And cursed the fool that bows to woman's sway!

Thus in a single stanza were the three infamies comprised by the Bodhisatta, and the woods re-echoed as he taught the Truth with all the mastery and grace of a Buddha [156].

_____________________________

His lesson ended, the Master preached the Four Truths, at the close whereof the love-sick Brother was established in the Fruit of the First Path. Having told the two stories, the Master shewed the connexion linking the two together, and identified the Birth.

(Henceforward, we shall omit the words 'Having told the two stories,' and simply say 'shewed the connexion...;' the words omitted are to be supplied as before.)

"In those days," said the Master, "the love-sick Brother was the mountain-stag; his mundane wife was the young doe, and I was myself the fairy who preached the Truth shewing the sin of passion."

[Note. See page 330 of Benfey's Pañca-Tantra.]


Footnotes

42:1 No. 423.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 14. Vātamiga-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


p. 44

No. 14.

VĀTAMIGA-JĀTAKA.

"There's nothing worse." This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about the Elder Tissa, called Direct-alms the Less. Tradition says that, while the Master was dwelling at the Bamboo-grove near Rājagaha, the scion of a wealthy house, Prince Tissa by name, coming one day to the Bamboo-grove and there hearing a discourse from the Master, wished to join the Brotherhood, but, being refused because his parents would not give their consent, obtained their consent by following Raṭṭha-pāla's 1 example and refusing food for seven days, and finally took the vows with the Master.

About a fortnight after admitting this young man, the Master repaired from the Bamboo-grove to Jetavana, where the young nobleman undertook the Thirteen Obligations 2 and passed his time in going his round for alms from house to house, omitting none. Under the name of the Elder Tissa Direct-alms the Less, he became as bright and shining a light in Buddhism as the moon in the vault of heaven.

A festival having been proclaimed at this time at Rājagaha, the Elder's mother and father laid in a silver casket the trinkets he used to wear as a-layman, and took it to heart, bewailing thus,--"At other festivals our son used to wear this or that bravery as he kept the festival; and he, our only son, has been taken away by the sage Gotama to the town of Sāvatthi. Where is our son sitting now or standing?" Now a slave-girl who came to the house, noticed the lady of the house weeping, and asked her why she was weeping; and the lady told her all.

"What, madam, was your son fond of?" "Of such and such a thing," replied the lady. "Well, if you will give me authority in this house, I'll fetch your son back." "Very good," said the lady in assent, and gave the girl her expenses and despatched her with a large following, saying, "Go, and manage to fetch my son back."

So away the girl rode in a palanquin to Sāvatthi, where she took up her residence in the street which the Elder used to frequent for alms. 1 5 Surrounding herself with servants of her own, and never allowing the Elder to see his father's people about, she watched the moment when the Elder entered the street and at once bestowed on him an alms of victual and drink. And when she had bound him in the bonds of the craving of taste, she got him eventually to seat himself in the house, till she knew that her gifts of food as alms had put him in her power. Then she feigned sickness and lay down in an inner chamber.

In the due course of his round for alms at the proper time, the Elder came to the door of her house; and her people took the Elder's bowl and made him sit down in the house.

When he had seated himself, he said, "Where is the lay-sister?" "She's ill, sir; she would be glad to see you."

Bound as he was by the bonds of the craving of taste, he broke his vow and obligation, and went to where the woman was lying.

p. 45

Then she told him the reason of her coming, and so wrought on him that, all because of his being hound by the bonds of the craving of taste, she made him forsake the Brotherhood; when he was in her power, she put him in the palanquin and came back with a large following to Rājagaha again.

All this was noised abroad. Sitting in the Hall of Truth, the Brethren discussed the matter, saying, "Sirs, it is reported that a slave-girl has bound in the bonds of the craving of taste, and has carried off, the Elder Tissa the Less, called Direct-alms." Entering the Hall the Master sat down on his jewelled seat, and said, "What, Brethren, is the subject of discussion in this conclave?" They told him the incident.

"Brethren," said he, "this is not the first time that, in bondage to the craving of taste, he has fallen into her power; in bygone days too he fell into her power in like manner." And so saying, he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares he had a gardener named Sañjaya. Now there came into the king's pleasaunce a Wind-antelope, which fled away at the sight of Sañjaya, but the latter let it go without terrifying the timid creature. After several visits the antelope used to roam about in the pleasaunce. Now the gardener was in the habit of gathering flowers and fruits and taking them day by day to the king. Said the king to him one day, "Have you noticed anything strange, friend gardener, in the pleasaunce?" "Only, sir, that a Wind-antelope has come about the grounds." "Could you catch it, do you think?" "Oh, yes; if I had a little honey, I'd bring it right into your majesty's palace."

The king ordered the honey to be given to the man and he went off with it to the pleasaunce, where he first anointed with the honey the grass at the spots frequented by the antelope, 1 5 and then hid himself. When the antelope came and tasted the honied grass it was so snared by the lust of taste that it would go nowhere else but only to the pleasaunce. Marking the success of his snare, the gardener began gradually to show himself. The appearance of the man made the antelope take to flight for the first day or two, but growing familiar with the sight of him, it gathered confidence and gradually came to eat grass from the man's hand. He, noting that the creature's confidence had been won, first strewed the path as thick as a carpet with broken boughs; then tying a gourd full of honey on his shoulder and sticking a bunch of grass in his waist-cloth, he kept dropping wisps of the honied grass in front of the antelope till at last he got it right inside the palace. No sooner was the antelope inside than they shut the door. At sight of men the antelope, in fear and trembling for its life, dashed to and fro about the hall; and the king coming down from his chamber above, and seeing the trembling creature, said, "So timid is the Wind-antelope that for a whole week it will not revisit a spot where it has so much as seen a man; and if it has once been frightened anywhere, it never goes back there again all its life long. Yet,

p. 46

ensnared by the lust of taste, this wild thing from the jungle has actually come to a place like this. Truly, my friends, there is nothing viler in the world than this lust of taste." And he put his teaching into this stanza:--

There's nothing worse, men say, than taste to snare,
At borne or with one's friends. Lo! taste it was
That unto Sañjaya deliver’d up
The jungle-haunting antelope so wild.

And with these words he let the antelope go back to its forest again.

_____________________________

[159] When the Master had ended his lesson, and had repeated what he had said as to that Brother's having fallen into that woman's power in bygone days as well as in the present time, he shewed the connexion and identified the Birth, by saying, "In those days this slave-girl was Sañjaya, Direct-alms the Less was the wind-antelope, and I myself was the King of Benares."


Footnotes

44:1 See Raṭṭhapāla-sutta in the Majjhima-Nikāya (No. 83), translated in the Ceylon R. A. S. Journal, 1847. See also Vinaya, Vol. III. pages 13 and 148.

44:2 These are meritorious ascetic practices for quelling the passions, of which the third is an undertaking to eat no food except alms received direct from the giver in the Brother's alms-bowl. Hence "ticket-food" (Jātaka No. 5) was inadmissible.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 15. Kharādiya-Jātaka



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No. 15.

KHARĀDIYA-JĀTAKA.

"For when a deer."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana about an unruly Brother. Tradition says that this Brother was unruly and would not heed admonition. Accordingly, the Master asked him, saying, "Is it true, as they say, that you are unruly and will not heed admonition?"

"It is true, Blessed One," was the reply.

"So too in bygone days," said the Master, "you were unruly and would not heed the admonition of the wise and good,--with the result that you were caught in a gin and met your death." And so saying, he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was in Benares the Bodhisatta was born a deer and dwelt in the forest at the head of a herd of deer. His sister brought her son to him, saying, "Brother, this is your nephew; teach him deer's ruses." And thus she placed her son under the Bodhisatta's care. Said the latter to his nephew, "Come at such and such a time and I will give you a lesson." But the nephew made no appearance at the time appointed. And, as on that day, so on seven days did he skip his lesson and fail to learn the ruses of deer; and at last, as he was roaming about, he was caught in a gin. His mother came and said to the Bodhisatta, "Brother, was not your nephew taught deer's ruses?"

p. 47

"Take no thought for the unteachable rascal," said the Bodhisatta; 1 6 "your son failed to learn the ruses of deer." And so saying, having lost all desire to advise the scapegrace even in his deadly peril, he repeated this stanza:

For when a deer has twice four hoofs to run
And branching antlers armed with countless tines,
And when by seven tricks he's saved himself,
I teach him then, Kharādiyā, no more.

But the hunter killed the self-willed deer that was caught in the snare, and departed with its flesh.

_____________________________

When the Master had ended this lesson in support of what he had said as to the unruliness of the Brother in bygone days as well as in the present, he shewed the connexion, and identified the Birth, by saying "In those days this unruly Brother was the nephew-deer, Uppala-vaṇṇā 1 was the sister, and I myself the deer who gave the admonition."

[Note. In the gāthā I have translated not the meaningless kālāhi of Fausböll's text, nor the easy variant kālehi, which is substituted in the gloss, but kalāhi, the more difficult reading which occurs in some Sinhalese MSS, and which is read by Fausböll in the analogous story No. 16. This reading is also given by Dickson in J. R. A. S. Ceylon, 1884, p. 188, from the Jātaka Pela Sanne. If kālehi be read, the translation becomes, "I do not try to teach one who has played truant seven times." In the J. R. A. S. Ceylon, 1884, p. 125, Künte says, "I have little doubt that kalāhi is the original form of the popular sing-song, and kālehi a mistake for it, and that on this mistake the grammarian compiler has built up his silly little story about the deer who would not go to school."]


Footnotes

47:1 See the interesting Life of this therī in Mrs Bode's 'Women Leaders of the Buddhist Reformation' (J. R. A. S. 1893, pp. 540-552), where it is explained that Uppala-vaṇṇā "came by that name because she had a skin like the colour in the heart of the dark-blue lotus."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 16. Tipallattha-Miga-Jātaka



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No. 16.

TIPALLATTHA-MIGA-JĀTAKA.

"In all three postures."--This story was told by the Master while dwelling do the Badarika Monastery in Kosambī, about the Elder Rāhula whose heart was set on observing the rules of the Brotherhood.

Once when the Master was dwelling in the Aggāḷava Temple hard by the town of Āḷavi, many female lay-disciples and Sisters used to flock thither to hear the Truth preached. The preaching was in the daytime, but as time

p. 48

wore on, the women did not attend, and there were only Brethren and men disciples present. Then the preaching took place in the evening; and at the close the Elder Brethren retired each to his own chamber. But the younger ones with the lay-disciples lay down to rest in the Service-hall. When they fell asleep, loud was the snoring and snorting and gnashing of teeth as they lay. 1 6 After a short slumber some got up, and reported to the Blessed One the impropriety which they had witnessed. Said he, "If a Brother sleeps in the company of Novices, it is a Pācittiya offence (requiring confession and absolution)." And after delivering this precept he went away to Kosambī.

Thereon the Brethren said to the Reverend Rāhula, "Sir, the Blessed One has laid down this precept, and now you will please find quarters of your own." Now, before this, the Brethren, out of respect for the father and because of the anxious desire of the son to observe the rules of the Brotherhood, had welcomed the youth as if the place were his;--they had fitted up a little bed for him, and had given him a cloth to make a pillow with. But on the day of our story they would not even give him house-room, so fearful were they of transgressing. The excellent Rāhula went neither to the Buddha as being his father, nor to Sāriputta, Captain of the Faith, as being his preceptor, nor to the Great Moggallāna as being his teacher, nor to the Elder Ānanda as being his uncle; but betook himself to the Buddha's jakes and took up his abode there as though in a heavenly mansion. Now in a Buddha's jakes the door is always closely shut: the levelled floor is of perfumed earth; flowers and garlands are festooned round the walls; and all night long a lamp burns there. But it was not this splendour which prompted Rāhula to take up his residence here. Nay, it was simply because the Brethren had told him to find quarters for himself, and because he reverenced instruction and yearned to observe the rules of the Order. Indeed, from time to time the Brethren, to test him, when they saw him coming from quite a distance, used to throw down a hand-broom or a little dust-sweepings, and then ask who had thrown it down, after Rāhula had come in. "Well, Rāhula came that way," would be the remark, but never did the future Elder say he knew nothing about it. On the contrary, he used to remove the litter and humbly ask pardon of the Brother, nor go away till he was assured that he was pardoned;--so anxious was he to observe the rules. And it was solely this anxiety which made him take up his dwelling in the jakes.

Now, though day had not yet dawned, the Master halted at the door of the jakes and coughed 'Ahem.' 'Ahem,' responded the Reverend Rāhula. "Who is there?" said the Buddha. "It is I, Rāhula," was the reply; and out came the young man and bowed low. "Why have you been sleeping here, Rāhula?" "Because I had nowhere to go to. Up till now, sir, the Brethren have been very kind to me; but such is their present fear of erring 1 2 6 that they won't give me shelter any more. Consequently, I took up my abode here, because I thought it a spot where I should not come into contact with anybody else."

Then thought the Master to himself, "If they treat even Rāhula like this, what will they not do to other youths whom they admit to the Order?" And his heart was moved within him for the Truth. So, at an early hour he had the Brethren assembled, and questioned the Captain of the Faith thus, "I suppose you at all events, Sāriputta, know where Rāhula is now quartered? '

"No, sir, I do not."

"Sāriputta, Rāhula was living this day in the jakes. Sāriputta, if you treat Rāhula like this, what will not be your treatment of other youths whom you admit to the Order? Such treatment will not retain those who join us. In future, keep your Novices in your own quarters for a day or two, and only on the third day let them lodge out, taking care to acquaint yourself with their lodging." With this rider, the Master laid down the precept.

Gathering together in the Hall of Truth, the Brethren spoke of the goodness of Rāhula. "See, sirs, how anxious was Rāhula to observe the rules. When told to find his own lodging, he did not say, 'I am the son of the Buddha; what have you to do with quarters? You turn out!' No; not a single Brother did he oust, but quartered himself in the jakes."

p. 49

As they were talking thus, the Master came to the Hall and took his seat on his throne of state, saying, "What is the subject of your talk, Brethren?" "Sir," was the reply, "we were talking of the anxiety of Rāhula to keep the rules, nothing else."

Then said the Master, "This anxiety Rāhula has shewn not only now, but also in the past, when he had been born an animal." And so saying, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time a certain king of Magadha was reigning in Rājagaha; and in those days the Bodhisatta, having been born a stag, was living in the forest at the head of a herd of deer. Now his sister brought her son to him, saying, "Brother, teach your nephew here the ruses of deer." "Certainly," said the Bodhisatta; "go away now, my boy, and come back at such and such a time to be taught." Punctually at the time his uncle mentioned, the young stag was there and. received instruction in the ruses of deer.

One day as he was ranging the woods he was caught in a snare and uttered the plaintive cry of a captive. Away fled the herd and told the mother of her son's capture. She came to her brother and asked him whether his nephew had been taught the ruses of deer. "Fear not; 1 3 6 your son is not at fault," said the Bodhisatta. "He has learnt thoroughly deer's ruses, and will come back straightway to your great rejoicing." And so saying, he repeated this stanza:--

In all three postures--on his back or sides
Your son is versed; he's trained to use eight hoofs 1,
And save at midnight never slakes his thirst;
As he lies couched on earth, he lifeless seems,
And only with his under-nostril breathes.
Six tricks 2 my nephew knows to cheat his foes.

[164] Thus did the Bodhisatta console his sister by shewing her how thoroughly her son had mastered the ruses of deer. Meantime the young stag on being caught in the snare did not struggle, but lay down at full length 3 on his side, with his legs stretched out taut and rigid. He pawed up the ground round his hoofs so as to shower the grass and earth about; relieved nature; let his head fall; lolled out his tongue; beslavered his body all over; swelled himself out by drawing in the wind; turned up his eyes; breathed only with the lower nostril, holding his breath with the upper one; and made himself generally so rigid and so stiff as to look like a corpse. Even the blue-bottles swarmed round him; and here and there crows settled.

p. 50

The hunter came up and smacked the stag on the belly with his hand, remarking, "He must have been caught early this morning; he's going bad already." So saying, the man loosed the stag from his bonds, saying to himself, "I'll cut him up here where he lies, and take the flesh home with me." But as the man guilelessly set to work to gather sticks and leaves (to make a fire with), the young stag rose to his feet, shook himself, stretched out his neck, and, like a little cloud scudding before a mighty wind, sped swiftly back to his mother.

_____________________________

After repeating what he had said as to Rāhula's having shewn no less anxiety in time past to keep rules than in the present, the Master made the connexion and identified the Birth by saying, "Rāhula was the young stag of those days, Uppala-vaṇṇā his mother, and I the stag his uncle."

[Note. According to Feer (J. As. 1876, p. 516) this Jātaka is also called Sikhākāmā in the Bigandet MS. The substance of the Introductory Story occurs in the Vinaya, Vol. IV. page 16.]


Footnotes

49:1 This the commentator explains as having two hoofs on each foot, referring to the cloven hoof of the deer.

49:2 I.e. the three mentioned in line 1, and the three mentioned in lines 2, 3, and 5, respectively.

49:3 See infra p. 62, l. 10.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 17. Māluta-Jātaka



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No. 17.

MĀLUTA-JĀTAKA.

"In light or dark."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana about two Brethren who had joined the Brotherhood in their old age. Tradition says 1 5 6 that they were living in a forest-dwelling in the Kosala country, and that one was named the Elder Dark and the other the Elder Light. Now one day Light said to Dark, "Sir, at what time does what is called cold appear?" "It appears in the dark half of the month." And one day Dark said to Light, "Sir, at what time does what is called cold appear?" "It appears in the light half of the month."

As the pair of them together could not solve the question, they went to the Master and with due salutation asked, saying, "Sir, at what time does what is called cold appear?"

After the Master had heard what they had to say, he said, "Brethren, in bygone days also, I answered for you this same question; but your previous existences have become confused in your minds 1." And so saying, he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

p. 51

Once on a time at the foot of a certain mountain there were living together in one and the same cave two friends, a lion and a tiger. The Bodhisatta too was living at the foot of the same hill, as a hermit.

Now one day a dispute arose between the two friends about the cold. The tiger said it was cold in the dark half of the month, whilst the lion maintained that it was cold in the light half. As the two of them together could not settle the question, they put it to the Bodhisatta. He repeated this stanza

In light or dark half, whensoe’er the wind
Doth blow, ’tis cold. For cold is caused by wind.
And, therefore, I decide you both are right.

Thus did the Bodhisatta make peace between those friends.

_____________________________

[166] When the Master had ended his lesson in support of what he had said as to his having answered the same question in bygone days, he preached the Four Truths, at the close whereof both of the Elders won the Fruit of the First Path. The Master shewed the connexion and identified the Birth, by saying, "Dark was the tiger of those days, Light the lion, and I myself the ascetic who answered the question."


Footnotes

50:1 The compound bhavasaṁkhepagatattā occurs here and in the next Jātaka, and also Vol. i. p. 463 and Vol. ii. p. 137. The meaning of the word appears to be that by re-birth events in previous existences have become jumbled up together so that no distinct memory remains. A Buddha has the power of remembering the whole of his past existences.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 18. Matakabhatta-Jātaka



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No. 18.

MATAKABHATTA-JĀTAKA.

"If folk but knew."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana about Feasts for the Dead. For at this time the folk were putting to death goats, sheep, and other animals, and offering them up as what is called a Feast for the Dead, for the sake of their departed kinsmen. Finding them thus engaged, the Brethren asked the Master, saying, "Just now, sir, the folk are taking the lives of many living creatures and offering them up as what is called a Feast for the Dead. Can it be, sir, that there is any good in this?"

"No, Brethren" replied the Master; "not even when life is taken with the object of providing a Feast for the Dead, does any good arise therefrom. In bygone days the wise, preaching the Truth from mid-air, and shewing the evil consequences of the practice, made the whole continent renounce it. But now, when their previous existences have become confused in their minds, the practice has sprung up afresh." And, so saying, he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, a brahmin, Who was versed in the Three Vedas and world-famed as a teacher, being minded to offer a Feast for the Dead, had a goat fetched and said to his

p. 52

pupils, "My sons, take this goat down to the river and bathe it; then hang a garland round its neck, give it a pottle of grain to eat, groom it a bit, and bring it back."

"Very good," said they, and down to the river they took the goat, where they bathed and groomed the creature and set it on the bank, The goat, becoming conscious of the deeds of its past lives, was overjoyed at the thought that on this very day it would be freed from all its misery, and laughed aloud like the smashing of a pot. Then at the thought that the brahmin by slaying it would bear the misery which it had borne, the goat felt a great compassion for the brahmin, and wept with a loud voice. "Friend goat," said the young brahmins [167], "your voice has been loud both in laughter and in weeping; what made you laugh and what made you weep?"

"Ask me your question before your master."

So with the goat they came to their master and told him of the matter. After hearing their story, the master asked the goat why it laughed and why it wept. Hereupon the animal, recalling its past deeds by its power of remembering its former existences, spoke thus to the brahmin:--"In times past, brahmin, I, like you, was a brahmin versed in the mystic texts of the Vedas, and I, to offer a Feast for the Dead, killed a goat for my offering. All through killing that single goat, I have had my head cut off five hundred times all but one. This is my five hundredth and last birth; and I laughed aloud when I thought that this very day I should be freed from my misery. On the other hand, I wept when I thought how, whilst I, who for killing a goat had been doomed to lose my head five hundred times, was to-day being freed from my misery, you, as a penalty for killing me, would be doomed to lose your head, like me, five hundred times. Thus it was out of compassion for you that I wept." "Fear not, goat," said the brahmin; "I will not kill you." "What is this you say, brahmin?" said the goat. "Whether you kill me or not, I cannot escape death to-day." "Fear not, goat; I will go about with you to guard you." "Weak is your protection, brahmin, and strong is the force of my evil-doing."

Setting the goat at liberty, the brahmin said to his disciples, "Let us not allow anyone to kill this goat;" and, accompanied by the young men, he followed the animal closely about. The moment the goat was set free, it reached out its neck to browse on the leaves of a bush growing near the top of a rock. And that very instant a thunderbolt struck the rock, rending off a mass which hit the goat on the outstretched neck and tore off its head. And people came crowding round.

[168] In those days the Bodhisatta had been born a Tree-Fairy in that selfsame spot. By his supernatural powers he now seated himself cross-legged in mid-air while all the crowd looked on. Thinking to himself. 'If

p. 53

these creatures only knew the fruit of evil-doing, perhaps they would desist from killing,' in his sweet voice he taught them the Truth in this stanza:--

If folk but knew the penalty would be
Birth unto sorrow, living things would cease
From taking life. Stern is the slayer's doom.

Thus did the Great Being preach the Truth, scaring his hearers with the fear of hell; and the people, hearing him, were so terrified at the fear of hell that they left off taking life. And the Bodhisatta after establishing the multitude in the Commandments by preaching the Truth to them, passed away to fare according to his deserts. The people, too, remained steadfast in the teaching of the Bodhisatta and spent their lives in charity and other good works, so that in the end they thronged the City of the Devas.

_____________________________

His lesson ended, the Master shewed the connexion, and identified the Birth by saying, "In those days I was the Tree-fairy."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 19. Āyācitabhatta-Jātaka



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No. 19.

ĀYĀCITABHATTA-JĀTAKA.

[169] "Take thought of life hereafter." This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana about the offering of a sacrifice under vow to gods. Tradition says that in those days folk when going a journey on business, used to slay living creatures and offer them as a sacrifice to gods, and set out on their way, after making this vow,--"If we come safely back with a profit, we will give you another sacrifice." And when they did come safely back with a profit, the Idea that this was all due to gods made them slay a number of living creatures and offer them up as a sacrifice to obtain a release from their vow.

When the Brethren became aware of this, they asked the Blessed One, saying, "Can there be any good in this, sir?"

The Blessed One told this story of the past.

_____________________________

Once on a time in the Kāsi country the squire of a certain little village had promised a sacrifice to the Fairy of a banyan-tree which stood at the entrance to the village. Afterwards when he returned, he slew a number

p. 54

of creatures and betook himself to the tree to get released from his vow. But the Tree-Fairy, standing in the fork of its tree, repeated this stanza:--

Take thought of life hereafter when you seek
'Release'; for this release is bondage strict.
Not thus the wise and good release themselves;
For this, the fool's release, in bondage ends.

Thenceforth, men refrained from such taking of life, and by walking in righteousness thronged thereafter the city of the Devas.

_____________________________

His lesson ended, the Master shewed the connexion and identified the Birth, by saying, "I was the Tree-fairy of those days."

[Note. Feer mentions a second title, Pāṇavadha-Jātaka (J. As. 1876, p. 516).]


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 20. Naḷapāna-Jātaka



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No. 20.

NAḶAPĀNA-JĀTAKA.

[170] "I found the footprints." This story was told by the Master whilst journeying on an alms-pilgrimage through Kosala, when he had come to the village of Naḷaka-pāna (Cane-drink) and was dwelling at Ketaka-vana near the Pool of Naḷaka-pāna, about cane-sticks. In those days the Brethren, after bathing in the Pool of Naḷaka-pāna, made the novices get them cane-sticks for needle-cases 1, but, finding them hollow throughout, went to the Master and said, "Sir, we had cane-sticks got in order to provide needle-cases; and from top to bottom they are quite hollow. Now how can that be?"

"Brethren," said the Master, "such was my ordinance in times gone by." And, so saying, he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

In past times, we are told, there was a thick forest on this spot. And in the lake here dwelt a water-ogre who used to devour everyone who went down into the water. In those days the Bodhisatta had come to life as the king of the monkeys, and was as big as the fawn of a red deer; he lived in that forest at the head of a troop of no less than eighty thousand monkeys

p. 55

whom he shielded from harm. Thus did he counsel his subjects:--"My friends, in this forest there are trees that are poisonous and lakes that are haunted by ogres. Mind to ask me first before you either eat any fruit which you have not eaten before, or drink of any water where you have not drunk before." "Certainly," said they readily.

One day they came to a spot they had never visited before. As, they were searching for water to drink after their day's wanderings, they came on this lake. But they did not drink; on the contrary they sat down watching for the coming of the Bodhisatta.

When he came up, he said, "Well, my friends, why don't you drink?"

"We waited for you to come."

Quite right, my friends," said the Bodhisatta. Then he made a circuit of the lake, and scrutinized the footprints round, with the result that he found that all the footsteps led down into the water and none came up again. "Without doubt," thought he to himself, "this is the haunt of an ogre." So he said to his followers, "You are quite right, my friends, in not drinking of this water; for the lake is haunted by an ogre."

When the water-ogre realised that they were not entering his domain, 1 he assumed the shape of a horrible monster with a blue belly, a white face, and bright-red hands and feet; in this shape he came out from the water, and said, "Why are you seated here? Go down into the lake and drink." But the Bodhisatta said to him, "Are not you the ogre of this water?" "Yes, I am," was the answer. "Do you take as your prey all those who go down into this water?" "Yes, I do; from small birds upwards, I never let anything go which comes down into my water. I will eat the lot of you too." "But we shall not let you eat us." "Just drink the water." "Yes, we will drink the water, and yet not fall into your power." "How do you propose to drink the water, then?" "Ah, you think we shall have to go down into the water to drink; whereas we shall not enter the water at all, but the whole eighty thousand of us will take a cane each and drink therewith from your lake as easily as we could through the hollow stalk of a lotus. And so you will not be able to eat us." And he repeated the latter half of the following stanza (the first half being added by the Master when, as Buddha, he recalled the incident):--

I found the footprints all lead down, none back.
With canes we'll drink; you shall not take my life.

So saying, the Bodhisatta had a cane brought to him. Then, calling to mind the Ten Perfections displayed by him, he recited them in a solemn asseveration 1, and blew down the cane. 1 2 Straightway the cane became

p. 56

hollow throughout, without a single knot being left in all its length. In this fashion he had another and another brought and blew down them. (But if this were so, he could never have finished; and accordingly the foregoing sentence must not be understood in this--literal--sense.) Next the Bodhisatta made the tour of the lake, and commanded, saying, "Let all canes growing here become hollow throughout." Now, thanks to the great virtues of the saving goodness of Bodhisattas, their commands are always fulfilled. And thenceforth every single cane that grew round that lake became hollow throughout.

(In this Kappa, or Era, there are four miracles which endure through the whole Era. What are the four? Well, they are--first, the sign of the hare in the moon 1, which will last through the whole Era; secondly, the spot where the fire was put out as told in the Vaṭṭaka Jātaka 2, which shall remain untouched by fire throughout the Era; thirdly, on the site of Ghaṭīkāra's house 3 no rain shall ever fall while this Era lasts; and lastly, the canes that grow round this lake shall be hollow throughout during the whole of the Era. Such are the four Era-miracles, as they are called.)

After giving this command, the Bodhisatta seated himself with a cane in his hands. All the other eighty thousand monkeys too seated themselves round the lake, each with a cane in his hands. And at the same moment when the Bodhisatta sucked the water up through his cane, they all drank too in the same manner, as they sat on the bank. This was the way they drank, and not one of them could the water-ogre get; so he went off in a rage to his own habitation. The Bodhisatta, too, with his following went back into the forest.

_____________________________

When the Master had ended his lesson and had repeated what he had said as to the hollowness of the canes being the result of a former ordinance of his own, he shewed the connexion, and identified the Birth by saying, "Devadatta was the water-ogre of those days; my disciples were the eighty thousand monkeys; and I was the monkey-king, so fertile in resource."


Footnotes

54:1 In the Vinaya, (Cullav. v. 11), the Buddha is made to allow "the use of a needle-case made of bamboo."

55:1 Literally "made a truth-act." If this is done with intention, a miracle instantly follows. Cf. No. 35 &c.

56:1 See Jātaka No. 316, and Tawney's Kathā-Sarit-Sāgara, Vol. II. p. 66, where a number of passages bearing on this symbol are referred to, and Benfey's Pañca-Tantra, i. 349. See also Cariyā-Piṭaka, p. 82.

56:2 No. 35.

56:3 See the (unpublished) Ghaṭīkāra Sutta (No. 81 of the Majjhima Nikāya), Dhammapada, p. 349, and Milinda-pañha, p. 222.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 21. Kuruṅga-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


p. 57

No. 21.

KURUṄGA-JĀTAKA.

[173] "The antelope knows well."--This story was told by the Master while at the Bamboo-grove about Devadatta. For once when the Brethren were gathered together in the Hall of Truth, they sat talking reproachfully of Devadatta, saying, "Sirs, with a view to destroy the Buddha Devadatta hired bowmen, hurled down a rock, and let loose the elephant Dhana-pālaka; in every way he goes about to slay the Lord of Wisdom 1." Entering and seating himself on the seat prepared for him, the Master asked, saying, "Sirs, what is the theme you are discussing here in conclave?" "Sir," was the reply, "we were discussing the wickedness of Devadatta, saying that he was always going about to slay you." Said the Master, "It is not only in these present days, Brethren, that Devadatta goes about seeking to slay me; he went about with the like intent in bygone days also,--but was unable to slay me." And so saying, he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta came to life as an antelope, and used to live on fruits in his haunts in the forest.

At one period he was subsisting on the fruit of a sepaṇṇi-tree. And there was a village hunter, whose method was to build a platform in trees at the foot of which he found the track of deer, and to watch aloft for their coming to eat the fruits of the trees. When the deer came, he brought them down with a javelin, and sold the flesh for a living. This hunter one day marked the tracks of the Bodhisatta at the foot of the tree, and made himself a platform up in the boughs. Having breakfasted early, he went with his javelin into the forest and seated himself on his platform. The Bodhisatta, too, came abroad early to eat the fruit of that tree; but he was not in too great a hurry to approach it. "For," thought he to himself, "sometimes these platform-building hunters build themselves platforms in the boughs. Can it be that this cell have happened here?" And he halted some way off to reconnoitre. Finding that the Bodhisatta did not approach, the hunter, still seated aloft on his platform, 1 4 threw fruit down in front of the antelope. Said the latter to himself, "Here's the fruit coming to meet me; I wonder if there is a hunter up there." So he looked, and looked, till he caught sight of the hunter in the tree; but, feigning not to have seen the man, he shouted, "My worthy tree, hitherto you have been in the habit of letting your fruit fall straight to

p. 58

the ground like a pendant creeper; but to-day you have ceased to act like a tree. And therefore, as you have ceased to behave as becomes a tree, I too must change, and look for food beneath another tree." And so saying, he repeated this stanza:

The antelope knows well the fruit you drop.
I like it not; some other tree I'll seek 1.

Then the hunter from his platform hurled his javelin at the Bodhisatta, crying, "Begone! I've missed you this time." Wheeling round, the Bodhisatta halted and said, "You may have missed me, my good man; but depend upon it, you have not missed the reward of your conduct, namely, the eight Large and the sixteen Lesser hells and all the five forms of bonds and torture." With these words the antelope bounded off on its way; and the hunter, too, climbed down and went his way.

_____________________________

When the Master had ended this discourse and had repeated what he had said about Devadatta's going about to slay him in bygone days also, he showed the connexion and identified the Birth, by saying, "Devadatta was the platform-hunter of those days, and I myself the antelope."


Footnotes

57:1 See Vinaya, Cullavagga, VII. 3, for details of Devadatta's attempt to kill Gotama. In the Vinaya, the elephant is named Nālāgiri.

58:1 See Dhammapada, pp. 147, 331.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 22. Kukkura-Jātaka



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No. 22.

KUKKURA-JĀTAKA.

[175] "The dogs that in the royal palace grow."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about acting for the good of kinsfolk, as will be related in the Twelfth Book in the Bhaddasāla-jātaka 2. It was to drive home that lesson that he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the result of a past act of the Bodhisatta was that he came to life as a dog, and dwelt in a great cemetery at the head of several hundred dogs.

Now one day, the king set out for his pleasaunce in his chariot of state drawn by milk-white horses, and after amusing himself all the day in the grounds came back to the city after sunset. The carriage-harness

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they left in the courtyard, still hitched on to the chariot. In the night it rained and the harness got wet. Moreover, the king's dogs came down from the upper chambers and gnawed the leather work and straps. Next day they told the king, saying, "Sire, dogs have got in through the mouth of the sewer and have gnawed the leather work and straps of your majesty's carriage." Enraged at the dogs, the king said, "Kill every dog you see." Then began a great slaughter of dogs; and the creatures, finding that they were being slain whenever they were seen, repaired to the cemetery to the Bodhisatta. "What is the meaning," asked he, "of your assembling in such numbers?" They said, "The king is so enraged at the report that the leather work and straps of his carriage have been gnawed by dogs within the royal precincts, that he has ordered all dogs to be killed. Dogs are being destroyed wholesale, and great peril has arisen."

Thought the Bodhisatta to himself, "No dogs from without can get into a place so closely watched; it must be the thoroughbred dogs inside the palace who have done it. At present nothing happens to the real culprits, while the guiltless are being put to death. What if I were to discover the culprits to the king and so save the lives of my kith and kin?" He comforted his kinsfolk by saying, "Have no fear; I will save you. 1 6 Only wait here till I see the king."

Then, guided by the thoughts of love, and calling to mind the Ten Perfections, he made his way alone and unattended into the city, commanding thus, "Let no hand be lifted to throw stick or stone at me." Accordingly, when he made his appearance, not a man grew angry at the sight of him.

The king meantime, after ordering the dogs' destruction, had taken his seat in the hall of justice. And straight to him ran the Bodhisatta, leaping under the king's throne. The king's servants tried to get him out; but his majesty stopped them. Taking heart a little, the Bodhisatta came forth from under the throne, and bowing to the king, said, "Is it you who are having the dogs destroyed?" "Yes, it is I." "What is their offence, king of men?" "They have been gnawing the straps and the leather covering my carriage." "Do you know the dogs who actually did the mischief?" "No, I do not." "But, your majesty, if you do not know for certain the real culprits, it is not right to order the destruction of every dog that is seen." "It was because dogs had gnawed the leather of my carriage that I ordered them all to be killed." "Do your people kill all dogs without exception; or are there some dogs who are spared?" "Some are spared,--the thorough-bred dogs of my own palace." "Sire, just now you were saying that you had ordered the universal slaughter of all dogs wherever found, because dogs had gnawed the leather of your carriage; whereas, now, you say that the thorough-bred dogs of your own palace escape death. Therefore you are following

p. 60

the four Evil Courses of partiality, dislike, ignorance and fear. Such courses are wrong, and not kinglike. For kings in trying cases should be as unbiassed as the beam of a balance. But in this instance, since the royal dogs go scot-free, whilst poor dogs are killed, this is not the impartial doom of all dogs alike, but only the slaughter of poor dogs," And moreover, the Great Being, lifting up his sweet voice, said, "Sire, it is not justice that you are performing," and he taught the Truth to the king in this stanza:--[177]

The dogs that in the royal palace grow,
The well-bred dogs, so strong and fair of form,
Not these, but only we, are doomed to die.
Here's no impartial sentence meted out
To all alike; ’tis slaughter of the poor.

After listening to the Bodhisatta's words, the king said, "Do you in your wisdom know who it actually was that gnawed the leather of my carriage?" "Yes, sire." "Who was it?" "The thorough-bred dogs that live in your own palace." "How can it he shewn that it was they who gnawed the leather?" "I will prove it to you." "Do so, sage." "Then send for your dogs, and have a little butter-milk and kusa-grass brought in." The king did so.

Then said the Great Being, "Let this grass be mashed up in the butter-milk, and make the dogs drink it."

The king did so;--with the result that each several dog, as he drank, vomited. And they all brought up bits of leather! "Why it is like a judgment of a Perfect Buddha himself," cried the king overjoyed, and he did homage to the Bodhisatta by offering him the royal umbrella. But the Bodhisatta taught the Truth in the ten stanzas on righteousness in the Te-sakuṇa Jātaka 1, beginning with the words:--

Walk righteously, great king of princely race.

Then having established the king in the Five Commandments, and having exhorted his majesty to be steadfast, the Bodhisatta handed back to the king the white umbrella of kingship.

At the close of the Great Being's words, 1 the king commanded that the lives of all creatures should be safe from harm. He ordered that all dogs from the Bodhisatta downwards, should have a constant supply of food such as he himself ate; and, abiding by the teachings of the Bodhisatta, he spent his life long in charity and other good deeds, so that when he died he was re-born in the Deva Heaven. The 'Dog's Teaching' endured for ten thousand years. The Bodhisatta also lived to a ripe old age, and then passed away to fare according to his deserts.

_____________________________

p. 61

When the Master had ended this lesson, and had said, "Not only now, Brethren, does the Buddha do what profits his kindred; in former times also he did the like,"--he shewed the connexion, and identified the Birth by saying,

"Ānanda was the king of those days, the Buddha's followers were the others, and I myself was the dog."


Footnotes

58:2 No. 465.

60:1 No. 521.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 23. Bhojājānīya-Jātaka



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No. 23.

BHOJĀJĀNĪYA-JĀTAKA.

"Though prostrate now."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana about a Brother who gave up persevering. For it was then that the Master addressed that Brother and said, "Brethren, in bygone days the wise and good persevered even amid hostile surroundings, and, even when they were wounded, still did not give in." And, so saying, he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta came to life as a thoroughbred Sindh horse and was made the king's destrier, surrounded by all pomp and state. He was fed on exquisite three-year old rice, which was always served up to him in a golden dish worth a hundred thousand pieces of money; and the ground of his stall was perfumed with the four odours. Round his stall were hung crimson curtains, while overhead was a canopy studded with stars of gold. On the walls were festooned wreaths and garlands of fragrant flowers; and a lamp fed with scented oil was always burning there.

Now all the kings round coveted the kingdom of Benares. Once seven kings encompassed Benares, and sent a missive to the king, saying, "Either yield up your kingdom to us or give battle." Assembling his ministers, the king of Benares laid the matter before them, and asked them what he was to do. Said they, "You ought not to go out to do battle in person, sire, in the first instance. 1 Despatch such and such a knight out first to fight them; and later on, if he fails, we will decide what to do."

Then the king sent for that knight and said to him, "Can you fight the seven kings, my dear knight?" Said he, "Give me but your noble destrier, and then I could fight not seven kings only, but all the kings in India." "My dear knight, take my destrier or any other horse you please, and do battle." "Very good, my sovereign lord," said the knight; and with a bow he passed down from the upper chambers of the palace. Then he had the noble destrier led out and sheathed in mail, arming himself too cap-à-pie,

p. 62

and girding on his sword. Mounted on his noble steed he passed out of the city-gate, and with a lightning charge broke down the first camp, taking one king alive and bringing him back a prisoner to the soldiers' custody. Returning to the field, he broke down the second and the third camps, and so on until he captured alive five kings. The sixth camp he had just broken down, and had captured the sixth king, when his destrier received a wound, which streamed with blood and caused the noble animal sharp pain. Perceiving that the horse was wounded, the knight made it lie down at the king's gate, loosened its mail, and set about arming another horse. As the Bodhisatta lay at full length on his side, he opened his eyes, and gathered what the knight was doing. "My rider," thought he to himself, "is arming another horse. That other horse will never be able to break down the seventh camp and capture the seventh king; he will lose all that I have accomplished. This peerless knight will be slain; and the king, too, will fall into the hands of the foe. I alone, and no other horse, can break down that seventh camp and capture the seventh king." So, as he lay there, he called to the knight, and said, "Sir knight, there is no horse but I who can break down the seventh camp and capture the seventh king. I will not throw away what I have already done; only have me set upon my feet and clad again in my armour." And so saying, he repeated this stanza:--[180]

Though prostrate now, and pierced with darts, I lie,
Yet still no hack can match the destrier.
So harness none but me, O charioteer.

The knight had the Bodhisatta set upon his feet, bound up his wound, and armed him again in proof. Mounted on the destrier, he broke down the seventh camp, and brought back alive the seventh king, whom he handed over to the custody of the soldiers. They led the Bodhisatta too up to the king's gate, and the king came out to look upon him. Then said the Great Being to the king, "Great king, slay not these seven kings; bind them by an oath, and let them go. Let the knight enjoy all the honour due to us both, for it is not right that a warrior who has presented you with seven captive kings should be brought low. And as for yourself, exercise charity, keep the Commandments, and rule your kingdom in righteousness and justice." When the Bodhisatta had thus exhorted the king, they took off his mail; but when they were taking it off piecemeal, he passed away.

The king had the body burned with all respect, and bestowed great honour on the knight, and sent the seven kings to their homes after exacting from each an oath never to war against him any more. And he ruled his kingdom in righteousness and justice, passing away when his life closed to fare thereafter according to his deserts.

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p. 63

Then the Master said, "Thus, Brethren, in bygone days the wise and good persevered even amid hostile surroundings, and, even when wounded so grievously, still did not give in. Whereas you who have devoted yourself to so saving a doctrine,--how comes it that you give up persevering?" After which, he preached the Four Truths, at the close whereof the faint-hearted Brother won Arahatship. His lesson ended, the Master 1 shewed the connexion, and identified the Birth by saying, "Ānanda was the king of those days, Sāriputta the knight, and I myself the thorough-bred Sindh horse."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 24. Ājañña-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 24.

ĀJAÑÑA-JĀTAKA.

"No matter when or where."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana about another Brother who gave up persevering. But, in this case, he addressed that Brother and said, "Brethren, in bygone days the wise and good still persevered even when wounded." And, so saying, he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, there were seven kings who encompassed the city, just as in the foregoing story.

So a warrior who fought from a chariot harnessed two Sindh horses (a pair of brothers), and, sallying from the city, broke down six camps and captured six kings. Just at this juncture the elder horse was wounded. On drove the charioteer till he reached the king's gate, where he took the elder brother out of the chariot, and, after unfastening the horse's mail as he lay upon one side, set to work to arm another horse. Realising the warrior's intent, the Bodhisatta had the same thoughts pass through his head as in the foregoing story, and sending for the charioteer, repeated this stanza, as he lay:

No matter when or where, in weal or woe,
The thorough-bred fights on; the hack gives in.

The charioteer had the Bodhisatta set on his feet and harnessed. Then he broke down the seventh camp and took prisoner the seventh king, with whom he drove away 1 2 to the king's gate, and there took out the noble horse. As he lay upon one side, the Bodhisatta gave the same counsels to the king as in the foregoing story, and then expired. The king had the body burned with all respect, lavished honours on the charioteer, and

p. 64

after ruling his kingdom in righteousness passed away to fare thereafter according to his deeds.

_____________________________

His lesson ended, the Master preached the Truths (at the close whereof that Brother won Arahatship); and identified the Birth by saying, "The Elder Ānanda was the king, and the Perfect Buddha was the horse of those days."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 25. Tittha-Jātaka



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No. 25.

TITTHA-JĀTAKA.

"Change thou the spot."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about an ex-goldsmith, who had become a Brother and was co-resident with the Captain of the Faith (Sāriputta).

Now, it is only a Buddha who has knowledge of the hearts and can read the thoughts of men; and therefore through lack of this power, the Captain of the Faith had so little knowledge of the heart and thoughts of his co-resident, as to prescribe impurity as the theme for meditation. This was no good to that Brother. The reason why it was no good to him was that, according to tradition, he had invariably been born, throughout five hundred successive births, as a goldsmith; and, consequently, the cumulative effect of seeing absolutely pure gold for so long a time had made the theme of impurity useless. He spent four months without being able to get so much as the first inkling of the idea. Finding himself unable to confer Arahatship on his co-resident, the Captain of the Faith thought to himself, "This must certainly be one whom none but a Buddha can .convert; I will take him to the Buddha." So at early dawn he came with the Brother to the Master.

"What can it be, Sāriputta," said the Master, "that has brought you here with this Brother?" "Sir, I gave him a theme for meditation, and after four months he has not attained to so much as the first inkling of the idea; so I brought him to you, thinking that here was one whom none but a Buddha can convert." "What meditation, Sāriputta, did you prescribe for him?" "The meditation on impurity, Blessed One." "Sāriputta, it is not yours to have knowledge of the hearts and to read the thoughts of men. Depart now alone, and in the evening come back to fetch your co-resident."

After thus dismissing the Elder, the Master had that Brother clad in a nice under-cloth and a robe, kept him constantly at his side when he went into town for alms, and saw that he received choice food of all kinds. Returning to the Monastery once more, surrounded by the Brethren, the Master retired during the daytime 1 3 to his perfumed chamber, and at evening, as he walked about the Monastery with that Brother by his side, he made a pond appear and in it a great clump of lotuses out of which grew a great lotus-flower. "Sit here, Brother," he said, "and gaze at this flower." And, leaving the Brother seated thus, he retired to his perfumed chamber.

That Brother gazed and gazed at that flower. The Blessed One made it decay. As the Brother looked at it, the flower in its decay faded; the petals

p. 65

fell off, beginning at the rim, till in a little while all were gone; then the Stamens fell away, and only the pericarp was left. As he looked, that Brother thought within himself, "Even now, this lotus-flower was lovely and fair; yet its colour is departed, and only the pericarp is left standing. Decay has come upon this beautiful lotus; what may not befall my body? Transitory are all compounded things!" And with the thought he won Insight.

Knowing that the Brother's mind had risen to Insight, the Master, seated as he was in his perfumed chamber, emitted a radiant semblance of himself, and uttered this stanza:--

Pluck out self-love, as with the hand you pluck
The autumn water-lily. Set your heart
On naught but this, the perfect Path of Peace,
And that Extinction which the Buddha taught.

At the close of this stanza, that Brother won Arahatship. At the thought that he would never be born again, never be troubled with existence in any shape hereafter, he burst into a heartfelt utterance beginning with these stanzas He who has lived his life, whose thought is ripe;

He who, from all defilements purged and free,
Wears his last body; he whose life is pure,
Whose subject senses own him sovereign lord;--
He, like the moon that wins her way at last
From Rāhu's jaws 1, has won supreme release.

The foulness which enveloped me, which wrought
Delusion's utter darkness, I dispelled;
--As, tricked with thousand rays, the beaming sun
Illumines heaven with a flood of light.

After this and renewed utterances of joy, he went to the Blessed One and saluted him. The Elder, too, came, and after due salutation to the Master, went away with his co-resident.

When news of all this spread among the Brethren, 1 4 they gathered together in the Hall of Truth and there sat praising the virtues of the Lord of Wisdom, and saying, "Sirs, through not knowing the hearts and thoughts of men, the Elder Sāriputta was ignorant of his co-resident's disposition. But the Master knew, and in a single day bestowed on him Arahatship together with perfected scholarship. Oh, how great are the marvellous powers of a Buddha!"

Entering and taking the seat set ready for him, the Master asked, saying, "What is the theme of your discourse here in conclave, Brethren?"

"Naught else, Blessed One, than this,--that you alone had knowledge of the heart, and could read the thoughts, of the co-resident of the Captain of the Faith."

"This is no marvel, Brethren; that I, as Buddha, should now know that Brother's disposition. Even in bygone days I knew it equally well." And, so saying, he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

Once on a time Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares. In those days the Bodhisatta used to be the king's director in things temporal and spiritual.

p. 66

At this time folk had washed another horse, a sorry beast, at the bathing-place of the king's state-charger. And when the groom was for leading the state-charger down into the same water, the animal was so affronted that he would not go in. So the groom went off to the king and said, "Please your Majesty, your state-charger won't take his bath."

Then the king sent the Bodhisatta, saying, "Do you go, sage, and find out why the animal will not go into the water when they lead him down." "Very good, sire," said the Bodhisatta, and went his way to the waterside. Here he examined the horse; and, finding it was not ailing in any way, he tried to divine what the reason could be. At last he came to the conclusion that some other horse must have been washed at that place, and that the charger had taken such umbrage thereat that he would not go into the water. So he asked the grooms what animal they had washed first in the water. "Another horse, my lord,--an ordinary animal." "Ah, it's his self-love that has been offended so deeply that he will not go into the water," said the Bodhisatta to himself; "the thing to do is to wash him elsewhere." So he said to the groom, "A man will tire, my friend, of even the daintiest fare, if he has it always. And that's how it is with this horse. He has been washed here times without number. Take him to other waters [185], and there bathe and water him." And so saying, he repeated this stanza:--

Change thou the spot, and let the charger drink
Now here, now there, with constant change of scene.
For even milk-rice cloys a man at last.

After listening to his words, they led the horse off elsewhere, and there watered and bathed him all-right. And while they were washing the animal down after watering him, the Bodhisatta went back to the king. "Well," said the king; "has my horse taken his drink and bath, my friend?" "He has, sire." "Why would he not do so at first?" "For the following reason," said the Bodhisatta, and told the king the whole story. "What a clever fellow he is," said the king; "he can read the mind even of an animal like this." And he gave great honour to the Bodhisatta, and when his life closed passed away to fare according to his deserts. The Bodhisatta also passed away to fare likewise according to his deserts.

_____________________________

When the Master had ended his lesson and had repeated what he had said as to his knowledge, in the past as well as the present, of that Brother's disposition, he shewed the connexion, and identified the Birth by saying, "This Brother was the state-charger of those days; Ānanda was the king and I myself the wise minister."


Footnotes

65:1 Rāhu was a kind of Titan who was thought to cause eclipses by temporarily swallowing the sun and moon.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 26. Mahilāmukha-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


p. 67

No. 26.

MAHILĀMUKHA-JĀTAKA.

"Through hearing first."--This story was told by the Master while at the Bamboo-grove, about Devadatta, who, having secured the adherence of Prince Ajāta-sattu, had attained both gain and honour. Prince Ajāta-sattu had a Monastery built for Devadatta at Gayā-sīsa, and every day brought to him 1 6 five hundred kettles of perfumed three-year-old rice flavoured with all the choicest flavourings. All this gain and honour brought Devadatta a great following, with whom Devadatta lived on, without ever stirring out of his Monastery.

At that time there were living in Rājagaha two friends, of whom one had taken the vows under the Master, whilst the other had taken them under Devadatta. And these continued to see one another, either casually or by visiting the Monasteries. Now one day the disciple of Devadatta said to the other, "Sir, why do you daily go round for alms with the sweat streaming off you? Devadatta sits quietly at Gayā-sīsa and feeds on the best of fare, flavoured with all the choicest flavourings. There's no way like his. Why breed misery for yourself? Why should it not be a good thing for you to come the first thing in the morning to the Monastery at Gayā-sīsa and there drink our rice-gruel with a relish after it, try our eighteen kinds of solid victual, and enjoy our excellent soft food, flavoured with all the choicest flavourings?"

Being pressed time after time to accept the invitation, the other began to want to go, and thenceforth used to go to Gayā-sīsa and there eat and eat, not forgetting however to return to the Bamboo-grove at the proper hour. Nevertheless he could not keep it secret always; and in a little while it came out that he used to hie off to Gayā-sīsa and there regale himself with the food provided for Devadatta. Accordingly, his friends asked him, saying, "Is it true, as they say, that you regale yourself on the food provided for Devadatta?" "Who said that?" said he. "So-and-so said it." "It is true, sirs, that I go to Gayā-sīsa and eat there. But it is not Devadatta who gives me food; others do that." "Sir, Devadatta is the foe of the Buddhas; in his wickedness, he has secured the adherence of Ajāta-sattu and by unrighteousness got gain and honour for himself. Yet you who have taken the vows according to this faith which leads to salvation, eat the food which Devadatta gets by unrighteousness. Come; let us bring you before the Master." And, taking with them the Brother, they went to the Hall of Truth.

When the Master became aware of their presence, he said, "Brethren, are you bringing this Brother here against his will?" "Yes, sir; this Brother, after taking the vows under you, eats the food which Devadatta gets by unrighteousness." "Is it true, as they say, that you eat the food which Devadatta gets by unrighteousness?" "It was not Devadatta, sir, that gave it me, but others." "Raise no quibbles here, Brother," said the Master. "Devadatta is a man of bad conduct and bad principle. Oh, how could you, who have taken the vows here, eat Devadatta's food, whilst adhering to my doctrine? But you have always been prone to being led away, and have followed in turn every one you meet." And, so saying, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, he Bodhisatta became his minister. In those days the king had a state elephant [187], named Damsel-face, who was virtuous and good, and never hurt anybody.

Now one day some burglars came close up to the elephant's stall by night and sat down to discuss their plans in these words:--"This is the way to tunnel into a house; this is the way to break in through the walls; before carrying off the plunder, the tunnel or breach in the walls ought to be made as clear and open as a road or a ford. In lifting the goods, you shouldn't stick at murder; for thus there will be none able to resist. A burglar should get rid of all goodness and virtue, and be quite pitiless, a man of cruelty and violence." After having schooled one another in these counsels, the burglars took themselves off. The next day too they came, and many other days besides, and held like converse together, till the elephant came to the conclusion that they came expressly to instruct him, and that he must turn pitiless, cruel, and violent. And such indeed he became. No sooner did his mahout appear in the early morning than the elephant took the man in his trunk and dashed him to death on the ground. And in the same way he treated a second, and a third, and every person in turn who came near him.

The news was brought to the king that Damsel-face had gone mad and was killing everybody that he caught sight of. So the king sent the Bodhisatta, saying, "Go, sage, and find out what has perverted him."

Away went the Bodhisatta, and soon satisfied himself that the elephant showed no signs of bodily ailment. As he thought over the possible causes of the change, he came to the conclusion that the elephant must have heard persons talking near him, and have imagined that they were giving him a lesson, and that this was what had perverted the animal. Accordingly, he asked the elephant-keepers whether any persons had been talking together recently near the stall by night. "Yes, my lord," was the answer; "some burglars came and talked." Then the Bodhisatta went and told the king, saying, "There is nothing wrong, sire, with the elephant bodily; he has been perverted by overhearing some burglars talk." "Well, what is to be done now?" "Order good men, sages and brahmins, to sit in his stall and to talk of goodness." "Do so, my friend," said the king. Then the Bodhisatta set good men, sages and brahmins, in the stall [188], and bade them talk of goodness. And they, taking their seats hard by the elephant, spoke as follows, "Neither maltreat nor kill. The good should be long-suffering, loving, and merciful." Hearing this the elephant thought they must mean this as a lesson for him, and resolved thenceforth to become good. And good he became.

"Well, my friend," said the king to the Bodhisatta; "is he good now?" "Yes, your majesty," said the Bodhisatta; "thanks to wise and

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(food men the elephant who was so perverted has become himself again." And so saying, he repeated this stanza:

Through hearing first the burglars' wicked talk
Damsel-face ranged abroad to wound and kill;
Through hearing, later, wise men's lofty words
The noble elephant turned good once more.

Said the king, "He can read the mind even of an animal!" And he conferred great honour on the Bodhisatta. After living to a good old age, he, with the Bodhisatta, passed away to fare according to his deserts.

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Said the Master,--"In the past, too, you followed everyone you met, Brother; hearing burglars talk, you followed what they said; and hearing the wise and good talk, you followed what they said." His lesson ended, he shewed the connexion, and identified the Birth, by saying, "The traitorous Brother was the Damsel-face of those days, Ānanda the king, and I myself the minister."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 27. Abhiṇha-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 27.

ABHIṆHA-JĀTAKA.

"No morsel can he eat."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a lay-disciple and an aged Elder. [189]

Tradition says that there were in Sāvatthi two friends, of whom one joined the Brotherhood but used to go every day to the other's house, where his friend used to give him an alms of food and make a meal himself, and then accompany him back to the Monastery, where he sat talking all the livelong day till the sun went down, when he went back to town. And his friend the Brother used to escort him on his homeward way, going as far as the city-gates before turning back.

The intimacy of these two became known among the Brethren, who were sitting one day in the Hall of Truth, talking about the intimacy which existed between the pair, when the Master, entering the Hall, asked what was the subject of their talk; and the Brethren told him.

"Not only now, Brethren, are these two intimate with one another," said the Master; "they were intimate in bygone days as well." And, so saying, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta became his minister. In those days there was a dog which used to go to the stall of the elephant of state, and eat the gobbets of rice which fell where the elephant fed. Haunting the place for the food's sake,

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the dog grew very friendly with the elephant, and at last would never eat except with him. And neither could get on without the other. The dog used to disport himself by swinging backwards and forwards on the elephant's trunk. Now one day a villager bought the dog of the mahout and took the dog home with him. Thenceforward the elephant, missing the dog, refused either to eat or drink or take his bath; and the king was told of it. His majesty despatched the Bodhisatta to find out why the elephant behaved like this. Proceeding to the elephant-house, the Bodhisatta, seeing how sad the elephant was, said to himself, "He has got no bodily ailment; he must have formed an ardent friendship, and is sorrowing at the loss of his friend." So he asked whether the elephant had become friends with anyone.

"Yes, my lord," was the answer; "there's a very warm friendship between him and a dog." "Where is that dog now?" "A man took it off." "Do you happen to know where that man lives?" "No, my lord." The Bodhisatta went to the king and said, "There is nothing the matter with the elephant, sire; but he was very friendly with a dog, 1 and it is missing his friend which has made him refuse to eat, I imagine." And so saying, he repeated this stanza:

No morsel can he eat, no rice or grass;
And in the bath he takes no pleasure now.
Methinks, the dog had so familiar grown,
That elephant and dog were closest friends.

"Well," said the king on hearing this; "what is to be done now, sage?" "Let proclamation be made by beat of drum, your majesty, to the effect that a man is reported to have carried off a dog of which the elephant of state was fond, and that the man in whose house that dog shall be found, shall pay such and such a penalty." The king acted on this advice; and the man, when he came to hear of it, promptly let the dog loose. Away ran the dog at once, and made his way to the elephant. The elephant took the dog up in his trunk, and placed it on his head, and wept and cried, and, again setting the dog on the ground, saw the dog eat first and then took his own food.

"Even the minds of animals are known to him," said the king, and he loaded the Bodhisatta with honours.

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Thus the Master ended his lesson to show that the two were intimate in bygone days as well as at that date. This done, he unfolded the Four Truths. (This unfolding of the Four Truths forms part of all the other Jātakas; but we shall only mention it where it is expressly mentioned that it was blessed unto fruit.) Then he shewed the connexion, and identified the Birth by saying, "The lay-disciple was the dog of those days, the aged Elder was the elephant, and I myself the wise minister." [191]


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 28. Nandivisāla-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


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No. 28.

NANDIVISĀLA-JĀTAKA.

"Speak only words of kindness."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about the bitter words spoken by the Six 1. For, in those days the six, when they disagreed with respectable Brethren, used to taunt, revile and jeer them, and load them with the ten kinds of abuse. This the Brethren reported to the Blessed One, who sent for the Six and asked whether this charge was true. On their admitting its truth, he rebuked them, saying, "Brethren, hard words gall even animals: in bygone days an animal made a man who had used harsh language to him lose a thousand pieces." And, so saying, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time at Takkasilā in the land of Gandhāra there was a king reigning there, and the Bodhisatta came to life as a bull. When he was quite a tiny calf, he was presented by his owners to a brahmin who came in--they being known to give away presents of oxen to such-like holy men. The brahmin called it Nandi-Visāla (Great-Joy), and treated it like his own child, feeding the young creature on rice-gruel and rice. When the Bodhisatta grew up, he thought thus to himself, "I have been brought up by this brahmin with great pains, and all India cannot show the bull which can draw what I can. How if I were to repay the brahmin the cost of my nurture by making proof of my strength?" Accordingly, one day he said to the brahmin, "Go, brahmin, to some merchant rich in herds, and wager him a thousand pieces that your bull can draw a hundred loaded carts."

The brahmin went his way to a merchant and got into a discussion with him as to whose oxen in. the town were the strong. "Oh, so-and-so's, or so-and-so's," said the merchant. "But," added he, "there are no oxen in the town which can compare with mine for real strength." Said the brahmin, "I have a bull who can pull a hundred loaded carts." "Where's such a bull to be found?" laughed the merchant. "I've got him at home," said the brahmin. "Make it a wager." "Certainly," said the brahmin, and staked 1 2 a thousand pieces. Then he loaded a hundred carts with sand, gravel, and stones, and leashed the lot together, one behind the other, by cords from the axle-tree of the one in front to the trace-bar of its successor. This done, he bathed Nandi-Visāla, gave him a measure of perfumed rice to eat, hung a garland round his neck, and harnessed him all

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alone to the leading cart. The brahmin in person took his seat upon the pole, and flourished his goad in the air, shouting, "Now then, you rascal! pull them along, you rascal!"

"I'm not the rascal he calls me," thought the Bodhisatta to himself; and so he planted his four feet like so many posts, and budged not an inch.

Straightway, the merchant made the brahmin pay over the thousand pieces. His money gone, the brahmin took his bull out of the cart and went home, where he lay down on his bed in an agony of grief. When Nandi-Visāla strolled in and found the brahmin a prey to such grief, he went up to him and enquired if the brahmin were taking a nap. "How should I be taking a nap, when I have had a thousand pieces won of me?" "Brahmin, all the time I have lived in your house, have I ever broken a pot, or squeezed up against anybody, or made messes about?" "Never, my child." "Then, why did you call me a rascal? It's you who are to blame, not I. Go and bet him two thousand this time. Only remember not to miscall me rascal again." When he heard this, the brahmin went off to the merchant, and laid a wager of two thousand. Just as before, he leashed the hundred carts to one another and harnessed Nandi-Visāla, very spruce and fine, to the leading cart. If you ask how he harnessed him, well, he did it in this way:--first, he fastened the cross-yoke on to the pole; then he put the bull in on one side, and made the other fast by fastening a smooth piece of wood from the cross-yoke on to the axletree, so that the yoke was taut and could not skew round either way. Thus a single bull could draw a cart made to be drawn by two. So now seated on the pole, the brahmin stroked Nandi-Visāla on the back, and called on him in this style, "Now then, my fine fellow! pull them along, my fine fellow!" With a single pull the Bodhisatta tugged along the whole string of the hundred carts 1 3 till the hindermost stood where the foremost had started. The merchant, rich in herds, paid up the two thousand pieces he had lost to the brahmin. Other folks, too, gave large sums to the Bodhisatta, and the whole passed into the hands of the brahmin. Thus did he gain greatly by reason of the Bodhisatta.

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Thus laying down, by way of rebuke to the Six, the rule that hard words please no one, the Master, as Buddha, uttered this stanza:--

Speak only words of kindness, never words
Unkind. For him who spoke him fair, he moved
A heavy load, and brought him wealth, for love.

When he had thus ended his lesson as to speaking only words of kindness, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "Ānanda was the brahmin of those days, and I myself Nandi-Visāla."

[Note. The substance of this story occurs in the Vinaya, Vol. IV. page 5.]


Footnotes

71:1 The 'Six' were notorious Brethren who are always mentioned as defying the rules of the Order.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 29. Kaṇha-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


p. 73

No. 29.

KAṆHA-JĀTAKA.

"With heavy loads."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about the Double Miracle, which, together with the Descent from Heaven, will be related in the Thirteenth Book, in the Sarabhamiga-jātaka 1.

After he had performed the Double Miracle and had made a stay in Heaven, the All-knowing Buddha descended at the city of Saṁkassa on the day of the Great Pavāraṇā 2 Festival, and thence passed with a large following to Jetavana.

Gathering together in the Hall of Truth, the Brethren sat praising the virtues of the Master, saying, "Sirs, peerless is the Buddha; none may bear the yoke borne by the Buddha. The Six teachers, though they protested so often that they, and they only, would perform miracles, yet not a single miracle did they work. O! how peerless is the Master!"

Entering the Hall and asking the theme which the Brethren were discussing in conclave [194], the Master was informed that their theme was no other than his own virtues. "Brethren," said the Master, "who shall now bear the yoke borne by me? Even in bygone days, when I came to life as an animal, I was unmatched." And, so saying, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta came to life as a bull. And while he was still a young calf, his owners, who had been lodging with an old woman, made him over to her in settlement of their reckoning. She reared him like her own child, feeding him on rice-gruel and rice and on other good cheer. The name he became known by was "Granny's Blackie." Growing up, he used to range about with the other cattle of the village, and was as black as jet. The village urchins used to catch hold of his horns and ears and dewlaps, and have a ride; or they would hold on to his tail in play, and mount on his back.

One day he thought to himself, "My mother is very poor; she has painfully reared me, as if I were her own child. What if I were to earn some money to ease her hard lot?" Thenceforth he was always looking out for a job. Now, one day a young merchant at the head of a caravan came with five hundred waggons to a ford the bottom of which was so rough that his oxen could not pull the waggons through. And even when he took out the five hundred pairs of oxen and yoked the lot together to form one team, they could not get a single cart by itself across the river. Close

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by that ford the Bodhisatta was about with the other cattle of the village, And the young merchant, being a judge of cattle, ran his eye over the herd to see whether among them there was a thorough-bred bull who could pull the waggons across. When his eye fell on the Bodhisatta, he felt sure he would do; and, to find out the Bodhisatta's owner, he said to the herdsmen, "Who owns this animal? If I could yoke him on and get my waggons across, I would pay for his services." Said they, "Take him and harness him, then; he has got no master hereabouts."

But when the young merchant slipped a cord 1 5 through the Bodhisatta's nose and tried to lead him off, the bull would not budge. For, we are told, the Bodhisatta would not go till his pay was fixed. Understanding his meaning, the merchant said, "Master, if you will pull these five hundred waggons across, I will pay you two coins per cart, or a thousand coins in all."

It now required no force to get the Bodhisatta to come. Away he went, and the men harnessed him to the carts. The first he dragged over with a single pull, and landed it high and dry; and in like manner he dealt with the whole string of waggons.

The young merchant tied round the Bodhisatta's neck a bundle containing five hundred coins, or at the rate of only one for each cart. Thought the Bodhisatta to himself, "This fellow is not paying we according to contract! I won't let him move on!" So he stood across the path of the foremost waggon and blocked the way. And try as they would, they could not get him out of the way. "I suppose he knows I've paid him short," thought the merchant; and he wrapped up a thousand coins in a bundle, which he tied round the Bodhisatta's neck, saying, "Here's your pay for pulling the waggons across." And away went the Bodhisatta with the thousand pieces of money to his "mother."

"What's that round the neck of Granny's Blackie?" cried the children of the village, running up to him. But the Bodhisatta made at them from afar and made them scamper off, so that he reached his "mother" all right. Not but what he appeared fagged out, with his eyes bloodshot, from dragging all those five hundred waggons over the river. The pious woman, finding a thousand pieces of money round his neck, cried out, "Where did you get this, my child?" Learning from the herdsmen what had happened, she exclaimed, "Have I any wish to live on your earnings, my child? Why did you go through all this fatigue?" So saying, she washed the Bodhisatta with warm water and rubbed him all over with oil; she gave him drink and regaled him with due victuals. And when her life closed, she passed away, with the Bodhisatta, to fare according to her deserts.

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When he had ended this lesson to shew that the Buddha was unmatched in the past as then, he shewed the connexion by uttering, as Buddha, this stanza:--

[196] With heavy loads to carry, with bad roads,
       They harness 'Blackie'; he soon draws the load.

After his lesson to shew that only 'Blackie' could draw the load, he shewed the connexion, and identified the Birth by saying, "Uppala-Vaṇṇā was the old woman of those days, and I myself 'Granny's Blackie.'"


Footnotes

73:1 No. 483.

73:2 The festival at the end of the rainy season (Mahāvagga IV. 1).


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 30. Muṇika-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 30.

MUṆIKA-JĀTAKA.

"Then envy not poor Muṇika."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana about being seduced by a plump young woman, as will be related in the Thirteenth Book in the Culla-Nārada-Kassapa-jātaka 1.

Then the Master asked that Brother, saying, "Is it true, Brother, as they say, that you are passion-test?" "It is true, sir," was the reply. "Brother," said the Master, "she is your bane; even in bygone days, you met your end and were made into a relish for the company on her marriage-day." And so saying, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time, when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta came to life as an ox, named Big Red, on the squire's estate in a certain hamlet. And he had a younger brother who was known as Little Red. There were only these two brothers to do all the draught-work of the family. Also, the squire had an only daughter, whose hand was asked in marriage for his son by a gentleman of the town. And the parents of the girl, with a view to furnishing dainty fare 1 for the wedding guests, began to fatten up a pig named Muṇika.

Observing this, Little Red said to his brother, "All the loads that have to be drawn for this household are drawn by you and me, my brother; but all they give us for our pains is sorry grass and straw to eat. Yet here is the pig being victualled on rice! What can be the reason why he should be treated to such fare?"

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Said his brother, "My dear Little Red, envy him not; for the pig eats the food of death. It is but to furnish a relish for the guests at their daughter's wedding, that the family are feeding up the pig. Wait but a little time and the guests will be coining. Then will you see that pig lugged out of his quarters by the legs, killed, and in process of conversion into curry." And so saying, he repeated this stanza:--

Then envy not poor Muṇika; ’tis death
He eats. Contented munch your frugal chaff,--
The pledge and guarantee of length of days.

Not long afterwards the guests did arrive; and Muṇika was killed and cooked into all manner of dishes. Said the Bodhisatta to Little Red, "Did you see Muṇika, dear brother?" "I have indeed seen, brother, the outcome of Muṇika's feasting. Better a hundred, nay a thousand, times than such food is ours, though it be but grass, straw, and chaff;--for our fare harms us not, and is a pledge that our lives will not be cut short."

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When he had ended his lesson to the effect that the Brother had thus in bygone days been brought to his doom by that young woman and had been made into a relish for the company [198], he preached the Truths, at the close whereof the passion-tost Brother reached the First Path of Salvation. Also the Master shewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying, "The passion-tost Brother was the pig Muṇika of those days, the young woman is the same in both cases, Ānanda was Little Red, and I myself Big Red."

[Note. See hereon Benfey's Pañca-Tantra, page 228, where the migrations of this popular story are traced. See also Jātakas Nos. 286 and 477.]


Footnotes

75:1 No. 477.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 31. Kulāvaka-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 31.

KULĀVAKA-JĀTAKA.

"Let all the forest's nestlings."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a brother who drank water without straining it 1.

Tradition says that two young Brothers who were friends went from Sāvatthi into the country, and took up their abode in a pleasant spot. After staying here as long as they wanted, they departed and set out for Jetavana in order to see the Perfect Buddha.

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One of them carried a strainer; the other had none; so both of them used the same strainer before drinking. One day they fell out. The owner of the strainer did not lend it to his companion, but strained and drank alone by himself.

As the other was not allowed the strainer, and as he could not endure his thirst, he drank water without straining it. In due course both reached Jetavana and with respectful salutation to the Master took their seats. After friendly words of greeting, he asked whence they had come.

"Sir," said they, "we have been living in a hamlet in the Kosala country, whence we have come in order to see you." "I trust you have arrived as good friends as you started?" Said the brother without a strainer, "Sir, he fell out with me on the road and would not lend me his strainer.", Said the other, "Sir, he didn't strain his water, but--wittingly--drank it down with all the living things it contained." "Is this report true, Brother, that you wittingly drank off water with all the living things it contained?" "Yes, sir, I did drink unstrained water," was the reply. "Brother, the wise and good of bygone days, when flying in rout along the deep in the days of their sovereignty over the City of the Devas, thought scorn to slay living-creatures in order to secure power for themselves. Rather, they turned their chariot back, sacrificing great glory in order to save the lives of the young of the Garuḷas 1." And, so saying, he told this story of the past.

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[199] Once on a time there was a king of Magadha reigning at Rājagaha in the laud of Magadha. And just as he who is now Sakka came to life in his preceding birth in the hamlet of Macala in the land of Magadha, even so was it in the selfsame hamlet that the Bodhisatta came to life in those days as a young noble. When the day for his naming came, he was named 'Prince Magha,' but when he grew up, it was as 'Magha the young Brahmin' that he was known. His parents took a wife for him from a family of equal rank with their own; and he, with a family of sons and daughters growing up round him, excelled in charity, and kept the Five Commandments.

In that village there were just thirty families, and one day the men were standing in the middle of the village transacting the affairs of the village. The Bodhisatta had kicked aside the dust from where he was standing, and was standing there in comfort, when up came another and took his stand there. Then the Bodhisatta made himself another comfortable standing-place,--only to have it taken from him like the first. Again and again the Bodhisatta began afresh until he had made comfortable standing-places for every man there. Another time he put up a pavilion,--which later on he pulled down, building a hall with benches and a jar of water inside. Another time these thirty men were led by the Bodhisatta to

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become like-minded with himself; he established them in the Five Commandments, and thenceforth used to go about with them doing good works. And they too doing good works, always in the Bodhisatta's company, used to get up early and sally forth, with razors and axes and clubs in their hands. With their clubs they used to roll out of the way all stones that lay on the four highways and other roads of the village; the trees that would strike against the axles of chariots, they cut down; rough places they made smooth; causeways they built, dug water-tanks, and built a hall; they shewed charity and kept the Commandments. In this wise did the body of the villagers generally abide by the Bodhisatta's teachings and keep the Commandments.

Thought the village headman to himself, "When these men used to get drunk and commit murders and so forth, I used to make a lot of money out of them not only on the price of their drinks but also by the fines and dues they paid. But now here's this young brahmin Magha bent on making them keep the Commandments; he is putting a stop to murders and other crime." 2 And in his rage he cried, "I'll make them keep the Five Commandments!" And he repaired to the king, saying, "Sire, there is a band of robbers going about sacking villages and committing other villainies." When the king heard this, he bade the headman go and bring the men before him. And away went the man and hauled up as prisoners before the king every one of those thirty men, representing them to be the rascals. Without enquiry into their doings, the king commanded offhand that they should be trampled to death by the elephant. Forthwith they made them lie down in the king's court-yard and sent for the elephant. The Bodhisatta exhorted them, saying, "Bear in mind the Commandments; love the slanderer, the king and the elephant as yourselves." And they did so.

Then the elephant was brought in to trample them to death. Yet lead him as they might, he would not approach them, but fled away trumpeting loudly. Elephant after elephant was brought up;--but they all fled away like the first. Thinking that the men must have some drug about their persons, the king ordered them to be searched. Search was made accordingly, but nothing was found;--and so they told the king. "Then they must be muttering some spell," said the king; "ask them whether they have got a spell to mutter."

The question being put to them, the Bodhisatta said they had got a spell. And this the king's people told his majesty. So the king had them all summoned to his presence and said, "Tell me your spell."

The Bodhisatta made answer, "Sire, we have no other spell than this, that not a man among the whole thirty of us destroys life, or takes what is not given, or misconducts himself, or lies; we drink no strong drink; we abound in lovingkindness; we shew charity; we level the roads,

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dig tanks, and build a public hall;--this is our spell, our safeguard, and our strength."

Well-pleased with them, the king gave them all the wealth in the slanderer's house and made him their slave; and he gave them the elephant and the village to boot.

Thenceforward, doing good works to their hearts' content, they sent for a carpenter and caused him to put up a large hall at the meeting of the four highways; but 1 2 as they had lost all desire for womankind, they would not let any woman share in the good work.

Now in those days there were four women in the Bodhisatta's house, whose names were Goodness, Thoughtful, Joy, and Highborn. Of these Goodness, finding herself alone with the carpenter, gave him a douceur, saying,--"Brother, contrive to make me the principal person in connexion with this hall."

"Very good," said he. And before doing any other work on the building, he had some pinnacle-wood dried, which he fashioned and bored and made into a finished pinnacle. This he wrapped up in a cloth and laid aside. When the hall was finished, and it was time to put on the pinnacle, he exclaimed, "Alas, my masters, there's one thing we have not made." "What's that?" "Why, we ought to have a pinnacle." "All right, let one be got." "But it can't be made out of green wood; we ought to have a pinnacle which had been cut some time ago, and fashioned, and bored, and laid by." "Well, what is to be done now?" "Why, have a look round to see if anybody has got such a thing in his house as a ready-made pinnacle for sale." As they. looked round accordingly, they found one in the house of Goodness, but could not buy it of her for any money. "If you will make me a partner in the good work," said she, "I will give it you for nothing."

"No," was the reply, "we do not let women have a share in the good work."

Then said the carpenter to them, "My masters, what is this you say? Save the Realm of Brahma, there is no place from which women are excluded. Take the pinnacle, and our work will be complete."

Consenting, they took the pinnacle and completed their hall. They had benches put up, and jars of water set inside, providing also a constant supply of boiled rice. Round the hall they built a wall with a gate, strewing the space inside the wall with sand and planting a row of fan-palms outside. Thoughtful too caused a pleasaunce to be laid out at this spot, and not a flowering or fruit-bearing tree could be named which did not grow there. Joy, too, caused a water-tank to be dug in the same place, covered over with the five kinds of lotuses, beautiful to behold. High-born did nothing at all.

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The Bodhisatta fulfilled these seven injunctions,--to cherish one's mother, to cherish one's father, to honour one's elders, to speak truth, 2 to avoid harsh speech, to eschew slander, and to shun niggardliness:--

Whoso supports his parents, honours age,
Is gentle, friendly-spoken, slandering not,
Unchurlish, truthful, lord--not slave--of wrath,
--Him e’en the Thirty Three 1 shall hail as Good.

Such was the praiseworthy state to which he grew, and at his life's close he passed away to be reborn in the Realm of the Thirty-three as Sakka, king of Devas; and there too were his friends reborn.

In those days there were Asuras dwelling in the Realm of the Thirty-three. Said Sakka, King of Devas, "What good to us is a kingdom which others share?" So he made the Asuras drink the liquor of the Devas, and when they were drunken, he had them hurled by the feet on to the steeps of Mount Sineru. They tumbled right down to 'The Asura Realm,' as it is called,--a region on the lowest level of Mount Sineru, equal in extent to the Realm of the Thirty-three. Here grows a tree, resembling the Coral Tree of the Devas, which lasts for an aeon and is called the Pied Trumpet-flower. The blossoms of this tree shewed them at once that this was not the Realm of Devas, for there the Coral Tree blooms. So they cried, "Old Sakka has made us drunk and cast us into the great deep, seizing on our heavenly city." "Come," they shouted, "let us win back our own realm from him by force of arms." And up the sides of Sineru they climbed, like ants up a pillar.

Hearing the alarm given that the Asuras were up, Sakka went out into the great deep to give them battle, but being worsted in the fight turned and fled away along crest after crest of the southern deep in his 'Chariot of Victory,' which was a hundred and fifty leagues long.

Now as his chariot sped along the deep, it came to the Forest of the Silk-Cotton Trees. Along the track of the chariot these mighty trees were mowed down like so many palms, and fell into the deep. And as the young of the Garuḷas hurtled through the deep, loud were their shrieks. Said Sakka to Mātali, his charioteer, "Mātali, my friend, what manner of noise is this? 2 3 How heartrending it sounds." "Sire, it is the united cry of the young Garuḷas in the agony of their fear, as their forest is uprooted by the rush of your chariot." Said the Great Being, "Let them not be troubled because of me, friend Mātali. Let us not, for

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empire's sake, so act as to destroy life. Rather will I, for their sake, give my life as a sacrifice to the Asuras. Turn the car back." And so saying, he repeated this stanza

Let all the forest's nestlings, Mātali,
Escape our all-devouring chariot.
I offer up, a willing sacrifice,
My life to yonder Asuras; these poor birds
Shall not, through me, from out their nests be torn.

At the word, Mātali, the charioteer, turned the chariot round, and made for the Realm of Devas by another route. But the moment the Asuras saw him begin to turn his chariot round, they cried out that the Sakkas of other worlds were surely coming up; "it must be his reinforcements which make him turn his chariot back again." Trembling for their lives, they all ran away and never stopped till they came to the Asura Realm. And Sakka entering heaven, stood in the midst of his city, girt round by an angelic host of his own and of Brahma's angels. And at that moment through the riven earth there rose up the 'Palace of Victory,' some thousand leagues high,--so-called because it arose in the hour of victory. Then, to prevent the Asuras from coming back again, Sakka had guards set in five places,--concerning which it has been said:--

[204] Impregnable both cities stand! between,
In fivefold guard, watch Nāgas, Garuḷas,
Kumbhaṇḍas, Goblins, and the Four Great Kings!

But when Sakka was enjoying as king of Devas the glory of heaven, safely warded by his sentinels at these five posts, Goodness died and was reborn as a handmaiden of Sakka once more. And the effect of her gift of the pinnacle was that there arose for her a mansion--named 'Goodness'--studded with heavenly jewels, five hundred leagues high, where, under a white heavenly canopy of royal state, sat Sakka, king of Devas, ruling men and Devas.

Thoughtful, too, died, and was once more born as a handmaiden of Sakka; and the effect of her action in respect of the pleasaunce was such that there arose a pleasaunce called 'Thoughtful's Creeper-Grove.' Joy, too, died and was reborn once more as one of Sakka's handmaidens; and the fruit of her tank was that there arose a tank called 'Joy' after her. But Highborn, 2 5 having performed no act of merit, was reborn as a crane in a grotto in the forest.

"There's no sign of Highborn," said Sakka to himself; "I wonder where she has been reborn." And as he considered the matter, he discovered her whereabouts. So he paid her a visit, and bringing her back with him to heaven shewed her the delightful city of the Devas, the Hall of Goodness, Thoughtful's Creeper-Grove, and the Tank called Joy. "These three," said Sakka, "have been reborn as my handmaidens by reason of

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the good works they did; but you, having done no good work, have been reborn in the brute creation. Henceforth keep the Commandments." And having exhorted her thus, and confirmed her in the Five Commandments, he took her back and let her go free. And thenceforth she did keep the Commandments.

A short time afterwards, being curious to know whether she really was able to keep the Commandments, Sakka went and lay down before her in the shape of a fish. Thinking the fish was dead, the crane seized it by the head. The fish wagged its tail. "Why, I do believe it's alive," said the crane, and let the fish go. "Very good, very good," said Sakka; "you will be able to keep the Commandments." And so saying he went away.

Dying as a crane, Highborn was reborn into the family of a potter in Benares. Wondering where she had got to, and at last discovering her whereabouts, Sakka, disguised as an old man, filled a cart with cucumbers of solid gold and sat in the middle of the village, crying, "Buy my cucumbers! buy my cucumbers!" Folk came to him and asked for them. "I only part with them to such as keep the Commandments," said he, "do you keep them?" "We don't know what you mean by your 'Commandments'; sell us the cucumbers." "No; I don't want money for my cucumbers. I give them away,--but only to those that keep the Commandments." "Who is this wag?" said the folk as they turned away. Hearing of this, Highborn thought to herself that the cucumbers must have been brought for her, and accordingly went and asked for some. "Do you keep the Commandments, madam?" said he. "Yes, I do," was the reply. "It was for you alone that I brought these here," said he, and leaving cucumbers, cart and all at her door he departed.

Continuing all her life long to keep the Commandments, Highborn after her death was reborn the daughter of the Asura king Vepacittiya, and for her goodness was rewarded with the gift of great beauty. When she grew up, her father mustered the Asuras together to give his daughter her pick of them for a husband. 2 6 And Sakka, who had searched and found out her whereabouts, donned the shape of an Asura, and came down, saying to himself, "If Highborn chooses a husband really after her own heart, I shall be he."

Highborn was arrayed and brought forth to the place of assembly, where she was bidden to select a husband after her own heart. Looking round and observing Sakka, she was moved by her love for him in a bygone existence to choose him for her husband. Sakka carried her off to the city of the devas and made her the chief of twenty-five millions of dancing-girls. And when his term of life ended, he passed away to fare according to his deserts.

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His lesson ended, the Master rebuked that Brother in these words, "Thus, Brethren, the wise and good of bygone days when they were rulers of the Devas, forbore, even at the sacrifice of their own lives, to be guilty of slaughter. And can you, who have devoted yourself to so saving a creed, drink unstrained water with all the living creatures it contains?" And he chewed the connexion and identified the Birth, by saying, "Ānanda was then Mātali the charioteer, and I Sakka."

[Note. Compare the commentary on Dhammapada, pp. 184 et seqq.; and Culla-vagga v. 13 in vol. ii. of Oldenberg's Vinaya (translated at page 100 of vol. XX. of the Sacred Books of the East) for the incidents of the Introductory Story. For the incident of Sakka and the Asuras in the Story of the Past, see Jātaka-mālā, No. 11 (J. R. A. S. 1893, page 315).]


Footnotes

76:1 As to the rules for filtering water, see Vinaya Cullavagga v. 13.

77:1 Garuḷas were winged creatures of a supernatural order, the inveterate foes of the Nāgas, whose domain was the water. Cf. (e.g.) Jātaka No. 154.

80:1 One of the devalokas, or angelic realms, of Buddhist cosmogony, was the Tāvatiṁsa-bhavanaṁ, or 'Realm of the Thirty-three,' so called because its denizens were subject to thirty-three Devas headed by Sakka, the Indra of the pre-buddhist faith. Every world-system, it may here be added, had a Sakka of its own, as is indicated infra.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 32. Nacca-Jātaka



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No. 32.

NACCA-JĀTAKA.

"A pleasing note." This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a Brother with many belongings. The incident is just the same as in the Devadhamma-jātaka supra 1.

"Is this report true, Brother," said the Master, "that you have many belongings?" "Yes, sir." "Why have you come to own so many belongings?" Without listening beyond this point, the Brother tore off the whole of his raiment, and stood stark naked before the Master, crying, "I'll go about like this!" "Oh, fie!" exclaimed every one. The man ran away, and reverted to the lower state of a layman. Gathering together in the Hall of Truth, the Brethren talked of his impropriety in behaving in that manner right before the Master. In came the Master and asked what was the theme of discussion in the conclave. "Sir," was the answer, "we were discussing the impropriety of that Brother, and saying that in your presence and right before all the four classes of your followers 2 he had so far lost all sense of shame as to stand there stark naked as a village-urchin, and that, finding himself loathed by everyone, he relapsed to the lower state and lost the faith."

Said the Master, "Brethren, this is not the only loss his shamelessness has caused him; for in bygone days he lost a jewel of a wife just as now he has lost the jewel of the faith." And so saying, he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

[207] Once on a time, in the first cycle of the world's history, the quadrupeds chose the Lion as their king, the fishes the monster-fish Ānanda, and the birds the Golden Mallard 3. Now the King Golden

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[paragraph continues] Mallard had a lovely young daughter, and her royal father granted her any boon she might ask. The boon she asked for was to be allowed to choose a husband for herself; and the king in fulfilment of his promise mustered all the birds together in the country of the Himalayas. All manner of birds came, swans and peacocks and all other birds; and they flocked together on a great plateau of bare rock. Then the king sent for his daughter and bade her go and choose a husband after her own heart. As she reviewed the crowd of birds, her eye lighted on the peacock with his neck of jewelled sheen and tail of varied hue; and she chose him, saying, "Let this be my husband." Then the assembly of the birds went up to the peacock and said, "Friend peacock, this princess, in choosing her husband from among all these birds, has fixed her choice on you."

Carried away by his extreme joy, the peacock exclaimed, "Until this clay you have never seen how active I am;" and in defiance of all decency he spread his wings and began to dance;--and in dancing he exposed himself.

Filled with shame, King Golden Mallard said, "This fellow has neither modesty within his heart nor decency in his outward behaviour; I certainly will not give my daughter to one so shameless." And there in the midst of all that assembly of the birds, he repeated this stanza:--

A pleasing note is yours, a lovely back,
A neck in hue like lapis lazuli;
A fathom's length your outstretched feathers reach.
Withal, your dancing loses you my child.

Right in the face of the whole gathering King Royal Mallard gave his daughter to a young mallard, a nephew of his. Covered with shame at the loss of the mallard princess, 2 the peacock rose straight up from the place and fled away. And King Golden Mallard too went back to his dwelling-place.

"Thus, Brethren," said the Master, "this is not the only time his breach of modesty has caused him loss; just as it has now caused him to lose the jewel of the faith, so in bygone days it lost him a jewel of a wife." When he had ended this lesson, he shewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying,

_____________________________

"The Brother with the many belongings was the peacock of those days, and I myself the Royal Mallard."

[Note. See Plate XXVII. (11) of the Stūpa of Bharhut (where a fragment of a carving of this story is figured), Benfey's Pañca-Tantra I. p. 280, and Hahn's Sagewiss. Studien, p. 69. Cf. also Herodotus, VI. 129.]


Footnotes

83:1 No. 6.

83:2 i.e. Brethren, Sisters, lay-brothers, and lay-sisters.

83:3 Cf. No. 270.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 33. Sammodamāna-Jātaka



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p. 85

No. 33.

SAMMODAMĀNA-JĀTAKA.

"While concord reigns." This story was told by the Master while dwelling in the Banyan-grove near Kapilavatthu, about a squabble over a porter's head-pad, as will be related in the Kuṇāla-jātaka 1.

On this occasion, however, the Master spoke thus to his kinsfolk:--"My lords, strife among kinsfolk is unseemly. Yes, in bygone times, animals, who had defeated their enemies when they lived in concord, came to utter destruction when they fell out." And at the request of his royal kinsfolk, he told this story of the past.

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Once upon a time when Brahmadatta was king of Benares, the Bodhisatta was born a quail, and lived in the forest at the head of many thousands of quails. In those days a fowler who caught quails came to that place; and he used to imitate the note of a quail till he saw that the birds had been drawn together, when he flung his net over them, and whipped the sides of the net together, so as to get them all huddled up in a heap. Then he crammed them into his basket, and going home sold his prey for a living.

Now one day the Bodhisatta said to those quails, "This fowler is making havoc among our kinsfolk. I have a device whereby he will be unable to catch us. Henceforth, the very moment he throws the net over you, let each one put his head through a mesh and then all of you together must fly away with the net to such place as you please, and there let it down on a thorn-brake; this done, we will all escape from our several meshes." "Very good," said they all in ready agreement.

On the morrow, when the net was cast over them, they did just as the Bodhisatta had told them:--they lifted up the net, 2 and let it down on a thorn-brake, escaping themselves from underneath. While the fowler was still disentangling his net, evening came on; and he went away empty-handed. On the morrow and following days the quails played the same trick. So that it became the regular thing for the fowler to be engaged till sunset disentangling his net, and then to betake himself home empty-handed. Accordingly his wife grew angry and said, "Day by day you return empty-handed; I suppose you've got a second establishment to keep up elsewhere."

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"No, my dear," said the fowler; "I've no second establishment to keep up. The fact is those quails have come to work together now. The moment my net is over them, off they fly with it and escape, leaving it on a thorn-brake. Still, they won't live in unity always. Don't you bother yourself; as soon as they start bickering among themselves, I shall bag the lot, and that will bring a smile to your face to see." And so saying, he repeated this stanza to his wife:--

While concord reigns, the birds bear off the net.
When quarrels rise, they'll fall a prey to me.

Not long after this, one of the quails, in alighting on their feeding ground, trod by accident on another's head. "Who trod on my head?" angrily cried this latter. "I did; but I didn't mean to. Don't be angry," said the first quail. But notwithstanding this answer, the other remained as angry as before. Continuing to answer one another, they began to bandy taunts, saying, "I suppose it is you single-handed who lift up the net." As they wrangled thus with one another, the Bodhisatta thought to himself, "There's no safety with one who is quarrelsome. The time has come when they will no longer lift up the net, and thereby they will come to great destruction. The fowler will get his opportunity. I can stay here no longer." And thereupon he with his following went elsewhere.

Sure enough the fowler 1 2 came back again a few days later, and first collecting them together by imitating the note of a quail, flung his net over them. Then said one quail, "They say when you were at work lifting the net, the hair of your head fell off. Now's your time; lift away." The other rejoined, "When you were lifting the net, they say both your wings moulted. Now's your time; lift away."

But whilst they were each inviting the other to lift the net, the fowler himself lifted the net for them and crammed them in a heap into his basket and bore them off home, so that his wife's face was wreathed with smiles.

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"Thus, sire," said the Master, "such a thing as a quarrel among kinsfolk is unseemly; quarrelling leads only to destruction." His lesson ended, he shewed the connexion, and identified the Birth, by saying, "Devadatta was the foolish quail of those days, and I myself the wise and good quail."

[Note. See for the migrations of this story Benfey's Pañca-Tantra 1. 304, and Fausböll in R.AṢ. Journal, 1870. See also Julien's Avadānas, Vol. 1. page 155.]


Footnotes

85:1 No. 536.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 34. Maccha-Jātaka



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p. 87

No. 34.

MACCHA-JĀTAKA.

"’Tis not the cold."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about being seduced by the wife of one's mundane life before joining the Brotherhood. Said the Master on this occasion, "Is it true, as I hear, Brother, that you are passion-tost?"

"Yes, Blessed One."

"Because of whom?"

"My former wife, sir, is sweet to touch; I cannot give her up! "Then said the Master, "Brother, this woman is hurtful to you. It was through her that in bygone times too you were meeting your end, when you were saved by me." And so saying, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta became his family-priest.

In those days some fishermen had cast their net into the river. And a great big fish came along amorously toying with his wife. She, scenting the net as she swam ahead of him, made a circuit round it and escaped. But her amorous spouse, blinded by passion, sailed right into the meshes of the net. As soon as the fishermen felt him in their net, they hauled it in and took the fish out; they did not kill him at once, but flung him alive on the sands. 1 2 "We'll cook him in the embers for our meal," said they; and accordingly they set to work to light a fire and whittle a spit to roast him on. The fish lamented, saying to himself, "It's not the torture of the embers or the anguish of the spit or any other pain that grieves me; but only the distressing thought that my wife should be unhappy in the belief that I have gone off with another." And he repeated this stanza:--

’Tis not the cold, the heat, or wounding net;
’Tis but the fear my darling wife should think
Another's love has lured her spouse away.

Just then the priest came to the riverside with his attendant slaves to bathe. Now he understood the language of all animals. Therefore, when he heard the fish's lamentation, he thought to himself, "This fish is lamenting the lament of passion. If he should die in this unhealthy state of mind, he cannot escape rebirth in hell. I will save him." So he went to the fishermen and said, "My men, don't you supply us with a fish every day for our curry?" "What do you say, sir?" said the fishermen; "pray take away with you any fish you may take a fancy to." "We don't need any but this one; only give us this one." "He's yours, sir."

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Taking the fish in his two hands, the Bodhisatta seated himself on the bank and said, "Friend fish, if I had not seen you to-day, you would have met your death. Cease for the future to be the slave of passion." And with this exhortation he threw the fish into the water, and went into the city.

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[212] His lesson ended, the Master preached the Truths, at the close whereof the passion-tost Brother won the First Path. Also, the Master shewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying, "The former wife was the female fish of those days, the passion-tost Brother was the male fish, and I myself the family-priest."

[Note. Compare Jātakas Nos. 216 and 297.]


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 35. Vaṭṭaka-Jātaka



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No. 35.

VAṬṬAKA-JĀTAKA.

"With, wings that fly not."--This story was told by the Master, whilst on an alms-pilgrimage through Magadha, about the going-out of a jungle fire. Once the Master, whilst on an alms-pilgrimage through Magadha, went on his morning round for alms through a certain hamlet in that country; on his return, after his meal, he went out again followed by the company of the Brethren. Just then a great fire broke out. There were numbers of Brethren both in front of the Master and behind him. On came the fire, spreading far and wide, till all was one sheet of smoke and flame. Hereupon, some unconverted Brethren were seized with the fear of death. "Let us make a counter fire," they cried; "and then the big fire will not sweep over the ground we have fired." And, with this view, they set about kindling a fire with their tinder-sticks.

But others said, "What is this you do, Brethren? You are like such as mark not the moon in mid-heaven, or the sun's orb rising with myriad rays from the east, or the sea on whose shores they stand, or Mount Sineru towering before their very eyes,--when, as you journey along in the company of him who is peerless among devas and men alike, you give not a thought to the All-Enlightened Buddha, but cry out, 'Let us make a fire!' You know not the might of a Buddha! Come, let us go to the Master." Then, gathering together from front and rear alike, the Brethren in a body flocked round the Lord of Wisdom. At a certain spot the Master halted, with this mighty assembly of the Brethren surrounding him. On rolled the flames, roaring as though to devour them. But when they approached the spot where the Buddha had taken his stand, they came no nearer than sixteen lengths, but there and then went out,--even as a torch plunged into water. It had no power to spread over a space thirty-two lengths in diameter.

p. 89

The Brethren burst into praises of the Master, saying, "Oh! how great are the virtues of a Buddha! For, even this fire, though lacking sense, could not sweep over the spot where a Buddha stood, but went out like a torch in water. Oh! how marvellous are the powers of a Buddha!"

[213] Hearing their words, the Master said, "It is no present power of mine, Brethren, that makes this fire go out on reaching this spot of ground. It is the power of a former 'Act of Truth' of mine. For in this spot no fire will burn throughout the whole of this æon, the miracle being one which endures for an æon 1."

Then the Elder Ānanda folded a robe into four and spread it for the Master to sit on. The Master took his seat. Bowing to the Buddha as he sat cross-legged there, the Brethren too seated themselves around him. Then they asked him, saying, "Only the present is known to us, sir; the past is hidden from us. Make it known to us." And, at their request, he told this story of the past.

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Once upon a time in this selfsame spot in Magadha, it was as a quail that the Bodhisatta came to life once more. Breaking his way out of the shell of the egg in which he was born, he became a young quail, about as big as a large ball 2. And his parents kept him lying in the nest, while they fed him with food which they brought in their beaks. In himself, he had not the strength either to spread his wings and fly through the air, or to lift his feet and walk upon the ground. Year after year that spot was always ravaged by a jungle-fire; and it was just at this time that the flames swept down on it with a mighty roaring. The flocks of birds, darting from their several nests, were seized with the fear of death, and flew shrieking away. The father and mother of the Bodhisatta were as frightened as the others and flew away, forsaking the Bodhisatta. Lying there in the nest, the Bodhisatta stretched forth his neck, and seeing the flames spreading towards him, he thought to himself, "Had I the power to put forth my wings and fly, I would wing my way hence to safety; or, if I could move my legs and walk, I could escape elsewhere afoot. Moreover, my parents, seized with the fear of death, are fled away to save themselves, leaving me here quite alone in the world. I am without protector or helper. What, then, shall I do this day?"

Then this thought came to him:--"In this world there exists what is termed the Efficacy of Goodness, and what is termed the Efficacy of Truth. There are those who, through their having realised the Perfections in past ages, have attained beneath the Bo-tree to be All-Enlightened; who, having won Release by goodness, tranquillity and wisdom, possess also discernment of the knowledge of such Release; 1 2 4 who are filled with truth, compassion, mercy, and patience; whose love embraces all creatures alike; whom men call omniscient Buddhas. There is an efficacy in the attributes they have won. And I too grasp one truth; I hold and believe in a single

p. 90

principle in Nature. Therefore, it behoves me to call to mind the Buddhas of the past, and the Efficacy they have won, and to lay hold of the true belief that is in me touching the principle of Nature; and by an Act of Truth to make the flames go back, to the saving both of myself and of the rest of the birds."

Therefore it has been said:--

There's saving grace in Goodness in this world;
There's truth, compassion, purity of life.
Thereby, I'll work a matchless Act of Truth.

              _______________

Remembering Faith's might, and taking thought
On those who triumphed in the days gone by,
Strong in the truth, an Act of Truth I wrought.

Accordingly, the Bodhisatta, calling to mind the efficacy of the Buddhas long since past away, performed an Act of Truth in the name of the true faith that was in him, repeating this stanza:--

With wings that fly not, feet that walk not yet,
Forsaken by my parents, here I lie!
Wherefore I conjure thee, dread Lord of Fire,
Primæval Jātaveda, turn! go back!

Even as he performed his Act of Truth, Jātaveda went back a space of sixteen lengths; and in going back the flames did not pass away to the forest devouring everything in their path. No; they went out there and then, like a torch plunged in water. Therefore it has been said:--

[215] I wrought my Act of Truth, and therewithal
The sheet of blazing fire left sixteen lengths
Unscathed,--like flames by water met and quenched.

And as that spot escaped being wasted by fire throughout a whole æon, the miracle is called an 'æon-miracle.' When his life closed, the Bodhisatta, who had performed this Act of Truth, passed away to fare according to his deserts.

_____________________________

"Thus, Brethren," said the Master, "it is not my present power but the efficacy of an Act of Truth performed by me when a young quail, that has made the flames pass over this spot iii the jungle." His lesson ended, he preached the Truths, at the close whereof some won the First, some the Second, some the Third Path, while others again became Arahats. Also, the Master shewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying, "My present parents were the parents of those days, and I myself the king of the quails."

[Note. The story and the verses occur in the Cariyā-Piṭaka, p. 98. See reference to this story under Jātaka No. 20, supra.

For the archaic title of Jātaveda here given to Fire, compare Jātaka, No. 75, as to a similar use of the archaic name Pajjunna.]


Footnotes

89:1 See above, page 56.

89:2 See Morris, Journal P. T. S. 1884, p. 90.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 36. Sakuṇa-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


p. 91

No. 36.

SAKUṆA-JĀTAKA.

"Ye denizens of air."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a Brother whose cell was burnt down.

Tradition says that a Brother, having been given a theme for meditation by the Master, went from Jetavana to the land of Kosala and there abode in a dwelling in a forest hard by a border-village. Now, during the very first month of his dwelling there, his cell was burnt down. This he reported to the villagers, saying, "My cell has been burnt down; I live in discomfort." Said they, "The land is suffering from drought just now; we'll see to it when we have irrigated the fields." When the irrigation was over, they said they must do their sowing first; when the sowing was done, they had the fences to put up; when the fences were put up; they had first to do the weeding and the reaping, and the threshing; till, what with one job and another which they kept mentioning, three whole months passed by.

After three months spent in the open air in discomfort, that Brother had developed his theme for meditation, but could get no further. So, after the Pavāraṇā-festival which ends the Rainy Season, he went back again to the Master, and, with due salutation, took his seat aside. After kindly words of greeting, the Master said, "Well, Brother, have you lived happily. through the Rainy Season? Did your theme for meditation end in success?" The Brother told him all that had happened, adding, "As I had no lodging to suit me, my theme did not end in success."

Said the Master, "In bygone times, Brother, even animals knew what suited them and what did not. How is it that you did not know'?" And so saying, he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

[216] Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born a bird and lived round a giant tree with branching boughs, at the head of a company of birds. Now one day, as the boughs of this tree were grinding one against the other, dust began to fall, soon followed by smoke. When the Bodhisatta became aware of this, he thought to himself: "If these two boughs go on grinding against one another like this, they will produce fire; and the fire will fall and catch hold of the old leaves, and so come to set fire to this tree as well. We cannot live on here; the proper thing to do is to hasten off elsewhere." And he repeated this stanza to the company of birds:--

Ye denizens of air, that in ṭhese boughs
Have sought a lodging, mark the seeds of fire
This earthborn tree is breeding! Safety seek
In flight! Our trusted stronghold harbours death!

The wiser birds who followed the Bodhisatta's counsels, at once rose up in the air and went elsewhere in his company. But the foolish ones said,

p. 92

[paragraph continues] "It is always like this with him; he's always seeing crocodiles in a drop of water." And they, heeding not the Bodhisatta's words, stopped where they were. In a very short time, just as the Bodhisatta had foreseen, flames really did break out, and the tree caught fire. When the smoke and flame arose, the birds, blinded by the smoke, were unable to get away; one by one they dropped into the flames and were destroyed.

_____________________________

"Thus, Brethren," said the Master, "in bygone times even animals who were dwelling in the tree-top, knew what suited them and what did not. How is it that you did not know?" 1 2 His lesson ended, he preached the Truths, at the close whereof that Brother won the Fruit of the First Path. Also, the Master shewed the connexion, and identified the Birth by saying, "The Buddha's disciples were then the birds who hearkened to the Bodhisatta, and I myself was the wise and good bird."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 37. Tittira-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 37.

TITTIRA-JĀTAKA.

"For they who honour age."--This story was told by the Master whilst on his way to Sāvatthi, about the way in which the Elder Sāriputta was kept out of a night's lodging.

For, when Anātha-piṇḍika had built his monastery, and had sent word that it was finished, the Master left Rājagaha and came to Vesālī, setting out again on his journey after stopping at the latter place during his pleasure. It was now that the disciples of the Six hurried on ahead, and, before quarters could be taken for the Elders, monopolized the whole of the available lodgings, which they distributed among their superiors, their teachers, and themselves. When the Elders came up later, they could find no quarters at all for the night. Even Sāriputta's disciples, for all their searching, could not find lodgings for the Elder. Being without a lodging, the Elder passed the night at the foot of a tree near the Master's quarters, either walking up and down or sitting at the foot of a tree.

At early dawn the Master coughed as he came out. The Elder coughed too. "Who is that?" asked the Master. "It is I, Sāriputta, sir." "What are you doing here at this hour, Sāriputta?" Then the Elder told his story, at the close of which the Master thought, "Even now, while I am still alive, the Brethren lack courtesy and subordination; what will they not do when I am dead and gone?" And the thought filled him with anxiety for the Truth. As soon as day had come, he had the assembly of the Brethren called together, and asked them, saying, "Is it true, Brethren, as I hear, that the adherents of the Six went on ahead and kept the Elders among the Brethren out of lodgings for the night?" "That is so, Blessed One," was the reply. Thereupon, with a reproof to the adherents of the Six and as a lesson to all, he addressed the Brethren, and said, "Tell me, who deserves the best lodging, the best water, and the best rice, Brethren?"

p. 93

Some answered, "He who was a nobleman before he became a Brother." Others said, "He who was originally a brahmin, or a man of means." Others severally said, "The man versed in the Rules of the Order; the man who can expound the Law; the men who have won the first, second, third, or fourth stage of mystic ecstasy." Whilst others again said, "The man in the First, Second, or Third path of Salvation, or an Arahat; one who knows the Three Great Truths; one who has the Six Higher Knowledges."

After the Brethren had stated whom they severally thought worthiest of precedence in the matter of lodging and the like, the Master said, 1 2 "In the religion which I teach, the standard by which precedence in the matter of lodging and the like is to be settled, is not noble birth, or having been a brahmin, or having been wealthy before entry into the Order; the standard is not familiarity with the Rules of the Order, with the Suttas, or with the Metaphysical Books 1; nor is it either the attainment of any of the four stages of mystic ecstasy, or the walking in any of the Four Paths of salvation. Brethren, in my religion it is seniority which claims respect of word and deed, salutation, and all due service; it is seniors who should enjoy the best lodging, the best water, and the best rice. This is the true standard, and therefore the senior Brother ought to have these things. Yet, Brethren, here is Sāriputta, who is my chief disciple, who has set rolling the Wheel of Minor Truth, and who deserves to have a lodging next after myself. And Sāriputta has spent this night without a lodging at the foot of a tree! If you lack respect and subordination even now, what will be your behaviour as time goes by?"

And for their further instruction he said, "In times past, Brethren, even animals came to the conclusion that it was not proper for them to live without respect and subordination one to another, or without the ordering of their common life; even these animals decided to find out which among them was the senior, and then to shew him all forms of reverence. So they looked into the matter, and having found out which of them was the senior, they shewed him all forms of reverence, whereby they passed away at that life's close to people heaven." And so saying, he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

Once on a time, hard by a great banyan-tree on the slopes of the Himalayas, there dwelt three friends,--a partridge, a monkey, and an elephant. And they came to lack respect and subordination one to another, and had no ordering of their common life. And the thought came to them that it was not seemly for them to live in this way, and that they ought to find out which of their number was the senior and to honour him.

As they were engaged thinking which was the oldest, one day an idea struck them. Said the partridge and the monkey to the elephant as they all three sat together at the foot of that banyan-tree, "Friend elephant, how big was this banyan when you remember it first?" Said the elephant, "When I was a baby, this banyan was a mere bush, over which I used to walk; and as I stood astride of it, its topmost branches used just to reach up to my belly. I've known the tree since it was a mere bush."

p. 94

Next the monkey was asked the same question by the other two; and he replied, "My friends, when I was a youngling, 1 2 I had only to stretch out my neck as I sat on the ground, and I could eat the topmost sprouts of this banyan. So I've known this banyan since it was very tiny."

Then the partridge was asked the same question by the two others; and he said, "Friends, of old there was a great banyan-tree at such and such a spot; I ate its seeds, and voided them here; that was the origin of this tree. Therefore, I have knowledge of this tree from before it was born, and am older than the pair of you."

Hereupon the monkey and the elephant said to the sage partridge, "Friend, you are the oldest. Henceforth you shall have from us acts of honour and veneration, marks of obeisance and homage, respect of word and deed, salutation, and all due homage; and we will follow your counsels. You for your part henceforth will please impart such counsel as we need."

Thenceforth the partridge gave them counsel, and established them in the Commandments, which he also undertook himself to keep. Being thus established in the Commandments, and becoming respectful and subordinate among themselves, with proper ordering of their common life, these three made themselves sure of rebirth in heaven at this life's close.

_____________________________

"The aims of these three"--continued the Master--"came to be known as the 'Holiness of the Partridge,' and if these three animals, Brethren, lived together in respect and subordination, how can you, who have embraced a Faith the Rules of which are so well-taught, live together without due respect and subordination? Henceforth I ordain, Brethren, that to seniority shall be paid respect of word and deed, salutation, and all due service; that seniority shall be the title to the best lodging, the best water, and the best rice; and nevermore let a senior be kept out of a lodging by a junior. Whosoever so keeps out his senior commits an offence."

It was at the close of this lesson that the Master, as Buddha, repeated this stanza:--

For they who honour age, in Truth are versed;
Praise now, and bliss hereafter, is their meed.

_____________________________

[220] When the Master had finished speaking of the virtue of reverencing age, he wade the connexion and identified the Birth by saying, "Moggallāna was the elephant of those days, Sāriputta the monkey, and I myself the sage partridge."

p. 95

[Note. See this story in the Vinaya, Vol. II. page 161 (translated at page 193 of Vol. XX. of the Sacred Books of the East), and in Julien's Avadānas, Vol. II. page 17. Reference is made to this Jātaka by name in Buddhaghosa's Sumaṅgala-Vilāsinī, page 178; but his quotation, though it purports to be from the Tittira-Jātaka, is from the above passage in the Vinaya. Prof. Cowell has traced its history in Y Cymmrodor, October 1882.]


Footnotes

93:1 i.e. the three divisions, or 'three baskets,' of the Buddhist scriptures,


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 38. Baka-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 38.

BAKA-JĀTAKA.

"Guile profits not."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a tailoring Brother.

Tradition says that at Jetavana dwelt a Brother who was exceedingly skilful in all operations to be performed with a robe, such as cutting, joining, arranging, and stitching Because of this skill, he used to fashion robes and so got the name of 'The Robe-tailor.' What, you ask, did he do?--Well, he exercised his craft on old bits of cloth and turned out a nice soft robe, which, after the dyeing was done, he would enhance in colour with a wash containing flour to make a dressing, and rub it with a shell, till he had made it quite smart and attractive. Then he would lay his handiwork aside.

Being ignorant of robe-making, Brethren used to come to him with brand-new cloth, saying, "We don't know how to make robes; you make them for us."

"Sirs," he would reply, "a robe takes a long time making; but I have one which is just finished. You can take that, if you will leave these cloths in exchange." And, so saying, he would take his out and chew it them. And they, marking only its fine colour, and knowing nothing of what it was made of, thought it was a good strong one, and so handed over their brand-new cloth to the 'Robe-maker' and went off with the robe he gave them. When it got dirty and was being washed in hot water, it revealed its real character, and the worn patches were visible here and there. Then the owners regretted their bargain. Everywhere that Brother became well-known for cozening in this way all who came to him.

Now, there was a robe-maker in a hamlet who used to cozen everybody just as the brother did at Jetavana. 1 2 This man's friends among the Brethren said to him, "Sir, they say that at Jetavana there is a robe-maker who cozens everybody just like you." Then the thought struck him, "Come now, let me cozen that city man!" So he made out of rags a very fine robe, which he dyed a beautiful orange. This he put on and went to Jetavana. The moment the other saw it, he coveted it, and said to its owner, "Sir, did you make that robe?" "Yes, I did, sir," was the reply. "Let me have that robe, sir; you'll get another in its place." "But, sir, we village-Brethren find it hard to get the Requisites; if I give you this, what shall I have to wear myself?" "Sir, I have some brand-new cloth at my lodging; take it and make yourself a robe." "Reverend sir, herein have I shewn my own handiwork; but, if you speak thus, what can I do? Take it." And having cozened the other by exchanging the rag-robe for the new cloth, he went his way.

After wearing the botched robe in his turn, the Jetavana man was washing it not long afterwards in warm water, when he became aware that it was made out. of rags; and he was put to shame. The whole of the Brotherhood heard the news that the Jetavana man had been cozened by a robe-tailor from the country.

p. 96

Now, one day the Brethren were seated in the Hall of Truth, discussing the news, when the Master entered and asked what they were discussing; and they told him all about it.

Said the Master, "Brethren, this is not the only occasion of the Jetavana robe-maker's cozening tricks; in bygone times also he did just the same, and, as he has been cozened now by the roan from the country, so was he too in bygone times." And so saying, he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

Once on a time the Bodhisatta came to life in a certain forest-haunt as the Tree-sprite of a tree which stood near a certain lotus-pond. In those days the water used every summer to fall very low in a certain pond, not very big,--which was plentifully stocked with fish. Catching sight of these fish, a certain crane said to himself, "I must find a way to cajole and eat these fish." So he went and sat down in deep thought by the side of the water.

Now when the fishes caught sight of him, they said, "Of what are you thinking, my lord, as you sit there?" "I am thinking about you," was the reply. "And what is your lordship thinking about us?" "The water in this pool being low, food scarce, and, the heat intense,--I was wondering to myself, as I sat here, what in the world you fishes would do." "And what are we to do, my lord?" "Well, if you'll take my advice, 2 I will take you up one by one in my beak, and carry you all off to a fine large pool covered with the five varieties of lotuses, and there put you down." "My lord," said they, no crane ever took the slightest thought for fishes since the world began. Your desire is to eat us one by one." "No; I will not eat you while you trust me," said the crane. "If you don't take my word that there is such a pond, send one of your number to go with me and see for himself." Believing the crane, the fish presented to him a great big fish (blind of one eye, by the way), who they thought would be a match for the crane whether afloat or ashore; and they said, "Here's the one to go with you."

The crane took the fish off and put him in the pool, and after shewing him the whole extent of it, brought him back again and put him in along with the other fish in his old pond. And he held forth to them on the charms of the new pool.

After hearing this report, they grew eager to go there, and said to the crane, "Very good, my lord; please take us across."

First of all, the crane took that big one-eyed fish again and carried him off to the edge of the pool, so that he could see the water, but actually alighted in a Varaṇa-tree which grew on the bank. Dashing the fish down in a fork of the tree, he pecked it to death,--after which he picked him clean and let the bones fall at the foot of the tree. Then back he went and said, "I've thrown him in; who's the next?" And so he took the fish one by one, and ate them all, till at last when he came back, he

p. 97

could not find another left. But there was still a crab remaining in the pond; so the crane, who wanted to eat him up too, said, "Mister crab, I've taken all those fishes away and turned them into a fine large pool covered all over with lotuses. Come along; I'll take you too." "How will you carry me across?" said the crab. "Why, in my beak, to be sure," said the crane. "Ah, but you might drop me like that," said the crab; "I won't go with you." "Don't be frightened; I'll keep tight hold of you all the way." Thought the crab to himself, "He hasn't put the fish in the pool. But, if he would really put me in, that would be capital. If he does not,--why, I'll nip his head off and kill him." So he spoke thus to the crane, "You'd never be able to hold me tight enough, friend crane; whereas we crabs have got an astonishingly tight grip. 2 3 If I might take hold of your neck with my claws, I could hold it tight and then would go along with you."

Not suspecting that the crab wanted to trick him, the crane gave his assent. With his claws the crab gripped hold of the crane's neck as with the pincers of a smith, and said, "Now you can start." The crane took him and shewed him the pool first, and then started off for the tree.

"The pool lies this way, nunky," said the crab; "but you're taking me the other way." "Very much your nunky dear am I!" said the crane; "and very much my nephew are you! I suppose you thought me your slave to lift you up and carry you about! Just you cast your eye on that heap of bones at the foot of the tree; as I ate up all those fish, so I will eat you too." Said the crab, "It was through their own folly that those fish were eaten by you; but I shan't give you the chance of eating me. No; what I shall do, is to kill you. For you, fool that you were, did not see that I was tricking you. If we die, we will both die together; I'll chop your head clean off." And so saying he gripped the crane's weazand with his claws, as with pincers. With his mouth wide open, and tears streaming from his eyes, the crane, trembling for his life, said, "Lord, indeed I will not eat you! Spare my life!"

"Well, then, just step down to the pool and put me in," said the crab. Then the crane turned back and stepped down as directed to the pool, and placed the crab on the mud, at the water-edge. But the crab, before entering the water, nipped off the crane's head as deftly as if he were cutting a lotus stalk with a knife.

The Tree-fairy who dwelt in the tree, marking this wonderful thing, made the whole forest ring with applause repeating this stanza in sweet tones:--

Guile profits not your very guileful folk.
Mark what the guileful crane got from the crab!

_____________________________

p. 98

[224] "Brethren," said the Master, "this is not the first time this fellow has been cozened by the robe-maker from the country; in the past he was cozened in just the same manner." His lesson ended, he shewed the connexion, and identified the Birth, by saying, "The Jetavana robe-maker was [the crane] of those days, the robe-maker from the country was the crab, and I myself the Tree-Fairy."

[Note. See Benfey's Pañca-Tantra (I. 175), Tawney's Kathā-Sarit-Sāgara (II. 31), and Rhys Davids' Birth Stories (page 321), for the migrations of this popular story.]


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 39. Nanda-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 39.

NANDA-JĀTAKA.

"Methinks the gold."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a co-resident pupil of Sāriputta.

Tradition says that this Brother was meek and docile, and was zealous in ministering to the Elder. Now, on one occasion the Elder departed with the leave of the Master, on an alms-pilgrimage, and came to South Magadha. When he got there, that Brother grew so proud-stomached that he would not do what the Elder told him. Moreover, if he was addressed with, "Sir, do this," he quarrelled with the Elder. The Elder could not make out what possessed him.

After making his pilgrimage in those parts, he came back again to Jetavana. The moment he got back to the monastery at Jetavana, the Brother became again what he had always been.

The Elder told this to the Buddha, saying, "Sir, a co-resident of mine is in one place like a slave bought for a hundred pieces, and in another so proud-stomached that an order to do anything makes him quarrel."

Said the Master, "This is not the first time, Sāriputta, that he has shewn this disposition; in the past too, if he went to one place, he was like a slave bought for a hundred pieces, whilst, if he went to another place, he would become quarrelsome and contentious." And, so saying, by request of the Elder, he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta came to life again as a squire. Another squire, a friend of his, was an old man himself, but had 2 5 a young wife who had borne him a son and heir. Said the old man to himself, "As soon as I am dead, this girl, being so young as she is, will marry heaven knows whom, and spend all my money, instead of handing it over to my son. Wouldn't it be my best course to bury my money safely in the ground?"

So, in the company of a household slave of his named Nanda, he went to the forest and buried his riches at a certain spot, saying to the slave,

p. 99

[paragraph continues] "My good Nanda, reveal this treasure to my son after I am gone, and don't let the wood be sold."

After giving this injunction to his slave, the old man died. In due course the son grew up, and his mother said to him, "My son, your father, in the company of Nanda, buried his money. Get it back and look after the property of the family." So one day he said to Nanda, "Nunky, is there any treasure which my father buried?" "Yes, my lord." "Where is it buried?" "In the forest, my lord." "Well, then, let us go there." And he took a spade and a basket, and going to the scene, said to Nanda, "Well, nunky, where's the money?" But by the time Nanda had got up to the treasure and was standing right over it, he was so puffed up by the money that he abused his master, saying, "You servant of a slave-wench's son! how should you have any money here?"

The young gentleman, pretending not to have heard this insolence, simply said, "Let us be going then," and took the slave back home with him. Two or three days later, he returned to the place; but again Nanda abused him, as before. Without any abusive rejoinder, the young gentleman came back and turned the matter over in his mind. Thought he to himself, "At starting, this slave always means to reveal where the money is; but no sooner does he get there, than he falls to abusing me. The reason of this I do not see; but I could find out, if I were to ask my father's old friend, the squire." So he went to the Bodhisatta, and laying the whole business before him, asked his friend what was the real reason of such behaviour.

Said the Bodhisatta, "The spot at which Nanda stands to abuse you, my friend, is the place where your father's money is buried. Therefore, as soon as he starts abusing you again, say to him, 'Whom are you talking to, you slave?' Pull him from his perch, take the spade, dig down, remove your fancily treasure, and make the slave carry it home for you." And so saying, he repeated this stanza:-- [226]

Methinks the gold and jewels buried lie
Where Nanda, low-born slave, so loudly bawls!

Taking a respectful leave of the Bodhisatta, the young gentleman went home, and taking Nanda went to the spot where the money was buried. Faithfully following the advice he had received, he brought the money away and looked after the family property. He remained steadfast in the Bodhisatta's counsels, and after a life spent in charity and other good works he passed away to fare according to his deserts.

_____________________________

Said the Master, "In the past too this man was similarly disposed." His lesson ended, he shewed the connexion, and identified the Birth, by saying, Sāriputta's co-resident was the Nanda of those days, and I the wise and good squire,"


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 40. Khadiraṅgāra-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


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No. 40.

KHADIRAṄGĀRA-JĀTAKA.

"Far rather will I headlong plunge."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about Anātha-piṇḍika.

For Anātha-piṇḍika, who had lavished fifty-four crores on the Faith of the Buddha over the Monastery alone, and who valued naught else save only the Three Gems, used to go every day while the Master was at Jetavana to attend the Great Services,--once at daybreak, once after breakfast, and once in the evening. There were intermediate services too; but he never went empty-handed, for fear the Novices and lads should look to see what he had brought with him. When he went in the early morning [227], he used to have rice-gruel taken up; after breakfast, ghee, butter, honey, molasses, and the like; and in the evening, he brought perfumes, garlands and cloths. So much did he expend day after day, that his expense knew no bounds. Moreover, many traders borrowed money from him on their bonds,--to the amount of eighteen crores; and the great merchant never called the money in. Furthermore, another eighteen crores of the family property, which were buried in the river-bank, were washed out to sea, when the bank was swept away by a storm; and down rolled the brazen pots, with fastenings and seals unbroken, to the bottom of the ocean. In his house, too, there was always rice standing ready for 500 Brethren,--so that the merchant's house was to the Brotherhood like a pool dug where four roads meet, yea, like mother and father was he to them. Therefore, even the All-Enlightened Buddha used to go to his house, and the Eighty Chief Elders too; and the number of other Brethren passing in and out was beyond measure.

Now his house was seven stories high and had seven portals; and over the fourth gateway dwelt a fairy who was a heretic. When the All-Enlightened Buddha came into the house, she could not stay in her abode on high, but came down with her children to the ground-floor; and she had to do the like whenever the Eighty Chief Elders or the other Elders came in and out. Thought she, "So long as the ascetic Gotama and his disciples keep coming into this house I can have no peace here; I can't be eternally coming downstairs to the ground floor. I must contrive to stop them from coming any more to this house." So one day, when the business manager had retired to rest, she appeared before him in visible shape.

"Who is that?" said he.

"It is I," was the reply; "the fairy who lives over the fourth gateway." "What brings you here?" "You don't see what the merchant is doing. Heedless of his own future, he is drawing upon his resources, only to enrich the ascetic Gotama. He engages in no traffic; he undertakes no business. Advise the merchant to attend to his business, and arrange that the ascetic Gotama with his disciples shall come no more into the house."

Then said he, "Foolish Fairy, if the merchant does spend his money, he spends it on the Faith of the Buddha, which leads to Salvation. Even it he were to seize me by the hair and sell me for a slave, I will say nothing. Begone!"

Another day, she went to the merchant's eldest son and gave him the same advice. And he flouted her in just the same manner. But to the merchant himself she did not so much as dare to speak on the matter.

Now by dint of unending munificence 2 and of doing no business, the merchant's incomings diminished and his estate grew less and less; so that he sank by degrees into poverty, and his table, his dress, and his bed and food were no longer what they had office been. Yet, in spite of his altered circumstances,

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be continued to entertain the Brotherhood, though he was no longer able to feast them. So one day when he had made his bow and taken his seat, the Master said to him, "Householder, are gifts being given at your house?" "Yes, sir," said he; "but there's only a little sour husk-porridge, left over from yesterday." "Be not distressed, householder, at the thought that you can only offer what is unpalatable. If the heart be good, the food given to Buddhas, Pacceka Buddhas 1, and their disciples, cannot but be good too. And why?--Because of the greatness of the fruit thereof. For he who can make his heart acceptable cannot give an unacceptable gift,--as is to be testified by the following passage:--

For, if the heart have faith, no gift is small
To Buddhas or to their disciples true.
’Tis said no service can be reckoned small
That's paid to Buddhas, lords of great renown.
Mark well what fruit rewarded that poor gift
Of pottage,--dried-up, sour, and lacking salt 2."

Also, he said this further thing, "Householder, in giving this unpalatable gift, you are giving it to those who have entered on the Noble Eightfold Path. Whereas I, when in Velāma's time I stirred up all India by giving the seven things of price, and in my largesse poured then forth as though I had made into one mighty stream the five great rivers,--I yet found none who had reached the Three Refuges or kept the Five Commandments; for rare are those who are worthy of offerings. Therefore, let not your heart be troubled by the thought that your gift is unpalatable." And so saying, he repeated the Velāmaka Sutta 3.

Now that fairy who had not dared to speak to the merchant in the days of his magnificence, thought that now he was poor he would hearken to her, and so, entering his chamber at dead of night she appeared before him in visible shape, standing in mid-air. "Who's that?" said the merchant, when he became aware of her presence. "I am the fairy, great merchant, who dwells over the fourth gateway." "What brings you here?" "To give you counsel." "Proceed, then." "Great merchant, you take no thought for your own future or for your own children. You have expended vast sums on the Faith of the ascetic Gotama; in fact, by long-continued 2 expenditure and by not undertaking new business you have been brought by the ascetic Gotama to poverty. But even in your poverty you do not shake off the ascetic Gotama! The ascetics are in and out of your house this very day just the same! What they have had of you cannot be recovered. That may be taken for certain. But henceforth don't you go yourself to the ascetic Gotama and don't let his disciples set foot inside your house. Do not even turn to look at the ascetic Gotama but attend to your trade and traffic in order to restore the family estate."

Then he said to her, "Was this the counsel you wanted to give me?"

"Yes, it was."

Said the merchant, "The mighty Lord of Wisdom has made me proof against a hundred, a thousand, yea against a hundred thousand fairies such as you are! My faith is strong and steadfast as Mount Sineru! My substance has been expended on the Faith that leads to Salvation. Wicked are your words; it is a blow aimed at the Faith of the Buddhas by you, you wicked and impudent witch. I cannot live under the same roof with you; be off at once from my house and seek shelter elsewhere!" Hearing these words of that converted man and elect disciple, she could not stay, but repairing to her dwelling, took her

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children by the hand and went forth. But though she went, she was minded, if she could not find herself a lodging elsewhere, to appease the merchant and return to dwell in his house; and in this mind she repaired to the tutelary deity of the city and with due salutation stood before him. Being asked what had brought her thither, she said, "My lord, I have been speaking imprudently to Anātha-piṇḍika, and he in his anger has turned me out of my home. Take me to him and make it up between us, so that he may let me live there again." "But what was it you said to the merchant?" "I told him for the future not to support the Buddha and the Order, and not to let the ascetic Gotama set foot again in his house. This is what I said, my lord." "Wicked were your words; it was a blow aimed at the Faith. I cannot take you with me to the merchant." Meeting with no support from him, she went to the Four Great Regents of the world. And being repulsed by them in the same manner, she went on to Sakka, king of Devas, and told him her story, beseeching him still more earnestly, as follows, "Deva, finding no shelter, I wander about homeless, leading my children by the hand. Grant me of your majesty some place wherein to dwell."

And he too said to her, "You have done wickedly; it was a blow aimed at the Conqueror's Faith. I cannot speak to the merchant on your behalf. But I can tell you one way 2 3 whereby the merchant may be led to pardon you." "Pray tell me, deva." "Men have had eighteen crores of the merchant on bonds. Take the semblance of his agent, and without telling anybody repair to their houses with the bonds, in the company of some young goblins. Stand in the middle of their houses with the bond in one hand and a receipt in the other, and terrify them with your goblin power, saying, 'Here's your acknowledgment of the debt. Our merchant did not move in the matter while he was affluent; but now he is poor, and you must pay up the money you owe.' By your goblin power obtain all those eighteen crores of gold and fill the merchant's empty treasuries. He had another treasure buried in the banks of the river Aciravatī, but when the bank was washed away, the treasure was swept into the sea. Get that back also by your supernatural power and store it in his treasuries. Further, there is another sum of eighteen crores lying unowned in such and such a place. Bring that too and pour the money into his empty treasuries. When you have atoned by the recovery of these fifty-four crores, ask the merchant to forgive you." "Very good, deva," said she. And she set to work obediently, and did just as she had been bidden. When she had recovered all the money, she went into the merchant's chamber at dead of night and appeared before him in visible shape standing in the air.

The merchant asking who was there, she replied, "It is I, great merchant, the blind and foolish fairy who lived over your fourth gateway. In the greatness of my infatuate folly I knew not the virtues of a Buddha, and so came to say what I said to you some days ago. Pardon me my fault! At the instance of Sakka, king of Devas, I have made atonement by recovering the eighteen crores owing to you, the eighteen crores which had been washed down into the sea, and another eighteen crores which were lying unowned in such and such a place,--making fifty-four crores in all, which I have poured into your empty treasure-chambers. The sum you expended on the Monastery at Jetavana is now made up again. Whilst I have nowhere to dwell, I am in misery. Bear not in mind what I did in my ignorant folly, great merchant, but pardon me."

Anātha-piṇḍika, hearing what she said, thought to himself, "She is a fairy, and she says she has atoned, and confesses her fault. The Master shall consider this and make his virtues. known to her. I will take her before the All-Enlightened Buddha." So he said, "My good fairy, if you want me to pardon you, ask me in the presence of the master." "Very good," said she, "I will. Take me along with you to the Master." "Certainly," said he. And early in the morning, when night was just passing away, he took her with him to the Master, and told the Blessed One all that she had done.

Hearing this, the Master said, "You see, householder, how the sinful man regards sin 1 2 3 as excellent before it ripens to its fruit. But when it has ripened, then he sees sin to be sin. Likewise the good man looks on his goodness

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as sin before it ripens to its fruit; but when it ripens, he sees it to be goodness." And so saying, he repeated these two stanzas from the Dhammapada:--

The sinner thinks his sinful deed is good,
So long as sin has ripened not to fruit.
But when his sin at last to ripeness grows,
The sinner surely sees "’twas sin I wrought."

The good man thinks his goodness is but sin,
So long as it has ripened not to fruit.
But when his goodness unto ripeness grows,
The good man surely sees "’twas good I wrought 1."

At the close of these stanzas that fairy was established in the Fruit of the First Path. She fell at the Wheel-marked feet of the Master, crying, "Stained as I was with passion, depraved by sin, misled by delusion, and blinded by ignorance, I spoke wickedly because I knew not your virtues. Pardon me!" Then she received pardon from the Master and from the great merchant.

At this time Anātha-piṇḍika sang his own praises in the Master's presence, saying, "Sir, though this fairy did her best to stop me from giving support to the Buddha and his following, she could not succeed; and though she tried to stop me from giving gifts, yet I gave them still! Was not this goodness on my part?"

Said the Master, "You, householder, are a converted man and an elect disciple; your faith is firm and your vision is purified. No marvel then that you were not stopped by this impotent fairy. The marvel was that the wise and good of a bygone day, when a Buddha had not appeared, and when knowledge had not ripened to its full fruit, should from the heart of a lotus-flower have given gifts, although Māra, lord of the Realm of Lusts, appeared in mid-heaven, shouting, 'If you give gifts, you shall be roasted in this hell,'--and showing them therewithal a pit eighty cubits deep, filled with red-hot embers." And so saying, at the request of Anātha-piṇḍika, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta came to life in the family of the Lord High Treasurer of Benares, and was brought up in the. lap of all luxury like a royal prince. By the time he was come to years of discretion, being barely sixteen years old, he had made himself perfect in all accomplishments. At his father's death he filled the office of Lord High Treasurer, and built six almonries, one at each of the four gates of the city, one in the centre of the city, and one at the gate of his own mansion. Very bountiful was he [232], and he kept the commandments, and observed the fast-day duties.

Now one day at breakfast-time when dainty fare of exquisite taste and variety was being brought in for the Bodhisatta, a Pacceka Buddha rising from a seven days' trance of mystic ecstasy, and noticing that it was time to go his rounds, bethought him that it would he well to visit the Treasurer of Benares that morning. So he cleaned his teeth with a tooth-stick made from the betel-vine, washed his mouth with water from Lake Anotatta, put on his under-cloth as he stood on the tableland of Manosilā, fastened on his girdle, donned his outer-cloth; and, equipped with a bowl

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which he called into being for the purpose, he passed through the air and arrived at the gate of the mansion just as the Bodhisatta's breakfast was taken in.

As soon as the Bodhisatta became aware of his presence there, he rose at once from his seat and looked at the attendant, indicating that a service was required. "What am I to do, my lord?" "Bring his reverence's bowl," said the Bodhisatta.

At that very instant Māra the Wicked rose up in a state of great excitement, saying, "It is seven days since the Pacceka Buddha had food given him; if he gets none to-day, he will perish. I will destroy him and stop the Treasurer too from giving." And that very instant he went and called into being within the mansion a pit of red-hot embers, eighty cubits deep, filled with Acacia-charcoal, all ablaze and aflame like the great hell of Avīci. When he had created this pit, Māra himself took his stand in mid-air.

When the man who was on his way to fetch the bowl became aware of this, he was terrified and started back. "What makes you start back, my man?" asked the Bodhisatta. "My lord," was the answer, "there's a great pit of red-hot embers blazing and flaming in the middle of the house." And as man after man got to the spot, they all were panic-stricken, and ran away as fast as their legs would carry them.

Thought the Bodhisatta to himself, "Māra, the Enthraller, must have been exerting himself to-day to stop me from alms-giving. I have yet to learn, however, that I am to be shaken by a hundred, or by a thousand, Maras. We will see this day whose strength is the stronger, whose might is the mightier, mine or Māra's." So taking in his own hand the bowl which stood ready, he passed out from the house, and, standing on the brink of the fiery pit, looked up to the heavens. Seeing Māra, he said, "Who are you?" "I am Māra," was the answer.

"Did you call into being this pit of red-hot embers?" "Yes, I did." 2 3 "Why?" "To stop you from alms-giving and to destroy the life of that Pacceka Buddha." "I will not permit you either to stop me from my alms-giving or to destroy the life of the Pacceka Buddha. I am going to see to-day whether your strength or mine is the greater." And still standing on the brink of that fiery pit, he cried, "Reverend Pacceka Buddha, even though I be in act to fall headlong into this pit of red-hot embers, I will not turn back. Only vouchsafe to take the food I bring." And so saying he repeated this stanza:--

Far rather will I headlong plunge amain
Full in this gulf of hell, than stoop to shame!
Vouchsafe, sir, at my hands to take this alms!

With these words the Bodhisatta, grasping the bowl of food, strode on with undaunted resolution right on to the surface of the pit of fire. But

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even as he did so, there rose up to the surface through all the eighty cubits of the pit's depth a large and peerless lotus-flower, which received the feet of the Bodhisatta! And from it there came a measure of pollen which fell on the head of the Great Being, so that his whole body was as it were sprinkled from head to foot with dust of gold! Standing right in the heart of the lotus, he poured the dainty food into the bowl of the Pacceka Buddha.

And when the latter had taken the food and returned thanks, he flung his bowl aloft into the heavens, and right in the sight of all the people he himself rose bodily into the air likewise, and passed away to the Himalayas again, seeming to tread a track formed of clouds fantastically shaped.

And Māra, too, defeated and dejected, passed away back to his own abode.

But the Bodhisatta, still standing in the lotus, preached 2 3 4 the Truth to the people, extolling alms-giving and the commandments; after which, girt round by the escorting multitude, he passed into his own mansion once more. And all his life long he shewed charity and did other good works, till in the end he passed away to fare according to his deserts.

_____________________________

Said the Master, "It was no marvel, layman, that you, with your discernment of the truth, were not overcome now by the fairy; the real marvel was what the wise and good did in bygone days." His lesson ended, the Master shewed the connexion, and identified the Birth by saying, "The Pacceka Buddha of those days passed away, never to be born again. I was myself the Treasurer of Benares who, defeating Māra, and standing in the heart of the lotus, placed alms in the bowl of the Pacceka Buddha."

[Note. See Giles, 'Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio,' I. 396.]


Footnotes

101:1 All Buddhas have attained to complete illumination; but a Pacceka Buddha keeps his knowledge to himself and, unlike a 'Perfect Buddha,' does not preach the saving truth to his fellowmen.

101:2 The first two lines are from the Vimāna-vatthu, page 44.

101:3 This Sutta is referred to at page 234 of the Sumaṅgala-Vilāsinī, but is otherwise unknown as yet to European scholars.

103:1 The verses are Nos. 119 and 120 in the Dhammapada.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 41. Losaka-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 41.

LOSAKA-JĀTAKA.

"The headstrong man."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana about the Elder Losaka Tissa.

'Who,' you ask, 'was this Elder Losaka Tissa?' Well; his father was a fisherman in Kosala, and he was the bane of his family; and, when a Brother, never had anything given to him. His previous existence ended, he had been conceived by a certain fisherman's wife in a fishing-village of a thousand families in Kosala. And on the day he was conceived all those thousand families, net in hand, went fishing in river and pool but failed to catch one single fish; and

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the like bad fortune dogged them from that day forward. Also, before his birth, the village was destroyed seven times by fire, and visited seven times by the king's vengeance. So in time it came to pass that the people fell into a wretched plight. Reflecting that such had not been their lot in former clays, but that now they were going to rack and ruin, they concluded that there must be some breeder of misfortune among them, and resolved to divide into two bands. This they did; and there were then two bands of five hundred families each. Thence-forward, ruin dogged the band which included the parents of the future Losaka, whilst the other five hundred families throve apace. So the former resolved to go on halving their numbers, and did so, until this one family was parted from all the rest. Then they knew that the breeder of misfortune was in that family, and with blows drove them away. 2 3 5 With difficulty could his mother get a livelihood; but, when her time was come, she gave birth to her son in a certain place. (He that is born into his last existence cannot be killed. For like a lamp within a jar, even so securely within his breast burns the flame of his destiny to become an Arahat.) The mother took care of the child till he could run about, and when he could run about then she put a potsherd in his hands, and, bidding him go into a house to beg, ran away. Thenceforward, the solitary child used to beg his food thereabouts and sleep where he could. He was unwashed and unkempt, and made a living after the fashion of a mud-eating goblin 1. When he was seven years old, he was picking. up and eating, like a crow, lump by lump, any rice he could find outside a house door where they flung away the rinsings of the rice-pots.

Sāriputta, Captain of the Faith, going into Sāvatthi on his round for alms, noticed the child, and, wondering what village the hapless creature came from, was filled with love for him and called out "Come here." The child came, bowed to the Elder, and stood before him. Then said Sāriputta, "What village do you belong to, and where are your parents?"

"I am destitute, sir," said the child; "for my parents said they were tired out, and so forsook me, and went away."

"Would you like to become a Brother?" "Indeed I should, sir; but who would receive a poor wretch like me into the Order?" "I will." "Then, pray let me become a Brother."

The Elder gave the child a meal and took him to the monastery, washed, him with his own hands, and admitted him a Novice first and a full Brother afterwards, when he was old enough. In his old age he was known as Elder Losaka Tissa; he was always unlucky 2, and but little was given to him. The story goes that, no matter how lavish the charity, he never got enough to eat, but only just enough to keep himself alive. A single ladle of rice seemed to fill his alms-bowl to the brim, so that the charitable thought his bowl was full and bestowed the rest of their rice on the next. When rice was being put into his bowl, it is said that the rice in the giver's dish used to vanish away. And so with every kind of food. Even when, as time went by, he had developed Discernment and so won the highest Fruit which is Arahatship, he still got but little.

In the fullness of time, when the materials which determined his separate existence 3 were outworn, the day came for him to pass away. And the Captain

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of the Faith, as he meditated, had knowledge of this, and thought to himself, 'Losaka Tissa will pass away to-day; and to-day at any rate I will see that he has enough to eat.' So he took the Elder and came to Sāvatthi for alms. But, because Losaka was with him, it was all in vain that Sāriputta held out his hand for alms in populous Sāvatthi; not so much as a bow was vouchsafed him. So he bade the Elder go back and seat himself in the sitting-hall of the Monastery, and collected food which he sent with a message 2 3 6 that it was to be given to Losaka. Those to whom he gave it took the food and went their way, but, forgetting all about Losaka, ate it themselves. So when Sāriputta rose up, and was entering the monastery, Losaka came to him and saluted him. Sāriputta stopped, and turning round said, "Well, did you get the food, brother?"

"I shall, no doubt, get it in good time," said the Elder. Sāriputta was greatly troubled, and looked to see what hour it was. But noon was passed 1. "Stay here, Brother," said Sāriputta; "and do not move"; and he made Losaka Tissa sit down in the sitting-hall, and set out for the palace of the king of Kosala. The king bade his bowl be taken, and saying that it was past noon and therefore not the time to eat rice, ordered his bowl to be filled with the four sweet kinds of food 2. With this he returned, and stood before him, bowl in hand, bidding the sage eat. But the Elder was ashamed, because of the reverence he had towards Sāriputta, and would not eat. "Come, brother Tissa," said Sāriputta, "’tis I must stand with the bowl; sit you down and eat. If the bowl left my hand, everything in it would vanish away."

So the venerable Elder Losaka Tissa ate the sweets, whilst the exalted Captain of the Faith stood holding the bowl; and thanks to the latter's merits and efficacy the food did not vanish. So the Elder Losaka Tissa ate as much as he wanted and was satisfied, and that selfsame day passed away by that death whereby existence ceases for ever.

The All-Enlightened Buddha stood by, and saw the body burned; and they built a shrine for the collected ashes.

Seated in conclave in the Hall of Truth, the Brethren said, "Brethren, Losaka was unlucky, and little was given to him. How came he with his unluck and his neediness to win the glory of Arahatship?"

Entering the Hall, the Master asked what they were talking about; and they told him. "Brethren," said he, "this Brother's own actions were the cause both of his receiving so little, and of his becoming an Arahat. In bygone days he had prevented others from receiving, and that is why he received so little himself. But it was by his meditating on sorrow, transitoriness, and the absence of an abiding principle in things, that he won Arahatship for himself." And so saying, he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

Once upon a time, in the days of the Buddha Kassapa, there was a Brother who lived the village life and was maintained by a country squire. He was regular in his conduct as a Brother 3, virtuous in his life, and was filled to overflowing with insight. There was also an Elder, an Arahat, who lived with his fellows on terms of equality, and at the time of the story paid a first visit to the village where lived the squire who supported

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this Brother. So pleased was the squire 2 3 with the very demeanour of the Elder that, taking his bowl, he led him into the house and with every mark of respect invited him to eat. Then he listened to a short discourse by the Elder, and at its close said, with a bow, "Sir, pray do not journey further than our monastery close by; in the evening I will come and call upon you there." So the Elder went to the monastery, saluting the resident Brother on his entrance; and, first courteously asking leave, took a seat by his side. The Brother received him with all friendliness, and asked whether any food had been given him as alms.

"Oh yes," replied the Elder. "Where, pray?" "Why, in your village close by, at the squire's house." And so saying, the Elder asked to be shewn his cell and made it ready. Then laying aside his bowl and robe, and seating himself, he became absorbed in blissful Insight and enjoyed the bliss of the Fruits of the Paths.

In the evening came the squire, with servants carrying flowers and perfumes and lamps and oil. Saluting the resident Brother, he asked whether a guest had appeared, an Elder. Being told that he had, the squire asked where he was and learned which cell had been given him. Then the squire went to the Elder and, first bowing courteously, seated himself by the Elder's side and listened to a discourse. In the cool of the evening the squire made his offerings at the Tope and Bo-Tree, lit his lamp, and departed with an invitation to both Elder and Brother to come up to his house next day for their meal.

"I'm losing my hold on the squire," thought the Brother. "If this Elder stops, I shall count for nothing with him." So he was discontented and fell a-scheming how to make the Elder see that he must not settle down there for good. Accordingly, when the Elder came to pay his respects in the early morning, the Brother did not open his lips. The Arahat read the other's thoughts and said to himself, "This Brother knows not that I shall never stand in his light either with the family that supports him or with his Brotherhood." And going back to his cell, he became absorbed in the bliss of Insight, and in the bliss of the Fruits.

Next day, the resident Brother, having first knocked gingerly on the gong 1, and having tapped on the gong with the back of his nail, went off alone to the squire's house. Taking from him his alms-bowl, the squire bade him be seated and asked where the stranger was.

"I know no news of your friend," said the Brother. "Though I knocked on the gong and tapped at his door, I couldn't wake him. I can

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only presume that his dainty fare 2 3 here yesterday has disagreed with him and that he is still a-bed in consequence. Possibly such doings may commend themselves to you."

(Meantime the Arahat, who had waited till the time came to go his round for alms, had washed and dressed and risen with bowl and robe in the air and gone elsewhere.)

The squire gave the Brother rice and milk to eat, with ghee and sugar and honey in it. Then he had his bowl scoured with perfumed chunam powder and filled afresh, saying, "Sir, the Elder must be fatigued with his journey; take him this." Without demur the Brother took the food and went his way, thinking to himself, "If our friend once gets a taste of this, taking him by the throat and kicking him out of doors won't get rid of him. But how can I get rid of it? If I give it away to a human being, it will be known. If I throw it into the water, the ghee will float on top. And as for throwing it away on the ground, that will only bring all the crows of the district flocking to the spot." In his perplexity his eye fell on a field that had been fired, and, scraping out the embers, he flung the contents of his bowl into the hole, filled in the embers on the top, and went off home. Not finding the Elder there, he thought that the Arahat had understood his jealousy and departed. "Woe is me," he cried, "for my greed has made me to sin."

And thenceforth sore affliction befell him and he became like a living ghost. Dying soon after, he was re-born in hell and there was tormented for hundreds of thousands of years. By reason of his ripening sin, in five hundred successive births he was an ogre and never had enough to eat, except one day when he enjoyed a surfeit of offal. Next, for five hundred more existences he was a dog, and here too, only on one single day had his fill--of a vomit of rice; on no other occasion did he have enough to eat. Even when he ceased to be a dog, he was only born into a beggar family in a Kāsi village. From the hour of his birth, that family became still more beggared, and he never got half as much water-gruel as he wanted. And he was called Mitta-vindaka [239].

Unable at last to endure the pangs of hunger 1 that now beset them, his father and mother beat him and drove him away, crying, "Begone, you curse!"

In the course of his wanderings, the little outcast came to Benares, where in those days the Bodhisatta was a teacher of world-wide fame with five hundred young Brahmins to teach. In those times the Benares folk used to give day by day commons of food to poor lads and had them taught free, and so this Mitta-vindaka also became a charity scholar under the Bodhisatta. But he was fierce and intractable, always fighting with his fellows

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and heedless of his master's reproofs; and so the Bodhisatta's fees fell off. And as he quarrelled so, and would not brook reproof, the youth ended by running away, and came to a border-village where he hired himself out for a living, and married a miserably poor woman by whom he had two children. Later, the villagers paid him to teach them what was true doctrine and what was false, and gave him a hut to live in at the entrance to their village. But, all because of Mitta-vindaka's coming to live among them, the king's vengeance fell seven times ou those villagers, and seven times were their homes burned to the ground; seven times too did their water-tank dry up.

Then they considered the matter and agreed that it was not so with them before Mitta-vindaka's coming, but that ever since he came they had been going from bad to worse. So with blows they drove him from their village; and forth he went with his family, and came to a haunted forest. And there the demons killed and ate his wife and children. Fleeing thence, he came after many wanderings to a village on the coast called Gambhīra, arriving on a day when a ship was putting to sea; and he hired himself for service aboard. For a week the ship held on her way, but on the seventh day she came to a complete standstill in mid-ocean, as though she had run upon a rock. Then they cast lots, in order to rid them of their bane; and seven times the lot fell on Mitta-vindaka. So they gave him a raft of bamboos, and laying hold of him, cast him over-board. And forthwith the ship made way again [240].

Mitta-vindaka clambered on to his bamboos and floated on the waves. Thanks to his having obeyed the commandments in the times of the Buddha Kassapa, he found in mid-ocean four daughters of the gods dwelling in a palace of crystal, with whom he dwelt happily for seven days. Now palace-ghosts enjoy happiness only for seven days at a time; and so, when the seventh day came and they had to depart to their punishment, they left him with an injunction to await their return. But no sooner were they departed, than Mitta-vindaka put off on his raft again and came to where eight daughters of the gods dwelt in a palace of silver. Leaving them in turn, he came to where sixteen daughters of the gods dwelt in a palace of jewels, and thereafter to where thirty-two dwelt in a palace of gold. Paying no regard to their words, again he sailed away and came to a city of ogres, set among islands. And there an ogress was ranging about in the shape of a goat. Not knowing that she was an ogress, Mitta-vindaka thought to make a meal off the goat, and seized hold of the creature by the leg. Straightway, by virtue of her demon-nature, she hurled him up and away over the ocean, and plump he fell in a thorn-brake on the slopes of the dry moat of Benares, and thence rolled to earth.

Now it chanced that at that time thieves used to frequent that moat

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and kill the King's goats; and the goatherds had bidden themselves hard by to catch the rascals.

Mitta-vindaka picked himself up and saw the goats. Thought he to himself, "Well, it was a goat in an island in the ocean that, being seized by the leg, hurled me here over seas. Perhaps, if I do the same by one of these goats, I may get hurled back again to where the daughters of the gods dwell in their ocean palaces." So, without thinking, he seized one of the goats by the leg. At once the goat began to bleat, and the goatherds came running up from every side. They laid hold of him at once, crying, "This is the thief that has so long lived on the King's goats." And they, beat him and began to haul him away in bonds to the King.

Just at that time the Bodhisatta, with his five hundred young Brahmins round him, was coming out of the city to bathe. Seeing and recognising Mitta-vindaka, he said to the goatherds, "Why, this is a pupil of mine, my good men; what have you seized him for?" "Master," said they, "we caught this thief in the act of seizing a goat by the lag, and that's why we've got hold of him." "Well," 1 2 4 said the Bodhisatta, "suppose you hand him over to us to live with us as our slave." "All right, sir," replied the men, and letting their prisoner go, they went their way. Then the Bodhisatta asked Mitta-vindaka where he had been all that long time; and Mitta-vindaka told him all that he had done.

"’Tis through not hearkening to those who wished him well," said the Bodhisatta, "that he has suffered all these misfortunes." And he recited this stanza:--

The headstrong man who, when exhorted, pays
No heed to friends who kindly counsel give,
Shall come to certain harm,--like Mittaka,
When by the leg he seized the grazing goat.

And in those times both that Teacher and Mitta-vindaka passed away, and their after-lot was according to their deeds.

_____________________________

Said the Master, "This Losaka was himself the cause both of his getting little and of his getting Arahatship." His lesson ended, he shewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying, "The Elder Losaka Tissa was the Mitta-vindaka of those days, and I the Teacher of world-wide fame 1."


Footnotes

106:1 On the authority of Subhūti, paṁsu-pisācakā are said to form the fourth class of Petas (pretas) or 'ghosts' (who were cursed at once with cavernous maws and with mouths no bigger than a needle's eye, so that their voracity was never satisfied even in their customary coprophagic state). But neither Hardy's Manual of Buddhism (p. 58) nor the Milinda (p. 294) mentions paṁsu-pisācakā as one of the four classes of Petas.

106:2 Reading nippuñño instead of nippañño. See Ceylon R. A. S. Journal, 1884, p. 158; and compare apuñño on p. 236, line 20 of the Pāli original.

106:3 As protoplasm is 'the physical basis of life,' so āyu-saṁkhārā are its moral basis according to Buddhist ideas. This Lebensstoff it is the aim of Buddhism to uproot, so that there may be no re-birth.

107:1 i.e. no more rice could be eaten that day. If a shadow of a finger's breadth is cast by an upright stick, a strict Brother will not eat rice and like foods.

107:2 Honey, ghee, butter, and sugar.

107:3 Pakatatto is explained by Rhys Davids and Oldenberg in the note to page 340 of Vol. aura. of the Sacred Books of the East as meaning a Brother "who has not made himself liable to any disciplinary proceeding, has committed no irregularity."

108:1 For gaṇḍi meaning 'a gong,' cf. Jāt. iv. 306; but see note p. 213 of Vol. XX. of S. B. E. It is doubtful what kapiṭṭhena can mean. Can the true reading be (punadivase) nakhapiṭṭhena, i.e. 'with the back of his nail'? The resident Brother's object was to go through the form of waking the guest without disturbing his slumbers.

109:1 Reading chātakadukkham for Fausböll's jātakadukkham.

111:1 Compare Nos. 82, 104, 369, 439, Petavatthu No. 43, Avadāna-Ṣataka No. 50, J. As. 1878, and Ind. Antiq. x. 293. A dubious attempt to trace in the wanderings of Mittavinda the germ of part of the wanderings of Ulysses, has been made by the Bishop of Colombo in the Ceylon R. A. S. Journal, 1884.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 42. Kapota-Jātaka



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p. 112

No. 42.

KAPOTA-JĀTAKA.

"The headstrong man."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a certain greedy Brother. His greediness will be related in the Ninth Book in the Kāka-Jātaka 1.

But on this occasion the Brethren told the Master, saying, "Sir, this Brother is greedy."

Said the Master, "Is it true 2 4 as they say, Brother, that you are greedy?" "Yes, sir," was the reply.

"So too in bygone days, Brother, you were greedy, and by reason of your greediness lost your life; also you caused the wise and good to lose their home." And so saying he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born a pigeon. Now the Benares folk of those days, as an act of goodness, used to hang up straw-baskets in divers places for the shelter and comfort of the birds; and the cook of the Lord High Treasurer of Benares hung up one of these baskets in his kitchen. In this basket the Bodhisatta took up his abode, sallying out at daybreak in quest of food, and returning home in the evening; and so he lived his life.

But one day a crow, flying over the kitchen, snuffed up the goodly savour from the salt and fresh fish and meat there, and was filled with longing to taste it. Casting about how to have his will, he perched hard by, and at evening saw the Bodhisatta come home and go into the kitchen. "Ah!" thought he, "I can manage it through the pigeon."

So back he came next day at dawn, and, when the Bodhisatta sallied out in quest of food, kept following him about from place to place like his shadow. So the Bodhisatta said, "Why do you keep with me, friend?"

"My lord," answered the crow, "your demeanour has won my admiration; and henceforth it is my wish to follow you." "But your kind of food and mine, friend, is not the same," said the Bodhisatta; "you will be hard put to it if you attach yourself to me." "My lord," said the crow, "when you are seeking your food, I will feed too, by your side." "So be it, then," said the Bodhisatta; "only you must be earnest." And with this admonition to the crow, the Bodhisatta ranged about pecking up grass-seeds; whilst the other went about turning over cowdung and picking

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out the insects underneath till he had got his fill. Then back he came to the Bodhisatta and remarked, "My lord, you give too much time to eating; excess therein should be shunned."

And when the Bodhisatta had fed and reached home again at evening, in flew the crow with him into the kitchen [243].

"Why, our bird has brought another home with him;" exclaimed the cook, and hung up a second basket for the crow. And from that time onward the two birds dwelt together in the kitchen.

Now one day the Lord High Treasurer had in a store of fish which the cook hung up about the kitchen. Filled with greedy longing at the sight, the crow made up his mind to stay at home next day and treat himself to this excellent fare.

So all the night long he lay groaning away; and next day, when the Bodhisatta was starting in search of food, and cried, "Come along, friend crow," the crow replied, "Go without me, my lord; for I have a pain in my stomach." "Friend," answered the Bodhisatta, "I never heard of crows having pains in their stomachs before. True, crows feel faint in each of the three night-watches; but if they eat a lamp-wick, their hunger is appeased for the moment 1. You must be hankering after the fish in the kitchen here. Come now, man's food will not agree with you. Do not give way like this, but come and seek your food with me." "Indeed, I am not able, my lord," said the crow. "Well, your own conduct will show," said the Bodhisatta. "Only fall not a prey to greed, but stand steadfast." And with this exhortation, away he flew to find his daily food.

The cook took several kinds of fish, and dressed some one way, some another. Then lifting the lids off his saucepans a little to let the steam out, he put a colander on the top of one and went outside the door, where he stood wiping the sweat from his brow. Just at that moment out popped the crow's head from the basket. A glance told him that the cook was away, and, "Now or never," thought he, "is my time. The only question is shall I choose minced meat or a big lump?" Arguing that it takes a long time to make a full meal of minced meat, he resolved to take a large piece of fish and sit and eat it in his basket. So out he flew and alighted on the colander. "Click" went the colander.

"What can that be?" said the cook, running in on hearing the noise. Seeing the crow, he cried, "Oh, there's that rascally crow wanting to eat my master's dinner. I have to work for my master, not for that rascal! What's he to me, I should like to know?" So, first shutting the door, he caught the crow and plucked every feather 2 4 off his body. Then, he pounded up ginger with salt and cumin, and mixed in sour butter-milk--finally sousing the crow in the pickle and flinging him back into his

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basket. And there the crow lay groaning, overcome by the agony of his pain.

At evening the Bodhisatta came back, and saw the wretched plight of the crow. "Ah! greedy crow," he exclaimed, "you would not heed my words, and now your own greed has worked you woe." So saying, he repeated this stanza:--

The headstrong man who, when exhorted, pays
No heed to friends who kindly counsel give,
Shall surely perish, like the greedy crow,
Who laughed to scorn the pigeon's warning words.

Then, exclaiming "I too can no longer dwell here," the Bodhisatta flew away. But the crow died there and then, and the cook flung him, basket and all, on the dust-heap.

_____________________________

Said the Master, "You were greedy, Brother, in bygone times, just as you are now; and all because of your greediness the wise and good of those days had to abandon their homes." Having ended this lesson, the Master preached the Four Truths, at the close whereof that Brother won the Fruit of the Second Path. Then the Master shewed the connexion and identified the Birth as follows:--"The greedy Brother was the crow of those times, and I the pigeon."


Footnotes

112:1 This is an inadvertence of the compiler. There is no Kāka-jātaka in the 9th book, though there is in the 6th (No. 395), where it is stated that 'the Introductory Story has already been related.' See Nos. 274 and 375.

113:1 Cf. Vol. II. p. 262.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 43. Veḷuka-Jātaka



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No. 43.

VEḶUKA-JĀTAKA.

"The headstrong man."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a certain headstrong Brother. For the Blessed One asked him whether the report was true that he was headstrong, and the Brother admitted that it was. "Brother," said the Master, "this is not the first time you have been headstrong: you were just as headstrong in former days. also, 2 4 5 and, as the result of your headstrong refusal to follow the advice of the wise and good, you met your end by the bite of a snake." And so saying, he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born into a wealthy family in the Kingdom of Kāsi. Having come to years of discretion, he saw how from passion springs pain and how true bliss comes by the abandonment of passion. So he put lusts from him, and going forth to the Himalayas became a hermit, winning by fulfilment of the ordained mystic meditations the five orders of the

p. 115

[paragraph continues] Higher Knowledge and the eight Attainments. And as he lived his life in the rapture of Insight, he came in after times to have a large following of five hundred hermits, whose teacher he was.

Now one day a young poisonous viper, wandering about as vipers do, came to the hut of one of the hermits; and that Brother grew as fond of the creature as if it were his own child, housing it in a joint of bamboo and shewing kindness to it. And because it was lodged in a joint of bamboo, the viper was known by the name of "Bamboo." Moreover, because the hermit was as fond of the viper as if, it were his own child, they called him "Bamboo's Father."

Hearing that one of the Brethren was keeping a viper, the Bodhisatta sent for that Brother and asked whether the report was true. When told that it was true, the Bodhisatta said, "A viper can never be trusted; keep it no longer."

"But," urged the Brother, "my viper is dear to me as a pupil to a teacher;--I could not live without him." "Well then," answered the Bodhisatta, "know that this very snake will lose you your life." But heedless of the master's warning, that Brother still kept the pet he could not bear to part with. Only a very few days later all the Brethren went out to gather fruits, and coming to a spot where all kinds grew in plenty, they stayed there two or three days. With them went "Bamboo's Father," leaving his viper behind in its bamboo prison. Two or three days afterwards, when he came back, he bethought him of feeding the creature, and, opening the cane, stretched out his hand, saying, "Come, my son; you must be hungry." But angry with its long fast, the viper bit his outstretched hand, killing him on the spot, and made its escape into the forest.

Seeing him lying there dead, the Brethren came and told the Bodhisatta [246], who bade the body be burned. Then, seated in their midst, he exhorted the Brethren by repeating this stanza:--

The headstrong man, who, when exhorted, pays
No heed to friends who kindly counsel give,--
Like 'Bamboo's father,' shall be brought to nought.

Thus did the Bodhisatta exhort his followers; and he developed within himself the four Noble States, and at his death was re-born into the Brahma Realm.

_____________________________

Said the Master, "Brother, this is not the first time you have shewn yourself headstrong; you were no less headstrong in times gone by, and thereby met your death from a viper's bite." Having ended his lesson, the Master shewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying, "In those days, this headstrong Brother was 'Bamboo's Father,' my disciples were the band of disciples, and I myself their teacher."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 44. Makasa-Jātaka



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p. 116

No. 44.

MAKASA-JĀTAKA.

"Sense-lacking friends."--This story was told by the Master whilst on an alms-pilgrimage in Magadha, about some stupid villagers in a certain hamlet. Tradition says that, after travelling from Sāvatthi to the kingdom of Magadha, he was on his round in that kingdom when he arrived at a certain hamlet, which was thronged with fools. In this hamlet these fools met together one day, and debated together, saying, "Friends, when we are at work in the jungle, the mosquitos devour us; and that hinders our work. Let us, arming ourselves with bows and weapons, go to war with the mosquitos and shoot or hew them all to death." So off to the jungle they went, and shouting, "Shoot down the mosquitos," shot and struck one another, till they were in a sad state and returned only to sink on the ground in or within the village or at its entrance.

Surrounded by the Order of the Brethren, the Master came in quest of alms to that village. The sensible minority among the inhabitants no sooner saw the Blessed One, than they erected a pavilion at the entrance to their village and, after bestowing large alms on the 2 4 Brotherhood with the Buddha at its head, bowed to the Master and seated themselves. Observing wounded men lying around on this side and on that, the Master asked those lay-brothers, saying, "There are numbers of disabled men about; what has happened to them?" "Sir," was the reply, "they went forth to war with the mosquitos, but only shot one another and so disabled themselves." Said the Master, "This is not the first time that these foolish people have dealt out blows to themselves instead of to the mosquitos they meant to kill; in former times, also, there were those who, meaning to hit a mosquito, hit a fellow-creature instead." And so saying, at those villagers' request he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta gained his livelihood as a trader. In those days in a border-village in Kāsi there dwelt a number of carpenters. And it chanced that one of them, a bald grey-haired man, was planing away at some wood, with his head glistening like a copper bowl, when a mosquito settled on his scalp and stung him with its dart-like sting.

Said the carpenter to his sow, who was seated hard by,--"My boy, there's a mosquito stinging me on the head; do drive it away." "Hold still then, father," said the son; "one blow will settle it."

(At that very time the Bodhisatta had reached that village in the way of trade, and was sitting in the carpenter's shop.)

"Rid me of it," cried the father. "All right, father," answered the son, who was behind the old man's back, and, raising a sharp axe on high with intent to kill only the mosquito, he cleft--his father's head in twain. So the old man fell dead on the spot.

Thought the Bodhisatta, who had been an eye-witness of the whole scene,--"Better than such a friend is an enemy with sense, whom fear

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of men's vengeance will deter from killing a man." And he recited these lines:--

Sense-lacking friends are worse than foes with sense;
Witness the son that sought the gnat to slay,
But cleft, poor fool, his father's skull in twain. [248]

So saying, the Bodhisatta rose up and departed, passing away in after days to fare according to his deserts. And as for the carpenter, his body was burned by his kinsfolk.

_____________________________

"Thus, lay brethren," said the Master, "in bygone times also there were those who, seeking to hit a mosquito, struck down a fellow-creature." This lesson ended, he shewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying, "In those days I was myself the wise and good trader who departed after repeating the stanza."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 45. Rohiṇī-Jātaka



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No. 45.

ROHIṆĪ-JĀTAKA.

"Sense-lacking friends."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a maid servant of the Lord High Treasurer, Anātha-piṇḍika. For he is said to have had a maid-servant named Rohiṇī, whose aged mother came to where the girl was pounding rice, and lay down. The flies came round the old woman and stung her as with a needle, so she cried to her daughter, "The flies are stinging me, my dear; do drive them away." "Oh! I'll drive them away, mother," said the girl, lifting her pestle to the flies which had settled on her mother. Then, crying, "I'll kill them!", she smote her mother such a blow as to kill the old woman outright. Seeing what she had done the girl began to weep and cry, "Oh! mother, mother!"

The news was brought to the Lord High Treasurer, who, after having the body burnt, went his way to the Monastery, and told the Master what had happened. "This is not the first time, layman," said the Master, "that in Rohiṇī's anxiety to kill the flies on her mother, she has struck her mother dead with a pestle; she did precisely the same in times past." Then at Anātha-piṇḍika's request, he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

Once upon a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born the son of the Lord High Treasurer, and came to be Lord High Treasurer himself at his father's death. And he, too, had a maid-servant whose name was Rohiṇī. And her mother, in like manner, went to where the daughter was pounding rice, and lay down, and called

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out, 'Do drive these flies off me, my dear,' and in just the same way she struck her mother with a pestle, and killed her, and began to weep.

Hearing of what had happened, 2 4 the Bodhisatta reflected: 'Here, in this world, even an enemy, with sense, would be preferable,' and recited these lines:--

Sense-lacking friends are worse than foes with sense,
Witness the girl whose reckless hand laid low
Her mother, whom she now laments in vain.

In these lines in praise of the wise, did the Bodhisatta preach the Truth.

_____________________________

"This is not the first time, layman," said the Master, "that in Rohiṇī's anxiety to kill flies she has killed her own mother instead." This lesson ended, he shewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying:--"The mother and daughter of to-day were also mother and daughter of those bygone times, and I myself the Lord High Treasurer."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 46. Ārāmadūsaka-Jātaka



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No. 46.

ĀRĀMADŪSAKA-JĀTAKA.

"’Tis knowledge."--This story was told by the Master in a certain hamlet of Kosala about one who spoiled a pleasaunce.

Tradition says that, in the course of an alms-journey among the people of Kosala, the Master came to a certain hamlet. A squire of the place invited the Buddha to take the mid-day meal at his house, and had his guest seated in the pleasaunce, where he shewed hospitality to the Brotherhood with the Buddha at its head, and courteously gave them leave to stroll at will about his grounds. So the Brethren rose up and walked about the grounds with the gardener. Ob-serving in their walk a bare space, they said to the gardener, "Lay-disciple, elsewhere in the pleasaunce there is abundant shade; but here there's neither tree nor shrub. How comes this?"

"Sirs," replied the man, "when these grounds were being laid out, a village lad, who was doing the watering, pulled up all the young trees hereabouts and then gave them much or little 2 5 water according to the size of their roots. So the young trees withered and died off; and that is why this space is bare."

Drawing near to the Master, the Brethren told him this. "Yes, Brethren," said he, "this is not the first time that village lad has spoiled a pleasaunce; he did precisely the same in bygone times also." And so saying, he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was king of Benares, a festival was proclaimed in the city; and at the first summoning notes of the festal drum out poured the townsfolk to keep holiday.

p. 119

Now in those days, a tribe of monkeys was living in the king's pleasaunce; and the king's gardener thought to himself, "They 're holiday-making up in the city. I'll get the monkeys to do the watering for me, and be off to enjoy myself with the rest." So saying, he went to the king of the monkeys, and, first dwelling on the benefits his majesty and his subjects enjoyed from residence in the pleasaunce in the way of flowers and fruit and young shoots to eat, ended by saying, "To-day there's holiday-making up in the city, and I'm off to enjoy myself. Couldn't you water the young trees while I'm away?"

"Oh! yes," said the monkey.

"Only mind you do," said the gardener; and off he went, giving the monkeys the water-skins and wooden watering-pots to do the work with.

Then the monkeys took the water-skins and watering pots, and fell to watering the young trees. "But we must mind not to waste the water," observed their king; "as you water, first pull each young tree up and look at the size of its roots. Then give plenty of water to those whose roots strike deep, but only a little to those with tiny roots. When this water is all gone, we shall be hard put to it to get more."

"To be sure," said the other monkeys, and did as he bade them.

At this juncture a certain wise man, seeing the monkeys thus engaged, asked them why they pulled up tree after tree and watered them according to the size of their roots.

"Because such are our king's commands," answered the monkeys.

Their reply moved the wise man to reflect how, with every desire to do good, the ignorant and foolish only succeed in doing harm. And he recited this stanza: [251]

’Tis knowledge crowns endeavour with success,
For fools are thwarted by their foolishness,
--Witness the ape that killed the garden trees.

With this rebuke to the king of the monkeys, the wise man departed with his followers from the pleasaunce.

_____________________________

Said the Master, "This is not the first time, Brethren, that this village lad has spoiled pleasaunces; he was just the same in bygone times also." His lesson ended, he shewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying, "The village lad who spoiled this pleasaunce was the king of the monkeys in those days, and I was myself the wise and good man."

[Note. Cf. Nos. 268 and 271; and see the scene sculptured in the Stūpa of Bharhut, Plate xlv, 5.]


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 47. Vāruṇi-Jātaka



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p. 120

No. 47.

VĀRUṆI-JĀTAKA.

"’Tis knowledge."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana about one who spoiled spirits.. Tradition says that Anātha-piṇḍika had a friend who kept a tavern. This friend got ready a supply of strong spirits which he sold for gold and for silver 1, and his tavern was crowded. He gave orders to his apprentice to sell for cash only, and went off himself to bathe. This apprentice, while serving out the grog to his customers, observed them sending out for salt and jagghery and eating it as a whet. Thought he to himself; "There can't be any salt in our liquor; I'll put some in." So he put a pound of salt in a bowl of grog, and served it out to the customers. And they no sooner took a mouthful, than they spat it out again, saying, "What have you been up to?" "I saw you sending for salt after drinking our liquor, so I mixed some salt in." "And that's how you've spoilt good liquor, you booby," cried the customers, and with abuse they got up one after another and flung out of the tavern. When the keeper of the tavern came home, and did not see 2 5 a single customer about, he asked where they had all got to. So the apprentice told him what had happened. Rating him for his folly, the man went off and told Anātha-piṇḍika. And the latter, thinking the story a good one to tell, repaired to Jetavana, where after due obeisance he told the Master all about it.

"This is not the first time, layman," said the Master, "that this apprentice has spoiled spirits. He did just the same once before." Then at Anātha-piṇḍika's request, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was the Treasurer of Benares, and had a tavern-keeper who lived under his protection. This man having got ready a supply of strong spirits, which he left his apprentice 2 to sell while he himself went off to bathe, during his absence his apprentice mixed salt with the liquor, and spoiled it just in the same way. When on his return the young man's guide and master 2 came to know what had been done, he told the story to the Treasurer. 'Truly,' said the latter, the ignorant and foolish, with every desire to do good, only succeed in doing harm.' And he recited this stanza:--

’Tis knowledge crowns endeavour with success;
For fools are thwarted by their foolishness,
-Witness Koṇḍañña's salted bowl of grog.

In these lines the Bodhisatta taught the truth.

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Said the Master, "Layman, this same person spoiled spirits in the past as now." Then he shewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying, "He who spoiled the spirits now was also the spoiler of the spirits in those bygone days, and I myself was then the Treasurer of Benares."


Footnotes

120:1 Apparently regarded as a 'Jewish' proceeding, as opposed to normal barter.

120:2 With a dry humour, the Pāli applies to the publican and his apprentice the terms normally applied to a religious teacher and his pupil.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 48. Vedabbha-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 48.

VEDABBHA-JĀTAKA.

"Misguided effort."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a self-willed Brother. Said the Master to that Brother, "This is not the first time, Brother, that you have been self-willed; you were of just the same disposition in bygone times also [253]; and therefore it was that, as you would not follow the advice of the wise and good, you came to be cut in two by a sharp sword and were flung on the highway; and you were the sole cause why a thousand men met their end." And so saying, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, there was a brahmin in a village who knew the charm called Vedabbha. Now this charm, so they say, was precious beyond all price. For, if at a certain conjunction of the planets the charm was repeated and the gaze bent upwards to the skies, straightway from the heavens there rained the Seven Things of Price,--gold, silver, pearl, coral, catseye, ruby, and diamond.

In those days the Bodhisatta was a pupil of this brahmin; and one day his master left the village on some business or other, and came with the Bodhisatta to the country of Ceti.

In a forest by the way dwelt five hundred robbers--known as "the Despatchers"--who made the way impassable. And these caught the Bodhisatta and the Vedabbha-brahmin. (Why, you ask, were they called the Despatchers?--Well, the story goes that of every two prisoners they made they used to despatch one to fetch the ransom; and that's why they were called the Despatchers. If they captured a father and a son, they told the father to go for the ransom to free his son; if they caught a mother and her daughter, they sent the mother for the money; if they caught two brothers, they let the elder go; and so too, if they caught a teacher and his pupil, it was the pupil they set free. In this case, therefore, they kept the Vedabbha-brahmin, and sent the Bodhisatta for

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the ransom.) And the Bodhisatta said with a bow to his master, "In a day or two I shall surely come back; have no fear; only fail not to do as I shall say. To-day will come to pass the conjunction of the planets which brings about the rain of the Things of Price. Take heed lest, yielding to this mishap, you repeat the charm and call down the precious shower. For, if you do, calamity will certainly befall both you and this band of robbers." With this warning to his master, the Bodhisatta went his way in quest of the ransom.

At sunset the robbers bound the brahmin and laid him by the heels. Just at this moment the full moon rose over the eastern horizon, and the brahmin, studying the heavens, knew 2 4 5 that the great conjunction was taking place. "Why," thought he, "should I suffer this misery? By repeating the charm I will call down the precious rain, pay the robbers the ransom, and go free." So he called out to the robbers, "Friends, why do you take me a prisoner?" "To get a ransom, reverend sir," said they. "Well, if that is all you want," said the brahmin, "make haste and untie me; have my head bathed, and new clothes put on me; and let me be perfumed and decked with flowers. Then leave me to myself." The robbers did as he bade them. And the brahmin, marking the conjunction of the planets, repeated his charm with eyes uplifted to the heavens. Forthwith the Things of Price poured down from the skies! The robbers picked them all up, wrapping their booty into bundles with their cloaks. Then with their brethren they marched away; and the brahmin followed in the rear. But, as luck would have it, the party was captured by a second band of five hundred robbers! "Why do you seize us?" said the first to the second band. "For booty," was the answer. "If booty is what you want, seize on that brahmin, who by simply gazing up at the skies brought down riches as rain. It was he who gave us all that we have got." So the second band of robbers let the first band go, and seized on the brahmin, crying, "Give us riches too!" "It would give me great pleasure," said the brahmin; "but it will be a year before the requisite conjunction of the planets takes place again. If you will only be so good as to wait till then, I will invoke the precious shower for you."

"Rascally brahmin!" cried the angry robbers, "you made the other band rich off-hand, but want us to wait a whole year!" And they cut him in two with a sharp sword, and flung his body in the middle of the road. Then hurrying after the first band of robbers, they killed every man of them too in hand-to-hand fight, and seized the booty. Next, they divided into two companies and fought among themselves, company against company, till two hundred and fifty men were slain. And so they went on killing one another, till only two were left alive. Thus did those thousand men come to destruction.

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Now, when the two survivors had managed to carry off the treasure they hid it in the jungle near a village; and one of them sat there, sword in hand, 2 5 to guard it, whilst the other went into the village to get rice and have it cooked for supper.

"Covetousness is the root of ruin!" mused he 1 that stopped by the treasure. "When my mate comes back, he'll want half of this. Suppose I kill him the moment he gets back." So he drew his sword and sat waiting for his comrade's return.

Meanwhile, the other had equally reflected that the booty had to be halved, and thought to himself, "Suppose I poison the rice, and give it him to eat and so kill him, and have the whole of the treasure to myself." Accordingly, when the rice was boiled, he first ate his own share, and then put poison in the rest, which he carried back with him to the jungle. But scarce had he set it down, when the other robber cut him in two with his sword, and hid the body away in a secluded spot. Then he ate the poisoned rice, and died then and there. Thus, by reason of the treasure, not only the brahmin but all the robbers came to destruction.

Howbeit, after a day or two the Bodhisatta came back with the ransom. Not finding his master where he had left him, but seeing treasure strewn all round about, his heart misgave him that, in spite of his advice, his master must have called down a shower of treasure from the skies, and that all must have perished in consequence; and he proceeded along the road. On his way he came to where his master's body lay cloven in twain upon the way. "Alas!" he cried, "he is dead through not heeding my warning." Then with gathered sticks he made a pyre and burnt his master's body, making an offering of wild flowers. Further along the road, he came upon the five hundred "Despatchers," and further still upon the two hundred and fifty, and so on by degrees until at last he came to where lay only two corpses. Marking how of the thousand all but two had perished, and feeling sure that there must be two survivors, and that these could not refrain from strife, he pressed on to see where they had gone. So on he went till he found the path by which with the treasure they had turned into the jungle; and there he found the heap of bundles of treasure, and one robber lying dead with his rice-bowl overturned at his side. Realising the whole story at a glance, the Bodhisatta set himself to search for the missing man, and at last found his body in the secret spot where it had been flung [256]. "And thus," mused the Bodhisatta, "through not following my counsel my master in his self-will has been the means of destroying not himself only but a thousand others also. Truly, they that

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seek their own gain by mistaken and misguided means shall reap ruin, even as my master." And he repeated this stanza:--

Misguided effort leads to loss, not gain;
Thieves killed Vedabbha and themselves were slain.

Thus spake the Bodhisatta, and he went on to say,--"And even as my master's misguided and misplaced effort in causing the rain of treasure to fall from heaven wrought both his own death and the destruction of others with him, even so shall every other man who by mistaken means seeks to compass his own advantage, utterly perish and involve others in his destruction." With these words did the Bodhisatta make the forest ring; and in this stanza did he preach the Truth, whilst the Tree-fairies shouted applause. The treasure he contrived to carry off to his own home, where he lived out his term of life in the exercise of almsgiving and other good works. And when his life closed, he departed to the heaven he had won.

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Said the Master, "This is not the first time, Brother, you were self-willed; you were self-willed in bygone times as well; and by your selfwill you came to utter destruction." His lesson ended, he identified the Birth by saying, "The selfwilled Brother was the Vedabbha-brahmin of those days, and I myself his pupil."

[Note. Dr Richard Morris was the first to trace in this Jātaka an early form of Chaucer's Pardoner's Tale (see Contemporary Review for May, 1881); Mr H. T. Francis and Mr C. H. Tawney independently traced the same connection in the Academy, Dec. 22, 1883 (subsequently reprinted in an enlarged form), and in the Cambridge Journal of Philology, Vol. xii. 1883. See also Clouston's Popular Tales and Fictions.]


Footnotes

123:1 Or perhaps a full stop should be inserted after eva ti, the words "Covetousness..ṛuin" being treated as a maxim quoted parenthetically by the author."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 49. Nakkhatta-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 49.

NAKKHATTA-JĀTAKA.

[257] "The fool may watch."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana about a certain Naked-ascetic. Tradition says that a gentleman of the country near Sāvatthi asked in marriage for his son a young Sāvatthi lady of equal rank. Having fixed a day to come and fetch the bride, he subsequently consulted a Naked-ascetic who was intimate with his family, as to whether the stars were favourable for holding the festivities that day.

"He didn't ask me in the first instance," thought the indignant ascetic, "but having already fixed the day, without consulting me, just makes an empty

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reference to me now. Very good; I'll teach him a lesson." So he made answer that the stars were not favourable for that day; that the nuptials ought not to be celebrated that day; and that, if they were, great misfortune would come of it. And the country family in their faith in their ascetic did not go for the bride that day. Now the bride's friends in the town had made all their preparations for celebrating the nuptials, and when they saw that the other side did not come, they said, "It was they who fixed to-day, and yet they have not come; and we have gone to great expense about it all. Who are these people, forsooth? Let us marry the girl to someone else." So they found another bridegroom and gave the girl to him in marriage with all the festivities they had already prepared.

Next day the country party came to fetch the bride. But the Sāvatthi people rated them as follows:--"You country folk are a bad lot; you fixed the day yourselves, and then. insulted us by not coming. We have given the maiden to another." The country party started a quarrel, but in the end went home the way they came.

Now the Brethren came to know how that Naked-ascetic had thwarted the festivity, and they began to talk the matter over in the Hall of Truth. Entering the Hall, and learning on enquiry the subject of their conversation, the Master said, "Brethren, this is not the first time that this same ascetic has thwarted the festivities of that family; out of pique with them, he did just the same thing once before." And so saying, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, some townsfolk had asked a country-girl in marriage and had named the day. Having already made the arrangement, they asked their family ascetic whether the stars were propitious for the ceremony on that day. Piqued at their having fixed the day to suit themselves without first taking counsel with him, the ascetic made up his mind to thwart their marriage festivities for that day; 2 5 and accordingly he made answer that the stars were not favourable for that day, and that, if they persisted, grave misfortune would be the result. So, in their faith in the ascetic, they stayed at home! When the country folk found that the town party did not come, they said among themselves, "It was they who fixed the marriage for to-day, and now they have not come. Who are they, forsooth?" And they married the girl to someone else.

Next day the townsfolk came and asked for the girl; but they of the country made this answer:--"You town-people lack common decency. You yourselves named the day and yet did not come to fetch the bride. As you stopped away, we married her to someone else." "But we asked our ascetic, and he told us the stars were unfavourable. That's why we did not come, yesterday. Give us the girl." "You didn't come at the proper time, and now she's another's. How can we marry her twice over?" Whilst they wrangled thus with one another, a wise man from the town came into the country on business. Hearing the townsfolk explain that they had consulted their ascetic and that their absence was due to the-unfavourable disposition of the stars, he exclaimed, "What, forsooth, do

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the stars matter? Is not the lucky thing to get the girl?" And, so saying, he repeated this stanza:--

The fool may watch for 'lucky days,'
  Yet luck shall always miss;
’Tis luck itself is luck's own star.
  What can mere stars achieve?

As for the townsfolk, as they did not get the girl for all their wrangling, they had to go off home again!

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Said the Master, "This is not the first time, Brethren, that this Naked-ascetic has thwarted that family's festivities; he did just the same thing in bygone times also." His lesson ended, he shewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying, "This ascetic 2 5 was also the ascetic of those days, and the families too were the same; I myself was the wise and good man who uttered the stanza."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 50. Dummedha-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 50.

DUMMEDHA-JĀTAKA.

"A thousand evil-doers."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about actions done for the world's good, as will be explained in the Twelfth Book in the Mahā-Kaṇha-jātaka 1.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was reborn in the womb of the Queen Consort. When he was born, he was named Prince Brahmadatta on his name-day. By sixteen years of age he had been well educated at Takkasilā, had learned the Three Vedas by heart, and was versed in the Eighteen Branches of Knowledge. And his father made him a Viceroy.

Now in those days the Benares folk were much given to festivals to 'gods,' and used to shew honour to 'gods.' It was their wont to massacre numbers of sheep, goats, poultry, swine, and other living creatures, and perform their rites not merely with flowers and perfumes but with gory

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carcasses. Thought the destined Lord of Mercy to himself, "Led astray by superstition, men now wantonly sacrifice life; the multitude are for the most part given up to irreligion: but when at my father's death I succeed to my inheritance, I will find means to end such destruction of life. I will devise some clever stratagem whereby the evil shall be stopped without harming a single human being." In this mood the prince one day mounted his chariot and drove out of the city. On the way he saw a crowd gathered together at a holy banyan-tree, praying to the fairy who had been reborn in that tree, to grant them sons and daughters, honour and wealth, each according to his. heart's desire. Alighting from his chariot the Bodhisatta drew near to the tree and behaved as a worshipper so far as to make offerings of perfumes and flowers, sprinkling the tree with water, and pacing reverently round its trunk. Then mounting his chariot again, he went his way back into the city.

Thenceforth the prince made like journeys from time to time to the tree [260], and worshipped it like a true believer in 'gods.'

In due course, when his father died, the Bodhisatta ruled in his stead. Shunning the four evil courses, and practising the ten royal virtues, he ruled his people in righteousness. And now that his desire had come to pass and he was king, the Bodhisatta set himself to fulfil his former resolve. So he called together his ministers, the brahmins, the gentry, and the other orders of the people, and asked the assembly whether they knew how he had made himself king. But no man could tell.

"Have you ever seen me reverently worshipping a banyan-tree with perfumes and the like, and bowing down before it?"

"Sire, we have," said they.

"Well, I was making a vow; and the vow was that, if ever I became king, I would offer a sacrifice to that tree. And now that by help of the god I have come to be king, I will offer my promised sacrifice. So prepare it with all speed."

"But what are we to make it of?"

"My vow," said the king, "was this:--All such as are addicted to the Five Sins, to wit the slaughter of living creatures and so forth, and all such as walk in the Ten Paths of Unrighteousness, them will I slay, and with their flesh and their blood, with their entrails and their vitals, I will make my offering. So proclaim by beat of drum that our lord the king in the days of his viceroyalty vowed that if ever he became king he would slay, and offer up in a sacrifice, all such of his subjects as break the Commandments. And now the king wills to slay one thousand of such as are addicted to the Five Sins or walk in the Ten Paths of Unrighteousness; with the hearts and the flesh of the thousand shall a sacrifice be made in the god's honour. Proclaim this that all may know throughout the city. Of those that transgress after this date," added the king, "will

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[paragraph continues] I slay a thousand, and offer them as a sacrifice to the god in discharge of my vow." And to make his meaning clear the king uttered this stanza:--

A thousand evil-doers once I vowed
  In pious gratitude to kill;
And evil-doers form so huge a crowd,
  That I will now my vow fulfil. [261]

Obedient to the king's commands, the ministers had proclamation made by beat of drum accordingly throughout the length and breadth of Benares. Such was the effect of the proclamation on the townsfolk that not a soul persisted in the old wickedness. And throughout the Bodhisatta's reign not a man was convicted of transgressing. Thus, without harming a single one of his subjects, the Bodhisatta made them observe the Commandments. And at the close of a life of alms-giving and other good works he passed away with his followers to throng the city of the devas.

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Said the Master, "This is not the first time, Brethren, that the Buddha has acted for the world's good; he acted in like manner in bygone times as well." His lesson ended, he shewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying, "The Buddha's disciples were the ministers of those days, and I myself was the King of Benares."


Footnotes

126:1 No. 469.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 51. Mahāsīlava-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 51.

MAHĀSĪLAVA-JĀTAKA.

"Toil on, my brother."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a Brother who had given up all earnest effort. Being asked by the Master whether the report was true that he was a backslider, the Brother 2 6 said it was true. "How can you, Brother," said the Master, "grow cold in so saving a faith? Even when the wise and good of bygone days had lost their kingdom, yet so undaunted was their resolution that in the end they won back their sovereignty." And so saying, he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta came to life again as the child of the queen; and on his name-day they gave him the name of Prince Goodness. At the age of sixteen his education was complete; and later he came at his father's death to be king, and ruled his people righteously under the title of the great King

p. 129

[paragraph continues] Goodness. At each of the four city-gates he built an almonry, another in the heart of the city, and yet another at his own palace-gates,--six in all; and at each he distributed alms to poor travellers and the needy. He kept the Commandments and observed the fast-days; he abounded in patience, loving-kindness, and mercy; and in righteousness he ruled the land, cherishing all creatures alike with the fond love of a father for his baby boy.

Now one of the king's ministers had dealt treacherously in the king's harem, and this became matter of common talk. The ministers reported it to the king. Examining into the matter himself, the king found the minister's guilt to be clear. So he sent for the culprit, and said, "O blinded by folly! you have sinned, and are not worthy to dwell in my kingdom; take your substance and your wife and family, and go hence." Driven thus from the realm, that minister left the Kāsi country, and, entering the service of the king of Kosala, gradually rose to be that monarch's confidential adviser. One day he said to the king of Kosala, "Sire, the kingdom of Benares is like a goodly honeycomb untainted by flies; its king is feebleness itself; and a trifling force would suffice to conquer the whole country."

Hereon, the king of Kosala reflected that the kingdom of Benares was large, and, considering this in connexion with the advice that a trifling force could conquer it, he grew suspicious that his adviser was a hireling suborned to lead him into a trap. "Traitor," he cried, "you are paid to say this!"

"Indeed I am not," answered the other; "I do but speak the truth. If you doubt me, send men to massacre a village over his border, and see whether, when they are caught and brought before him, the king does not let them off scot-free and even load them with gifts."

"He shows a very bold front in making his assertion," thought the king; "I will test his counsel 2 3 6 without delay." And accordingly he sent some of his creatures to harry a village across the Benares border. The ruffians were captured and brought before the king of Benares, who asked them, saying, "My children, why have you killed my villagers?"

"Because we could not make a living," said they.

"Then why did you not come to me?" said the king. "See that you do not do the like again."

And he gave them presents and sent them away. Back they went and told this to the king of Kosala. But this evidence was not enough to nerve him to the expedition; and a second band was sent to massacre another village, this time in the heart of the kingdom. These too were likewise sent away with presents by the king of Benares. But even this evidence was not deemed strong enough; and a third party was sent to plunder the very streets of Benares! And these, like their forerunners,

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were sent away with presents! Satisfied at last that the king of Benares was an entirely good king, the king of Kosala resolved to seize on his kingdom, and set out against him with troops and elephants.

Now in these days the king of Benares had a thousand gallant warriors, who would face the charge even of a rut elephant,--whom the launched thunderbolt of Indra could not terrify,--a matchless. band of invincible heroes ready at the king's command to reduce all India to his sway! These, hearing the king of Kosala was coming to take Benares, came to their sovereign with the news, and prayed that they might be despatched against the invader. "We will defeat and capture him, sire," said they, "before he can set foot over the border."

"Not so, my children," said the king. "None shall suffer because of me. Let those who covet kingdoms seize mine, if they will." And he refused to allow them to march against the invader.

Then the king of Kosala crossed the border and came to the middle-country; and again the ministers went to the king with renewed entreaty. But still the king refused. And now the king of Kosala appeared outside the city, and sent a message to the king bidding him either yield up the kingdom or give battle. "I fight not," was the message of the king of Benares in reply; "let him seize my kingdom."

Yet a third time the king's ministers came to him and besought him not to allow the king of Kosala to enter, but to permit them to overthrow and capture him before the city. Still refusing, the king bade the city-gates be opened, 2 4 6 and seated himself in state aloft upon his royal throne with his thousand ministers round him.

Entering the city and finding none to bar his way, the king of Kosala passed with his army to the royal palace. The doors stood open wide; and there on his gorgeous throne with his thousand ministers around him sate the great King Goodness in state. "Seize them all," cried the king of Kosala; "tie their hands tightly behind their backs, and away with them to the cemetery! There dig holes and bury them alive up to the neck, so that they cannot move hand or foot. The jackals will come at night and give them sepulchre!"

At the bidding of the ruffianly king, his followers bound the king of Benares and his ministers, and hauled them off. But even in this hour not so much as an angry thought did the great King Goodness harbour against the ruffians; and. not a man among his ministers, even when they were being marched off in bonds, could disobey the king,--so perfect is said to have been the discipline among his followers.

So King Goodness and his ministers were led off and buried up to the neck in pits in the cemetery, the king in the middle and the others on either side of him. The ground was trampled in upon them, and there they were left. Still meek and free from anger against his oppressor, King

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[paragraph continues] Goodness exhorted his companions, saying, "Let your hearts be filled with naught but love and charity, my children."

Now at midnight the jackals came trooping to the banquet of human flesh; and at sight of the beasts the king and his companions raised a mighty shout all together, frightening the jackals away. Halting, the pack looked back, and, seeing no one pursuing, again came forward. A second shout drove them away again, but only to return as before. But the third time, seeing that not a man amongst them all pursued, the jackals thought to themselves, "These must be men who are doomed to death." They came on boldly; even when the shout was again being raised, they did not turn tail. On they came, each singling out his prey,--the chief jackal making for the king, and the other jackals for his companions [265]. Fertile in resource, the king marked the beast's approach, and, raising his throat as if to receive the bite, fastened his teeth in the jackal's throat with a grip like a vice! Unable to free its throat from the mighty grip of the king's jaws, and fearing death, the jackal raised a great howl. At his cry of distress the pack conceived that their leader must have been caught by a man. With no heart left to approach their own destined prey, away they all scampered for their lives.

Seeking to free itself from the king's teeth, the trapped jackal plunged madly to and fro, and thereby loosened the earth above the king. Hereupon the latter, letting the jackal go, put forth his mighty strength, and by plunging from side to side got his hands free! Then, clutching the brink of the pit, he drew himself up, and came forth like a cloud scudding before the wind. Bidding his companions Le of good cheer, he now set to work to loosen the earth round them and to get them out, till with all his ministers he stood free once more in the cemetery.

Now it chanced that a corpse had been exposed in that part of the cemetery which lay between the respective domains of two ogres; and the ogres were disputing over the division of the spoil.

"We can't divide it ourselves," said they; "but this King Goodness is righteous; he will divide it for us. Let us go to him." So they dragged the corpse by the foot to the king, and said, "Sire, divide this man and give us each our share." "Certainly I will, my friends," said the king. "But, as I am dirty, I must bathe first."

Straightway, by their magic power, the ogres brought to the king the scented water prepared for the usurper's bath. And when the king had bathed, they brought him the robes which had been laid out for the usurper to wear. When he had put these on, they brought his majesty a box containing the four kinds of scent. When he had perfumed himself, they brought flowers of divers kinds laid out upon jewelled fans, in a casket of gold. When he had decked himself with the flowers, the ogres asked whether they could be of any further service. And the king gave

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them to understand 2 6 that he was hungry. So away went the ogres, and returned with rice flavoured with all the choicest flavours, which had been prepared for the usurper's table. And the king, now bathed and scented, dressed and arrayed, ate of the dainty fare. Thereupon the ogres brought the usurper's perfumed water for him to drink, in the usurper's own golden bowl, not forgetting to bring the golden cup too. When the king had drunk and had washed his mouth and was washing his hands, they brought him fragrant betel to chew, and asked whether his majesty had any further commands. "Fetch me," said he, "by your magic power the sword of state which lies by the usurper's pillow." And straightway the sword was brought to the king. Then the king took the corpse, and setting it upright, cut it in two down the chine, giving one-half to each ogre. This done, the king washed the blade, and girded it on his side.

Having eaten their fill, the ogres were glad of heart, and in their gratitude asked the king what more they could do for him. "Set me by your magic power," said he, "in the usurper's chamber, and set each of my ministers back in his own house." "Certainly, sire," said the ogres; and forthwith it was done. Now in that hour the usurper was lying asleep on the royal bed in his chamber of state. And as he slept in all tranquillity, the good king struck him with the flat of the sword upon the belly. Waking up in a fright, the usurper saw by the lamp-light that it was the great King Goodness. Summoning up all his courage, he rose from his couch and said:--"Sire, it is night; a guard is set; the doors are barred; and none may enter. How then came you to my bedside, sword in hand and clad in robes of splendour?" Then the king told him in detail all the story of his escape. Then the usurper's heart was moved within him, and he cried, "O king, I, though blessed with human nature, knew not your goodness; but knowledge thereof was given to the fierce and cruel ogres, whose food is flesh and blood. Henceforth, I, sire, 2 6 will not plot against such signal virtue as you possess." So saying, he swore an oath of friendship upon his sword and begged the king's forgiveness. And he made the king lie down upon the bed of state, while he stretched himself upon a little couch.

On the morrow at daybreak, when the sun had risen, his whole host of every rank and degree was mustered by beat of drum at the usurper's command; in their presence he extolled King Goodness, as if raising the full-moon on high in the heavens; and right before them all, he again asked the king's forgiveness and gave him back his kingdom, saying, "Henceforth, let it be my charge to deal with rebels; rule thou thy kingdom, with me to keep watch and ward." And so saying, he passed sentence on the slanderous traitor, and with his troops and elephants went back to his own kingdom.

Seated in majesty and splendour beneath a white canopy of sovereignty

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upon a throne of gold with legs as of a gazelle, the great King Goodness contemplated his own glory and thought thus within himself:--"Had I not persevered, I should not be in the enjoyment of this magnificence, nor would my thousand ministers be still numbered among the living. It was by perseverance that I recovered the royal state I had lost, and saved the lives of my thousand ministers. Verily, we should strive on unremittingly with dauntless hearts, seeing that the fruit of perseverance is so excellent." And therewithal the king broke into this heartfelt utterance:--

Toil on, my brother; still in hope stand fast;
  Nor let thy courage flag and tire.
Myself I see, who, all my woes o’erpast,
  Am master of my heart's desire.

Thus spoke the Bodhisatta in the fulness of his heart, declaring how sure it is that the earnest effort of the good will come to maturity. After a life spent in right-doing he passed away to fare thereafter according to his deserts. [268]

_____________________________

His lesson ended, the Master preached the Four Truths, at the close whereof the backsliding Brother won Arahatship. The Master shewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying, "Devadatta was the traitorous minister of those days, the Buddha's disciples were the thousand ministers, and I myself the great King Goodness."

[Note. Cf. the Volsung-Saga in Hagen's Helden Sagen, iii. 23, and Journ. of Philol. xii. 120.]


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 52. Cūḷa-Janaka-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 52.

CŪḶA-JANAKA-JĀTAKA.

"Toil on, my brother."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about another backsliding Brother. All the incidents that are to be related here, will be given in the Mahā-janaka-Jātaka 1.

The king, seated beneath the white canopy of sovereignty, recited this stanza:--

"Toil on, my brother; still in hope stand fast;
  Faint not, nor tire, though harassed sore.
Myself I see, who, all my woes o’erpast,
  Have fought my stubborn way ashore.

Here too the backsliding Brother won Arahatship. The All-wise Buddha was King Janaka.


Footnotes

133:1 One of the last Jātakas, not yet edited.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 53. Puṇṇapāti-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


p. 134

No. 53.

PUṆṆAPĀTI-JĀTAKA.

"What? Leave untasted."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about some drugged liquor.

Once on a time the tipplers of Sāvatthi met to take counsel, saying, "We've not got the price of a drink left; how are we to get it?"

"Cheer up!" said one ruffian; "I've a little plan."

"What may that be?" cried the others.

"It's Anātha-piṇḍika's custom," said the fellow, "to wear his rings and richest attire, when going to wait upon the king. Let us doctor some liquor with a stupefying drug and fit up a drinking-booth, in which we will all be sitting when Anātha-piṇḍika passes by. 'Come and join us, Lord High Treasurer,' we'll cry, and ply him with our liquor till he loses his senses. Then let us relieve him of his rings and clothes, and get the price of a drink."

His plan mightily pleased the other rogues, and was duly carried out. As Anātha-piṇḍika was returning, they went out to meet him and invited him 2 6 to come along with them; for they had got some rare liquor, and he must taste it before he went.

"What'?" thought he, "shall a believer, who has found Salvation, touch strong drink? Howbeit, though I have no craving for it, yet will I expose these rogues." So into their booth he went, where their proceedings soon shewed him that their liquor was drugged; and he resolved to make the rascals take to their heels. So he roundly charged them with doctoring their liquor with a view to drugging strangers first and robbing then afterwards. "You sit in the booth you have opened, and you praise up the liquor," said he; "but as for drinking it, not one of you ventures on that. If it is really undrugged, drink away at it yourselves." This summary exposure made the gang take to their heels, and Anātha-piṇḍika went off home. Thinking he might as well tell the incident to the Buddha, he went to Jetavana and related the story.

"This time, layman," said the Master, "it is you whom these rogues have tried to trick; so too in the past they tried to trick the good and wise of those days." So saying, at his hearer's request, he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was Treasurer of that city. And then too did the same gang of tipplers, conspiring together in like manner, drug liquor, and go forth to meet him in just the same way, and made just the same overtures. The Treasurer did not want to drink at all, but nevertheless went with them, solely to expose them. Marking their proceedings and detecting their scheme, he was anxious to scare them away and so represented that it would be a gross thing for him to drink spirits just before going to the king's palace. "Sit you here," said he, "till I've seen the king and am on my way hack; then I'll think about it."

On his return, the rascals called to him, but the Treasurer, fixing his eye on the drugged bowls, confounded them by saying, "I like not your

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ways. Here stand the bowls as full now as when I left you; loudly as you vaunt the praises of the liquor, yet not a drop passes your own lips. Why, if it had been good liquor, you'd have taken your own share as well. This liquor is drugged!" And he repeated this stanza:--

What? Leave untasted drink you vaunt so rare?
Nay, this is proof no honest liquor's there. [270]

After a life of good deeds, the Bodhisatta passed away to fare according to his deserts.

_____________________________

His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "The rascals of to-day were also the rascals of those bygone days; and I myself was then Treasurer of Benares."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 54. Phala-Jātaka



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No. 54.

PHALA-JĀTAKA.

"When near a village."--This was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a lay brother who was skilled in the knowledge of fruits. It appears that a certain squire of Sāvatthi had invited the Brotherhood with the Buddha at their head, and had seated them in his pleasaunce, where they were regaled with rice-gruel and cakes. Afterwards he bade his gardener go round with the Brethren and give mangoes and other kinds of fruits to their Reverences. In obedience to orders, the man walked about the grounds with the Brethren, and could tell by a single glance up at the tree what fruit was green, what nearly ripe, and what quite ripe, and so on. And what he said was always found true. So the Brethren came to the Buddha and mentioned how expert the gardener was, and how, whilst himself standing on the ground, he could accurately tell the condition of the hanging fruit. "Brethren," said the Master, "this gardener is not the only one who has had knowledge of fruits. A like knowledge was shewn by the wise and good of former days also." And so saying, he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born a merchant. When he grew up, and was trading with five hundred waggons, he came one day to where the road led through a great forest. 1 2 Halting at the outskirts, he mustered the caravan and addressed them thus:--"Poison-trees grow in this forest. Take heed that you taste no unfamiliar leaf, flower, or fruit without first consulting me." All promised to take every care; and the journey into

p. 136

the forest began. Now just within the forest-border stands a village, and just outside that village grows a What-fruit tree. The What-fruit tree exactly resembles a mango alike in trunk, branch, leaf, flower, and fruit. And not only in outward semblance, but also in taste and smell, the fruit--ripe or unripe--mimics the mango. If eaten, it is a deadly poison, and causes instant death.

Now some greedy fellows, who went on ahead of the caravan, came to this tree and, taking it to be a mango, ate of its fruit. But others said, "Let us ask our leader before we eat"; and they accordingly halted by the tree, fruit in hand, till he came up. Perceiving that it was no mango, he said:--"This 'mango' is a What-fruit tree; don't touch its fruit."

Having stopped them from eating, the Bodhisatta turned his attention to those who had already eaten. First he dosed them with an emetic, and then he gave them the four sweet foods to eat; so that in the end they recovered.

Now on former occasions caravans had halted beneath this same tree, and had died from eating the poisonous fruit which they mistook for mangoes. On the morrow the villagers would come, and seeing them lying there dead, would fling them by the heels into a secret place, departing with all the belongings of the caravan, waggons and all.

And on the day too of our story these villagers failed not to hurry at daybreak to the tree for their expected spoils. "The oxen must be ours," said some. "And we'll have the waggons," said others;--whilst others again claimed the wares as their share. But when they came breathless to the tree, there was the whole caravan alive and well!

"How came you to know this was not a mango-tree?" demanded the disappointed villagers. "We didn't know," said they of the caravan; "it was our leader who knew."

So the villagers came to the Bodhisatta and said, "Man of wisdom, what did you do to find out this tree was not a mango?"

"Two things told me," replied the Bodhisatta, and he repeated this stanza:-- [272]

When near a village grows a tree
Not hard to climb, ’tis plain to me,
Nor need I further proof to know,
--No wholesome fruit thereon can grow!

And having taught the Truth to the assembled multitude, he finished his journey in safety.

_____________________________

"Thus, Brethren," said the Master, "in bygone days the wise and good were experts in fruit." His lesson ended, he shewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying, "The Buddha's followers were then the people of the caravan, and I myself was the caravan leader."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 55. Pañcāvudha-Jātaka



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p. 137

No. 55.

PAÑCĀVUDHA-JĀTAKA.

"When no Attachment."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a Brother who had given up all earnest effort.

Said the Master to him, "Is the report true, Brother, that you are a backslider?"

"Yes, Blessed One."

"In bygone days, Brother," said the Master, "the wise and good won a throne by their dauntless perseverance in the hour of need."

And so saying, he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, it was as his queen's child that the Bodhisatta came to life once more. On the day when he was to be named, the parents enquired as to their child's destiny from eight hundred brahmins, to whom they gave their hearts' desire in all pleasures of sense. Marking the promise which he shewed of a glorious destiny, these clever soothsaying brahmins foretold that, coming to the throne at the king's death, the child should be a mighty king endowed with every virtue; famed and renowned for his exploits with five weapons, he should stand peerless in all Jambudīpa 1. 2 3 And because of this prophecy of the brahmins, the parents named their son Prince Five-Weapons.

Now, when the prince was come to years of discretion, and was sixteen years old, the king bade him go away and study.

"With whom, sire, am I to study?" asked the prince.

"With the world-famed teacher in the town of Takkasilā in the Gandhāra country. Here is his fee," said the king, handing his son a thousand pieces.

So the prince went to Takkasilā and was taught there. When he was leaving, his master gave him a set of five weapons, armed with which, after bidding adieu to his old master, the prince set out from Takkasilā for Benares.

On his way he came to a forest haunted by an ogre named Hairy-grip; and, at the entrance to the forest, men who met him tried to stop him, saying: "Young brahmin, do not go through that forest; it is the haunt

p. 138

of the ogre Hairy-grip, and he kills every one he meets." But, bold as a lion, the self-reliant Bodhisatta pressed on, till in the heart of the forest he came on the ogre. The monster made himself appear in stature as tall as a palm-tree, with a head as big as an arbour and huge eyes like bowls, with two tusks like turnips and the beak of a hawk; his belly was blotched with purple; and the palms of his hands and the soles of his feet were blue-black! "Whither away?" cried the monster. "Halt! you are my prey." "Ogre," answered the Bodhisatta, "I knew what I was doing when entering this forest. You will be ill-advised to come near me. For with a poisoned arrow I will slay you where you stand." And with this defiance, he fitted to his bow an arrow dipped in deadliest poison and shot it at the ogre. But it only stuck on to the monster's shaggy coat. Then he shot another and another, till fifty were spent, all of which merely stuck on to the ogre's shaggy coat. Hereon the ogre, shaking the arrows off so that they fell at his feet, came at the Bodhisatta; and the latter, again shouting defiance, drew his sword and struck at the ogre. But, like the arrows, his sword, which was thirty-three inches long, merely stuck fast in the shaggy hair. Next the Bodhisatta hurled his spear, and that stuck fast also. Seeing this, he smote the ogre with his club; but, like his other weapons, that too stuck fast. And thereupon the Bodhisatta shouted, "Ogre, you never heard yet of me, 2 4 Prince Five-Weapons. When I ventured into this forest, I put my trust not in my bow and other weapons, but in myself! Now will I strike you a blow which shall crush you into dust." So saying, the Bodhisatta smote the ogre with his right hand; but the hand stuck fast upon the hair. Then, in turn, with his left hand and with his right and left feet, he struck at the monster, but hand and feet alike clave to the hide. Again shouting "I will crush you into dust!" he butted the ogre with his head, and that too stuck fast.

Yet even when thus caught and snared in fivefold wise, the Bodhisatta, as he hung upon the ogre, was still fearless, still undaunted. And the monster thought to himself, "This is a very lion among men, a hero without a peer, and no mere man. Though he is caught in the clutches of an ogre like me, yet not so much as a tremor will he exhibit. Never, since I first took to slaying travellers upon this road, have I seen a man to equal him. How comes it that he is not frightened?" Not daring to devour the Bodhisatta offhand, he said, "How is it, young brahmin, that you have no fear of death?"

"Why should I?" answered the Bodhisatta. "Each life must surely have its destined death. Moreover, within my body is a sword of adamant, which you will never digest, if you eat me. It will chop your inwards into mincemeat, and my death will involve yours too. Therefore it is that I have no fear." (By this, it is said, the Bodhisatta meant the Sword of Knowledge, which was within him.)

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Hereon, the ogre fell a-thinking. "This young brahmin is speaking the truth and nothing but the truth," thought he. "Not a morsel so big as a pea could I digest of such a hero. I'll let him go." And, so, in fear of his life, he let the Bodhisatta go free, saying, "Young brahmin, you are a lion among men; I will not eat you. Go forth from my hand, even as the moon from the jaws of Rāhu, and return to gladden the hearts of your kinsfolk, your friends, and your country."

"As for myself; ogre," answered the Bodhisatta, "I will go. As for you, it was your sins in bygone days that caused you to be reborn a ravening, murderous, flesh-eating ogre; and, if 2 5 you continue in sin in this existence, you will go on from darkness to darkness. But, having seen me, you will be unable thenceforth to sin any more. Know that to destroy life is to ensure re-birth either in hell or as a brute or as a ghost or among the fallen spirits. Or, if the re-birth be into the world of men, then such sin cuts short the days of a man's life."

In this and other ways the Bodhisatta sheaved the evil consequences of the five bad courses, and the blessing that conies of the five good courses; and so wrought in divers ways upon that ogre's fears that by his teaching he converted the monster, imbuing him with self-denial and establishing him in the Five Commandments. Then making the ogre the fairy of that forest, with a right to levy dues 1, and charging him to remain steadfast, the Bodhisatta went his way, making known the change in the ogre's mood as he issued from the forest. And in the end he came, armed with the five weapons, to the city of Benares, and presented himself before his parents. In later days, when king, he was a righteous ruler; and after a life spent in charity and other good works he passed away to fare thereafter according to his deserts.

_____________________________

This lesson ended, the Master, as Buddha, recited this stanza:--

When no attachment hampers heart or mind,
When righteousness is practised peace to win,
He who so walks, shall gain the victory
And all the Fetters utterly destroy 2.

When he had thus led his teaching up to Arahatship as its crowning point, the Master went on to preach the Four Truths, at the close whereof that Brother won Arahatship. Also, the Master showed the connexion, and identified the Birth by saying, "Aṅgulimāla 3 was the ogre of those days, and I myself Prince Five-Weapons."


Footnotes

137:1 This was one of the four islands, or dipā, of which the earth was supposed to consist; it included India, and represented the inhabited world to the Indian mind.

139:1 Or, perhaps, "to whom sacrifices should be offered." The translation in the text suggests a popular theory of the evolution of the tax-collector. See also No. 155.

139:2 See Nos. 56 and 156.

139:3 Aṅgulimāla, a bandit who wore a necklace of his victims' fingers, was converted by the Buddha and became an Arahat. Cf. Majjhima Nikāya No. 86.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 56. Kañcanakkhandha-Jātaka



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p. 140

No. 56.

KAÑCANAKKHANDHA-JĀTAKA. [276]

"When gladness."--This story was told by the Master while at Sāvatthi, about a certain Brother. Tradition says that through hearing the Master preach a young gentleman of Sāvatthi gave his heart to the precious Faith 1 and became a Brother. His teachers and masters proceeded to instruct him in the whole of the Ten Precepts of Morality, one after the other, expounded to him the Short, the Medium, and the Long Moralities 2, set forth the Morality which rests on self-restraint according to the Pātimokkha 3, the Morality which rests on self-restraint as to the Senses, the Morality which rests on a blameless walk of life, the Morality which relates to the way a Brother may use the Requisites. Thought the young beginner, "There is a tremendous lot of this Morality; and I shall undoubtedly fail to fulfil all I have vowed. Yet what is the good of being a brother at all, if one cannot keep the rules of Morality? My best course is to go back to the world, take a wife and rear children, living a life of almsgiving and other good works." So he told his superiors what he thought, saying that he proposed to return to the lower state of a layman, and wished to hand back his bowl and robes. "Well, if it be so with you," said they, "at least take leave of the Buddha before you go;" and they brought the young man before the Master in the Hall of Truth.

"Why, Brethren," said the Master, "are you bringing this Brother to me against his will?"

"Sir, he said that Morality was more than he could observe, and wanted to give back his robes and bowl. So we took him and brought him to you."

"But why, Brethren," asked the Master, "did you burthen him with so much? He can do what he can, but no more. Do not make this mistake again, and leave me to decide what should be done in the case."

Then, turning to the young Brother, the Master said, "Come, Brother; what concern have you with Morality in the mass? Do you think you could obey just three moral rules?"

"Oh, yes, Sir."

"Well now, watch and guard the three avenues of the voice, the mind, and the body; do no evil whether in word, or thought, or act. Cease not to be a Brother, but go hence and obey just these three rules."

"Yes, indeed, Sir, I will keep them," here exclaimed the glad young man, and back he went with his teachers again. And as he was keeping his three rules, he thought within himself, "I had the whole of Morality told me by my instructors; but because they were not the Buddha, they could not make me grasp even this much. Whereas 2 the All-Enlightened One, by reason of his Buddhahood, and of his being the Lord of Truth, has expressed so much Morality in only three rules concerning the Avenues, and has made me understand it clearly. Verily, a very present help has the Master been to me." And

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he won Insight and in a few days attained Arahatship. When this came to the ears of the Brethren, they spoke of it when met together in the Hall of Truth, telling how the Brother, who was going back to the world because he could not ho to fulfil Morality, had been furnished by the Master with three rules embodying the whole of Morality, and had been made to grasp those three rules, and so had been enabled by the Master to win Arahatship. How marvellous, they cried, was the Buddha.

Entering the Hall at this point, and learning on enquiry the subject of their talk, the Master said, "Brethren, even a heavy burthen becomes light, if taken piecemeal; and thus the wise and good of past times, on finding a huge mass of gold too heavy to lift, first broke it up and then were enabled to bear their treasure away piece by piece." So saying, he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta came to life as a farmer in a village, and was ploughing one day in a field where once stood a village. Now, in bygone days, a wealthy merchant had died leaving buried in this field a huge bar of gold, as thick round as a man's thigh, and four whole cubits in length. And full on this bar struck the Bodhisatta's plough, and there stuck fast. Taking it to be a spreading root of a tree, he dug it, out; but discovering its real nature, he set to work to clean the dirt off the gold. The day's work done, at sunset he laid aside his plough and gear, and essayed to shoulder his treasure-trove and walk off with it. But, as he could not so much as lift it, he sat down before it and fell a-thinking what uses he would put it to. "I'll have so much to live on, so much to bury as a treasure, so much to trade with, and so much for charity and good works," thought he to himself, and accordingly cut the gold into four. Division made his burthen easy to carry; and he bore home the lumps of gold. After a life of charity and other good works, he passed away to fare thereafter according to his deserts.

_____________________________

His lesson ended, the Master, as Buddha, recited this stanza:-- [278]

When gladness fills the heart and fills the mind,
When righteousness is practised Peace to win,
He who so walks shall gain the victory
And all the Fetters utterly destroy.

And when the Master had thus led his teaching up to Arahatship as its crowning point, he shewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying, "In those days I myself was the man who got the nugget of gold."


Footnotes

140:1 Or perhaps ratanasāsanaṁ means 'the creed connected with the (Three) Gems,' viz. the Buddha, the Doctrine, and the Order.

140:2 These are translated in Rhys Davids' "Buddhist Suttas," pp. 189-200.

140:3 The Pātimokkha is translated and discussed in Pt. I. of the translation of the Vinaya by Rhys Davids and Oldenberg (S. B. E. Vol. 13).


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 57. Vānarinda-Jātaka



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p. 142

No. 57.

VĀNARINDA-JĀTAKA.

"Whoso, O monkey-king."--This story was told by the Master, while at the Bamboo-grove, about Devadatta's going about to kill him. Being informed of Devadatta's murderous intent, the Master said, "This is not the first time, Brethren, that Devadatta has gone about seeking to kill me; he did just the same in bygone days, but failed to work his wicked will." And so saying, he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta came to life again as a monkey. When full-grown, he was as big as a mare's foal and enormously strong. He lived alone on the banks of a river, in the middle of which was an island whereon grew mangoes and bread-fruits, and other fruit-trees. And in mid-stream, half-way between the island and the river-bank, a solitary rock rose out of the water. Being as strong as an elephant, the Bodhisatta used to leap from the bank on to this rock and thence on to the island. Here he would eat his fill of the fruits that grew on the island, returning at evening by the way he came. And such was his life from day to day.

Now there lived in those days in that river a crocodile and his mate; and she, being with young, was led by the sight of the Bodhisatta journeying to and fro to conceive 2 a longing for the monkey's heart to eat. So she begged her lord to catch the monkey for her. Promising that she should have her fancy, the crocodile went off and took his stand on the rock, meaning to catch the monkey on his evening journey home.

After ranging about the island all day, the Bodhisatta looked out at evening towards the rock and wondered why the rock stood so high out of the water. For the story goes that the Bodhisatta always marked the exact height of the water in the river, and of the rock in the water. So, when he saw that, though the water stood at the same level, the rock seemed to stand higher out of the water, he suspected that a crocodile might be lurking there to catch him. And, in order to find out the facts of the case, he shouted, as though addressing the rock, "Hi! rock!" And, as no reply came back, he shouted three times, "Hi! rock!" And

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as the rock still kept silence, the monkey called out, "How comes it, friend rock, that you won't answer me to-day?"

"Oh!" thought the crocodile; "so the rock's in the habit of answering the monkey. I must answer for the rock to-day." Accordingly, he shouted, "Yes, monkey; what is it?" "Who are you?" said the Bodhisatta. "I'm a crocodile." "What are you sitting on that rock for? "To catch you and eat your heart." As there was no other way back, the only thing to be done was to outwit the crocodile. So the Bodhisatta cried out, "There's no help for it then but to give myself up to you. Open your mouth and catch me when I jump."

Now you must know that when crocodiles open their mouths, their eyes shut 1. So, when this crocodile unsuspiciously opened his mouth, his eyes shut. And there he waited with closed eyes and open jaws! Seeing this, the wily monkey made a jump on to the crocodile's head, and thence, with a spring like lightning, gained the bank. When the cleverness of this feat dawned on the crocodile, he said, "Monkey, he that in this world 2 possesses the four virtues overcomes his foes. And you, methinks, possess all four." And, so saying, he repeated this stanza:--

Whose, O monkey-king, like you, combines
Truth, foresight, fixed resolve, and fearlessness,
Shall see his routed foemen turn and flee.

And with this praise of the Bodhisatta, the crocodile betook himself to his own dwelling-place.

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Said the Master, "This is not the first time then, Brethren, that Devadatta has gone about seeking to kill me; he did just the sane in bygone days too." And, having ended his lesson, the Master shewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying, "Devadatta was the crocodile of those days, the brahmin-girl Ciñcā 2 was the crocodile's wife, and I myself the Monkey-King."

[Note. Cf. No. 224 (Kumbhīla-jātaka). A Chinese version is given by Beal in the 'Romantic Legend' p. 231, and a Japanese version in Griffin's 'Fairy Tales from Japan.']


Footnotes

143:1 This assertion is not in accord with the facts of natural history.

143:2 Her identification here as the crocodile's wicked wife is due to the fact that Ciñcā, who was a "female ascetic of rare beauty," was suborned by Gotama's enemies to simulate pregnancy and charge him with the paternity. How the deceit was exposed, is told in Dhammapada, pp. 338-340.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 58. Tayodhamma-Jātaka



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No. 58.

TAYODHAMMA-JĀTAKA.

"Whoso, like you."--This story was told by the Master while at the Bamboo-grove also upon the subject of going about to kill.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, Devadatta came to life again as a monkey, and dwelt near the Himalayas as the lord of a tribe of monkeys all of his own begetting. Filled with forebodings that his male offspring might grow up to oust him from his lordship, he used to geld 1 2 them all with his teeth. Now the Bodhisatta had been begotten by this same monkey; and his mother, in order to save her unborn progeny, stole away to a forest at the foot of the mountain, where in due season she gave birth to the Bodhisatta. And when he was full-grown and had come to years of understanding, he was gifted with marvellous strength.

"Where is my father?" said he one day to his mother. "He dwells at the foot of a certain mountain, nay son," she replied; "and is king of a tribe of monkeys." "Take me to see him, mother." "Not so, my son; for your father is so afraid of being supplanted by his sons that he gelds them all with his teeth." "Never mind; take me there, mother," said the Bodhisatta; "I shall know what to do." So she took him with her to the old monkey. At sight of his son, the old monkey, feeling sure that the Bodhisatta would grow up to depose him, resolved by a feigned embrace to crush the life out of the Bodhisatta. "Ah! my boy!" he cried; "where have you been all this long time?" And, making a show of embracing the Bodhisatta, he hugged him like a vice. But the Bodhisatta, who was as strong as an elephant, returned the hug so mightily that his father's ribs were like to break.

Then thought the old monkey, "This son of mine, if he grows up, will certainly kill me." Casting about how to kill the Bodhisatta first, he bethought him of a certain lake hard by, where an ogre lived who might eat him. So he said to the Bodhisatta, "I'm old now, my boy, and should like to hand over the tribe to you; to-day you shall be made king. In a lake hard by grow two kinds of water-lily, three kinds of blue-lotus, and five kinds of white-lotus. Go and pick me some." "Yes, father," answered

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the Bodhisatta; and off he started. Approaching the lake with caution, he studied the footprints on its, banks and marked how all of them led down to the water, but none ever came back. Realising that the lake was haunted by an ogre, he divined that his father, being unable himself to kill him, wished to get him killed 2 by the ogre. "But I'll get the lotuses," said he, "without going into the water at all." So he went to a dry spot, and taking a run leaped from the bank. In his jump, as he was clearing the water, he plucked two flowers which grew up above the surface of the water, and alighted with them on the opposite bank. On his way back, he plucked two more in like manner, as he jumped; and so made a heap on both sides of the lake,--but always keeping out of the ogre's watery domain. When he had picked as many as he thought he could carry across, and was gathering together those on one bank, the astonished ogre exclaimed, "I've lived a long time in this lake, but I never saw even a human being so wonderfully clever! Here is this monkey who has picked all the flowers he wants, and yet has kept safely out of range of my power." And, parting the waters asunder, the ogre came up out of the lake to where the Bodhisatta stood, and addressed him thus, "O king of the monkeys, he that has three qualities shall have the mastery over his enemies; and you, methinks, have all three." And, so saying, he repeated this stanza in the Bodhisatta's praise:--

Whose, like you, O monkey-king, combines
Dexterity and Valour and Resource,
Shall see his routed foemen turn and flee.

[paragraph continues] His praises ended, the ogre asked the Bodhisatta why he was gathering the flowers.

"My father is minded to make me king of his tribe," said the Bodhisatta, "and that is why I am gathering them."

"But one so peerless as you ought not to carry flowers," exclaimed the ogre; "I will carry them for you." And so saying, he picked up the flowers and followed with them in the rear of the Bodhisatta.

Seeing this from afar, the Bodhisatta's father knew that his plot had failed. "I sent my son to fall a prey to the ogre, and here he is returning safe and sound, with the ogre humbly carrying his flowers for him! I am undone!" cried the old monkey, and his heart burst asunder 2 3 into seven pieces, so that he died then and there. And all the other monkeys met together and chose the Bodhisatta to be their king.

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His lesson ended, the Master shewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying, "Devadatta was then the king of the monkeys, and I his son."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 59. Bherivāda-Jātaka



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No. 59.

BHERIVĀDA-JĀTAKA.

"Go not too far."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a certain self-willed Brother. Asked by the Master whether the report was true that he was self-willed, the Brother said it was true. "This is net the first time, Brother," said the Master, "that you have shewn yourself self-willed; you were just the same in bygone times as well." And so saying, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta came to life as a drummer, and dwelt in a village. Hearing that there was to be a festival at Benares, and hoping to make money by playing his drum to the crowds of holiday-makers, he made his way to the city, with his son. And there he played, and made a great deal of money. On his way home with his earnings he had to pass through a forest which was infested by robbers; and as the boy kept beating away at the drum without ever stopping, the Bodhisatta tried to stop him by saying, "Don't behave like that, beat only now and again,--as if some great lord were passing by."

But in defiance of his father's bidding, the boy thought the best way to frighten the robbers away was to keep steadily on beating away at the drum.

&t the first notes of the drum, away scampered the robbers, thinking some great lord was passing by. But hearing the noise keep on, they saw their mistake and came back to find out who it really was. Finding only two persons, they beat and robbed them. "Alas!" cried the Bodhisatta, "by your ceaseless drumming you have lost all our hard-earned takings!" And, so saying, he repeated this stanza:

Go not too far, but learn excess to shun;
For over-drumming lost what drumming won. [284]

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His lesson ended, the Master shewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying, "This self-willed Brother was the son of those days, and I myself the father."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 60. Saṁkhadhamana-Jātaka



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p. 147

No. 60.

SAṀKHADHAMANA-JĀTAKA.

"Go not too far."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about another self-willed person.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta came to life as a conch-blower, and went up to Benares with his father to a public festival. There he earned a great deal of money by his conch-blowing, and started for home again. On his way through a forest which was infested by robbers, he warned his father not to keep on blowing his conch; but the old man thought he knew better how to keep the robbers off, and blew away hard without a moment's pause. Accordingly, just as in the preceding story, the robbers returned and plundered the pair. And, as above, the Bodhisatta repeated this stanza:

Go not too far, but learn excess to shun;
For over-blowing lost what blowing won.

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His lesson ended, the Master shewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying, "This self-willed Brother was the father of those days, and I myself his son."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 61. Asātamanta-Jātaka



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No. 61.

ASĀTAMANTA-JĀTAKA.

[285] "In lust unbridled."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a passion-tost Brother. The Introductory Story will be related in the Ummadanti-jātaka 1. But to this Brother the Master said, "Women, Brother, are lustful, profligate, vile, and degraded. Why be passion-tost for a vile woman?" And so saying, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta came to life as a brahmin in the city of Takkasilā in the Gandhāra country; and by the time he had grown up, such was his proficiency in the Three Vedas and all accomplishments, that his fame as a teacher spread through all the world.

In those days there was a brahmin family in Benares, unto whom a son was born; and on the day of his birth they took fire and kept it always burning, until the boy was sixteen. Then his parents told him how the fire, kindled on the day of his birth, had never been allowed to go out; and they bade their son make his choice. If his heart was set on winning entrance hereafter into the Realm of Brahma, then let him take the fire and retire with it to the forest, there to work out his desire by ceaseless worship of the Lord of Fire. But, if he preferred the joys of a home, they bade their son go to Takkasilā and there study under the world-famed teacher with a view to settling down to manage the property. "I should surely fail in the worship of the Fire-God," said the young brahmin; "I'll be a squire." So he bade farewell to his father and mother, and, with a thousand pieces of money for the teacher's fee, set out for Takkasilā. There he studied till his education was complete, and then betook himself home again.

Now his parents grew to wish him to forsake the world and to worship the Fire-God in the forest. Accordingly his mother, in her desire to despatch him to the forest by bringing home to him the wickedness of women, was confident that his wise and learned teacher would be able to lay bare the wickedness of the sex to her son, and so she asked whether he had quite finished his education. "Oh yes," said the youth.

[286] "Then of course you have not omitted the Dolour Texts?" "I have not learnt those, mother." "How then can you say your education is finished? Go back at once, my son, to your master, and return to us when you have learnt them," said his mother.

"Very good," said the youth, and off he started for Takkasilā once more.

Now his master too had a mother,--an old woman of a hundred and twenty years of age,--whom with his own hands he used to bathe, feed and tend. And for so doing he was scorned by his neighbours,--so much so indeed that he resolved to depart to the forest and there dwell with his mother. Accordingly, in the solitude of a forest he had a hut built in a delightful spot, where water was plentiful, and after laying in a stock of ghee and rice and other provisions, he carried his mother to her new home, and there lived cherishing her old age.

Not finding his master at Takkasilā, the young brahmin made enquiries, and finding out what had happened, set out for the forest, and presented himself respectfully before his master. "What brings you

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back so soon, my boy?" said the latter. "I do not think, sir, I learned the Dolour Texts when I was with you," said the youth. "But who told you that you had to learn the Dolour Texts?" "My mother, master," was the reply. Hereon the Bodhisatta reflected that there were no such texts as those, and concluded that his pupil's mother must have wanted her son to learn how wicked women were. So he said to the youth that it was all right, and that he should in due course be taught the Texts in question. "From to-day," said he, "you shall take my place about my mother, and with your own hands wash, feed and look after her. As you rub her hands, feet, head and back, be careful to exclaim, 'Ah, Madam! if you are so lovely now you are so old, what must you not have been in the heyday of your youth!' And as you wash and perfume her hands and feet, burst into praise of their beauty. Further, tell me without shame or reserve every single word my mother says to you. Obey me in this, and you shall master the Dolour Texts; disobey me, and you shall remain ignorant of them for ever."

Obedient to his master's commands, the youth did all he was bidden, and so persistently praised the old woman's beauty that she thought he had fallen in love with her; and, blind and decrepit though she was, passion was kindled within her [287]. So one day she broke in on his compliments by asking, "Is your desire towards me?" "It is indeed, madam," answered the youth; "but nay master is so strict." "If you desire me," said she, "kill my son!" "But how shall I, that have learned so much from him, how shall I for passion's sake kill my master?" "Well then, if you will be faithful to me, I will kill him myself."

(So lustful, vile, and degraded are women that, giving the rein to lust, a hag like this, and old as she was, actually thirsted for the blood of so dutiful a son!)

Now the young brahmin told all this to the Bodhisatta, who, commending him for reporting the matter, studied how much longer his mother was destined to live. Finding that her destiny was to die that very day, he said, "Come, young brahmin; I will put her to the test." So he cut down a fig-tree and hewed out of it a wooden figure about his own size, which he wrapped up, head and all, in a robe and laid upon his own bed,--with a string tied to it. "Now go with an axe to my mother," said he; "and give her this string as a clue to guide her steps."

So away went the youth to the old woman, and said, "Madam, the master is lying down indoors on his bed; I have tied this string as a clue to guide you; take this axe and kill him, if you can." "But you won't forsake me, will you?" said she. "Why should I?" was his reply. So she took the axe, and, rising up with trembling limbs, groped her way along by the string, till she thought she felt her son. Then she bared the head of the figure, and--thinking to kill her son at a single blow--

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brought down the axe right on the figure's throat,--only to learn by the thud that it was wood! "What are you doing, mother?" said the Bodhisatta. With a shriek that she was betrayed, the old woman fell dead to the ground. For, says tradition, it was fated that she should die at that very moment and under her own roof.

Seeing that she was dead, her son burnt her body, and, when the flames of the pile were quenched, graced her ashes with wild-flowers. Then with the young brahmin he sat at the door of the hut and said, "My son, there is no such separate passage as the 'Dolour Text.' 2 It is women who are depravity incarnate. And when your mother sent you back to me to learn the Dolour Texts, her object was that you should learn how wicked women are. You have now witnessed with your own eyes my mother's wickedness, and therefrom you will see how lustful and vile women are." And with this lesson, he bade the youth depart.

Bidding farewell to his master, the young brahmin went home to his parents. Said his mother to him, "Have you now learnt the Dolour Texts?"

"Yes, mother."

"And what," she asked, "is your final choice? will you leave the world to worship the Lord of Fire, or will you choose a family life?" "Nay," answered the young brahmin; "with my own eyes have I seen the wickedness of womankind; I will have nothing to do with family life. I will renounce the world." And his convictions found vent in this stanza:--

In lust unbridled, like devouring fire,
Are women,--frantic in their rage.
The sex renouncing, fain would I retire
To find peace in a hermitage.

[289] With this invective against womankind, the young brahmin took leave of his parents, and renounced the world for the hermit's life,--wherein winning the peace he desired, he assured himself of admittance after that life into the Realm of Brahma.

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"So you see, Brother," said the Master, "how lustful, vile, and woe-bringing are women." And after declaring the wickedness of women, he preached the Four Truths, at the close whereof that Brother won the Fruit of the First Path. Lastly, the Master chewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying,

"Kāpilānī 1 was the mother of those days, Mahā-Kassapa was the father, Ānanda the pupil, and I myself the teacher."


Footnotes

147:1 No. 527.

150:1 Her history is given in J. R. A. S. 1893, page 786.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 62. Aṇḍabhūta-Jātaka



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No. 62.

AṆḌABHŪTA-JĀTAKA.

"Blindfold, a-luting."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about another passion-tost person.

Said the Master, "Is the report true that you are passion-tost, Brother?" "Quite true," was the reply.

"Brother, women can not be warded; in days gone by the wise who kept watch over a woman from the moment she was born, failed nevertheless to keep her safe." And so saying, he told this story of the past.

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta came to life as the child of the Queen-consort. When he grew up, he mastered every accomplishment; and when, at his father's death, he came to be king, he proved a righteous king. Now he used to play at dice with his chaplain, and, as he flung the golden dice upon the silver table, he would sing this catch for luck:--

’Tis nature's law that rivers wind;
Trees grow of wood by law of kind;
And, given opportunity,
All women work iniquity.

[paragraph continues] 2 As these lines always made the king win the game, the chaplain was in a fair way to lose every penny he had in the world. And, in order to save himself from utter ruin, he resolved to seek out a little maid that had never seen another man, and then to keep her under lock and key in his own house. "For," thought he, "I couldn't manage to look after a girl who has seen another man. So I must take a new-born baby girl, and keep her under my thumb as she grows up, with a close guard over her, so that none may come near her and that she may be true to one man. Then I shall win of the king, and grow rich." Now he was skilled in prognostication; and seeing a poor woman who was about to become a mother, and knowing that her child would be a girl, he paid the woman to come and be confined in his house, and sent her away after her confinement with a present. The infant was brought up entirely by women, and no men--other than himself--were ever allowed to set eyes on her. When the girl grew up, she was subject to him and he was her master.

Now, while the girl was growing up, the chaplain forbore to play with the king; but when she was grown up and under his own control,

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he challenged the king to a game. The king accepted, and play began. But, when in throwing the dice the king sang his lucky catch, the chaplain added,--"always excepting my girl." And then luck changed, and it was now the chaplain who won, while the king lost.

Thinking the matter over, the Bodhisatta suspected the chaplain had a virtuous girl shut up in his house; and enquiry proved his suspicions true. Then, in order to work her fall, he sent for a clever scamp, and asked whether he thought he could seduce the girl. "Certainly, sire," said the fellow. So the king gave him money, and sent him away with orders to lose no time.

With the king's money the fellow bought perfumes and incense and aromatics of all sorts, and opened a perfumery shop close to the chaplain's house. Now the chaplain's house was seven stories high, and had seven gateways, at each of which a guard was set,--a guard of women only,--and no man but the brahmin himself was ever allowed to enter. The very baskets that contained the dust and sweepings 1 2 were examined before they were passed in. Only the chaplain was allowed to see the girl, and she had only a single waiting-woman. This woman had money given her to buy flowers and perfumes for her mistress, and on her way she used to pass near the shop which the scamp had opened. And he, knowing very well that she was the girl's attendant, watched one day for her coming, and, rushing out of his shop, fell at her feet, clasping her knees tightly with both hands and blubbering out, "O my mother! where have you been all this long time?"

And his confederates, who stood by his side, cried, "What a likeness! Hand and foot, face and figure, even in style of dress, they are identical!" As one and all kept dwelling on the marvellous likeness, the poor woman lost her head. Crying out that it must be her boy, she too burst into tears. And with weeping and tears the two fell to embracing one another. Then said the man, "Where are you living, mother?"

"Up at the chaplain's, my son. He has a young wife of peerless beauty, a very goddess for grace; and I'm her waiting-woman." "And whither away now, mother?" "To buy her perfumes and flowers." "Why go elsewhere for them? Come to me for them in future," said the fellow. And he gave the woman betel, bdellium, and so forth, and all kinds of flowers, refusing all payment. Struck with the quantity of flowers and perfumes which the waiting-woman brought home, the girl asked why the brahmin was so pleased with her that day. "Why do you say that, my dear?" asked the old woman. "Because of the quantity of things you have brought home." "No, it isn't that the brahmin was free with his money," said the old woman; "for I got them at my son's." And from that day forth she kept the money the brahmin gave her, and got her flowers and other things free of charge at the man's shop.

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And he, a few days later, made out to be ill, and took to his bed. So when the old woman came to the shop and asked for her son, she was told he had been taken ill. Hastening to his side, she fondly stroked his shoulders, as she asked what ailed him. But he made no reply. "Why don't you tell me, my son?" "Not even if I were dying, could I tell you, mother." "But, if you don't tell me, 2 whom are you to tell?" "Well then, mother, my malady lies solely in this that, hearing the praises of your young mistress's beauty, I have fallen in love with her. If I win her, I shall live; if not, this will be my death-bed." "Leave that to me, my boy," said the old woman cheerily; "and don't worry yourself on this account." Then--with a heavy load of perfumes and flowers to take with her--she went home, and said to the brahmin's young wife, "Alas! here's my son in love with you, merely because I told him how beautiful you are! What is to be done?"

"If you can smuggle him in here," replied the girl, "you have my leave."

Hereupon the old woman set to work sweeping together all the dust she could find in the house from top to bottom; this dust she put into a huge flower-basket, and tried to pass out with it. When the usual search was made, she emptied dust over the woman on guard, who fled away under such ill-treatment. In like manner she dealt with all the other watchers, smothering in dust each one in turn that said anything to her. And so it came to pass from that time forward that, no matter what the old woman took in or out of the house, there was nobody bold enough to search her. Now was the time! The old woman smuggled the scamp into the house in a flower-basket, and brought him to her young mistress. He succeeded in wrecking the girl's virtue, and actually stayed a day or two in the upper rooms,--hiding when the chaplain was at home, and enjoying the society of his mistress when the chaplain was off the premises. A day or two passed and the girl said to her lover, "Sweet-heart, you must be going now." "Very well; only I must cuff the brahmin first." "Certainly," said she, and hid the scamp. Then, when the brahmin came in again, she exclaimed, "Oh, my dear husband, I should so like to dance, if you would play the lute for me." "Dance away, my dear," said the chaplain, and struck up forthwith. "But I shall be too ashamed, if you're looking. Let me hide your handsome face first with a cloth; and then I will dance." "All right," said he; "if you're too modest to dance otherwise." So she took a thick cloth and tied it over the brahmin's face so as to blindfold him. And, blindfolded as he was, the brahmin began to play the lute. After dancing awhile, she cried, "My clear, I should so like to hit you once on the head." "Hit away," said the unsuspecting dotard. Then the girl made a sign to her paramour; and he softly stole up behind the brahmin 2 3 and smote him on the head.

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[paragraph continues] Such was the force of the blow, that the brahmin's eyes were like to start out of his head, and a bump rose up on the spot. Smarting with pain, he called to the girl to give him her hand; and she placed it in his. "Ah! it's a soft hand," said he; "but it hits hard!"

Now, as soon as the scamp had struck the brahmin, he hid; and when he was hidden, the girl took the bandage off the chaplain's eyes and rubbed his bruised head with oil. The moment the brahmin went out, the scamp was stowed away in his basket again by the old woman, and so carried out of the house. Making his way at once to the king, he told him the whole adventure.

Accordingly, when the brahmin was next in attendance, the king proposed a game with the dice; the brahmin was willing; and the dicing-table was brought out. As the king made his throw, he sang his old catch, and the brahmin--ignorant of the girl's naughtiness--added his "always excepting my girl,"--and nevertheless lost!

Then the king, who did know what had passed, said to his chaplain, "Why except her? Her virtue has given way. Ah, you dreamed that by taking a girl in the hour of her birth and by placing a sevenfold guard round her, you could be certain of her. Why, you couldn't be certain of a woman, even if you had her inside you and always walked about with her. No woman is ever faithful to one man alone. As for that girl of yours, she told you she should like to dance, and having first blindfolded you as you played the lute to her, she let her paramour strike you on the head, and then smuggled him out of the house. Where then is your exception?" And so saying, the king repeated this stanza:--

Blindfold, a-luting, by his wife beguiled,
  The brahmin sits,--who tried to rear
A paragon of virtue undefiled!
  Learn hence to hold the sex in fear.

[294] In such wise did the Bodhisatta expound the Truth to the brahmin. And the brahmin went home and taxed the girl with the wickedness of which she was accused. "My dear husband, who can have said such a thing about me?" said she. "Indeed I am innocent; indeed it was my own hand, and nobody else's, that struck you; and, if you do not believe me, I will brave the ordeal of fire to prove that no man's hand has touched me but yours; and so I will make you believe me." "So be it," said the brahmin. And he had a quantity of wood brought and set light to it. Then the girl was summoned. "Now," said he, "if you believe your own story, brave these flames!"

Now before this the girl had instructed her attendant as follows:--"Tell your son, mother, to be there and to seize my hand just as I am about to go into the fire." And the old woman did as she was bidden; and the fellow came and took his stand among the crowd. Then, to

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delude the brahmin, the girl, standing there before all the people, exclaimed with fervour, "No man's hand but thine, brahmin, has ever touched me; and, by the truth of my asseveration I call on this fire to harm me not." So saying, she advanced to the burning pile,--when up dashed her paramour, who seized her by the hand, crying shame on the brahmin who could force so fair a maid to enter the flames! Shaking her hand free, the girl exclaimed to the brahmin that what she had asserted was now undone, and that she could not now brave the ordeal of fire. "Why not?" said the brahmin. "Because," she replied, "my asseveration was that no man's hand but thine had ever touched me; 2 5 and now here is a man who has seized hold of my hand!" But the brahmin, knowing that he was tricked, drove her from him with blows.

Such, we learn, is the wickedness of women. What crime will they not commit; and then, to deceive their husbands, what oaths will they not take--aye, in the light of day--that they did it not! So false-hearted are they! Therefore has it been said:--

A sex composed of wickedness and guile,
Unknowable; uncertain as the path
Of fishes in the water,--womankind
Hold truth for falsehood, falsehood for the truth!
As greedily as cows seek pastures new,
Women, unsated, yearn for mate on mate.
As sand unstable, cruel as the snake,
Women know all things; naught from them is hid!

_____________________________

"Even so impossible is it to ward women," said the Master. His lesson ended, he preached the Truths, at the close whereof the passion-test Brother won the Fruit of the First Path. Also the Master showed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying:--"In these days I was the king of Benares."

[Note. The cuffing of the brahmin is the subject of a Bharhut sculpture, Plate 26, 8. For a parallel to the trick by which the girl avoids the ordeal of fire, see Folklore 3. 291.]


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 63. Takka-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 63.

TAKKA-JĀTAKA.

"Wrathful are women."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about another passion-tost Brother. When on being questioned the Brother confessed that he was passion-tost, the Master said, "Women are ingrates and treacherous; why are you passion-tost because of them?" And he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

p. 156

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta, who had chosen an anchorite's life, built himself a hermitage by the banks of the Ganges, and there won the Attainments and the Higher Knowledges, and so dwelt in the bliss of Insight. In those days the Lord High Treasurer of Benares had a fierce and cruel daughter, known as Lady Wicked, who used to revile and beat her servants and slaves. And one day they took their young mistress 2 6 to disport herself in the Ganges; and the girls were playing about in the water, when the sun set and a great storm burst upon them. Hereon folks scampered away, and the girl's attendants, exclaiming, "Now is the time to see the last of this creature!" threw her right into the river and hurried off. Down poured the rain in torrents, the sun set, and darkness came on. And when the attendants reached home without their young mistress, and were asked where she was, they replied that she had got out of the Ganges but that they did not know where she had gone. Search was made by her family, but not a trace of the missing girl could be found.

Meantime she, screaming loudly, was swept down by the swollen stream, and at midnight approached where the Bodhisatta dwelt in his hermitage. Hearing her cries, he thought to himself, "That's a woman's voice. I must rescue her from the water." So he took a torch of grass and by its light descried her in the stream. "Don't be afraid; don't be afraid!" he shouted cheerily, and waded in, and, thanks to his vast strength, as of an elephant, brought her safe to land. Then he made a fire for her in his hermitage and set luscious fruits of divers kinds before her. Not till she had eaten did he ask, "Where is your home, and how came you to fall in the river?" And the girl told him all that had befallen her. "Dwell here for the present," said he, and installed her in his hermitage, whilst for the next two or three days he himself abode in the open air. At the end of that time he bade her depart, but she was set on waiting till she had made the ascetic fall in love with her; and would not go. And as time went by, she so wrought on him by her womanly grace and wiles that he lost his Insight. With her he continued to dwell in the forest. But she did not like living in that solitude and wanted to be taken among people. So yielding to her importunities he took her away with him to a border village, where he supported her by selling dates, and so was called the Date-Sage 1. And the villagers paid

p. 157

him to teach them what were lucky and unlucky seasons, and gave him a hut to live in at the entrance to their village.

Now the border was harried by robbers from the mountains; and they made a raid one day 2 on the village where the pair lived, and looted it. They made the poor villagers pack up their belongings, and off they went--with the Treasurer's daughter among the rest--to their own abodes. Arrived there, they let everybody else go free; but the girl, because of her beauty, was taken to wife by the robber chieftain.

And when the Bodhisatta learned this, he thought to himself, "She will not endure to live away from me. She will escape and come back to me." And so he lived on, waiting for her to return. She meantime was very happy with the robbers, and only feared that the Date-sage would come to carry her away again. "I should feel more secure," thought she, "if he were dead. I must send a message to him feigning love and so entice him here to his death." So she sent a messenger to him with the message that she was unhappy, and that she wanted him to take her away.

And he, in his faith in her, set out forthwith, and came to the entrance of the robbers' village, whence be sent a message to her. "To fly now, my husband," said she, "would only be to fall into the robber chieftain's hands who would kill us both. Let us put off our flight till night." So she took him and hid him in a room; and when the robber came home at night and was inflamed with strong drink, she said to him, "Tell me, love, what would you do if your rival were in your power?"

And he said he would do this and that to him.

"Perhaps he is not so far away as you think," said she. "He is in the next room."

Seizing a torch, the robber rushed in and seized the Bodhisatta and beat him about the head and body to his heart's content. Amid the blows the Bodhisatta made no cry, only murmuring, "Cruel ingrates! slanderous traitors!" And this was all he said. And when he had thus beaten, bound, and laid by the heels the Bodhisatta, the robber finished his supper, and lay down to sleep. In the morning, when he had slept off his over-night's debauch, he fell anew to beating the Bodhisatta, who still made no cry but kept repeating the same four words. And the robber was struck with this and asked why, even when beaten, he kept saying that. [298]

"Listen," said the Date-Sage, "and you shall hear. Once I was a hermit dwelling in the solitude of the forest, and there I won Insight. And I rescued this woman from the Ganges and helped her in her need, and by her allurements fell from my high estate. Then I quitted the forest and supported her in a village, whence she was carried off by robbers. And she sent me a message that she was unhappy, entreating

p. 158

me to come and take her away. Now she has made me fall into your hands. That is why I thus exclaim."

This set the robber a-thinking again, and he thought, "If she can feel so little for one who is so good and has done so much for her, what injury would she not do to me? She must die." So having reassured the Bodhisatta and having awakened the woman, he set out sword in hand, pretending to her that he was about to kill him outside the village. Then bidding her hold the Date-Sage he drew his sword, and, making as though to kill the sage, clove the woman in twain. Then he bathed the Date-Sage from head to foot and for several days fed him with dainties to his heart's content.

"Where do you purpose to go now?" said the robber at last.

"The world," answered the sage, "has no pleasures for me. I will become a hermit once more and dwell in my former habitation in the forest."

"And I too will become a hermit," exclaimed the robber. So both became hermits together, and dwelt in the hermitage in the forest, where they won the Higher Knowledges and the Attainments, and qualified themselves when life ended to enter the Realm of Brahma.

_____________________________

After telling these two stories, the Master chewed the connexion, by reciting, as Buddha, this stanza:--

Wrathful are women, slanderers, ingrates,
The sowers of dissension and fell strife!
Then, Brother, tread the path of holiness,
And Bliss therein thou shalt not fail to find.

[299] His lesson ended, the Master preached the Truths, at the close whereof the passion-tost Brother won the Fruit of the First Path. Also, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "Ānanda was the robber-chief of those days, and I myself the Date-Sage."


Footnotes

156:1 There is a play here upon the word takka, which cannot well be rendered in English. The word takka-paṇḍito, which I have rendered 'Date Sage,' would--by itself--mean 'Logic Sage,' whilst his living was got takkaṁ vikkinitvā 'by selling dates.' There is the further difficulty that the latter phrase may equally well mean by selling buttermilk.'


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 64. Durājāna-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 64.

DURĀJĀNA-JĀTAKA.

"Think’st thou."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a lay-brother. Tradition says that there dwelt at Sāvatthi a lay-brother, who was stablished in the Three Gems and the Five Commandments, a devout lover of the Buddha, the Doctrine and the Brotherhood. But his wife was a sinful and wicked woman. On days when she did wrong, she was as meek as a slave-girl bought for a hundred pieces; whilst on days when she did not do

p. 159

wrong, she played my lady, passionate and tyrannical. The husband could not make her out. She worried him so much that he did not go to wait on the Buddha.

One day he went with perfumes and flowers, and had taken his seat after due salutation, when the Master said to him:--"Pray how comes it, lay-brother, that seven or eight days have gone by without your coming to wait upon the Buddha?" "My wife, sir, is one day like a slave-girl bought for a hundred pieces, while another day finds her like a passionate and tyrannical mistress. I cannot make her out; and it is because she has worried me so that I have not been to wait upon the Buddha."

Now, when he heard these words, the Master said, "Why, lay-brother, you have already been told by the wise and good of bygone days that it is hard to understand the nature of women." And he went on to add "but his previous existences have come to be confused in his mind, so that he cannot remember." And so saying, he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta came to be a teacher of world-wide fame, with five hundred young brahmins studying under him. 3 One of these pupils was a young brahmin from a foreign land, who fell in love with a woman and made her his wife. Though he continued to live on in Benares, be failed two or three times in his attendance on the master. For, you should know, his wife was a sinful and wicked woman, who was as meek as a slave on days when she had done wrong, but on days when she had not done wrong, played my lady, passionate and tyrannical. Her husband could not make her out at all; and so worried and harassed by her was he that he absented himself from waiting on the Master. Now, some seven or eight days later he renewed his attendances, and was asked by the Bodhisatta why he had not been seen of late.

"Master, my wife is the cause," said he. And he told the Bodhisatta how she was meek one day like a slave-girl, and tyrannical the next; how he could not make her out at all, and how he had been so worried and harassed by her shifting moods that he had stayed away.

"Precisely so, young brahmin," said the Bodhisatta; "on days when they have done wrong, women humble themselves before their husbands and become as meek and submissive as a slave-girl; but on days when they have not done wrong, then they become stiff-necked and insubordinate to their lords. After this manner are women sinful and wicked; and their nature is hard to know. No heed should be paid either to their likes or to their dislikes." And so saying, the Bodhisatta repeated for the edification of his pupil this Stanza:--

Think’st thou a woman loves thee?--be not glad.
Think’st thou she loves thee not?--forbear to grieve.
Unknowable, uncertain as the path
Of fishes in the water, women prove.

p. 160

[301] Such was the Bodhisatta's instruction to his pupil, who thenceforward paid no heed to his wife's caprices. And she, hearing that her misconduct had come to the ears of the Bodhisatta, ceased from that time forward from her naughtiness.

_____________________________

So too this lay-brother's wife said to herself, "The Perfect Buddha himself knows, they tell me, of my misconduct," and thenceforth she sinned no more.

His lesson ended, the Master preached the Truths, at the close whereof the lay-brother won the Fruit of the First Path. Then the Master shewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying--"This husband and wife were also the husband and wife of those days, and I myself the teacher."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 65. Anabhirati-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 65.

ANABHIRATI-JĀTAKA.

"Like highways."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about just such another lay-brother as the last. This man, when on enquiry he assured himself of his wife's misconduct, came to words with her, with the result that he was so upset that for seven or eight days he failed in his attendance. One day he came to the monastery, made his bow to the Blessed One and took his seat. Being asked why he had been absent for seven or eight days, he replied, "Sir, my wife has misconducted herself, and I have been so upset about her that I did not come."

"Lay-brother," said the Master, "long ago the wise and good told you not to be angered at the naughtiness found in women, but to preserve your equanimity this, however, you have forgotten, because re-birth has hidden it from you." And so saying, he told--at that lay-brother's request--this story of the past.

_____________________________

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was a teacher of world-wide reputation, as in the foregoing story. And a pupil of his, finding his wife unfaithful, was so affected by the discovery that he stayed away for some days, but being asked one day by his teacher what was the reason of his absence, he made a clean breast of it, Then said his teacher, "My son, there is no private property in women: they are common to all. 2 3 And therefore wise men knowing

p. 161

their frailty, are nod excited to anger against them." And so saying, he repeated this stanza for his pupil's edification:--

Like highways, rivers, courtyards, hostelries,
Or taverns, which to all alike extend
One universal hospitality,
Is womankind; and wise men never stoop
To wrath at frailty in a sex so frail.

Such was the instruction which the Bodhisatta imparted to his pupil, who thenceforward grew indifferent to what women did. And as for his wife, she was so changed by hearing that the teacher knew what she was, that she gave up her naughtiness thenceforth.

_____________________________

So too that lay-brother's wife, when she heard that the Master knew what she was, gave up her naughtiness thenceforth.

His lesson ended, the Master preached the Truths, at the close whereof the lay-brother won the Fruit of the First Path. Also the Master shewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying, "This husband and wife were also the husband and wife of those days, and I myself the brahmin teacher."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 66. Mudulakkhaṇa-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 66.

MUDULAKKHAṆA-JĀTAKA.

"Till Gentle-heart was mine."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about concupiscence. Tradition says that a young gentleman of Sāvatthi, 3 on hearing the Truth preached by the Master, gave his heart to the Doctrine of the Three Gems. Renouncing the world for the Brother's life, he rose to walk in the Paths, to practise meditation, and never to slacken in his pondering over the theme he had chosen for thought. One day, whilst he was on his round for alms through Sāvatthi, he espied a woman in brave attire, and, for pleasure's sake, broke through the higher morality and gazed upon her! Passion was stirred within him, he became even as a fig-tree felled by the axe. From that day forth, under the sway of passion, the palate of his mind, as of his body, lost all its gust; like a brute beast, he took no joy in the Doctrine, and suffered his nails and hair to grow long and his robes to grow foul.

When his friends among the Brethren became aware of his troubled state of mind, they said, "Why, sir, is your moral state otherwise than it was?" "My Joy has gone," said he. Then they took him to the Master, who asked them why they had brought that Brother there against his will. "Because, sir, his joy is gone," "Is that true, Brother?" "It is, Blessed One." "Who has troubled you?" "Sir, I was on my round for alms when, violating the higher morality, I gazed on a woman; and passion was stirred within me. Therefore am I

p. 162

troubled." Then said the Master, "It is little marvel, Brother, that when, violating morality, you were gazing for pleasure's sake on an exceptional object, you were stirred by passion. Why, in bygone times, even those who had won the five Higher Knowledges and the eight Attainments, those who by the might of Insight had quelled their passions, whose hearts were purified and whose feet could walk the skies, yea even Bodhisattas, through gazing in violation of morality on an exceptional object, lost their insight, were stirred by passion, and came to great sorrow. Little recks the wind which could overturn Mount Sineru, of a bare hillock no bigger than an elephant; little recks a wind which could uproot a mighty Jambu-tree, of a bush on the face of a cliff; and little recks a wind which could dry up a vast ocean, of a tiny pond. If passion could breed folly in the supremely-enlightened and pure-minded Bodhisattas, shall passion be abashed before you? Why, even purified beings are led astray by passion, and those advanced to the highest honour, come to shame." And so saying, he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born into a rich brahmin family in the Kāsi country. When he was grown up and had finished his education, he renounced all Lusts, and, forsaking the world for the hermit's life, went to live in the solitudes of the Himalayas. There by due fulfilment of all preparatory forms of meditation, he won by abstract thought the Higher Knowledges and the ecstatic Attainments; and so lived his life in the bliss of mystic Insight.

[304] Lack of salt and vinegar brought him one day to Benares, where he took up his quarters in the king's pleasaunce. Next day, after seeing to his bodily needs, he folded up the red suit of bark which he commonly wore, threw over one shoulder a black antelope's skin, knotted his tangled locks in a coil on the top of his head, and with a yoke on his back from which hung two baskets, set out on his round in quest of alms. Coming to the palace-gates on his way, his demeanour so commended him to the king that his majesty had him brought in So the ascetic was seated on a couch of great splendour and fed with abundance of the daintiest food. And when he thanked the king, he was invited to take up his dwelling in the pleasaunce. The ascetic accepted the offer, and for sixteen years abode in the pleasaunce, exhorting the king's household and eating of the king's meat.

Now there came a day when the king must go to the borders to put down a rising. But, before he started, he charged his queen, whose name was Gentle-heart, to minister to the wants of the holy man. So, after the king's departure, the Bodhisatta continued to go when he pleased to the palace.

One day Queen Gentle-heart got ready a meal for the Bodhisatta; but as he was late in coming, she betook herself to her own toilette. After bathing in perfumed water, she dressed herself in all her splendour,

p. 163

and lay down, awaiting his coming, on a little couch in the spacious chamber.

Waking from rapture of Insight, and seeing how late it was, the Bodhisatta transported himself through the air to the palace. Hearing the rustling of his bark-robe, the queen started up hurriedly to receive him. In her hurry to rise, her tunic slipped down, so that her beauty was revealed to the ascetic as he entered the window; and at the sight, in violation of Morality he gazed for pleasure's sake on the marvellous beauty of the queen. Lust was kindled within him; he was as a tree felled by the axe. At once all Insight deserted him, and he became as a crow with its wings clipped. Clutching his food, still standing, he ate not, but took his way, all a-tremble with desire, from the palace to his hut in the pleasaunce, set it down beneath his wooden couch and thereon lay for seven whole days a prey to hunger and thirst, enslaved by the queen's loveliness, his heart aflame with lust.

On the seventh day, the king came back from pacifying the border. After passing in solemn procession round the city, he entered his palace. 3 5 Then, wishing to see the ascetic, he took his way to the pleasaunce, and there in the cell found the Bodhisatta lying on his couch. Thinking the holy man had been taken ill, the king, after first having the cell cleaned out, asked, as he stroked the sufferer's feet, what ailed him. "Sire, my heart is fettered by lust; that is my sole ailment." "Lust for whom?" "For Gentle-heart, sire." "Then she is yours; I give her to you," said the king. Then he passed with the ascetic to the palace, and bidding the queen array herself in all her splendour, gave her to the Bodhisatta. But, as he was giving her away, the king privily charged the queen to put forth her utmost endeavour to save the holy man.

"Fear not, sire," said the queen; "I will save him." So with the queen the ascetic went out from the palace. But when he had passed through the great gate, the queen cried out that they must have a house to live in; and back he must go to the king to ask for one. So back he went to ask the king for a house to live in, and the king gave them a tumble-down dwelling which passers-by used as a jakes. To this dwelling the ascetic took the queen; but she flatly refused to enter it, because of its filthy state.

"What am I to do?" he cried. "Why, clean it out," she said. And she sent him to the king for a spade and a basket, and made him remove all the filth and dirt, and plaster the walls with cowdung, which he had to fetch. This done, she made him get a bed, and a stool, and a rug, and a water-pot, and a cup, sending him for only one thing at a time. Next, she sent him packing to fetch water and a thousand other things. So off he started for the water, and filled up the water-pot, and set out the water for the bath, and made the bed. And, as he sat with her upon the

p. 164

bed, she took him by the whiskers and drew him towards her till they were face to face, saying, "Hast thou forgotten that thou art a holy man and a brahmin?"

Hereon he came to himself after his interval of witless folly.

(And here should be repeated the text beginning, "Thus the hindrances of Lust and Longing are called Evils because they spring from Ignorance, Brethren; 3 6 that which springs from Ignorance creates Darkness.")

So when he had come to himself, he bethought him how, waxing stronger and stronger, this fatal craving would condemn him hereafter to the Four States of Punishment 1." This self-same day," he cried, "will I restore this woman to the king and fly to the mountains!" So he stood with the queen before the king and said, "Sire, I want your queen no longer; and it was only for her that cravings were awakened within me." And so saying, he repeated this Stanza:--

Till Gentle-heart was mine, one sole desire
I had,--to win her. When her beauty owned
Me lord, desire came crowding on desire.

Forthwith his lost power of Insight came back to him. Rising from the earth and seating himself in the air, he preached the Truth to the king; and without touching earth he passed through the air to the Himalayas. He never came back to the paths of men; but grew in love and charity till, with Insight unbroken, he passed to a new birth in the Realm of Brahma.

_____________________________

His lesson ended, the Master preached the Truths, at the close whereof that Brother won Arahatship itself. Also the Master shewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying, "Ānanda was the King of those days, Uppala-vaṇṇā was Gentle-heart, and I the hermit."


Footnotes

164:1 Hell, the brute-creation, ghostdom, devildom.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 67. Ucchaṅga-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 67.

UCCHAṄGA-JĀTAKA.

"A son's an easy find."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a certain country-woman.

For it fell out once in Kosala that three men were ploughing on the outskirts of a certain forest, and that robbers plundered folk in that forest and made their escape. 3 The victims came, in the course of a fruitless search for the rascals, to where the three men were ploughing. "Here are the forest robbers,

p. 165

disguised as husbandmen," they cried, and hauled the trio off as prisoners to the King of Kosala. Now time after time there came to the king's palace a woman who with loud lamentations begged for "wherewith to be covered." Hearing her cry, the king ordered a shift to be given her; but she refused it, saying this was not what she meant. So the king's servants came back to his majesty and said that what the woman wanted was not clothes but a husband 1. Then the king had the woman brought into his presence and asked her whether she really did mean a husband.

"Yes, sire," she answered; "for a husband is a woman's real covering, and she that lacks a husband--even though she be clad in garments costing a thousand pieces--goes bare and naked indeed."

(And to enforce this truth, the following Sutta should be recited here:--

Like kingless kingdoms, like a stream run dry,
So bare and naked is a woman seen,
Who, having brothers ten, yet lacks a mate.)

Pleased with the woman's answer, the king asked what relation the three prisoners were to her. And she said that one was her husband, one her brother, and one her son. "Well, to mark my favour," said the king, "I give you one of the three. Which will you take?" "Sire," was her answer, "if I live, I can get another husband and another son; but as my parents are dead, I can never get another brother. So give me my brother, Sire." Pleased with the woman, the king set all three men at liberty; and thus this one woman was the means of saving three persons from peril.

When the matter came to the knowledge of the Brotherhood, they were lauding the woman in the Hall of Truth, when the Master entered. Learning on enquiry what was the subject of their talk, he said, "This is not the first time, Brethren, that this woman has saved those three from peril; she did the same in days gone by." And, so saying, he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, three men were ploughing on the outskirts of a forest, and everything came to pass as above.

Being asked by the king which of the three she would take, the woman said, "Cannot your majesty give me all three?" "No," said the king, "I cannot." 3 "Well, if I cannot have all three, give me my brother." "Take your husband or your son," said the king. "What matters a brother?" "The two former I can readily replace," answered the woman, "but a brother never." And so saying, she repeated this stanza:--

A son 's an easy find; of husbands too
An ample choice throngs public ways. But where
Will all my pains another brother find?

"She is quite right," said the king, well-pleased. And he bade all three men be fetched from the prison and given over to the woman. She took them all three and went her way.

_____________________________

p. 166

"So you see, Brethren," said the Master, "that this same woman once before saved these same three men from peril." His lesson ended, he made the connexion and identified the Birth by saying, "The woman and the three men of to-day were also the woman and men of those bygone days; and I was then the king."

[Note.--Cf. for the idea of the verse Herodotus 118-120, Sophocles Antigone 909-912; and see this passage discussed in the Indian Antiquary for December, 1881.]


Footnotes

165:1 Cf. 'femme couverte.'


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 68. Sāketa-Jātaka



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No. 68.

SĀKETA-JĀTAKA.

"The man thy mind rests on."--This story was told by the Master, while at Añjanavana, about a certain brahmin. Tradition says that when the Blessed One with his disciples was entering the city of Sāketa, an old brahmin of that place, who was going out, met him in the gateway. Falling at the Buddha's feet, and clasping him by the ankles, the old man cried, "Son, is it not the duty of children to cherish the old age of their parents? 3 Why have you not let us see you all this long time? At last I have seen you; come, let your mother see you too." So saying, he took the Master with him to his house; and there the Master sat upon the seat prepared for him, with his disciples around him. Then came the brahmin's wife, and she too fell at the feet of the Blessed One, crying, "My son, where have you been all this time? Is it not the duty of children to comfort their parents in their old age?" Hereon, she called to her sons and daughters that their brother was come, and made them salute the Buddha. And in their joy the aged pair shewed great hospitality to their guests. After his meal, the Master recited to the old people the Sutta concerning old-age 1; and, when he had ended, both husband and wife won fruition of the Second Path. Then rising up from his seat, the Master went back to Añjanavana.

Meeting together in the Hall of Truth, the Brethren fell to talking about this thing. It was urged that the brahmin must have been well aware that Suddhodana was the father, and Mahāmāyā the mother, of the Buddha; yet none the less, he and his wife had claimed the Buddha as their own son,--and that with the Master's assent. What could it all mean? Hearing their talk, the Master said, "Brethren, the aged pair were right in claiming me as their son." And so saying, he told this story of the past.

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Brethren, in ages past this brahmin was my father in 500 successive births, my uncle in a like number, and in 500 more my grandfather. And

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in 1500 successive births his wife was respectively my mother, my aunt, and my grandmother. So I was brought up in 1500 births by this brahmin, and in 1500 by his wife.

And therewithal, having told of these 3000 births, the Master, as Buddha, recited this Stanza:--

The man thy mind rests on, with whom thy heart
Is pleased at first sight,--place thy trust in him.

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[310] His lesson ended, the Master shewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying, "This brahmin and his wife were the husband and wife in all those existences, and I the child."

[Note. See also No. 237.]


Footnotes

166:1 The Jarā-sutta of the Sutta-nipāta, page 152 of Fausböll's edition for the Pāli Text Society.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 69. Visavanta-Jātaka



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No. 69.

VISAVANTA-JĀTAKA.

"May shame."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana about Sāriputta, the Captain of the Faith. Tradition says that in the days when the Elder used to eat meal-cakes, folks came to the monastery with a quantity of such cakes for the Brotherhood. After the Brethren had all eaten their fill, much remained over; and the givers said, "Sirs, take some for those too who are away in the village."

Just then a youth who was the Elder's co-resident, was away in the village. For him a portion was taken; but, as he did not return, and it was felt that it was getting very late 1, this portion was given to the Elder. When this portion had been eaten by the Elder, the youth carte in. Accordingly, the Elder explained the case to him, saying, "Sir, I have eaten the cakes set apart for you." "Ah!" was the rejoinder, "we have all of us got a sweet tooth." The Great Elder was much troubled.

"From this day forward," he exclaimed, "I vow never to eat meal-cakes again." And from that day forward, so tradition says, the Elder Sāriputta never touched meal-cakes again! This abstention became matter of common knowledge in the Brotherhood, and the Brethren sat talking of it in the Hall of Truth. Said the Master, "What are you talking of, Brethren, as you sit here?" When they had told him, he said, "Brethren, when Sāriputta has once given anything up, he never goes back to it again, even though his life ḅe at stake." And so saying, he told this story of the past.

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p. 168

Once on a time, when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born into a family of doctors skilled in the cure of snake-bites, and when he grew up, he practised for a livelihood.

Now it fell out that a countryman was bitten by a snake; and without delay his relatives quickly fetched the doctor. Said the Bodhisatta, "Shall I extract the venom with the usual antidotes, or have the snake caught and make it suck its own poison out of the wound?" "Have the snake caught and make it suck the poison out." So, he had the snake caught, and asked the creature, saying "Did you bite this man?" "Yes, I did," was the answer. 1 3 "Well then, suck your own poison out of the wound again." "What? Take back the poison I have once shed!" cried the snake; "I never did, and I never will." Then the doctor made a fire with wood, and said to the snake, "Either you suck the poison out, or into the fire you go."

"Even though the flames be my doom, I will not take back the poison I have once shed," said the snake, and repeated the following stanza:--

May shame be on the poison which, once shed,
To save my life, I swallow down again!
More welcome death than life by weakness bought!

With these words, the snake moved towards the fire! But the doctor barred its way, and drew out the poison with simples and charms, so that the man was whole again. Then he unfolded the Commandments to the snake, and set it free, saying, "Henceforth do harm to none."

_____________________________

And the Master went on to say,--"Brethren, when Sāriputta has once parted with anything, he never takes it back again, even though his life be at stake." His lesson ended, he shewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying, "Sāriputta was the snake of those days, and I the doctor."


Footnotes

167:1 i.e. close on to mid-day, after which the food could not properly be eaten. See note, page 107.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 70. Kuddāla-Jātaka



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No. 70.

KUDDĀLA-JĀTAKA.

"The conquest."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about the Elder named Cittahattha-Sāriputta. He is said to have been a youth of a good family in Sāvatthi; and one day, on his way home from ploughing, he turned in to the monastery. Here he received from the bowl of a certain Elder some dainty fare, rich and sweet, which made him think to himself,--"Day and night I am toiling away with my hands at divers tasks, yet never do I taste food

p. 169

so sweet. I must turn Brother myself!" So he joined the Brotherhood, but after six weeks' zealous application to high thinking, fell under the dominion of Lusts and off he went. His belly again proving too much for him, 1 2 3 back he came to join the Brotherhood once more, and studied the Abhidhamma 1. In this way, six times he left and came back again; but when for the seventh time he became a Brother, he mastered the whole seven books of the Abhidhamma, and by much chanting of the Doctrine of the Brothers won Discernment and attained to Arahatship. Now his friends among the Brethren scoffed at him, saying--"Can it be, sir, that Lusts have ceased to spring up within your heart?"

"Sirs," was the reply, "I have now got beyond mundane life henceforth."

He having thus won Arahatship, talk thereof arose in the Hall of Truth, as follows:--"Sirs, though all the while he was destined to. all the glories of Arahatship, yet six times did Cittahattha-Sāriputta renounce the Brotherhood; truly, very wrong is the unconverted state."

Returning to the Hall, the Master asked what they were talking about. Being told, he said, "Brethren, the worldling's heart is light and hard to curb; material things attract and hold it fast; when once it is so held fast, it cannot be released in a trice. Excellent is the mastery of such a heart; once mastered, it brings joy and happiness:

’Tis good to tame a headstrong heart and frail,
By passion swayed. Once tamed, the heart brings bliss.

It was by reason of this headstrong quality of the heart, however, that, for the sake of a pretty spade which they could not bring themselves to throw away, the wise and good of bygone days six times reverted to the world out of sheer cupidity; but on the seventh occasion they won Insight and subdued their cupidity." And so saying, he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta came to life again as a gardener, and grew up. 'Spade Sage' was his name. With his spade he cleared a patch of ground, and grew pot-herbs, pumpkins, gourds, cucumbers, and other vegetables, by the sale of which he made a sorry living. For, save only that one spade, he had nothing in the world! Resolving one day to forsake the world for the religious life, he hid his spade away, and became a recluse. But thoughts of that spade rose in his heart and the passion of greed overcame him, so that for the sake of his blunt spade he reverted to the world. 1 3 Again and again this happened; six times did he hide the spade and become a recluse,--only to renounce his vows again. But the seventh time he bethought him how that blunt spade had caused him again and again to backslide; and he made up his mind to throw it into a great river before he became a recluse again. So he carried the spade to the river-side, and, fearing lest if he saw where it fell, he should come back and fish it out again, he whirled the spade thrice round his head by the handle and flung

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it with the strength of an elephant right into mid-stream, shutting his eyes tight as he-did so. Then loud rang his shout of exultation, a shout like a lion's roar,--"I have conquered! I have conquered!"

Now just at that moment the King of Benares, on his way home from quelling disorder on the border, had been bathing in that very river, and was riding along in all his splendour on the back of his elephant, when he heard the Bodhisatta's shout of triumph. "Here's a man," said the king, "who is proclaiming that he has conquered. I wonder whom he has conquered. Go, bring him before me."

So the Bodhisatta was brought before the king, who said to him, "My good man, I am a conqueror myself; I have just won a battle and am on my way home victorious. Tell me whom you have conquered." "Sire," said the Bodhisatta, "a thousand, yea, a hundred thousand, such victories as yours are vain, if you have not the victory over the Lusts within yourself. It is by conquering greed within myself that I have conquered my Lusts." And as he spoke, he gazed upon the great river, and by duly concentrating all his mind upon the idea of water, won Insight. Then by virtue of his newly-won transcendental powers, he rose in the air, and, seated there, instructed the King in the Truth in this stanza:--

The conquest that by further victories
Must be upheld, or own defeat at last,
Is vain! True conquest lasts for evermore!

[314] Even as he listened to the Truth, light shone in on the king's darkness, and the Lusts of his heart were quenched; his heart was bent on renouncing the world; then and there the lust for royal dominion passed away from him. "And where will you go now?" said the king to the Bodhisatta. "To the Himalayas, sire; there to live the anchorite's life." "Then I, too, will become an anchorite," said the king; and he departed with the Bodhisatta. And with the king there departed also the whole army, all the brahmins and householders and all the common folk,--in a word, all the host that was gathered there.

Tidings came to Benares that their king, on hearing the Truth preached by the Spade Sage, was fain to live the anchorite's life and had gone forth with all his host. "And what shall we do here?" cried the folk of Benares. And thereupon, from out that city which was twelve leagues about, all the inhabitants went forth, a train twelve leagues long, with whom the Bodhisatta passed to the Himalayas.

Then the throne of Sakka, King of Devas, became hot beneath him 1. Looking out, he saw that the Spade Sage was engaged upon a Great

p. 171

Renunciation 1. Marking the numbers of his following, Indra took thought how to house them all. And he sent for Vissakamma, the architect of the Devas, and spoke thus:--"The Spade Sage is engaged upon a Great Renunciation, 1 3 5 and quarters must be found for him. Go you to the Himalayas, and there on level ground fashion by divine power a hermit's demesne thirty leagues long and fifteen broad."

"It shall be done, sire," said Vissakamma. And away he went, and did what he was bidden.

(What follows is only a summary; the full details will be given in the Hatthipāla-jātaka 2, which forms one narrative with this.) Vissakamma caused a hermitage to arise in the hermit's demesne; drove away all the noisy beasts and birds and fairies; and made in each cardinal direction a path just broad enough for one person to pass along it at a time. This done, he betook himself to his own abode. The Spade Sage with his host of people came to the Himalayas and entered the demesne which Indra had given and took possession of the house and furniture which Vissakamma had created for the hermits. First of all, he renounced the world himself, and afterwards made the people renounce it. Then he portioned out the demesne among them. They abandoned all their sovereignty, which rivalled that of Sakka himself; and the whole thirty leagues of the demesne were filled. By due performance of all the other 3 rites that conduce to Insight, the Spade Sage developed perfect good-will within himself, and be taught the people how to meditate. Hereby they all won the Attainments, and assured their entry thereafter into the Brahma-Realm, whilst all who ministered to them qualified for entry thereafter into the Realm of Devas.

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"Thus, Brethren," said the Master, "the heart, when passion holds it fast, is hard to release. When the attributes of greed spring up within it, they are hard to chase away, and even persons so wise and good as the above are thereby rendered witless." His lesson ended, he preached the Truths, at the close whereof some won the First, some the Second, and some the Third Path, whilst others again attained to Arahatship. Further, the Master shewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying, "Ānanda was the king of those days, the Buddha's followers were the followers, and I myself the Spade Sage."


Footnotes

169:1 The third, and latest, of the Piṭakas,--perhaps compiled from the Nikāyas of the Sutta-piṭaka.

170:1 Only the merits of a good man struggling with adversity could thus appeal to the mercy-seat of the Archangel.

171:1 It is only when a future Buddha renounces the world for the religious life, that his 'going forth' is termed a Great Renunciation. Cf. p. 61 of Vol. I. of Fausböll's text as to Gotama's 'going forth.'

171:2 No. 509,--where, however, no further details are vouchsafed.

171:3 As shewn above, he had already arrived at Insight through the idea of water.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 71. Varaṇa-Jātaka



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p. 172

No. 71.

VARAṆA-JĀTAKA.

[316] "Learn thou from him."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about the Elder named Tissa the Squire's Son. Tradition says that one day thirty young gentlemen of Sāvatthi, who were all friends of one another, took perfumes and flowers and robes, and set out with a large retinue to Jetavana, in order to hear the Master preach. Arrived at Jetavana, they sat awhile in the several enclosures--in the enclosure of the Iron-wood trees, in the enclosure of the Sal-trees, and so forth,--till at evening the Master passed from his fragrant sweet-smelling perfumed chamber to the Hall of Truth and took his seat on the gorgeous Buddha-seat. Then, with their following, these young men went to the Hall of Truth, made an offering of perfumes and flowers, bowed down at his feet--those blessed feet that were glorious as full-blown lotus-flowers, and bore imprinted on the sole the Wheel!--and, taking their seats, listened to the Truth. Then the thought came into their minds, "Let us take the vows, so far as we understand the Truth preached by the Master." Accordingly, when the Blessed One left the Hall, they approached him and with due obeisance asked to be admitted to the Brotherhood; and the Master admitted them to the Brotherhood. Winning the favour of their teachers and directors they received full Brotherhood, and after five years' residence with their teachers and directors, by which time they had got by heart the two Abstracts, had come to know what was proper and what was improper, had learnt the three modes of expressing thanks, and had stitched and dyed robes. At this stage, wishing to embrace the ascetic life, they obtained the consent of their teachers and directors, and approached the Master. Bowing before him they took their seats, saying, "Sir, we are troubled by the round of existence, dismayed by birth, decay, disease, and death; give us a theme, by thinking on which we may get free from the elements which occasion existence." The Master turned over in his mind the eight and thirty themes of thought, and therefrom selected a suitable one, which he expounded to them. And then, after getting their theme from the Master, they bowed and with a ceremonious farewell passed from his presence to their cells, and after gazing on their teachers and directors went forth with bowl and robe to embrace the ascetic life.

Now amongst them was a Brother named the Elder Tissa the Squire's Son, a weak and irresolute man, a slave to the pleasures of the taste. Thought he to himself, "I shall never be able to live in the forest, to strive with strenuous effort, and subsist on doles of food. What is the good of my going? I will turn back." And so he gave up, and after accompanying those Brothers some way he turned back. As to the other Brothers, they came in the course of their alms-pilgrimage through Kosala to a certain border-village, 1 3 hard by which in a wooded spot they kept the Rainy-season, and by three months' striving and wrestling got the germ of Discernment and won Arahatship, making the earth shout for joy. At the end of the Rainy-season, after celebrating the Pavāraṇā festival, they set out thence to announce to the Master the attainments they had won, and, coming in due course to Jetavana, laid aside their bowls and robes, paid a visit to their teachers and directors, and, being anxious to see the Blessed One, went to him and with due obeisance took their seats. The Master greeted them kindly and they announced to the Blessed One the attainments they had won, receiving praise from him. Hearing the Master speaking in their praise, the Elder Tissa the Squire's Son was filled with a desire to live the life of a recluse all by himself. Likewise, those other Brothers asked and received the Master's permission to return to dwell in that self-same spot in the forest. And with due obeisance they went to their cells.

p. 173

Now the Elder Tissa the Squire's Son that very night was inflated with a yearning to begin his austerities at once, and whilst practising with excessive zeal and ardour the methods of a recluse and sleeping in an upright posture by the side of his plank-bed, soon after the middle watch of the night, round he turned and down he fell, breaking his thigh-bone; and severe pains set in, so that the other Brothers had to nurse him and were debarred from going.

Accordingly, when they appeared at the hour for waiting on the Buddha, he asked them whether they had not yesterday asked his leave to start to-day.

"Yes, sir, we did; but our friend the Elder Tissa the Squire's Son, while rehearsing the methods of a recluse with great vigour but out of season, dropped off to sleep and fell over, breaking his thigh; and that is why our departure has been thwarted." "This is not the first time, Brethren," said the Master, "that this man's backsliding has caused him to strive with unseasonable zeal, and thereby to delay your departure; he delayed your departure in the past also." And hereupon, at their request, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time at Takkasilā in the kingdom of Gandhāra the Bodhisatta was a teacher of world-wide fame, with 500 young brahmins as pupils. One day these pupils set out for the forest to gather firewood for their master, and busied themselves in gathering sticks. Amongst them was a lazy fellow who came on a huge forest tree, which he imagined to be dry and rotten. So he thought that he could safely indulge in a nap first, and at the last moment climb up 1 3 and break some branches off to carry home. Accordingly, he spread out his outer robe and fell asleep, snoring loudly. All the other young brahmins were on their way home with their wood tied up in faggots, when they came upon the sleeper. Having kicked him in the back till he awoke, they left him and went their way. He sprang to his feet, and rubbed his eyes for a time. Then, still half asleep, he began to climb the tree. But one branch, which he was tugging at, snapped off short; and, as it sprang up, the end struck him in the eye. Clapping one hand over his wounded eye, he gathered green boughs with the other. Then climbing down, he corded his faggot, and after hurrying away home with it, flung his green wood on the top of the others' faggots.

That same day it chanced that a country family invited the master to visit them on the morrow, in order that they might give him a brahmin-feast. And so the master called his pupils together, and, telling them of the journey they would have to make to the village on the morrow, said they could not go fasting. "So have some rice-gruel made early in the morning," said he; "and eat it before starting. There you will have food given you for yourselves and a portion for me. Bring it all home with you."

So they got up early next morning and roused a maid to get them their breakfast ready betimes. And off she went for wood to light the fire. The green wood lay on the top of the stack, and she laid her fire with it. And she blew and blew, but could not get her fire to burn, and at last the

p. 174

sun got up. "It's broad daylight now," said they, "and it's too late to start." And they went off to their master.

"What, not yet on your way, my sons?" said he. "No, sir; we have not started." "Why, pray?" "Because that lazy so-and-so, when he went wood-gathering with us, lay down to sleep under a forest-tree; and, to make up for lost time, he climbed up the tree in such a hurry that he hurt his eye and brought home a lot of green wood, which he threw on the top of our faggots. So, when the maid who was to cook our rice-gruel went to the stack, she took his wood, thinking it would of course be dry; and no fire could she light before the sun was up. And this is what stopped our going."

Hearing what the young brahmin had done, the master exclaimed that a fool's doings had caused all the mischief, and repeated this stanza:--

[319] Learn thou from him who tore green branches down,
That tasks deferred are wrought in tears at last.

Such was the Bodhisatta's comment on the matter to his pupils; and at the close of a life of charity and other good works he passed away to fare according to his deserts.

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Said the Master, "This is not the first time, Brethren, that this man has thwarted you; he did the like in the past also." His lesson ended, he shewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying, "The Brother who has broken his thigh was the young brahmin of those days who hurt his eye; the Buddha's followers were the rest of the young brahmins; and I myself was the brahmin their master."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 72. Sīlavanāga-Jātaka



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No. 72.

SĪLAVANĀGA-JĀTAKA.

"Ingratitude lacks more."--This story was told by the Master while at the Bamboo-grove about Devadatta. The Brethren sat in the Hall of Truth, saying, "Sirs, Devadatta is an ingrate and does not recognise the virtues of the Blessed One." Returning to the Hall, the Master asked what topic they were discussing, and was told. "This is not the first time, Brethren," said he, "that Devadatta has proved an ingrate; he was just the same in bygone days also, and he has never known my virtues." And so saying, at their request he told this story of the past.

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p. 175

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was conceived by an elephant in the Himalayas. When born, he was white all over, like a mighty mass of silver. Like diamond balls were his eyes, like a manifestation of the five brightnesses 1; red was his mouth, like scarlet cloth; like silver flecked with red gold was his trunk; and his four feet were as if polished with lac. Thus his person, adorned with the ten perfections, was of consummate beauty. When he grew up, all the elephants of the Himalayas in a body 2 3 followed him as their leader. Whilst he was dwelling in the Himalayas with a following of 80,000 elephants, he became aware that there was sin in the herd. So, detaching himself from the rest, he dwelt in solitude in the forest, and the goodness of his life won him the name of Good King Elephant.

Now a forester of Benares came to the Himalayas, and made his way into that forest in quest of the implements of his craft. Losing his bearings and his way, he roamed to and fro, stretching out his arms in despair and weeping, with the fear of death before his eyes. Hearing the man's cries, the Bodhisatta was moved with compassion and resolved to help him in his need. So he approached the man. But at sight of the elephant, off ran the forester in great terror 2. Seeing him run away, the Bodhisatta stood still, and this brought the man to a standstill too. Then the Bodhisatta again advanced, and again the forester ran away, halting once more when the Bodhisatta halted. Hereupon the truth dawned on the man that the elephant stood still when he himself ran, and only advanced when he himself was standing still. Consequently he concluded that the creature could not mean to hurt, but to help him. So he valiantly stood his ground this time. And the Bodhisatta drew near and said, "Why, friend man, are you wandering about here lamenting?"

"My lord," replied the forester, "I have lost my bearings and my way, and fear to perish."

Then the elephant brought the man to his own dwelling, and there entertained him for some days, regaling him with fruits of every kind. Then, saying, "Fear not, friend man, I will bring you back to the haunts of men," the elephant seated the forester on his back and brought him to where men dwelt. But the ingrate thought to himself, that, if questioned, he ought to be able to reveal everything. So, as he travelled along on the elephant's back, he noted the landmarks of tree and hill. At last the elephant brought him out of the forest and set him down on the high road to Benares, saying, "There lies your road, friend man: Tell no man, whether you are questioned or not, of the place of my abode." And with this leave-taking, the Bodhisatta made his way back to his own abode.

Arrived at Benares, the man came, in the course of his walks through

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the city, to the ivory-workers' bazaar, where he saw ivory being worked into divers forms and shapes. And he asked the craftsmen 1 2 3 whether they would give anything for the tusk of a living elephant.

"What makes you ask such a question?" was the reply. "A living elephant's tusk is worth a great deal more than a dead one's."

"Oh, then, I'll bring you some ivory," said be, and off he set for the Bodhisatta's dwelling, with provisions for the journey, and with a sharp saw. Being asked what had brought him back, he whined out that he was in so sorry and wretched a plight that he could not make a living anyhow. Wherefore, he had come to ask for a bit of the kind elephant's tusk to sell for a living! "Certainly; I will give you a whole tusk," said the Bodhisatta, "if you have a bit of a saw to cut it off with." "Oh, I brought a saw with me, sir." "Then saw my tusks off, and take them away with you," said the Bodhisatta. And he bowed his knees till he was couched upon the earth like an ox. Then the forester sawed off both of the Bodhisatta's chief tusks! When they were off, the Bodhisatta took them in his trunk and thus addressed the man, "Think not, friend man, that it is because I value not nor prize these tusks that I give them to you. But a thousand times, a hundred-thousand times, dearer to me are the tusks of omniscience which can comprehend all things. And therefore may my gift of these to you bring me omniscience." With these words, he gave the pair of tusks to the forester as the price of omniscience.

And the man took them off, and sold them. And when he had spent the money, back he came to the Bodhisatta, saying that the two tusks had only brought him enough to pay his old debts, and begging for the rest of the Bodhisatta's ivory. The Bodhisatta consented, and gave up the rest of his ivory after having it cut as before. And the forester went away and sold this also. Returning again, he said, "It's no use, my lord; I can't make a living anyhow. So give me the stumps of your tusks."

"So be it," answered the Bodhisatta; and he lay down as before. Then that vile wretch, trampling upon the trunk of the Bodhisatta, that sacred trunk which was like corded silver, and clambering upon the future Buddha's temples, which were as the snowy crest of Mount Kelāsa,--kicked at the roots of the tusks till he had cleared the flesh away. Then he sawed out the stumps and went his way. But scarce had the wretch passed out of the sight of the Bodhisatta, when the solid earth, inconceivable in its vast extent, 2 3 which can support the mighty weight of Mount Sineru and its encircling peaks, with all the world's unsavoury filth and ordure, now burst asunder in a yawning chasm,--as though unable to bear the burthen of all that wickedness! And straightway flames from nethermost Hell enveloped the ingrate, wrapping him round as in a shroud of doom, and bore him away. And as the wretch was swallowed up in the bowels of the earth, the Tree-fairy that dwelt in that forest made the region echo

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with these words:--"Not even the gift of worldwide empire can satisfy the thankless and ungrateful!" And in the following stanza the Fairy taught the Truth:--

Ingratitude lacks more, the more it gets;
Not all the world can glut its appetite.

With such teachings did the Tree-fairy make that forest re-echo. As for the Bodhisatta, he lived out his life, passing away at last to fare according to his deserts.

_____________________________

Said the Master, "This is not the first time, Brethren, that Devadatta has proved an ingrate; he was just the same in the past also." His lesson ended, he identified the Birth by saying, "Devadatta was the ungrateful man of those days, Sāriputta the Tree-fairy, and I myself Good King Elephant."

[Note. Cf. Milinda-pañho 202, 29.]


Footnotes

175:1 This is applied to a Bodhisatta's eyes in Jāt. vol. iii. 344. 9.

175:2 A solitary elephant, or 'rogue,' being dangerous to meet.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 73. Saccaṁkira-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 73.

SACCAṀKIRA-JĀTAKA.

"They knew the world."--This story was told by the Master while at the Bamboo-grove, about going about to kill. For, seated in the Hall of Truth, the Brotherhood was talking of Devadatta's wickedness, saying, "Sirs, Devadatta has no knowledge of the Master's excellence; he actually goes about to kill him!" Here the Master entered the Hall and asked what they were discussing. 323] Being told, he said, "This is not the first time, Brethren, that Devadatta has gone about to kill me; he did just the same in bygone days also." And so saying, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares. He had a son named Prince Wicked. Fierce and cruel was he, like a scotched snake; he spoke to nobody without abuse or blows. Like grit in the eye was this Prince to all folk both within and without the palace, or like a ravening ogre,--so dreaded and fell was he.

One day, wishing to disport himself in the river, he went with a large retinue to the water side. And a great storm came on, and utter darkness set in. "Hi there!" cried he to his servants; "take me into mid-stream,

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bathe me there, and then bring me back again." So they took him into mid-stream and there took counsel together, saying, "What will the king do to us? Let us kill this wicked wretch here and now! So in you go, .you pest!" they cried, as they flung him into the water. When they made their way ashore, they were asked where the prince was, and replied, "We don't see him; finding the storm come on, he must have come out of the river and gone home ahead of us."

The courtiers went into the king's presence, and the king asked where his son was. "We do not know, sire," said they; "a storm came on, and we came away in the belief that he must have gone on ahead." At once the king had the gates thrown open; down to the riverside he went and bade diligent search be made up and down for the missing prince. But no trace of him could be found. For, in the darkness of the storm, he had been swept away by the current, and, coming across a tree-trunk, had climbed on to it, and so floated down stream, crying lustily in the agony of his fear of drowning.

Now there had been a rich merchant living in those days at Benares, who had died, leaving forty crores buried in the banks of that same river. And because of his craving for riches, he was reborn as a snake at the spot under which lay his dear treasure. And also in the selfsame spot another man had hidden thirty crores, and because of his craving for riches was re-born as a rat at the same spot. In rushed the water into their dwelling-place; and the two creatures, escaping by the way by which the water rushed in, were making their way athwart the stream, when they chanced upon the tree-trunk to which the prince was clinging. 2 3 4 The snake climbed up at one end, and the rat at the other; and so both got a footing with the prince on the trunk.

Also there grew on the river's bank a Silk-cotton tree, in which lived a young parrot; and this tree, being uprooted by the swollen waters, fell into the river. The heavy rain beat down the parrot when it tried to fly, and it alighted in its fall upon this same tree-trunk. And so there were now these four floating down, stream together upon the tree.

Now the Bodhisatta had been re-born in those days as a brahmin in the North-West country. Renouncing the world for the hermit's life on reaching manhood, he had built himself a hermitage by a bend of the river; and there he was now living. As he was pacing to and fro, at midnight, he heard the loud cries of the prince, and thought thus within himself:--"This fellow-creature must not perish thus before the eyes of so merciful and compassionate a hermit as I am. I will rescue him from the water, and save his life." So he shouted cheerily, "Be not afraid! Be not afraid!" and plunging across stream, seized hold of the tree by one end, and, being as strong as an elephant, drew it in to the bank with one long pull, and set the prince safe and sound upon the shore. Then becoming

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aware of the snake and the rat and the parrot, he carried them to his hermitage, and there lighting a fire, warmed the animals first, as being the weaker, and afterwards the prince. This done, he brought fruits of various kinds and set them before his guests, looking after the animals first and the prince afterwards. This enraged the young prince, who said within himself, "This rascally hermit pays no respect to my royal birth, but actually gives brute beasts precedence over me." And he conceived hatred against the Bodhisatta!

A few days later, when all four had recovered their strength and the waters had subsided, the snake bade farewell to the hermit with these words, "Father, you have done me a great service. I am not poor, for I have forty crores of gold hidden at a certain spot. Should you ever want money, all my hoard shall be yours. You have only to come to the spot and call 'Snake.' Next the rat took his leave with a like promise to the hermit as to his treasure, bidding the hermit come and call out 'Rat.' 2 3 5 Then the parrot bade farewell, saying, "Father, silver and gold have I none; but should you ever want for choice rice, come to where I dwell and call out 'Parrot;' and I with the aid of my kinsfolk will give you many waggon-loads of rice." Last cane the prince. His heart was filled with base ingratitude and with a determination to put his benefactor to death, if the Bodhisatta should come to visit him. But, concealing his intent, he said, "Come, father, to me when I am king, and I will bestow on you the Four Requisites." So saying, he took his departure, and not long after succeeded to the throne.

The desire came on the Bodhisatta to put their professions to the test; and first of all he went to the snake and standing hard by its abode, called out 'Snake.' At the word the snake darted forth and with every mark of respect said, "Father, in this place there are forty crones in gold. Dig them up and take them all." "It is well," said the Bodhisatta; "when I need them, I will not forget." Then bidding adieu to the snake, he went on to where the rat lived, and called out 'Rat.' And the rat did as the snake had done. Going next to the parrot, and calling out 'Parrot,' the bird at once flew down at his call from the tree-top, and respectfully asked whether it was the Bodhisatta's wish that he with the aid of his kinsfolk should gather paddy for the Bodhisatta from the region round the Himalayas. The Bodhisatta dismissed the parrot also with a promise that, if need arose, he would not forget the bird's offer. Last of all, being minded to test the king in his turn, the Bodhisatta came to the royal pleasaunce, and on the day after his arrival made his way, carefully dressed, into the city on his round for alms. Just at that moment, the ungrateful king, seated in all his royal splendour on his elephant of state, was passing in solemn Procession round the city followed by a vast retinue. Seeing the Bodhisatta from afar, he thought to himself, "Here's that rascally hermit come

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to quarter himself and his appetite on me. I must have his head off before he can publish to the world the service he rendered me." With this intent, he signed to his attendants, and, on their asking what was his pleasure, said, "Methinks yonder rascally hermit is here to importune me. See that the pest does not come near my person, but seize and bind him; 2 3 6 flog him at every street-corner; and then march him out of the city, chop off his head at the place of execution, and impale his body on a stake."

Obedient to their king's command, the attendants laid the innocent Great Being in bonds and flogged him at every street-corner on the way to the place of execution. But all their floggings failed to move the Bodhisatta or to wring from him any cry of "Oh, my mother and father!" All he did was to repeat this Stanza:--

They knew the world, who framed this proverb true--
'A log pays better salvage than some men.'

These lines he repeated wherever he was flogged, till at last the wise among the bystanders asked the hermit what service he had rendered to their king. Then the Bodhisatta told the whole story, ending with the words,--"So it comes to pass that by rescuing him from the torrent I brought all this woe upon myself. And when I bethink me how I have left unheeded the words of the wise of old, I exclaim as you have heard."

Filled with indignation at the recital, the nobles and brahmins and all classes with one accord cried out, "This ungrateful king does not recognise even the goodness of this good man who saved his majesty's life. How can we have any profit from this king? Seize the tyrant!" And in their anger they rushed upon the king from every side, and slew him there and then, as he rode on his elephant, with arrows and javelins and stones and clubs and any weapons that came to hand. The corpse they dragged by the heels to a ditch and flung it in. Then they anointed the Bodhisatta king and set him to rule over them.

As he was ruling in righteousness, one day 2 3 the desire came on him again to try the snake and the rat and the parrot; and followed by a large retinue, he came to where the snake dwelt. At the call of 'Snake,' out came the snake from his hole and with every mark of respect said, "Here, my lord, is your treasure; take it." Then the king delivered the forty crores of gold to his attendants, and proceeding to where the rat dwelt, called, 'Rat.' Out came the rat, and saluted the king, and gave up its thirty crores. Placing this treasure too in the hands of his attendants, the king went on to where the parrot dwelt, and called 'Parrot.' And in like manner the bird came, and bowing down at the king's feet asked whether it should collect rice for his majesty. "We will not trouble you," said the king, "till rice is needed. Now let us be going." So with the

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seventy crores of gold, and with the rat, the snake, and the parrot as well, the king journeyed back to the city. Here, in a noble palace, to the state-story of which he mounted, he caused the treasure to be lodged and guarded; he had a golden tube made for the snake to dwell in, a crystal casket to house the rat, and a cage of gold for the parrot. Every day too by the king's command food was served to the three creatures in vessels of gold,--sweet parched-corn for the parrot and snake, and scented rice for the rat. And the king abounded in charity and all good works. Thus in harmony and goodwill one with another, these four lived their lives; and when their end came, they passed away to fare according to their deserts.

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Said the Master, "This is not the first time, Brethren, that Devadatta has gone about to kill me; he did the like in the past also." His lesson ended, he chewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying, "Devadatta was King Wicked in those days, Sāriputta the snake, Moggallāna the rat, Ānanda the parrot, and I myself the righteous King who won a kingdom."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 74. Rukkhadhamma-Jātaka



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No. 74.

RUKKHADHAMMA-JĀTAKA.

"United, forest-like."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a quarrel concerning water which had brought woe upon his kinsfolk. Knowing of this, he passed through the air, sat cross-legged above the river Rohiṇī, and emitted rays of darkness, startling his kinsfolk. Then descending from mid-air, he seated himself on the river-bank and told this story with reference to that quarrel. (Only a summary is given here; the full details will be related in the Kuṇāla-jātaka 1.) But on this occasion the Master addressed his kinsfolk, 2 3 saying, "It is meet, sire, that kinsfolk should dwell together in concord and unity. For, when kinsfolk are at one, enemies find no opportunity. Not to speak of human beings, even sense-lacking trees ought to stand together. For in bygone days in the Himalayas a tempest struck a Sāl-forest; yet, because the trees, shrubs, bushes, and creepers of that forest were interlaced one with another, the tempest could not overthrow even a single tree but passed harmlessly over their heads. But alone in a courtyard stood a mighty tree; and though it had many stems and branches, yet, because it was not united with other trees, the tempest uprooted it and laid it low. Wherefore, it is meet that you too should dwell together in concord and unity." And so saying, at their request he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the first King Vessavaṇa 1 died, and Sakka sent a new king to reign in his stead. After the change, the new King Vessavaṇa sent word to all trees and shrubs and bushes and plants, bidding the tree-fairies each choose out the abode that liked them best. In those days the Bodhisatta had come to life as a tree-fairy in a Sāl-forest in the Himalayas. His advice to his kinsfolk in choosing their habitations was to shun trees that stood alone in the open, and to take up their abodes all round the abode which he had chosen in that Sāl-forest. Hereon the wise tree-fairies, following the Bodhisatta's advice, took up their quarters round his tree. But the foolish ones said,--"Why should we dwell in the forest? let us rather seek out the haunts of men, and take up our abodes outside villages, towns, or capital cities. For fairies who dwell in such places receive the richest offerings and the greatest worship." So they departed to the haunts of men, and took up their abode in certain giant trees which grew in an open space.

Now it fell out upon a day that a mighty tempest swept over the country. Naught did it avail the solitary trees that years had rooted them deep in the soil and that they were the mightiest trees that grew. Their branches snapped; their stems were broken; and they themselves were uprooted and flung to earth by the tempest. But when it broke on the Sāl-forest of interlacing trees, its fury was in vain; for, attack where it might, not a tree could it overthrow.

The forlorn fairies whose dwellings were destroyed, took their children in their arms and journeyed to the Himalayas. There they told their sorrows to the fairies of the Sāl-forest, 2 3 who in turn told the Bodhisatta of their sad return. "It was because they hearkened not to the words of wisdom, that they have been brought to this," said he; and he unfolded the truth in this stanza:--

United, forest-like, should kinsfolk stand;
The storm o’erthrows the solitary tree.

So spake the Bodhisatta; and when his life was spent, he passed away to fare according to his deserts.

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And the Master went on to say, "Thus, sire, reflect how meet it is that kinsfolk at any rate should be united, and lovingly dwell together in concord and unity." His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "The Buddha's followers were the fairies of those days, and I myself the wise fairy."


Footnotes

181:1 No. 536.

182:1 A name of Kuvera.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 75. Maccha-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


p. 183

No. 75.

MACCHA-JĀTAKA.

"Pajjunna, thunder!"--This story the Master told while at Jetavana, about the rain he caused to fall. For in those days, so it is said, there fell no rain in Kosala; the crops withered; and everywhere the ponds, tanks, and lakes dried up. Even the pool of Jetavana by the embattled gateway of Jetavana gave out; and the fish and tortoises buried themselves in the mud. Then came the crows and hawks with their lance-like beaks, and busily picked them out writhing and wriggling, and devoured them.

As he marked how the fishes and the tortoises were being destroyed, the Master's heart was moved with compassion, and he exclaimed,--"This day 3 must I cause rain to fall." So, when the night grew day, after attending to his bodily needs, he waited till it was the proper hour to go the round in quest of alms, and then, girt round by a host of the Brethren, and perfect with the perfection of a Buddha, he went into Sāvatthi for alms. On his way back to the monastery in the afternoon from his round for alms in Sāvatthi, he stopped upon the steps leading down to the tank of Jetavana, and thus addressed the Elder

Ānanda:--"Bring me a bathing-dress, Ānanda; for I would bathe in the tank of Jetavana." "But surely, sir," replied the Elder, "the water is all dried up, and only mud is left." "Great is a Buddha's power, Ānanda. Go, bring me the bathing-dress," said the Master. So the Elder went and brought the bathing-dress, which the Master donned, using one end to go round his waist, and covering his body up with the other. So clad, he took his stand upon the tank-steps, and exclaimed,--"I would fain bathe in the tank of Jetavana."

That instant the yellow-stone throne of Sakka grew hot beneath him, and he sought to discover the cause. Realising what was the matter, he summoned the King of the Storm-Clouds, and said, "The Master is standing on the steps of the tank of Jetavana, and wishes to bathe. Make haste and pour down rain in a single torrent over all the kingdom of Kosala." Obedient to Sakka's command, the King of the Storm-Clouds clad himself in one cloud as an under garment, and another cloud as an outer garment, and chaunting the rain-song 1, he darted forth eastward. And lo! he appeared in the east as a cloud of the bigness of a threshing-floor, which grew and grew till it was as big as a hundred, as a thousand, threshing-floors; and he thundered and lightened, and bending down his face and mouth deluged all Kosala with torrents of rain. Unbroken was the downpour, quickly filling the tank of Jetavana, and stopping only when the water was level with the topmost step. Then the Master bathed in the tank, and coming up out of the water donned his two orange-coloured cloths and his girdle, adjusting his Buddha-robe around him so as to leave one shoulder bare. In this guise he set forth, surrounded by the Brethren, and passed into his Perfumed Chamber, fragrant with sweet-smelling flowers. Here on the Buddha-seat he sate, and when the Brethren had performed their duties, he rose and exhorted the Brotherhood from the jewelled steps of his throne, and dismissed them from his presence. Passing now within his own sweet-smelling odorous chamber, he stretched himself, lion-like, upon his right side.

At even, the Brethren gathered together in the Hall of Truth, and dwelt on the forbearance and loving-kindness of the Master. "When the crops were withering, when the pools were drying up, and the fishes and tortoises were in grievous plight, then did he in his compassion come forth as a saviour. Donning a bathing-dress, he stood on the steps of the tank of Jetavana, and in a little

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space made the rain to pour down from the heavens till it seemed like to overwhelm all Kosala with its torrents. And by the time he returned to the Monastery, he had freed all alike from their tribulations both of mind and body."

[331] So ran their talk when the Master came forth from his Perfumed Chamber into the Hall of Truth, and asked what was their theme of conversation; and they told him. "This is not the first time, Brethren," said the Master, "that the Blessed One has made the rain to fall in the hour of general need. He did the like when born into the brute-creation, in the days when he was King of the Fish." And so saying, he told this story of the past:--

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Once on a time, in this selfsame kingdom of Kosala and at Sāvatthi too, there was a pond where the tank of Jetavana now is,--a pond fenced in by a tangle of climbing plants. Therein dwelt the Bodhisatta, who had come to life as a fish in those days. And, then as now, there was a drought in the land; the crops withered; water gave out in tank and pool; and the fishes and tortoises buried themselves in the mud. Like-wise, when the fishes and tortoises of this pond had hidden themselves in its mud, the crows and other birds, flocking to the spot, picked them out with their beaks and devoured them. Seeing the fate of his kinsfolk, and knowing that none but he could save them in their hour of need, the Bodhisatta resolved to make a solemn Profession of Goodness, and by its efficacy to make rain fall from the heavens so as to save his kinsfolk from certain death. So, parting asunder the black mud, he came forth,--a mighty fish, blackened with mud as a casket of the finest sandal-wood which has been smeared with collyrium. Opening his eyes which were as washen rubies, and looking up to the heavens he thus bespoke Pajjunna, King of Devas,--"My heart is heavy within me for my kinsfolk's sake, my good Pajjunna. How comes it, pray, that, when I who am righteous am distressed for my kinsfolk, you send no rain from heaven? For I, though born where it is customary to prey on one's kinsfolk, have never from my youth up devoured any fish, even of the size of a grain of rice; nor have I ever robbed a single living creature of its life. By the truth of this my Protestation, I call upon you to send rain and succour my kinsfolk." Therewithal, he called to Pajjunna, King of Devas, as a master might call to a servant, in this stanza:--[332]

Pajjunna, thunder! Baffle, thwart, the crow!
Breed sorrow's pangs in him; ease me of woe!

[paragraph continues] In such wise, as a master might call to a servant, did the Bodhisatta call to Pajjunna, thereby causing heavy rains to fall and relieving numbers from the fear of death. And when his life closed, he passed away to fare according to his deserts.

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p. 185

"So this is not the first time, Brethren," said the Master, "that the Blessed One has caused the rain to fall. He did the like in bygone days, when he was a fish." His lesson ended, he identified the Birth by saying, "The Buddha's disciples were the fishes of those days, Ānanda was Pajjunna, King of Devas, and I myself the King of the Fish."

[Note. Cf. Cariyā-piṭaka (P. T. S. edition) page 99.]


Footnotes

183:1 In the J. R. A. S. (New Series) 12, 286, is given a Megha-sūtra.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 76. Asaṁkiya-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 76.

ASAṀKIYA-JĀTAKA.

"The village breeds no fear in me."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a lay-brother who lived at Sāvatthi. Tradition says that this man, who had entered the Paths and was an earnest believer, was once journeying along on some business or other in the company of a leader of a caravan; in the jungle the carts were unyoked and a laager was constructed; and the good man began to pace up and down at the foot of a certain tree hard by the leader.

Now five hundred robbers, who had watched their time, had surrounded the spot, armed with bows, clubs, and other weapons, with the object of looting the encampment. 3 Still unceasingly that lay-brother paced to and fro. "Surely that must be their sentry," said the robbers when they noticed him; "we will wait till he is asleep and then loot them." So, being unable to surprise the camp, they stopped where they were. Still that lay-brother kept pacing to and fro,--all through the first watch, all through the middle watch, and all through the last watch of the night. When day dawned, the robbers, who had never had their chance, threw down the stones and clubs which they had brought, and bolted.

His business done, that lay-brother came back to Sāvatthi, and, approaching the Master, asked him this question, "In guarding themselves, Sir, do men prove guardians of others?"

"Yes, lay-brother. In guarding himself a man guards others; in guarding others, he guards himself."

"Oh, how well-said, sir, is this utterance of the Blessed One! When I was journeying with a caravan-leader, I resolved to guard myself by pacing to and fro at the foot of a tree, and by so doing I guarded the whole caravan."

Said the Master, "Lay-brother, in bygone days too the wise and good guarded others whilst guarding themselves." And, so saying, at the lay-brother's request he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta came to life as a brahmin. Arriving at years of discretion, he became aware of the evils that spring from Lusts, and so forsook the

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world to live as a recluse in the country round the Himalayas. Need of salt and vinegar having led him to make a pilgrimage for alms through the countryside, he travelled in the course of his wanderings with a merchant's caravan. When the caravan halted at a certain spot in the forest, he paced to and fro at the foot of a tree, hard by the caravan, enjoying the bliss of Insight.

Now after supper five hundred robbers surrounded the laager to plunder it; but, noticing the ascetic, they halted, saying, "If he sees us, he'll give the alarm; wait till he drops off to sleep, and then we'll plunder them." But all through the livelong night the ascetic continued to pace up and down; and never a chance did the robbers get! So they flung away their sticks and stones and shouted to the caravan-folk;--"Hi, there! you of the caravan! If it hadn't been for that ascetic walking about under the tree, we'd have plundered the lot of you. Mind and fēte him tomorrow!" And so saying, they made off. When the night gave place to light, the people saw the clubs and stones which the robbers had cast away, 3 4 and came in fear and trembling to ask the Bodhisatta with respectful salutation whether he had seen the robbers. "Oh, yes, I did, sirs," he replied. "And were you not alarmed or afraid at the sight of so many robbers?" "No," said the Bodhisatta; "the sight of robbers causes what is known as fear only to the rich. As for me,--I am penniless; why should I be afraid? Whether I dwell in village or in forest, I never have any fear or dread." And therewithal, to teach them the Truth, he repeated this stanza:--

The village breeds no fear in me;
  No forests me dismay.
I've won by love and charity
  Salvation's perfect way.

[paragraph continues] When the Bodhisatta had thus taught the Truth in this stanza to the people of the caravan, peace filled their hearts, and they shewed him honour and veneration. All his life long he developed the Four Excellences, and then was re-born into the Brahma Realm.

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His lesson ended, the Master shewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying, "The Buddha's followers were the caravan-folk of those days, and I the ascetic."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 77. Mahāsupina-Jātaka



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p. 187

No. 77.

MAHĀSUPINA-JĀTAKA.

"Bulls first, and trees."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana about sixteen wonderful dreams. For in the last watch of one night (so tradition says) the King of Kosala, who had been asleep all the night, dreamed sixteen great dreams, 3 5 and woke up in great fright and alarm as to what they might portend for him. So strong was the fear of death upon him that he could not stir, but lay there huddled up on his bed. Now, when the night grew light, his brahmins and chaplains came to him and with due obeisance asked whether his majesty had slept well.

"How could I sleep well, my directors?" answered the king. "For just at daybreak I dreamed sixteen wonderful dreams, and I have been in terror ever since! Tell me, my directors, what it all means."

"We shall be able to judge, on hearing them."

Then the king told them his dreams, and asked what those visions would entail upon him.

The brahmins fell a-wringing their hands! "Why wring your hands, brahmins?" asked the king. "Because, sire, these are evil dreams." "What will come of them?" said the king. "One of three calamities,--harm to your kingdom, to your life, or to your riches." "Is there a remedy, or is there not?" "Undoubtedly these dreams in themselves are so threatening as to be without remedy; but none the less we will find a remedy for them. Otherwise, what boots our much study and learning?" "What then do you propose to do to avert the evil?" "Wherever four roads meet, we would offer sacrifice, sire." "My directors," cried the king in his terror, "my life is in your hands; make haste and work my safety." "Large sums of money, and large supplies of food of every kind will be ours," thought the exultant brahmins; and, bidding the king have no fear, they departed from the palace. Outside the town they dug a sacrificial pit and collected a host of fourfooted creatures, perfect and without blemish, and a multitude of birds. But still they discovered something lacking, and back they kept coming to the king to ask for this that and the other. Now their doings were watched by Queen Mallikā, who came to the king and asked what made these brahmins keep coming to him.

"I envy you," said the king; "a snake in your ear, and you not to know of it!" "What does your majesty mean?" "I have dreamed, oh such unlucky dreams! The brahmins tell me they point to one of three calamities; and they are anxious to offer sacrifices to avert the evil. And this is what brings them here so often." "But has your majesty consulted the Chief Brahmin both of this world and of the world of devas?" "Who, pray, may he be, my dear?" asked the king. "Know you not that chiefest personage of all the world, the all-knowing and pure, the spotless master-brahmin? Surely, he, the Blessed One, will understand your dreams. Go, ask him." "And so I will, my queen," said the king. And away he went to the monastery, saluted the Master, and sat down. "What, pray, brings your majesty here so early in the morning?" asked the Master in his sweet tones. "Sir," said the king, "just before daybreak 3 6 I dreamed sixteen wonderful dreams, which so terrified me that I told them to the brahmins. They told me that my dreams boded evil, and that to avert the threatened calamity they must offer sacrifice wherever four roads met. And so they are busy with their preparations, and many living creatures have the fear of death before their eyes. But I pray you, who are the chiefest personage in the world of men and devas, you into whose ken comes all possible knowledge of things past and present and to be,--I pray you tell me what will come of my dreams, O Blessed One."

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"True it is, sire, that there is none other save me, who can tell what your dreams signify or what will come of them. I will tell you. Only first of all relate to me your dreams as they appeared to you."

"I will, sir," said the king, and at once began this list, following the order of the dreams' appearance:--

Bulls first, and trees, and cows, and calves,
Horse, dish, she-jackal, waterpot,
A pond, raw rice, and sandal-wood,
And gourds that sank, and stones that swam 1,
With frogs that gobbled up black snakes,
A crow with gay-plumed retinue,
And wolves in panic-fear of goats!

"How was it, sir, that I had the following one of my dreams? Methought, four black bulls, like collyrium in hue, came from the four cardinal directions to the royal courtyard with avowed intent to fight; and people flocked together to see the bull-fight, till a great crowd had gathered. But the bulls only made a show of fighting, roared and bellowed, and finally went off without fighting at all. This was my first dream. What will come of it?"

"Sire, that dream shall have no issue in your days or in mine. But hereafter, when kings shall be niggardly and unrighteous, and when folk shall be unrighteous, in days when the world is perverted, when good is waning and evil waxing apace,--in those days of the world's backsliding there shall fall no rain from the heavens, the feet of the storm shall be lamed, the crops shall wither, and famine shall be on the land. Then shall the clouds gather as if for rain from the four quarters of the heavens; there shall be haste first to carry indoors the rice and crops that the women have spread in the sun to dry, for fear the harvest should get wet; and then with spade and basket in hand the men shall go forth to bank up the dykes. As though in sign of coming rain, the thunder shall bellow, the lightning shall flash from the clouds,--but even as the bulls in your dream, that fought not, so the clouds shall flee away without raining. This is what shall come of this dream. But no harm shall come therefrom to you; 3 for it was with regard to the future that you dreamed this dream. What the brahmins told you, was said only to get themselves a livelihood." And when the Master had thus. told the fulfilment of this dream, he said, "Tell me your second dream, sire."

"Sir," said the king, "my second dream was after this manner:--Methought little tiny trees and shrubs burst through the soil, and when they had grown scarce a span or two high, they flowered and bore fruit! This was my second dream; what shall come of it?"

"Sire," said the Master, "this dream shall have its fulfilment in days when the world has fallen into decay and when men are shortlived. In times to come the passions shall be strong; quite young girls shall go to live with men, and it shall be with them after the manner of women, they shall conceive and bear children. The flowers typify their issues, and the fruit their offspring. But you, sire, have nothing to fear therefrom. Tell me your third dream, O great king."

"Methought, sir, I saw cows sucking the milk of calves which they had borne that selfsame day. This was my third dream. What shall come of it?"

"This dream too shall have its fulfilment only in days to come, when respect shall cease to be paid to age. For in the future men, shewing no reverence for parents or parents-in-law, shall themselves administer the family estate, and, if such be their good pleasure, shall bestow food and clothing on the old folks, but shall withhold their gifts, if it be not their pleasure to give. Then shall the old folks, destitute and dependent, exist by favour of their own children, like big cows suckled by calves a day old. But you have nothing to fear therefrom. Tell me your fourth dream."

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"Methought, sir, I saw men unyoking a team of draught-oxen, sturdy and strong, and setting young steers to draw the load; and the steers, proving unequal to the task laid on them, refused and stood stock-still, so that wains moved not on their way. This was my fourth dream. What shall come of it?"

"Here again the dream shall not have its fulfilment until the future, in the days of unrighteous kings. For in days to come, unrighteous and niggardly kings shall shew no honour to wise lords skilled in precedent, fertile in expedient, and able to get through business; nor shall appoint to the courts of law and justice aged councillors of wisdom and of learning in the law. Nay, they shall honour the very young and foolish, and appoint such to preside in the courts. And these latter, ignorant alike of state-craft and of practical knowledge, shall not be able to bear the burthen of their honours or to govern, but because of their incompetence shall throw off the yoke of office. Whereon the aged and wise lords, albeit right able to cope with all difficulties, shall keep in mind how they were passed over, and shall decline to aid, saying:--'It is no business of ours; we are outsiders; let the boys of the inner circle see to it.' 3 Hence they shall stand aloof, and ruin shall assail those kings on every hand. It shall be even as when the yoke was laid on the young steers, who were not strong enough for the burthen, and not upon the team of sturdy and strong draught-oxen, who alone were able to do the work. Howbeit, you have nothing to fear therefrom. Tell me your fifth dream."

"Methought, sir, I saw a horse with a mouth on either side, to which fodder was given on both sides, and it ate with both its mouths. This was my fifth dream. What shall come of it?"

"This dream too shall have its fulfilment only in the future, in the days of unrighteous and foolish kings, who shall appoint unrighteous and covetous men to be judges. These base ones, fools, despising the good, shall take bribes from both sides as they sit in the seat of judgment, and shall be filled with this two-fold corruption, even as the horse that ate fodder with two mouths at once. Howbeit, you have nothing to fear therefrom. Tell me your sixth dream."

"Methought, sir, I saw people holding out a well-scoured golden bowl worth a hundred thousand pieces, and begging an old jackal to stale therein. And I saw the beast do so. This was my sixth dream. What shall come of it?"

"This dream too shall only have its fulfilment in the future. For in the days to come, unrighteous kings, though sprung of a race of kings, mistrusting the scions of their old nobility, shall not honour them, but exalt in their stead the low-born; whereby the nobles shall be brought low and the law-born raised to lordship. Then shall the great families be brought by very need to seek to live by dependence on the upstarts, and shall offer them their daughters in marriage. And the union of the noble maidens with the low-born shall be like unto the staling of the old jackal in the golden bowl. Howbeit, you have nothing to fear therefrom. Tell me your seventh dream."

"A man was weaving rope, sir, and as he wove, he threw it down at his feet. Under his bench lay a hungry she jackal, which kept eating the rope as he wove, but without the man knowing it. This is what I saw. This was my seventh dream. What shall come of it?" 1

"This dream too shall not have its fulfilment till the future. For in days to come, women shall lust after men and strong drink and finery and gadding abroad and after the joys of this world. In their wickedness and profligacy these women shall drink strong drink with their paramours; they shall flaunt in garlands and perfumes and unguents; and heedless of even the most pressing of their household duties, they shall keep watching for their paramours, even at crevices high up in the outer wall; aye, they shall pound up the very seed-corn that should be sown on the morrow so as to provide good cheer;--in all these ways shall they plunder the store won by the hard work of their husbands in field and byre, devouring the poor men's substance even as the hungry jackal under the bench ate up the rope of the rope-maker as he wove it. 3 Howbeit, you have nothing to fear therefrom. Tell me your eighth dream."

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"Methought, sir, I saw at a palace gate a big pitcher which was full to the brim and stood amid a number of empty ones. And from the four cardinal points, and from the four intermediate points as well, there kept coming a constant stream of people of all the four castes, carrying water in pipkins and pouring it into the full pitcher. And the water overflowed and ran away. But none the less they still kept on pouring more and more water into the over-flowing vessel, without a single man giving so much as a glance at the empty pitchers. This was my eighth dream. What shall come of it?"

"This dream too shall not have its fulfilment until the future. For in days to come the world shall decay; the kingdom shall grow weak, its kings shall grow poor and niggardly; the foremost among them shall have no more than 100,000 pieces of money in his treasury. Then shall these kings in their need set the whole of the country-folk to work for them;--for the kings' sake shall the toiling folk, leaving their own work, sow grain and pulse, and keep watch and reap and thresh and garner; for the kings' sake shall they plant sugar-canes, make and drive sugar-mills, and boil down the molasses; for the kings' sake shall they lay out flower-gardens and orchards, and gather in the fruits. And as they gather in all the divers kinds of produce they shall fill the royal garners to overflowing, not giving so much as a glance at their own empty barns at home. Thus it shall be like filling up the full pitcher, heedless of the quite-empty ones. Howbeit, you have nothing to fear therefrom. Tell me your ninth dream."

"Methought, sir, I saw a deep pool with shelving banks all round and over-grown with the five kinds of lotuses. From every side two-footed creatures and four-footed creatures flocked thither to drink of its waters. The depths in the middle were muddy, but the water was clear and sparkling at the margin where the various creatures went down into the pool. This was my ninth dream. What shall come of it?"

"This dream too shall not have its fulfilment till the future. For in days to come kings shall grow unrighteous; they shall rule after their own will and pleasure, and shall not execute judgment according to righteousness. These kings shall hunger after riches and wax fat on bribes; they shall not shew mercy, love and compassion toward their people, but be fierce and cruel, amassing wealth by crushing their subjects like sugar-canes in a mill and by taxing them even to the uttermost farthing. Unable to pay the oppressive tax, the people Shall fly from village and town and the like, and take refuge upon the borders of the realm; the heart of the land shall be a wilderness, while the borders shall teem with people,--even as the water was muddy in the middle of the pool and clear at the margin. Howbeit, you have nothing to fear therefrom. 3 4 Tell me your tenth dream."

"Methought, sir, I saw rice boiling in a pot without getting done. By not getting done, I mean that it looked as though it were sharply marked off and kept apart, so that the cooking went on in three distinct stages. For part was sodden, part hard and raw, and part just cooked to a nicety. This was my tenth dream. What shall come of it?"

"This dream too shall not have its fulfilment till the future. For in days to come kings shall grow unrighteous; the people surrounding the kings shall grow unrighteous too, as also shall brahmins and householders, townsmen, and countryfolk; yes, all people alike shall grow unrighteous, not excepting even sages and brahmins. Next, their very tutelary deities--the spirits to whom they offer sacrifice, the spirits of the trees, and the spirits of the air--shall become unrighteous also. The very winds that blow over the realms of these unrighteous kings shall grow cruel and lawless; they shall shake the mansions of the skies and thereby kindle the anger of the spirits that dwell there, so that they will not suffer rain to fall--or, if it does rain, it shall not fall on all the kingdom at once, nor shall the kindly shower fall on all tilled or sown lands alike to help them in their need. And, as in the kingdom at large, so in each several district and village and over each separate pool or lake, the rain shall not fall at one and the same time on its whole expanse; if it rain on the upper part, it shall not rain upon the lower; here the crops shall be spoiled by a heavy downpour,

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there wither for very drought, and here again thrive apace with kindly showers to water them. So the crops sown within the confines of a single kingdom--like the rice in the one pot--shall have no uniform character. Howbeit, you have nothing to fear therefrom. Tell me your eleventh dream."

"Methought, sir, I saw sour buttermilk bartered for precious sandal-wood, worth 100,000 pieces of money. This was my eleventh dream. What shall come of it?"

"This dream too shall not have its fulfilment till the future--in the days when my doctrine is waning. For in days to come many greedy and shameless Brethren shall arise, who for their belly's sake shall preach the very words in which I inveighed against greed! Because they have deserted by reason of their belly and have taken their stand on the side of the sectaries 1, they shall fail to make their preaching lead up to Nirvana. Nay, their only thought, as they preach, shall be by fine words and sweet voices to induce men to give them costly raiment and the like, and to be minded to give such gifts. Others again seated in the highways, at the street-corners, at the doors of kings' palaces, and so forth, shall stoop to preach for money, yea for mere coined kahāpanas, half-kahāpanas, pādas, or māsakas! 2 And as they thus barter away for food or raiment or for kahāpanas and half-kahāpanas my doctrine the worth whereof is Nirvana, they shall be even as those who bartered away for soar buttermilk precious sandal-wood worth 100,000 pieces. 1 3 4 Howbeit, you have nothing to fear therefrom. Tell me your twelfth dream."

"Methought, sir, I saw empty pumpkins sinking in the water. What shall come of it?"

"This dream also shall not have its fulfilment till the future, in the days of unrighteous kings, when the world is perverted. For in those days shall kings shew favour not to the scions of the nobility, but to the low-born only; and these latter shall become great lords, whilst the nobles sink into poverty. Alike in the royal presence, in the palace gates, in the council chamber, and in the courts of justice, the words of the low-born alone (whom the empty pumpkins typify) shall be stablished, as though they had sunk down till they rested on the bottom. So too in the assemblies of the Brotherhood, in the greater and lesser conclaves, and in enquiries regarding bowls, robes, lodging, and the like,--the counsel only of the wicked and the vile shall be considered to have saving power, not that of the modest Brethren. Thus everywhere it shall be as when the empty pumpkins sank. Howbeit, you have Nothing to fear therefrom. Tell me your thirteenth dream."

Hereupon the king said, "Methought, sir, I saw huge blocks of solid rock, as big as houses, floating like ships upon the waters. What shall come of it?"

"This dream also shall not have its fulfilment before such times as those of which I have spoken. For in those days unrighteous kings shall shew honour to the low-born, who shall become great lords, whilst the nobles sink into poverty. Not to the nobles, but to the upstarts alone shall respect be paid. In the royal presence, in the council chamber, or in the courts of justice, the words of the nobles learned in the law (and it is they whom the solid rocks typify) shall drift idly by, and not sink deep into the hearts of men; when they speak, the upstarts shall merely laugh them to scorn, saying, 'What is this these fellows are saying?' So too in the assemblies of the Brethren, as afore said, men shall not deem worthy of respect the excellent among the Brethren; the words of such shall not sink deep, but drift idly by,--even as when the rocks floated upon the waters. Howbeit, you have nothing to fear therefrom. Tell me your fourteenth dream."

"Methought, sir, I saw tiny frogs, no bigger than minute flowerets, swiftly pursuing huge black snakes, chopping them up like so many lotus-stalks and gobbling them up. What shall come of this?"

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"This dream too shall not have its fulfilment till those days to come such as those of which I have spoken, when the world is decaying. For then shall men's passions be so strong, and their lusts so hot, that they shall be the thralls of the very youngest of their wives for the time being, at whose sole disposal shall be slaves and hired servants, oxen, buffalos and all cattle, gold and silver, and everything that is in the house. Should the poor husband ask where the money (say) or a robe is, at once he shall be told that it is where it is, that he should mind his own business, and not be so inquisitive as to what is, or is not, in her house. And therewithal in divers ways the wives with abuse and goading taunts shall establish their dominion over their husbands, as over slaves and bond-servants. 2 3 4 Thus shall it be like as when the tiny frogs, no bigger than minute flowerets, gobbled up the big black snakes. Howbeit, you have nothing to fear therefrom. Tell me your fifteenth dream."

"Methought, sir, I saw a village crow, in which dwelt the whole of the Ten Vices, escorted by a retinue of those birds which, because of their golden sheen, are called Royal Golden Mallards. What shall come of it?"

"This dream too shall not have its fulfilment till the future, till the reign of weakling kings. In days to come kings shall arise who shall know nothing about elephants or other arts, and shall be cowards in the field. Fearing to be deposed and cast from their royal estate, they shall raise to power not their peers but their footmen, bath-attendants, barbers, and such like. Thus, shut out from royal favour and unable to support themselves, the nobles shall be reduced to dancing attendance on the upstarts,--as when the crow had Royal Golden Mallards for a retinue. Howbeit, you have nothing to fear therefrom. Tell me your sixteenth dream."

"Heretofore, sir, it always used to be panthers that preyed on goats; but methought I saw goats chasing panthers and devouring them--munch, munch, munch!--whilst at bare sight of the goats afar off, terror-stricken wolves fled quaking with fear and hid themselves in their fastnesses in the thicket 1. Such was my dream. What shall come of it?"

"This dream too shall not have its fulfilment till the future, till the reign of unrighteous kings. In those days the low-born shall be raised to lordship and be made royal favourites, whilst the nobles shall sink into obscurity and distress. Gaining influence in the courts of law because of their favour with the king, these upstarts shall claim perforce the ancestral estates, the raiment, and all the property of the old nobility. And-when these latter plead their rights before the courts, then shall the king's minions have them cudgelled and bastinadoed and taken by the throat and cast out with words of scorn, such as:--'Know your place, fools! What? do you dispute with us? The king shall know of your insolence, and we will have your hands and feet chopped off and other correctives applied!' Hereupon the terrified nobles shall affirm that their own belongings really belong to the overbearing upstarts, and will tell the favourites to accept them. And they shall hie them home and there cower in an agony of fear. Likewise, evil Brethren shall harry at pleasure good and worthy Brethren, till these latter, finding none to help them, shall flee to the jungle. And this oppression of the nobles and of the good Brethren by the low-born and by the evil brethren, shall be like the scaring of wolves by goats. Howbeit, you have nothing to fear therefrom. For this dream too has reference to future times only. 3 4 It was not truth, it was not love for you, that prompted the brahmins to prophesy as they did. No, it was greed of gain, and the insight that is bred of covetousness, that shaped all their self-seeking utterances."

Thus did the Master expound the import of these sixteen great dreams, adding,--"You, sire, are not the first to have these dreams; they were dreamed by kings of bygone days also; and, then as now, the brahmins found in them a pretext for sacrifices; whereupon, at the instance of the wise and good, the Bodhisatta was consulted, and the dreams were expounded by them of old time

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in just the same manner as they have now been expounded." And so saying, at the king's request, he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born a brahmin in the North country. When he came to years of discretion he renounced the world for a hermit's life; he won the higher Knowledges and the Attainments, and dwelt in the Himalaya country in the bliss that comes from Insight.

In those days, in just the same manner, Brahmadatta dreamed these dreams at Benares, and enquired of the brahmins concerning them. And the brahmins, then as now, set to work at sacrifices. Amongst them was a young brahmin of learning and wisdom, a pupil of the king's chaplain, who addressed his master thus:--"Master, you have taught me the Three Vedas. Is there not therein a text that says 'The slaying of one creature giveth not life to another'?" "My son, this means money to us, a great deal of money. You only seem anxious to spare the king's treasury!" "Do as you will, master," said the young brahmin; "as for me, to what end shall I tarry longer here with you?" And so saying, he left him, and betook himself to the royal pleasaunce.

That selfsame day the Bodhisatta, knowing all this, thought to himself: "If I visit to-day the haunts of men, I shall work the deliverance of a great multitude from their bondage." So, passing through the air, he alighted in the royal pleasaunce and seated himself, radiant as a statue of gold, upon the Ceremonial Stone. The young brahmin drew near and with due obeisance seated himself by the Bodhisatta in all friendliness. Sweet converse passed; and the Bodhisatta asked whether the young brahmin thought the king ruled righteously. "Sir," answered the young man, "the king is righteous himself; but the brahmins make him side with evil. Being consulted by the king as to sixteen dreams which he had dreamed, the brahmins clutched at the opportunity for sacrifices 3 4 and set to work thereon. Oh, sir, would it not be a good thing that you should offer to make known to the king the real import of his dreams and so deliver great numbers of creatures from their dread?" "But, my son, I do not know the king, nor he me. Still, if he should cone here and ask me, I will tell him." "I will bring the king, sir," said the young brahmin; "if you will only be so good as to wait here a minute till I come back." And having gained the Bodhisatta's consent, he went before the king, and said that there had alighted in the royal pleasaunce an air-travelling ascetic, who said he would expound the king's dreams; would not his majesty relate them to this ascetic?

When the king heard this, he repaired at once to the pleasaunce with a large retinue. Saluting the ascetic, he sat down by the holy man's

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side, and asked whether it was true that he knew what would come of his dreams. "Certainly, sire," said the Bodhisatta; "but first let me hear the dreams as you dreamed them." "Readily, sir," answered the king; and he began as follows:--

Bulls first, and trees, and cows, and calves,
Horse, dish, she-jackal, waterpot,
A pond, raw rice, and sandal-wood,
And gourds that sank, and stones that swam,

and so forth, ending up with

And wolves in panic-fear of goats.

[paragraph continues] And his majesty went on to tell his dreams in just the same manner as that in which King Pasenadi had described them. [345]

"Enough," said the Great Being; "you have nothing to fear or dread from all this." Having thus reassured the king, and having freed a great multitude from bondage, the Bodhisatta again took up his position in mid-air, whence he exhorted the king and established him in the Five Commandments, ending with these words:--"Henceforth, O king, join not with the brahmins in slaughtering animals for sacrifice." His teaching ended, the Bodhisatta passed straight through the air to his own abode. And the king, remaining stedfast in the teaching he had heard, passed away after a life of alms-giving and other good works to fare according to his deserts.

_____________________________

His lesson ended, the Master said, "You have nothing to fear from these dreams; away with the sacrifice!" Having had the sacrifice removed, and having saved the lives of a multitude of creatures, he shewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying, "Ānanda was the king of those days, Sāriputta the young Brahmin, and I the ascetic."

(Pāli note. But after the passing of the Blessed One, the Editors of the Great Redaction put the three first lines into the Commentary, and making the lines from 'And gourds that sank' into one Stanza (therewith) 1, put the whole story into the First Book.)

[Note. Cf. Sacy's Kalilah and Dimnah, chapter 14; Benfey's Pañcatantra § 225; JṚ.AṢ. for 1893 page 509; and Rouse ('A Jātaka in Pausanias') in 'Folklore' i. 409 (1890).]


Footnotes

188:1 See Mahā-Vīra-Carita, p. 13, Mahābhārata II. 2196.

189:1 Cf. the story of Ocnus in Pausanias x. 29.

191:1 Reading titthakarānaṁ pakkhe, as conjectured by Fausböll.

191:2 See Vinaya II. 294 for the same list; and see page 6 of Rhys Davids' "Ancient Coins and Measures of Ceylon" in Numismata Orientalia (Trübner).

192:1 Here the Pāli interpolates the irrelevant remark that "the word hi is nothing more than a particle."

194:1 I am not at all sure that this is the correct translation of this difficult and corrupt passage.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 78. Illīsa-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


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No. 78.

ILLĪSA-JĀTAKA.

"Both squint."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a miserly Lord High Treasurer. Hard by the city of Rājagaha, as we are told, was a town named Jagghery, and here dwelt a certain Lord High Treasurer, known as the Millionaire Miser, who was worth eighty crores! Not so much as the tiniest drop of oil that a blade of grass will take up, did he either give away or consume for his own enjoyment. So he made no use of all his wealth either for his family or for sages and brahmins: it remained unenjoyed,--like a pool haunted by demons. Now, it fell out on a day that the Master arose at dawn moved with a great compassion, and as he reviewed those ripe for conversion throughout the universe, he became aware that this Treasurer with his wife some four hundred miles away were destined to tread the Paths of Salvation.

Now the day before, the Lord High Treasurer had gone his way to the palace to wait upon the king, and was on his homeward way when he saw a country-bumpkin, who was quite empty within, eating a cake stuffed with gruel. The sight awoke a craving within him! But, arrived at his own house, 3 4 6 be thought to himself,--"If I say I should like a stuffed cake, a whole host of people will want to share my meal; and that means getting through ever so much of my rice and ghee and sugar. I mustn't say a word to a soul." So he walked about, wrestling with his craving. As hour after hour passed, he grew yellower and yellower, and the veins stood out like cords on his emaciated frame. Unable at last to bear it any longer, he went to his own room and lay down hugging his bed. But still not a word would he say to a soul for fear of wasting his substance! Well, his wife came to him, and, stroking his back, said: "What is the matter, my husband?"

"Nothing," said he. "Perhaps the king has been cross to you?" "No, he has not." "Have your children or servants done anything to annoy you?" "Nothing of that kind, either." "Well, then, have you a craving for anything?" But still not a word would he say,--all because of his preposterous fear that he might waste his substance; but lay there speechless on his bed. "Speak, husband," said the wife; "tell me what you have a craving for." "Yes," said he with a gulp, "I have got a craving for one thing." "And what is that, my husband?" "I should like a stuffed cake to eat!" "Now why not have said so at once? You're rich enough! I'll cook cakes enough to feast the whole town of Jagghery." "Why trouble about them? They must work to earn their own meal." "Well then, I'll cook only enough for our street." "How rich you are!" "Then, I'll cook just enough for our own household." "How extravagant you are!" "Very good, I'll cook only enough for our children." "Why bother about them?" "Very good then, I'll only provide for our two selves." "Why should you be in it?" "Then, I'll cook just enough for you alone," said the wife.

"Softly," said the Lord High Treasurer; "there are a lot of people on the watch for signs of cooking in this place. Pick out broken rice,--being careful to leave the whole grain,--and take a brazier and cooking-pots and just a very little milk and ghee and honey and molasses; then up with you to the seventh story of the house and do the cooking up there. There I will sit alone and undisturbed to eat."

Obedient to his wishes, the wife had all the necessary things carried up, climbed all the way up herself, sent the servants away, and despatched word to the Treasurer to come. Up he climbed, shutting and bolting door after door as he ascended, till at last he came to the seventh floor, the door of which he also shut fast. Then he sat down. His wife lit the fire in the brazier, put her pot on, and set about cooking the cakes.

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Now in the early morning, the Master had said to the Elder Great Moggallāna,--"Moggallāna, this Miser Millionaire 3 4 in the town of Jagghery near Rājagaha, wanting to eat cakes himself, is so afraid of letting others know, that he is having them cooked for him right up on the seventh story. Go thither; convert the man to self-denial, and by transcendental power transport husband and wife, cakes, milk, ghee and all, here to Jetavana. This day I and the five hundred Brethren will stay at home, and I will make the cakes furnish them with a meal."

Obedient to the Master's bidding, the Elder by supernatural power passed to the town of Jagghery, and rested in mid-air before the chamber-window, duly clad in his under and outer cloths, bright as a jewelled image. The unexpected sight of the Elder made the Lord High Treasurer quake with fear. Thought he to himself, "It was to escape such visitors that I climbed up here: and now there's one of them at the window!" And, failing to realise the comprehension of that which he must needs comprehend, he sputtered with rage, like sugar and salt thrown on the fire, as he burst out with--"What will you get, sage, by your simply standing in mid-air? Why, you may pace up and down till you've made a path in the pathless air,--and yet you'll still get nothing."

The Elder began to pace to and fro in his place in the air! "What will you get by pacing to and fro?" said the Treasurer! "You may sit cross-legged in meditation in the air,--but still you'll get nothing." The Elder sat down with legs crossed! Then said the Treasurer, "What will you get by sitting there? You may come and stand on the window-sill; but even that won't get you any-thing!" The Elder took his stand on the window-sill. "What will you get by standing on the window-sill? Why, you may belch smoke, and yet you'll still get nothing!" said the Treasurer. Then the Elder belched forth smoke till the whole palace was filled with it. The Treasurer's eyes began to smart as though pricked with needles; and, for fear at last that his house might be set on fire, he checked himself from adding--"You won't get anything even if you burst into flames." Thought he to himself, "This Elder is most persistent! He simply won't go away empty-handed! I must have just one cake given him." So he said to his wife, "My dear, cook one little cake and give it to the sage to get rid of him."

So she mixed quite a little dough in a crock. But the dough swelled and swelled till it filled the whole crock, and grew to be a great big cake! "What a lot you must have used!" exclaimed the Treasurer at the sight. And he himself with the tip of a spoon took a very little of the dough, and put that in the oven to bake. But that tiny piece of dough grew larger than the first lump; and, one after another, every piece of dough he took became ever so big! Then he lost heart and said to his wife, "You give him a cake, dear." But, as soon as she took one cake from the basket, at once all the other cakes stuck fast to it. So she cried out to her husband that all the cakes had stuck together, and that she could not part them.

"Oh, I'll soon part them," said he,--but found he could not!

Then husband and wife both took hold of the mass of cakes at the corner and tried to get them apart. But tug as they might, they could make no more impression together than they did singly, on the mass. Now as the Treasurer was pulling away at the cakes, he burst into a perspiration, and his craving left him. Then said he to his wife, "I don't want the cakes; 3 4 give them, basket and all, to this ascetic." And she approached the Elder with the basket in her hand. Then the Elder preached the truth to the pair, and proclaimed the excellence of the Three Gems. And, teaching that giving was true sacrifice, he made the fruits of charity and other good works to shine forth even as the full-moon in the heavens. Won by the Elder's words, the Treasurer said, "Sir, come hither and sit on this couch to eat your cakes."

"Lord High Treasurer," said the Elder, "the All-Wise Buddha with five hundred Brethren sits in the monastery waiting a meal of cakes. If such be your good pleasure, I would ask you to bring your wife and the cakes with you, and let us be going to the Master." "But where, sir, is the Master at the present

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time?" "Five and forty leagues away, in the monastery at Jetavana." "How are we to get all that way, sir, without losing a long time on the road?" "If it be your pleasure, Lord High Treasurer, I will transport you thither by my transcendental powers. The head of the staircase in your house shall remain where it is, but the bottom shall be at the main-gate of Jetavana. In this wise will I transport you to the Master in the time which it takes to go downstairs." "So be it, sir," said the Treasurer.

Then the Elder, keeping the top of the staircase where it was, commanded, saying,--"Let the foot of the staircase be at the main-gate of Jetavana." And so it came to pass! In this way did the Elder transport the Treasurer and his wife to Jetavana quicker than they could get down the stairs.

Then husband and wife came before the Master and said meal-time had come. And the Master, passing into the Refectory, sat down on the Buddha-seat prepared for him, with the Brotherhood gathered round. Then the Lord High Treasurer poured the Water of Donation over the hands of the Brotherhood with the Buddha at its head, whilst his wife placed a cake in the alms-bowl of the Blessed One. Of this he took what sufficed to support life, as also did the five hundred Brethren. Next the Treasurer went round offering milk mixed with ghee and hooey and jagghery; and the Master and the Brotherhood brought their meal to a close. Lastly the Treasurer and his wife ate their fill, but still there seemed no end to the cakes. Even when all the Brethren and the scrap-eaters through-out the monastery had all had a share, still there was no sign of the end approaching. So they told the Master, saying, "Sir, the supply of cakes grows no smaller."

"Then throw them down by the great gate of the monastery."

So they threw them away in a cave not far from the gateway; and to this day a spot called 'The Crock-Cake,' is shown at the extremity of that cave.

The Lord High Treasurer and his wife approached and stood before the Blessed One, who returned thanks; and at the close of his words of thanks, the pair attained Fruition of the First Path of Salvation. Then, taking their leave of the Master, the two mounted the stairs at the great gate and found themselves in their own home once more. 3 4 Afterwards, the Lord High Treasurer lavished eighty crores of money solely on the Faith the Buddha taught.

Next day the Perfect Buddha, returning to Jetavana after a round for alms in Sāvatthi, delivered a Buddha-discourse to the Brethren before retiring to the seclusion of the Perfumed Chamber. At evening, the Brethren gathered together in the Hall of Truth, and exclaimed, "How great is the power of the Elder Moggallāna! In a moment he converted a miser to charity, brought him with the cakes to Jetavana, set him before the piaster, and stablished him in salvation. How great is the power of the Elder!" As they sat talking thus of the goodness of the Elder, the Master entered, and, on enquiry, was told of the subject of their talk. "Brethren," said he, "a Brother who is the converter of a household, should approach that household without causing it annoyance or vexation,--even as the bee when it sucks the nectar from the flower; in such wise should he draw nigh to declare the excellence of the Buddha." And in praise of the Elder Moggallāna, he recited this stanza:--

Like bees, that harm no flower's scent or hue
But, laden with its honey, fly away,
So, sage, within thy village walk thy way 1.

Then, to set forth still more the Elder's goodness, he said,--"This is not the first time, Brethren, that the miserly Treasurer has been converted by Moggallāna. In other days too the Elder converted him, and taught him how deeds and their effects are linked together." So saying, he told this story of the past.

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p. 198

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, there was a Treasurer, Illīsa by name, who was worth eighty crores, and had all the defects which fall to the lot of man. He was lame and crook-backed and had a squint; he was an unconverted infidel, and a miser, never giving of his store to others, nor enjoying it himself; his house was like a pool haunted by demons. Yet, for seven generations, his ancestors had been bountiful, giving freely of their best; but, when he became Treasurer, he broke through the traditions of his house. Burning down the almonry and driving the poor with blows from his gates, he hoarded his wealth.

One day, when he was returning from attendance on the king, he saw a yokel, who had journeyed far and was a-weary, seated on a bench, and filling a mug from a jar of rank spirits, and drinking it off, with a dainty morsel of stinking dried-fish as a relish. The sight made the Treasurer feel a thirst for spirits, but he thought to himself, 3 5 "If I drink, others will want to drink with me, and that means a ruinous expense." So he walked about, keeping his thirst under. But, as time wore on, he could do so no longer; he grew as yellow as old cotton; and the veins stood out on his sunken frame. On a day, retiring to his chamber, he lay down hugging his bed. His wife came to him, and rubbed his back, as she asked, "What has gone amiss with my lord?"

(What follows is to be told in the words of the former story.) But, when she in her turn said, "Then I'll only brew liquor enough for you," he said, "If you make the brew in the house, there will be many on the watch; and to send out for the spirits and sit and drink it here, is out of the question." So he produced one single penny, and sent a slave to fetch him a jar of spirits from the tavern. When the slave came back, he made him go from the town to the riverside and put the jar down in a remote thicket. "Now be off!" said he, and made the slave wait some distance off, while he filled his cup and fell to.

Now the Treasurer's father, who for his charity and other good works had been re-born as Sakka in the Realm of Devas, was at that moment wondering whether his bounty was still kept up or not, and became aware of the stopping of his bounty, and of his son's behaviour. He saw how his son, breaking through the traditions of his house, had burnt the almonry to the ground, had driven the poor with blows from his gates, and how, in his miserliness, fearing to share with others, that son had stolen away to a thicket to drink by himself. Moved by the sight, Sakka cried, "I will go to him and make my son see that deeds must have their consequences; I will work his conversion, and make him charitable and worthy of re-birth in the Realm of Devas." So he came down to earth, and once more trod the ways of men, putting on the semblance of the Treasurer Illīsa, with the latter's lameness, and crookback, and squint. In this guise, he entered the city of Rājagaha and made his way to the

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palace-gate, where he bade his coming be announced to the king. "Let him approach," said the king; and he entered and stood with due obeisance before his majesty.

"What brings you here at this unusual hour, Lord High Treasurer?" said the king. "I am come, Sire, because I have in my house eighty crores of treasure. Deign to have them carried to fill the royal treasury." "Nay, my Lord Treasurer; 1 3 5 the treasure within my palace is greater than this." "If you, sire, will not have it, I shall give it away to whom I will." "Do so by all means, Treasurer," said the king. "So be it, sire," said the pretended Illīsa, as with due obeisance he departed from the presence to the Treasurer's house. The servants all gathered round him, but not one could tell that it was not their real master. Entering, he stood on the threshold and sent for the porter, to whom he gave orders that if anybody resembling himself should appear and claim to be master of the house they should soundly cudgel such a one and throw him out. Then, mounting the stairs to the upper story, he sat down on a gorgeous couch and sent for Illīsa's wife. When she came he said with a smile, "My dear, let us be bountiful."

At these words, wife, children, and servants all thought, "It's a long time since he was this way minded. He must have been drinking to be so good-natured and generous to-day." And his wife said to him, "Be as bountiful as you please, my husband." "Send for the crier," said he, "and bid him proclaim by beat of drum all through the city that everyone who wants gold, silver, diamonds, pearls, and the like, is to come to the house of Illīsa the Treasurer." His wife did as he bade, and a large crowd soon assembled at the door carrying baskets and sacks. Then Sakka bade the treasure-chambers be thrown open, anal cried, "This is my gift to you; take what you will and go your ways." And the crowd seized on the riches there stored, and piled them in heaps on the floor and filled the bags and vessels they had brought, and went off laden with the spoils. Among them was a countryman who yoked Illīsa's oxen to Illīsa's carriage, filled it with the seven things of price, and journeyed out of the city along the highroad. As he went along, he drew near the thicket, and sang the Treasurer's praises in these words:--"May you live to be a hundred, my good lord Illīsa! What you have done for me this day will enable me to live without doing another stroke of work. Whose were these oxen?--yours. Whose was this carriage?--yours. Whose the wealth in the carriage?--yours again. It was no father or mother who gave me all this; no, it came solely from you, my lord."

These words filled the Lord High Treasurer with fear and trembling. "Why, the fellow is mentioning my name in his talk," said he to himself. "Can the king have been distributing my wealth to the people?" 2 3 5 At the bare thought he bounded from the bush, and, recognizing his own

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oxen and cart, seized the oxen by the cord, crying, "Stop, fellow; these oxen and this cart belong to me." Down leaped the man from the cart, angrily exclaiming, "You rascal! Illīsa, the Lord High Treasurer, is giving away his wealth to all the city. What has come to you?" And he sprang at the Treasurer and struck him on the back like a falling thunder-bolt, and went off with the cart. Illīsa picked himself up, trembling in every limb, wiped off the mud, and hurrying after his cart, seized hold of it. Again the countryman got down, and seizing Illīsa by the hair, doubled him up and thumped him about the head for some time; then taking him by the throat, he flung him back the way be had come, and drove off. Sobered by this rough usage, Illīsa hurried off home. There, seeing folk making off with the treasure, he fell to laying hands on here a man and there a man, shrieking, "Hi! what's this? Is the king despoiling me?" And every man he laid hands on knocked him down. Bruised and smarting, he sought to take refuge in his own house, when the porters stopped him with, "Holloa, you rascal! Where might you be going?" And first thrashing him soundly with bamboos, they took their master by the throat and threw him out of doors. "There is none but the king left to see me righted," groaned Illīsa, and betook himself to the palace. "Why, oh why, sire," he cried, "have you plundered me like this?"

"Nay, it was not I, my Lord Treasurer," said the king. "Did you not yourself come and declare your intention of giving your wealth away, if I would not accept it? And did you not then send the crier round and carry out your threat?" "Oh sire, indeed it was not I that came to you on such an errand. Your majesty knows how near and close I am, and how I never give away so much as the tiniest drop of oil which a blade of grass will take up. May it please your majesty to send for him who has given my substance away, and to question him on the matter."

Then the king sent for Sakka. And so exactly alike were the two that neither the king nor his court could tell which, was the real Lord High Treasurer. Said the miser Illīsa, "Who, and what, sire, is this Treasurer? I am the Treasurer."

"Well, really I can't say which is the real Illīsa," said the king. "Is there anybody who can distinguish them for certain?" "Yes, sire, my wife." So the wife was sent for and asked which of the two was her husband. And she said Sakka was her husband and went to his side. 3 5 Then in turn Illīsa's children and servants were brought in and asked the same question; and all with one accord declared Sakka was the real Lord High Treasurer. Here it flashed across Illīsa's mind that he had a wart on his head, hidden among his hair, the existence of which was known only to his barber. So, as a last resource, he asked that his barber might be sent for to identify him. Now at this time the Bodhisatta was his barber. Accordingly, the barber was sent for and asked if he could

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distinguish the real from the false Illīsa. "I could tell, sire," said he, "if I might examine their heads." "Then look at both their heads," said the king. On the instant Sakka caused a wart to rise on his head! After examining the two, the Bodhisatta reported that, as both alike had got warts on their heads, he couldn't for the life of him say which was the real man. And therewithal he uttered this stanza:--

Both squint; both halt; both men are hunchbacks too;
And both have warts alike!
I cannot tell Which of the two the real Illīsa is.

[paragraph continues] Hearing his last hope thus fail him, the Lord High Treasurer fell into a tremble; and such was his intolerable anguish at the loss of his beloved riches, that down he fell in a swoon. Thereupon Sakka put forth his transcendental powers, and, rising in the air, addressed the king thence in these words: "Not Illīsa am I, O king, but Sakka." Then those around wiped Illīsa's face and dashed water over him. Recovering, he rose to his feet and bowed to the ground before Sakka, King of Devas. Then said Sakka, "Illīsa, mine was the wealth, not thine; I am thy father, and thou art my son. In my lifetime I was bountiful toward the poor and rejoiced in doing good; wherefore, I am advanced to this high estate and am become Sakka. But thou, walking not in my footsteps, art grown a niggard and a very miser; thou hast burnt my almonry to the ground, driven the poor from the gate, and hoarded thy riches. Thou hast no enjoyment thereof thyself, nor has any other human being; 3 4 5 but thy store is become like a pool haunted by demons, whereat no man may slake his thirst. Albeit, if thou wilt rebuild mine almonry and show bounty to the poor, it shall be accounted to thee for righteousness. But, if thou wilt not, then will I strip thee of all that thou hast, and cleave thy head with the thunderbolt of Indra, and thou shalt die."

At this threat Illīsa, quaking for his life, cried out, "Henceforth I will be bountiful." And Sakka accepted his promise, and, still seated in mid-air, established his son in the Commandments and preached the Truth to him, departing thereafter to his own abode. And Illīsa was diligent in almsgiving and other good works, and so assured his re-birth thereafter in heaven.

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"Brethren," said the Master, "this is not the first time that Moggallāna has converted the miserly Treasurer; in bygone days too the same man was converted by him." His lesson ended, he shewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying, "This miserly Treasurer was the Illīsa of those days, Moggallāna was Sakka, King of Devas, Ānanda was the king, and I myself the barber."

[Note. Respecting this story, see an article by the translator in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society for January 1892, entitled "The Lineage of the 'Proud King'."]


Footnotes

197:1 This is verse 49 of the Dhammapada.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 79. Kharassara-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


p. 202

No. 79.

KHARASSARA-JĀTAKA.

"He gave the robbers time."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a certain Minister. He, ’tis said, ingratiated himself with the king, and, after collecting the royal revenue in a border-village, privily arranged with a band of robbers that he would march the men off into the jungle, leaving the village for the rascals to plunder,--on condition that they gave him half the booty. Accordingly, at daybreak when the place was left unprotected, down came the robbers, who slew and ate the cattle, looted the village, and were off with their booty before he came back at evening with his followers. But it was a very short time before his knavery leaked out and came to the ears of the king. And the king sent for him, and, as his guilt was manifest, he was degraded and another headman put in his place. Then the king went to the Master at Jetavana and told him what had happened. "Sire," said the Blessed One, "the man has only shewn the same disposition now which he shewed in bygone days." Then at the king's request he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, he appointed a certain Minister to be headman of a border-village; and every-thing came to pass as in the above case. Now in those days the Bodhisatta was making the round of the border-villages in the way of trade, 3 5 and had taken up his abode in that very village. And when the headman was marching his men back at evening with drums a-beating, he exclaimed, "This scoundrel, who privily egged on the robbers to loot the village, has waited till they had made off to the jungle again, and now back he comes with drums a-beating,--feigning a happy ignorance of anything wrong having happened." And, so saying, he uttered this stanza:--

He gave the robbers time to drive and slay
The cattle, burn the houses, capture folk;
And then with drums a-beating, home he marched,
--A son no more, for such a son is dead 1.

In such wise did the Bodhisatta condemn the headman. Not long after, the villany was detected, and the rascal was punished by the king as his wickedness deserved.

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"This is not the first time, sire," said the king, "that he has been of this disposition; he was just the same in bygone days also." His lesson ended, the Master shewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying, "The headman of to-day was also the headman of those days, and I myself the wise and good man who recited the stanza."


Footnotes

202:1 The scholiast's explanation is, that a son who is so lost to all decency and shame, ceases ipso facto to be a son, and that his mother is sonless even while her son is still alive.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 80. Bhīmasena-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 80.

BHĪMASENA-JĀTAKA.

"You vaunted your prowess."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a certain braggart among the Brethren. Tradition says that he used to gather round him Brethren of all ages, and go about deluding everyone with lying boasts about his noble descent. "Ah, Brethren," he would say, "there's no family so noble as mine, no lineage so peerless. I am a scion of the highest of princely lines; no man is my equal in birth or ancestral estate; there is absolutely no end to the gold and silver and other treasures we possess. Our very slaves and menials are fed on rice and meat-stews, and are clad in the best Benares cloth, with the choicest Benares perfumes to perfume themselves withal;--whilst I, because I have joined the Brotherhood, [3561 have to content myself with this vile fare and this vile garb."

But another Brother, after enquiring into his family estate, exposed to the Brethren the emptiness of this pretension. So the Brethren met in the Hall of Truth, and talk began as to how that Brother, in spite of his vows to leave worldly things and cleave only to the saving Truth, was going about deluding the Brethren with his lying boasts. Whilst the fellow's sinfulness was being discussed, the Master entered and enquired what their topic was. And they told him. "This is not the first time, Brethren," said the Master, "that he has gone about boasting; in bygone days too he went about boasting and deluding people." And so saying, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born a brahmin in a market-town in the North country, and when he was grown up he studied under a teacher of world-wide fame at Takkasilā. There he learnt the Three Vedas and the Eighteen Branches of knowledge, and completed his education. And he became known as the sage Little Bowman. Leaving Takkasilā, he came to the Andhra country in search of practical experience. Now, it happened that in this Birth the Bodhisatta was somewhat of a crooked little dwarf, and he thought to himself, "If I make my appearance before any king, he's sure to ask what a dwarf like me is good for; why should I not use a tall broad fellow as my stalking-horse and earn my living in the shadow of his more imposing

p. 204

personality'?" So he betook himself to the weavers' quarter, and there espying a huge weaver named Bhīmasena, saluted him, asking the man's name. "Bhīmasena 1 is my name," said the weaver. "And what makes a fine big man like you work at so sorry a trade?" "Because I can't get a living any other way." "Weave no more, friend. The whole continent can shew no such archer as I am; but kings would scorn me because I am a dwarf. And so you, friend, must be the man to vaunt your prowess with the bow, and the king will take you into his pay 3 5 and make you ply your calling regularly. Meantime I shall be behind you to perform the duties that are laid upon you, and so shall earn my living in your shadow. In this manner we shall both of us thrive and prosper. Only do as I tell you." "Done with you," said the other.

Accordingly, the Bodhisatta took the weaver with him to Benares, acting as a little' page of the bow, and putting the other in the front; and when they were at the gates of the palace, he made him send word of his coming to the king. Being summoned into the royal presence, the pair entered together and bowing stood before the king. "What brings you here?" said the king. "I am a mighty archer," said Bhīmasena; "there is no archer like me in the whole continent." "What pay would you want to enter my service?" "A thousand pieces a fortnight, sire." "What is this man of yours?" "He's my little page, sire." "Very well, enter my service."

So Bhīmasena entered the king's service; but it was the Bodhisatta who did all his work for him. Now in those days there was a tiger in a forest in Kāsi which blocked a frequented high-road and had devoured many victims. When this was reported to the king, he sent for Bhīmasena and asked whether he could catch the tiger.

"How could I call myself an archer, sire, if I couldn't catch a tiger?" The king gave him largesse and sent him on the errand. And home to the Bodhisatta came Bhīmasena with the news. "All right," said the Bodhisatta; "away you go, my friend." "But are you not coming too?" "No, I won't go; but I'll tell you a little plan." "Please do, my friend." "Well don't you be rash and approach the tiger's lair alone. What you will do is to muster a strong band of countryfolk to march to the spot with a thousand or two thousand bows; when you know that the tiger is aroused, you bolt into the thicket and lie down flat on your face. The countryfolk will beat the tiger to death; and as soon as he is quite dead, you bite off a creeper with your teeth, and draw near to the dead tiger, trailing the creeper in your hand. At the sight of the dead body of the brute, you will burst out with--'Who has killed the tiger? I meant to lead it 3 5 by a creeper, like an ox, to the king, and with this intent had

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just stepped into the thicket to get a creeper. I must know who killed the tiger before I could get back with my creeper.' Then the countryfolk will be very frightened and bribe you heavily not to report them to the king; you will be credited with slaying the tiger; and the king too will give you lots of money."

"Very good," said Bhīmasena; and off he went and slew the tiger just as the Bodhisatta had told him. Having thus made the road safe for travellers, back he came with a large following to Benares, and said to the king, "I have killed the tiger, sire; the forest is safe for travellers now." Well-pleased, the king loaded him with gifts.

Another day, tidings came that a certain road was infested with a buffalo, and the king sent Bhīmasena to kill it. Following the Bodhisatta's directions, he killed the buffalo in the same way as the tiger, and returned to the king, who once more gave him lots of money. He was a great lord now. Intoxicated by his new honours, he treated the Bodhisatta with contempt, and scorned to follow his advice, saying, "I can get on without you. Do you think there's no man but yourself?" This and many other harsh things did he say to the Bodhisatta.

Now, a few days later, a hostile king marched upon Benares and beleaguered it, sending a message to the king summoning him either to surrender his kingdom or to do battle. And the king of Benares ordered Bhīmasena out to fight him. So Bhīmasena was armed cap-à-pie in soldierly fashion and mounted on a war-elephant sheathed in complete armour. And the Bodhisatta, who was seriously alarmed that, Bhīmasena might get killed, armed himself cap-à-pie also and seated himself modestly behind Bhīmasena. Surrounded by a host, the elephant passed out of the gates of the city and arrived in the forefront of the battle. At the first notes of the martial drum Bhīmasena fell a-quaking with fear. "If you fall off now, you'll get killed," said the Bodhisatta, and accordingly fastened a cord round him, which he held tight, to prevent him from falling off the elephant. But the sight of the field of battle proved too much for Bhīmasena, and the fear of death was so strong on him that he fouled the elephant's back. "Ah," said the Bodhisatta, "the present does not tally with the past. Then you affected the warrior; now your prowess is confined to befouling the elephant you ride on." And so saying, he uttered this stanza:--

[359] You vaunted your prowess, and loud was your boast;
  You swore you would vanquish the foe!
But is it consistent, when faced with their host,
  To vent your emotion, sir, so?

When the Bodhisatta had ended these taunts, he said, "But don't you be afraid, my friend. Am not I here to protect you?" Then he made Bhīmasena get off the elephant and bade him wash himself and go home. "And now to win renown this day," said the Bodhisatta, raising his

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battle-cry as he dashed into the fight. Breaking through the king's camp, he dragged the king out and took him alive to Benares. In great joy at his prowess, his royal master loaded him with honours, and from that day forward all India was loud with the fame of the Sage Little Bowman. To Bhīmasena he gave largesse, and sent him back to his own home; whilst he himself excelled in charity and all good works, and at his death passed away to fare according to his deserts.

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"Thus, Brethren," said the Master, "this is not the first time that this Brother has been a braggart; he was just the same in bygone days too." His lesson ended, the Master shewed the connexion and identified the Birth by saying, "This braggart Brother was the Bhīmasena of those days, and I myself the Sage Little Bowman."


Footnotes

204:1 The name means "one who has or leads a terrible army;" it is the name of the second Pāṇḍava.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 81. Surāpāna-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 81.

SURĀPĀNA-JĀTAKA.

[360] "We drank."--This story was cold by the Master about the Elder Sāgata, while he was dwelling in the Ghosita-park near Kosambī.

For, after spending the rainy season at Sāvatthi, the Master had come on an alms-pilgrimage to a market-town named Bhaddavatikā, where cowherds and goatherds and farmers and wayfarers respectfully besought him not to go down to the Mango Ferry; "for," said they, "in the Mango Ferry, in the demesne of the naked ascetics, dwells a poisonous and deadly Naga, known as the Naga of the Mango Ferry, who might harm the Blessed One." Feigning not to hear them, though they repeated their warning thrice, the Blessed One held on his way. Whilst the Blessed One was dwelling near Bhaddavatikā in a certain grove there, the Elder Sāgata, a servant of the Buddha, who had won such supernatural powers as a worldling can possess, went to the demesne, piled a couch of leaves at the spot where the Naga-king dwelt, and sate himself down cross-legged thereon. Being unable to conceal his evil nature, the Naga raised a great smoke. So did the Elder. Then the Naga sent forth flames. So too did the Elder. But, whilst the Nāga's flames did no harm to the Elder, the Elder's flames did do harm to the Naga, and so in a short time he mastered the Naga-king and established him in the Refuges and the Commandments, after which he repaired back to the Master. And the Master, after dwelling as long as it pleased him at Bhaddavatikā, went on to Kosambī. Now the story of the Nāga's conversion by Sāgata, had got noised abroad all over the countryside, and the townsfolk of Kosambī went forth to meet the Blessed One and saluted him, after which they passed to the Elder Sāgata and saluting him, said, "Tell us, sir, what you lack and we will furnish it." The Elder himself remained

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silent; but the followers of the Wicked Six 1 made answer as follows:--"Sirs, to those who have renounced the world, white spirits are as rare as they are acceptable. Do you think you could get the Elder some clear white spirit?" "To be sure we can," said the townsfolk, and invited the Master to take his meal with them next clay. Then they went back to their own town and arranged that each in his own house should offer clear white spirit to the Elder, and accordingly they all laid in a store and invited the Elder in and plied him with the liquor, house by house. So deep were his potations that, on his way out of town, the Elder fell prostrate in the gateway and there lay hiccoughing nonsense. On his way back from his meal in the town, the Master came on the Elder lying in this state, and bidding the Brethren carry Sāgata home, 1 3 6 passed on his way to the park. The Brethren laid the Elder down with his head at the Buddha's feet, but he turned round so that he came to lie with his feet towards the Buddha. Then the Master asked his question, "Brethren, does Sāgata shew that respect towards me now that he formerly did?" "No, sir." "Tell me, Brethren, who it was that mastered the Naga-king of the Mango Ferry?" "It was Sāgata, sir." "Think you that in his present state Sāgata could piaster even a harmless water-snake?" "That he could not, sir." "Well now, Brethren, is it proper to drink that which, when drunk, steals away a man's senses?" "It is improper, sir." Now, after discoursing with the Brethren in dispraise of the Elder, the Blessed One laid it down as a precept that the drinking of intoxicants was an offence requiring confession and absolution; after which he rose up and passed into his perfumed chamber.

Assembling together in the Hall of Truth, the Brethren discussed the sin of spirit-drinking, saying, "What a great sin is the drinking of spirits, sirs, seeing that it has blinded to the Buddha's excellence even one so wise and so gifted as Sāgata." Entering the Hall of Truth at this point, the Master asked what topic they were discussing; and they told him. "Brethren," said he, "this is not the first time that they who had renounced the world have lust their senses through drinking spirits; the very same thing took place in bygone days." And so saying, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born into a northern Brahmin-family in Kāsi; and when he grew up, he renounced the world for the hermit's life. He won the Higher Knowledges and the Attainments, and dwelt in the enjoyment of the bliss of Insight in the Himalayas, with five hundred pupils around him. Once, when the rainy season had come, his pupils said to him, "Master, may we go to the haunts of men and bring back salt and vinegar?" "For my own part, sirs, I shall remain here; but you may go for your health's sake, and come back when the rainy season is over."

"Very good," said they, and taking a respectful leave of their master, came to Benares, where they took up their abode in the royal pleasaunce. On the morrow they went in quest of alms to a village just outside the city gates, where they had plenty to eat; and next day they made their way into the city itself. The kindly citizens gave alms to them, and the king was soon informed that five hundred hermits from the Himalayas had

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taken up their abode in the royal pleasaunce, and that they were ascetics of great austerity, subduing the flesh, and of great virtue. Hearing this good character of them, the king went to the pleasaunce and graciously made them welcome 2 3 6 to stay there for four months. They promised that they would, and thenceforth were fed in the royal palace and lodged in the pleasaunce. But one day a drinking festival was held in the city, and the king gave the five hundred hermits a large supply of the best spirits, knowing that such things rarely come in the way of those who renounce the world and its vanities. The ascetics drank the liquor and went back to the pleasaunce. There, in drunken hilarity, some danced, some sang, whilst others, wearied of dancing and singing, kicked about their rice-hampers and other belongings,--after which they lay down to sleep. When they had slept off their drunkenness and awoke to see the traces of their revelry, they wept and lamented, saying, "We have done that which we ought not to have done. We have done this evil because we are away from our master." Forthwith, they quitted the pleasaunce and returned to the Himalayas. Laying aside their bowls and other belongings, they saluted their master and took their seats. "Well, my sons," said he, "were you comfortable amid the haunts of men, and were you spared weary journeyings in quest of alms? Did you dwell in unity one with another?"

"Yes, master, we were comfortable; but we drank forbidden drink, so that, losing our senses and forgetting ourselves, we both danced and sang." And by way of setting the matter forth, they composed and repeated this stanza:--

We drank, we danced, we sang, we wept; ’twas well
That, when we drank the drink that steals away
The senses, we were not transformed to apes.

"This is what is sure to happen to those who are not living under a master's care," said the Bodhisatta, rebuking those ascetics; and he exhorted them saying, "Henceforth, never do such a thing again." Living on with Insight unbroken, he became destined to rebirth thereafter in the Brahma Realm.

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[363] His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth (and henceforth we shall omit the words 'shewed the connexion '), by saying,--"My disciples were the band of hermits of those days, and I their teacher."


Footnotes

207:1 See note 1 on page 71.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 82. Mittavinda-Jātaka



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p. 209

No. 82.

MITTAVINDA-JĀTAKA.

"No more to dwell."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a self-willed Brother. The incidents of this Birth, which took place in the days of the Buddha Kassapa, will be related in the Tenth Book in the Mahā-Mittavindaka Jātaka 1.

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Then the Bodhisatta uttered this Stanza:--

No more to dwell in island palaces
Of crystal, silver, or of sparkling gems,--
With flinty headgear thou’rt invested now;
Nor shall its griding torture ever cease
Till all thy sin be purged and life shall end.

So saying, the Bodhisatta passed to his own abode among the Devas. And Mittavindaka, having donned that headgear, suffered grievous torment till his sin had been spent and he passed away to fare according to his deserts.

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His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth, by saying, "This self-willed Brother was the Mittavindaka of those days, and I myself the King of the Devas."


Footnotes

209:1 No. 439. See No. 41, and Divyāvadāna, p. 603, &c.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 83. Kālakaṇṇi-Jātaka



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No. 83.

KĀLAKAṆṆI-JĀTAKA. [364]

"A friend is he."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a friend of Anātha-piṇḍika's. Tradition says that the two had made mud-pies together, and had gone to the same school; but, as years went by, the friend, whose name was 'Curse,' sank into great distress and could not make a living anyhow. So he came to the rich man, who was kind to him, and paid him to look after all his property; and the poor friend was employed under Anātha-piṇḍika and did all his business for him. After he had gone up to the rich man's It was a common thing to hear in the house--"Stand up, Curse," or "Sit down, Curse," or "Have your dinner, Curse."

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One day the Treasurer's friends and acquaintances called on him and said, "Lord Treasurer, don't let this sort of thing go on in your house. It's enough to scare an ogre to hear such ill-omened observations as--'Stand up, Curse,' or 'Sit down, Curse,' or 'Have your dinner, Curse.' The man is not your social equal; he's a miserable wretch, dogged by misfortune. Why have anything to do with him?" "Not so," replied Anātha-piṇḍika; "a name only serves to denote a man, and the wise do not measure a man by his name; nor is it proper to wax superstitious about mere sounds. Never will I throw over, for his mere name's sake, the friend with whom I made mud-pies as a child." And he rejected their advice.

One day the great man departed to visit a village of which he was headman, leaving the other in charge of the house. Hearing of his departure certain robbers made up their mind to break into the house; and, arming themselves to the teeth, they surrounded it in the night-time. But 'Curse' had a suspicion that burglars might be expected, and was sitting up for them. And when he knew that they had come, he ran about as if to rouse his people, bidding one sound the conch, another beat the drum, till he had the whole house full of noise, as though be were rousing a whole army of servants. Said the robbers, "The house is not so empty as we were told; the master must be at home." Flinging away their stones, clubs and other weapons, away they bolted for their lives. Next day great alarm was caused by the sight of all the discarded weapons lying round the house; and Curse was lauded to the skies by such praises as this:--"If the house had not been patrolled by one so wise as this man, the robbers would have simply walked in at their own pleasure and have plundered the house. The Treasurer owes this stroke of good luck to his staunch friend." And the moment the merchant came back from his village they hastened to tell him the whole story. "Ah," said he, "this is the trusty guardian of my house whom you wanted me to get rid of. If I had taken your advice and got rid of him; I should be a beggar to-day. It's not the name but the heart within that makes the man." So saying he raised his wages. And thinking that here was a good story 3 5 6 to tell, off he went to the Master and gave him a complete account of it all, right through. "This is not the first time, sir," said the Master, "that a friend named Curse has saved his friend's wealth from robbers; the like happened in bygone days as well." Then, at Anātha-piṇḍika's request, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was a Treasurer of great renown; and he had a friend whose name was Curse, and so on as in the foregoing story. When on his return from his zemindary the Bodhisatta heard what had happened he said to his friends, "If I had taken your advice and got rid of my trusty friend, I should have been a beggar to-day." And he repeated this stanza:--

A friend is he that seven steps will go
To help us 1; twelve attest the comrade true.
A fortnight or a month's tried loyalty
Makes kindred, longer time a second self.
--Then how shall I, who all these years have known
My friend, be wise in driving Curse away?

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His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "Ānanda was the Curse of those days, and I myself the Treasurer of Benares."


Footnotes

210:1 See Griffith's "Old Indian Poetry," p. 27; and Pānini's rule, v. 2. 22.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 84. Atthassadvāra-Jātaka



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p. 211

No. 84.

ATTHASSADVĀRA-JĀTAKA. [366]

"Seek health."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a boy who was sage in matters relating to spiritual welfare. When he was only seven years old, the boy, who was the son of a very wealthy Treasurer, manifested great intelligence and anxiety for his spiritual welfare; and one day came to his father to ask what were the Paths leading to spiritual welfare. The father could not answer, but he thought to himself,--"This is a very difficult question; from highest heaven to nethermost hell there is none that can answer it, save only the All-knowing Buddha." So he took the child with him to Jetavana, with a quantity of perfumes and flowers and unguents. Arrived there, he did reverence to the Master, bowed down before him, and seating himself on one side, spoke as follows to the Blessed One:--"Sir, this boy of mine, who is intelligent and anxious for his spiritual welfare, has asked me what are the Paths leading to spiritual welfare; and as I did not know, I came to you. Vouchsafe, O Blessed One, to resolve this question." "Lay-brother," said the Master, "this selfsame question was asked me by this very child in former times, and I answered it for him. He knew the answer in bygone days, but now he has forgotten because of change of birth." Then, at the father's request, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was a very wealthy Treasurer; and he had a son who, when only seven years old, manifested great intelligence and anxiety for his spiritual welfare. One day the child came to his father to ask what were the Paths leading to spiritual welfare. And his father answered him by repeating this stanza:--

Seek Health, the supreme good; be virtuous;
Hearken to elders; from the scriptures learn;
Conform to Truth; and burst Attachment's bonds.
--For chiefly these six Paths to Welfare lead.

[367] In this wise did the Bodhisatta answer his son's question as to the Paths that lead to spiritual welfare; and the boy from that time forward followed those six rules. After a life spent in charity and other good works, the Bodhisatta passed away to fare thereafter according to his deserts.

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His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "This child was also the child of those days, and I myself the Lord Treasurer."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 85. Kimpakka-Jātaka



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p. 212

No. 85.

KIMPAKKA-JĀTAKA.

"As they who ate."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a concupiscent Brother. Tradition says there was a scion of a good family who gave his heart to the Buddha's doctrine and joined the Brotherhood. But one day as he was going his round for alms in Sāvatthi, he was there stirred to concupiscence by the sight of a beautifully dressed woman. Being brought by his teachers and directors before the Master, he admitted in answer to the enquiries of the Blessed One that the spirit of concupiscence had entered into him. Then said the Master, "Verily the five lusts of the senses are sweet in the hour of actual enjoyment, Brother; but this enjoyment of them (in that it entails the miseries of re-birth in hell and the other evil states) is like the eating of the fruit of the What-fruit tree. Very fair to view is the What-fruit, very fragrant-and sweet; but when eaten, it racks the inwards and brings death. In other days, through ignorance 3 6 of its evil nature, a multitude of men, seduced by the beauty, fragrance and sweetness of the fruit, ate thereof so that they died." So saying, he told this story of the past.

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Once upon a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta came to life as the leader of a caravan. Once when journeying with five hundred carts from East to West, he came to the outskirts of a forest. Assembling his men, he said to them:--"In this forest grow trees that bear poisonous fruit. Let no man eat any unfamiliar fruit without first asking me." When they had traversed the forest, they came at the other border on a What-fruit tree with its boughs bending low with their burthen of fruit. In form, smell and taste, its trunk, boughs, leaves and fruit resembled a mango. Taking the tree, from its misleading appearance and so forth, to be a mango, some plucked the fruit and ate; but others said, "Let us speak to our leader before we eat." And these latter, plucking the fruit, waited for him to come up. When he came, he ordered them to fling away the fruit they had plucked, and had an emetic administered to those who had already eaten. Of these latter, some recovered; but such as had been the first to eat, died. The Bodhisatta reached his destination in safety, and sold his wares at a profit, after which he travelled home again. After a life spent in charity and other good works, he passed away to fare according to his deserts.

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p. 213

It was when he had told this story, that the Master, as Buddha, uttered this stanza:--

As they who ate the What-fruit died, so Lusts,
When ripe, slay him who knowing not the woe
They breed hereafter, stoops to lustful deeds.

Having thus shewn that the Lusts, which are so sweet in the hour of fruition, end by slaying their votaries, the Master preached the Four Truths, at the close 3 6 whereof the concupiscent Brother was converted and won the Fruit of the First Path. Of the rest of the Buddha's following some won the First, some the Second, and some the Third Path, whilst others again became Arahats.

His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "My disciples were the people of the caravan in those days, and I their leader."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 86. Sīlavīmaṁsana-Jātaka



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No. 86.

SĪLAVĪMAṀSANA-JĀTAKA.

"Naught can compare."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a brahmin who put to the test his reputation for goodness. This Brother, who was maintained by ṭhe King of Kosala, had sought the Three Refuges; he kept the Five Commandments, and was versed in the Three Vedas. "This is a good man," thought the King, and shewed him great honour. But that Brother thought to himself, "The King shews honour to me beyond other brahmins, and has manifested his great regard by making me his spiritual director. But is his favour due to my goodness or only to my birth, lineage, family, country and accomplishments? I must clear this up without delay." Accordingly, one day when he was leaving the palace, he took unbidden a coin from a treasurer's counter, and went his way. Such was the treasurer's veneration for the brahmin that he sat perfectly still and said not a word. Next day the brahmin took two coins; but still the official made no remonstrance. The third day the brahmin took a whole handful of coins. "This is the third day," cried the treasurer, "that you have robbed his Majesty;" and he shouted out three times,--"I have caught the thief who robs the treasury." In rushed a crowd of people from every side, crying, "Ah, you've long been posing as a model of goodness." And dealing him two or three blows, they led him before the King. In great sorrow the King said to him, "What led you, brahmin, to do, so wicked a thing?" And he gave orders, saying, "Off with him to punishment." "I are no thief, sire," said the brahmin. "Then why did you take money from the treasury?" "Because you shewed me such great honour, sire, and because I made up my mind to find out whether that honour was paid to my birth and the like or only to my goodness. That was my motive, and now I know for certain (inasmuch as you order me off to punishment) that it was my goodness and not my birth and other advantages, that won me your majesty's favour. Goodness I know to be the chief and supreme good; I know too that to goodness 3 I can

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never attain in this life, whilst I remain a layman, living in the midst of sinful pleasures. Wherefore, this very day I would fain go to the Master at Jetavana and renounce the world for the Brotherhood. Grant me your leave, sire." The King consenting, the brahmin set out for Jetavana. His friends and relations in a body tried to turn him from his purpose, but, finding their efforts of no avail, left him alone. He came to the Master and asked to be admitted to the Brotherhood. After admission to the lower and higher orders, he won by application spiritual insight and became an Arahat, whereon he drew near to the Master, saying, "Sir, my joining the Order has borne the Supreme Fruit,"--thereby signifying that he had won Arahatship. Hearing of this, the Brethren, assembling in the Hall of Truth, spoke with one another of the virtues of the King's chaplain who tested his own reputation for goodness and who, leaving the King, had now risen to be an Arahat. Entering the Hall, the Master asked what the Brethren were discussing, and they told him. "Not without a precedent, Brethren," said he, "is the action of this brahmin in putting to the test his reputation for goodness and in working out his salvation after renouncing the world. The like was done by the wise and good of bygone days as well." And so saying, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was his chaplain,--a man given to charity and other good works, whose mind was set on righteousness, always keeping unbroken the Five Commandments. And the King honoured him beyond the other brahmins; and everything came to pass as above.

But, as the Bodhisatta was being brought in bonds before the King, he came where some snake-charmers were exhibiting a snake, which they laid hold of by the tail and the throat, and tied round their necks. Seeing this, the Bodhisatta begged the men to desist, for the snake might bite them and cut their lives short. "Brahmin," replied the snake-charmers, "this is a good and well-behaved cobra; he's not wicked like you, who for your wickedness and misconduct are being hauled off in custody."

Thought the Bodhisatta to himself, "Even cobras, if they do not bite or wound, are called 'good.' How much more must this be the case with those who have come to be human beings! Verily it is just this goodness which is the most excellent thing in all the world, nor 1 3 does aught surpass it." Then he was brought before the King. "What is this, my friends?" said the King. "Here's a thief who has been robbing your majesty's treasury." "Away with him to execution." "Sire," said the brahmin, "I am no thief." "Then how came you to take the money?" Hereon the Bodhisatta made answer precisely as above, ending as follows:--"This then is why I have come to the conclusion that it is goodness which is the highest and most excellent thing in all the world. But be that as it may, yet, seeing that the cobra, when it does not bite or wound, must simply be called 'good' and nothing more, for this reason too it is

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goodness alone which is the highest and most excellent of all things." Then in praise of goodness he uttered this stanza:--

Naught can compare with Goodness;
all the world Can not its equal show. The cobra fell,
If men account it 'good,' is saved from death.

After preaching the truth to the King in this stanza, the Bodhisatta, abjuring all Lusts, and renouncing the world for the hermit's life, repaired to the Himalayas, where he attained to the five Knowledges and the eight Attainments, earning for himself the sure hope of re-birth thereafter in the Brahma Realm.

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His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "My disciples were the King's following in those days, and I myself the King's chaplain."

[Note. Compare Nos. 290, 330, and 362; and see Feer's Études sur le Játaka.]


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 87. Maṁgala-Jātaka



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No. 87.

MAṀGALA-JĀTAKA.

"Whoso renounces."--This story was told by the Master while at the Bamboo-grove about a brahmin who was skilled in the prognostications 2 3 which can be drawn from pieces of cloth 1. Tradition says that at Rājagaha dwelt a brahmin who was superstitious and held false views, not believing in the Three Gems. This brahmin was very rich and wealthy, abounding in substance; and a female mouse gnawed a suit of clothes of his, which was lying by in a chest. One day after bathing himself all over, he called for this suit, and then was told of the mischief which the mouse had done. "If these clothes stop in the house," thought he to himself, "they'll bring ill-luck; such an ill-omened thing is sure to bring a curse. It is out of the question to give them to any of my children or servants; for whosoever has them will bring misfortune on all around him. I must have them thrown away in a charnel-ground 2; but how? I cannot hand them to servants; for they might covet and keep them, to the ruin of my house. My son must take them." So he called his son, and telling him the whole matter bade him take his charge on a stick, without touching the clothes with his hand, and fling them away in a charnel-ground. Then the son was to bathe himself all over and return. Now that morning at dawn of day the Master looking

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round to see what persons could be led to the truth, became aware that the father and son were predestined to attain salvation. So he betook himself in the guise of a hunter on his way to hunt, to the charnel-ground, and sate down at the entrance, emitting the six-coloured rays that mark a Buddha. Soon there came to the spot the young brahmin, carefully carrying the clothes as his father had bidden him, on the end of his stick, just as though he had a house-snake to carry.

"What are you doing, young brahmin?" asked the Master.

"My good Gotama 1," was the reply, "this suit of clothes, having been gnawed by mice, is like ill-luck personified, and as deadly as though steeped in venom; wherefore my father, fearing that a servant might covet and retain the clothes, has sent me with them. I promised that I would throw them away and bathe afterwards; and that's the errand that has brought me here." "Throw the suit away, then," said the Master; and the young brahmin did so. "They will just suit me," said the Master, as he picked up the fate-fraught clothes before the young man's very eyes, regardless of the latter's earnest warnings and repeated entreaties to him not to take them; and he departed in the direction of the Bamboo-grove.

Home in all haste ran the young brahmin, to tell his father how the Sage Gotama had declared that the clothes would just suit him, and had persisted, in spite of all warnings to the contrary, in taking the suit away with him to the Bamboo-grove. "Those clothes," thought the brahmin to himself, "are bewitched and accursed. Even the sage Gotama cannot wear them without destruction befalling him; and that would bring me into disrepute. I will give the Sage abundance of other garments and get him to throw that suit away." So with a large number of robes he started in company of his son for the Bamboo-grove. When he came upon the Master he stood respectfully on one side and spoke thus,--"Is it indeed true, as I hear, that you, my good Gotama, 3 picked up a suit of clothes in the charnel-ground?" "Quite true, brahmin." "My good Gotama, that suit is accursed; if you make use of them, they will destroy you. If you stand in need of clothes, take these and throw away that suit." "Brahmin," replied the Master, "by open profession I have renounced the world, and am content with the rags that lie by the roadside or bathing-places, or are thrown away on dustheaps or in charnel-grounds. Whereas you have held your superstitions in bygone days, as well as at the present time." So saying, at the brahmin's request, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time there reigned in the city of Rājagaha, in the kingdom of Magadha, a righteous King of Magadha. In those days the Bodhisatta came to life again as a brahmin of the North-west. Growing up, he renounced the world for the hermit's life, won the Knowledges and the Attainments, and went to dwell in the Himalayas. On one occasion, returning from the Himalayas, and taking up his abode in the King's pleasaunce, he went on the second day into the city to collect alms. Seeing him, the King had him summoned into the palace and there provided with a seat and with food,--exacting a promise from him that he would take up his abode in the pleasaunce. So the Bodhisatta used to receive his food at the palace and dwell in the grounds.

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Now in those days there dwelt in that city a brahmin known as Cloth-omens. And he had in a chest a suit of clothes which were gnawed by mice, and everything came to pass just as in the foregoing story. But when the son was on his way to the charnel-ground the Bodhisatta got there first and took his seat at the gate; and, picking up the suit which the young brahmin threw away, he returned to the pleasaunce. When the son told this to the old brahmin, the latter exclaimed, "It will be the death of the King's ascetic"; and entreated the Bodhisatta to throw that suit away, lest he should perish. But the ascetic replied, "Good enough for us are the rags that are flung away in charnel-grounds. We have no belief in superstitions about luck, which are not approved by Buddhas, Pacceka Buddhas, or Bodhisattas; and therefore no wise man ought to be a believer in luck." Hearing the truth thus expounded, the brahmin forsook his errors and took refuge in the Bodhisatta. And the Bodhisatta, preserving his Insight unbroken, earned re-birth thereafter in the Brahma Realm. [374.]

Having told this story, the Master, as Buddha, taught the Truth to the brahmin in this stanza:--

Whose renounces omens, dreams and signs,
That man, from superstition's errors freed,
Shall triumph o’er the paired Depravities
And o’er Attachments to the end of time.

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When the Master had thus preached his doctrine to the brahmin in the form of this stanza, he proceeded further to preach the Four Truths, at the close whereof that brahmin, with his son, attained to the First Path. The Master identified the Birth by saying, "The father and son of to-day were also the father and son of those days, and I myself the ascetic."


Footnotes

215:1 Cf. Tevijja Sutta translated by Rhys Davids in "Buddhist Suttas," p. 197.

215:2 An āmaka-susāna was an open space or grove in which corpses were exposed for wild-beasts to eat, in order that the earth might not be defiled. Cf. the Parsee 'Towers of Silence.'

216:1 In Pāli bho Gotama,--a form of familiar address. Brahmins are always represented as presuming to say bho to the Buddha.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 88. Sārambha-Jātaka



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No. 88.

SĀRAMBHA-JĀTAKA.

"Speak kindly."--This story was told by the Master while at Sāvatthi, about the precept touching abusive language. The introductory story and the story of the past are the same as in the Nandivisāla-jātaka above 1.

But in this case 3 5 there is the difference that the Bodhisatta was an ox named Sārambha, and belonged to a brahmin of Takkasilā in the kingdom

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of Gandhāra. After telling the story of the past, the Master, as Buddha, uttered this stanza:--

Speak kindly, revile not your fellow;
Love kindness; reviling breeds sorrow.

When the Master had ended his lesson he identified the Birth by saying, "Ānanda was the brahmin of those days, Uppalavaṇṇā his wife, and I Sārambha."


Footnotes

217:1 No. 28.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 89. Kuhaka-Jātaka



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No. 89.

KUHAKA-JĀTAKA.

"How plausible." This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana about a knave. The details of his knavery will be related in the Uddāla-jātaka 1.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, there lived hard by a certain little village a shifty rascal of an ascetic, of the class which wears long, matted hair. The squire of the place had a hermitage built in the forest for him to dwell in, and used to provide excellent fare for him in his own house. Taking the matted-haired rascal to be a model of goodness, and living as he did in fear of robbers, the squire brought a hundred pieces of gold to the hermitage and there buried them, bidding the ascetic keep watch over them. "No need to say that, sir, to a man who has renounced the world; we hermits never covet other folks' goods." "It is well, sir," said the squire, who went off with full confidence in the other's protestations. Then the rascally ascetic thought to himself, "there's enough here 3 6 to keep a man all his life long." Allowing a few days to elapse first, he removed the gold and buried it by the wayside, returning to dwell as before in his hermitage. Next day, after a meal of rice at the squire's house, the ascetic said, "It is now a, long time, sir, since I began to be supported by you; and to live long in one place is. like living in the world,--which is forbidden to professed ascetics. Wherefore I must needs depart." And though the squire pressed him to stay, nothing could overcome this determination.

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"Well, then, if it must be so, go your way, sir," said the squire; and he escorted the ascetic to the outskirts before he left him. After going a little way the ascetic thought that it would be a good thing to cajole the squire; so, putting a straw in his matted hair, back he turned again. "What brings you back?" asked the squire. "A straw from your roof, sir, had stuck in my hair; and, as we hermits may not take anything which is not bestowed upon us, I have brought it back to you." "Throw it down, sir, and go your way," said the squire, who thought, to himself, "Why, he won't take so much as a straw which does not belong to him! What a sensitive nature!" Highly delighted with the ascetic, the squire bade him farewell.

Now at that time it chanced that the Bodhisatta, who was on his way to the border-district for trading purposes, had halted for the night at that village. Hearing what the ascetic said, the suspicion was aroused in his mind that the rascally ascetic must have robbed the squire of something; and he asked the latter whether he had deposited anything in the ascetic's care.

"Yes,--a hundred pieces of gold."

"Well, just go and see if it's all safe."

Away went the squire to the hermitage, and looked, and found his money gone. Running back to the Bodhisatta, he cried, "It's not there." "The thief is none other than that long-haired rascal of an ascetic," said the Bodhisatta; "let us pursue and catch him." So away they hastened in hot pursuit. When they caught the rascal they kicked and cuffed him, till he discovered to them where he had hidden the money. When he procured the gold, the Bodhisatta, looking at it, scornfully remarked to the ascetic, "So a hundred pieces of gold didn't trouble your conscience so much as that straw!" And he rebuked him in this stanza:--

How plausible the story that the rascal told!
How heedful of the straw! How heedless of the gold!

[377] When the Bodhisatta had rebuked the fellow in this wise, he added,--"And now take care, you hypocrite, that you don't play such a trick again." When his life ended, the Bodhisatta passed away to fare thereafter according to his deserts.

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His lesson ended, the Master said, "Thus you see, Brethren, that this Brother was as knavish in the past as he is to-day." And he identified the Birth by saying, "This knavish Brother was the knavish ascetic of those days, and I the wise and good man."


Footnotes

218:1 No. 487.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 90. Akataññu-Jātaka



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p. 220

No. 90.

AKATAÑÑU-JĀTAKA.

"The man ungrateful."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about Anātha-piṇḍika.

On the borders, so the tale goes, there lived a merchant, who was a correspondent and a friend of Anātha-piṇḍika's, but they had never met. There came a time when this merchant loaded five hundred carts with local produce and gave orders to the men in charge to go to the great merchant Anātha-piṇḍika, and barter the wares in his correspondent's shop for their value, and bring back the goods received in exchange. So they came to Sāvatthi, and found Anātha-piṇḍika. First making him a present, they told him their business. "You are welcome," said the great man, and ordered them to be lodged there and provided with money for their needs. After kindly enquiries after their master's health, he bartered their merchandise and gave them the goods in exchange. Then they went back to their own district, and reported what had happened.

Shortly afterwards, Anātha-piṇḍika similarly despatched five hundred carts with merchandise to the very district in which they dwelt; and his people, when they had got there, went, present in hand, to call upon the border merchant. "Where do you come from?" said he. "From Sāvatthi," replied they; "from your correspondent, Anātha-piṇḍika." "Anyone can call himself Anātha-piṇḍika," said he with a sneer; and taking their present, he bade them begone, giving them neither lodging nor douceur. So they bartered their goods for themselves and brought back the wares in exchange to Sāvatthi, with the story of the reception they had had.

Now it chanced 3 that this border merchant despatched another caravan of five hundred carts to Sāvatthi; and his people came with a present in their hands to wait upon Anātha-piṇḍika. But, as soon as Anātha-piṇḍika's people caught sight of them, they said, "Oh, we'll see, sir, that they are properly lodged, fed, and supplied with money for their needs." And they took the strangers outside the city and bade them unyoke their carts at a suitable spot, adding that rice and a douceur would come from Anātha-piṇḍika's house. About the middle watch of the night, having collected a baud of serving-men and slaves, they looted the whole caravan, carried off every garment the men had got, drove away their oxen, and took the wheels off the carts, leaving the latter but removing the wheels. Without so much as a shirt among the lot of them, the terrified strangers sped away and managed to reach their home on the border. Then Anātha-piṇḍika's people told him the whole story. "This capital story," said he, "shall be my gift to the Master to-day;" and away he went and told it to the Master.

"This is not the first time, sir," said the Master, "that this border merchant has shewn this disposition; he was just the same in days gone by." Then, at Anātha-piṇḍika's request, he told the following story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was a very wealthy merchant in that city. And he too had as a correspondent a border merchant whom he had never seen and all came to pass as above.

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Being told by his people what they had done, he said, "This trouble is the result of their ingratitude for kindness shewn them." And he went on to instruct the assembled crowd in this stanza:--

The man ungrateful for a kindly deed,
Thenceforth shall find no helper in his need.

[paragraph continues] After this wise did the Bodhisatta teach the truth in this stanza. After a life spent in charity and other good works, he passed away to fare according to his deserts.

_____________________________

[379] His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "The border merchant of to-day was the border merchant of those days also; and I was the merchant of Benares."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 91. Litta-Jātaka



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No. 91.

LITTA-JĀTAKA.

"He bolts the die."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about using things thoughtlessly.

Tradition says that most of the Brethren of that day were in the habit of using robes and so forth, which were given them, in a thoughtless manner. And their thoughtless use of the Four Requisites as a rule barred their escape from the doom of re-birth in hell and the animal world. Knowing this, the Master set forth the lessons of virtue and showed the danger of such thoughtless use of things, exhorting them to be careful in the use of the Four Requisites, and laying down this rule, "The thoughtful Brother has a definite object in view when he wears a robe, namely, to keep off the cold." After laying down similar rules for the other Requisites, he concluded by saying, "Such is the thoughtful use which should be made of the Four Requisites. Thoughtlessly to use them is like taking deadly poison; and there were those in bygone days who through their thoughtlessness did inadvertently take poison, to their exceeding hurt in due season." So saying he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born into a well-to-do family, and when he grew up, he became a dice-player. With him used to play a sharper, who kept on playing while he was winning, but, when luck turned, broke up the game by putting one of the dice in his mouth and pretending it was lost,--after which he would take himself off. 3 "Very good," said the Bodhisatta

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when he realised what was being done; "we'll look into this." So he took some dice, anointed them at home with poison, dried them carefully, and then carried them with him to the sharper, whom he challenged to a game. The other was willing, the dice-board was got ready, and play began. No sooner did the sharper begin to lose than he popped one of the dice into his mouth. Observing him in the act, the Bodhisatta remarked, "Swallow away; you will not fail to find out what it really is in a little time." And he uttered this stanza of rebuke:--

He bolts the die quite boldly,--knowing not
What burning poison thereon lurks unseen.
--Aye, bolt it, sharper! Soon you'll burn within.

[paragraph continues] But while the Bodhisatta was talking away, the poison began to work on the sharper; he grew faint, rolled his eyes, and bending double with pain fell to the ground. "Now," said the Bodhisatta, "I must save the rascal's life." So he mixed some simples and administered an emetic until vomiting ensued. Then he administered a draught of ghee with honey and sugar and other ingredients, and by this means made the fellow all right again. Then he exhorted him not to do such a thing again. After a life spent in charity and other good works, the Bodhisatta passed away to fare thereafter according to his deserts.

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His lesson ended, the Master said, "Brethren, the thoughtless use of things is like the thoughtless taking of deadly poison." So saying, he identified the Birth in these words, "I was myself the wise and good gambler of those days."

(Pāli Note. "No mention is made of the sharper,--the reason being that, here as elsewhere, no mention is made of persons who are not spoken of at this date.")


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 92. Mahāsāra-Jātaka



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No. 92.

[381] MAHĀSĀRA-JĀTAKA.

"For war men crave."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about the venerable Ānanda.

Once the wives of the King of Kosala thought among themselves, as follows, "Very rare is the coming of a Buddha; and very rare is birth in a human form with all one's faculties in perfection. Yet, though we have happened on a human form in a Buddha's lifetime, we cannot go at will to the Monastery to hear the

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truth from his own lips, to do obeisance, and to make offerings to him. We live here as in a box. Let us ask the King to send for a fitting Brother to come here and teach us the truth. Let us learn what we can from him, and he charitable and do good works, to the end that we may profit by our having been born at this happy juncture." So they all went in a body to the King, and told him what was in their minds; and the King gave his consent.

Now it fell out on a day that the King was minded to take his pleasure in the royal pleasaunce, and gave orders that the grounds should be made ready for his coming. As the gardener was working away, he espied the Master seated at the foot of a tree. So he went to the King and said, "The pleasaunce is made ready, sire; but the Blessed One is sitting there at the foot of a tree." "Very good," said the King, "we will go and hear the Master." Mounting his chariot of state, he went to the Master in the pleasaunce.

Now there was then seated at the Master's feet, listening to his teaching, a lay-brother named Chattapāṇi, who had entered the Third Path. On catching sight of this lay-brother, the King hesitated; but, on reflection that this must be a virtuous man, or he would not be sitting by the Master for instruction, he approached and with a bow seated himself on one side of the Master. Out of reverence for the supreme Buddha, the lay-brother neither rose in the King's honour nor saluted his majesty; and this made the King very angry. Noticing the King's displeasure, the Master proceeded to extol the merits of that lay-brother, saying, "Sire, this lay-brother is master of all tradition; he knows by heart the scriptures that have been handed down; and he has set himself free from the bondage of passion." "Surely," thought the King, "he whose praises the Master is telling can be no ordinary person." And he said to him, "Let me know, lay-brother, if you are in need of anything." "Thank you," said the man. Then the King listened to the Master's teaching, and at its close rose up and ceremoniously withdrew.

Another day, meeting that same lay-brother going after breakfast umbrella in hand to Jetavana, the King had him summoned to his presence and said, "I hear, lay-brother, that you are a man of great learning. Now my wives are very anxious to hear and learn the truth; I should be glad if you would teach them." "It is not meet, sire, that a layman 2 3 should expound or teach the truth in the King's harem; that is the prerogative of the Brethren."

Recognising the force of this remark, the King, after dismissing the layman, called his wives together and announced to them his intention of sending to the Master for, one of the Brethren to come as their instructor in the doctrine. Which of the eighty chief disciples would they have? After talking it over together, the ladies with one accord chose Ānanda 1 the Elder, surnamed the Treasurer of the Faith. So the King went to the Master and with a courteous greeting sat down by his side, after which he proceeded to state his wives' wish, and his own hope, that Ānanda might be their teacher. The Master, having consented to send Ānanda, the King's wives now began to be regularly taught by the Elder and to learn from him.

One day the jewel out of the King's turban was missing. When the King heard of the loss he sent for his ministers and bade them seize everyone who had access to the precincts and find the jewel. So the Ministers searched everybody, women and all, for the missing jewel, till they had worried everybody almost out of their lives; but no trace of it could they find. That day Ānanda came to the palace, only to find the King's wives as dejected as they had hitherto been delighted when he taught them. "What has made you like this to-day?" asked the Elder. "Oh, sir," said they, "the King has lost the jewel out of his turban; and by his orders the ministers are worrying everybody, women and all, out of their lives, in order to find it. We can't say what may not happen to anyone of us; and that is why we are so sad." "Don't think

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any more about it," said the Elder cheerily, as he went to find the King. Taking the seat set for him, the Elder asked whether it was true that his majesty had lost his jewel. "Quite true, sir," said the King. "And can it not be found?" "I have had all the inmates of the palaces worried out of their lives, and yet I can't find it." "There is one way, sire, to find it, without worrying people out of their lives." "What way is that, sir?" "By wisp-giving, sire." "Wisp-giving? What may that be, pray?" "Call together, sire, all the persons you suspect, and privately give each one of them separately a wisp of straw, or a lump of clay will do, saying, 'Take this and put it in such and such a place to-morrow at daybreak.' The man that took the jewel will put it in the straw or clay, and so bring it back. If it be brought back the very first day, well and good. If not, the same thing must be done on the second and third clays. In this way, a large number of persons will escape worry, and you will get your jewel back." With these words the Elder departed.

Following the above counsel, the King caused the straw and clay to be dealt out for three successive days; but yet the jewel was not recovered. 3 On the third day the Elder came again, and asked whether the jewel had been brought back. "No, sir," said the King. "Then, sire, you must have a large water-pot set in a retired corner of your courtyard, and you must have the pot filled with water and a screen put up before it. Then give orders that all who frequent the precincts, men and women alike, are to put off their outer-garments, and one by one wash their hands behind the screen and then come back." With this advice the Elder departed. And the King did as he bade.

Thought the thief, "Ānanda has seriously taken the matter in hand; and, if he does not find the jewel, he'll not let things rest here. The time has really come to give the jewel up without more ado." So he secreted the jewel about his person, and going behind the screen, dropped it in the water before he went away. When everyone had gone, the pot was emptied, and the jewel found. "It's all owing to the Elder," exclaimed the King in his joy, "that I have got my jewel back, and that without worrying a host of people out of their lives." And all the persons about the precincts were equally grateful to Ānanda for the trouble he had saved them from. The story how Ānanda's marvellous powers had found the jewel, spread through all the city, till it reached the Brotherhood. Said the Brethren, "The great knowledge, learning, and cleverness of the Elder Ānanda have been the means at once of recovering the lost jewel and of saving many persons from being worried out of their lives." And as they sate together in the Hall of Truth, singing the praises of Ānanda, the Master entered and asked the subject of their conversation. Being told, he said, "Brethren, this is not the first time that what had been stolen has been found, nor is Ānanda the only one who has brought about such a discovery. In bygone days too the wise and good discovered what had been stolen away, and also saved a host of people from trouble, sheaving that the lost property had fallen into the hands of animals." So saying, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta, having perfected his education, became one of the King's ministers. One day the King with a large following went into his pleasaunce, and, after walking about the woods, felt a desire to disport himself in the water. So he went down into the royal tank and sent for his harem. The women of the harem, removing the jewels from their heads and necks and so forth, laid them aside with their upper garments in boxes under the charge of female slaves, and then went down into

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the water. Now, as the queen was taking off her jewels and ornaments, and laying them with her upper robe on a box, she was watched by a female monkey, which was hidden in the branches of a tree hard by. Conceiving a longing to wear the queen's pearl necklace, this monkey watched for the slave in charge to be off her guard. At first the girl kept looking all about her in order to keep the jewels 3 4 safe; but as time wore on, she began to nod. As soon as the monkey saw this, quick as the wind she jumped down, and quick as the wind she was up the tree again, with the pearls round her own neck. Then, for fear the other monkeys should see it, she hid the string of pearls in a hole in the tree and sat on guard over her spoils as demurely as though nothing had happened. By and by the slave awoke, and, terrified at finding the jewels gone, saw nothing else to do but to scream out, "A man has run off with the queen's pearl necklace." Up ran the guards from every side, and hearing this story fold it to the King. "Catch the thief," said his majesty; and away went the guards searching high and low for the thief in the pleasaunce. Hearing the din, a poor superstitious rustic 1 took to his heels in alarm. "There he goes," cried the guards, catching sight of the runaway; and they followed him up till they caught him, and with blows demanded what he meant by stealing such precious jewels.

Thought he, "If I deny the charge, I shall die with the beating I shall get from these ruffians. I'd better say I took it." So he confessed to the theft and was hauled off a prisoner to the King. "Did you take those precious jewels?" asked the King. "Yes, your majesty." "Where are they now?" "Please your majesty, I'm a poor man; I've never in my life owned anything, even a bed or a chair, of any value,--much less a jewel. It was the Treasurer who made me take that valuable necklace; and I took it and gave it to him. He knows all about it."

Then the King sent for the Treasurer, and asked whether the rustic had passed the necklace on to him. "Yes, sire," was the answer. "Where is it then?" "I gave it to your majesty's Chaplain." Then the Chaplain was sent for, and interrogated in the same way. And he said he had given it to the Chief Musician, who in his turn said he had given it to a courtesan 3 5 as a present. But she, being brought before the King, utterly denied ever having received it.

Whilst the five were thus being questioned, the sun set. "It's too late now," said the King; "we will look into this to-morrow." So he handed the five over to his ministers and went back into the city. Here-upon the Bodhisatta fell a-thinking. "These jewels," thought he, "were lost inside the grounds, whilst the rustic was outside. There was a strong guard at the gates, and it was impossible for anyone inside to get away

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with the necklace. I do not see how anyone, whether inside or out, could have managed to secure it. The truth is this poor wretched fellow must have said he gave it to the Treasurer merely in order to save his own skin; and the Treasurer must have said he gave it to the Chaplain, in the hope that he would get off if he could mix the Chaplain up. in the matter. Further, the Chaplain must have said he gave it to the Chief Musician, because he thought the latter would make the time pass merrily in prison; whilst the Chief Musician's object in implicating the courtesan, was simply to solace himself with her company during imprisonment. Not one of the whole five has anything to do with the theft. On the other hand, the grounds swarm with monkeys, and the necklace must have got into the hands of one of the female monkeys."

When he had arrived at this conclusion, the Bodhisatta went to the King with the request that the suspects might be handed over to him and that he might be allowed to examine personally into the matter. "By all means, my wise friend," said the King; "examine into it."

Then the Bodhisatta sent for his servants and told them where to lodge the five prisoners, saying, "Keep strict watch over them; listen to everything they say, and report it all to me," And his servants did as he bade them. As the prisoners sat together, the Treasurer said to the rustic, "Tell me, you wretch, where you and I ever met before this day; tell me when you gave me that necklace." "Worshipful sir," said the other, "it has never been mine to own aught so valuable even as a stool or bedstead that wasn't rickety. I thought that with your help I should get out of this trouble, and that's why I said what I did. Be not angry with me, my lord." Said the Chaplain 3 6 in his turn to the Treasurer, "How then came you to pass on to me what this fellow had never given to you?" "I only said so because I thought that if you and I, both high officers of state, stand together, we can soon put the matter right." "Brahmin," now said the Chief Musician to the Chaplain, "when, pray, did you give the jewel to me?" "I only said I did," answered the Chaplain, "because I thought you would help to make the time pass more agreeably." Lastly the courtesan said, "Oh, you wretch of a musician, you know you never visited me, nor I you. So when could you have given me the necklace, as you say?" "Why be angry, my dear?" said the Musician, "we five have got to keep house together for a bit; so let us put a cheerful face on it and be happy together."

This conversation being reported to the Bodhisatta by his agents, he felt convinced the five were all innocent of the robbery, and that a female monkey had taken the necklace. "And I must find a means to make her drop it," said he to himself. So he had a number of bead necklaces made. Next he had a number of monkeys caught and turned loose again, with strings of beads on their necks, wrists and ancles. Meantime, the guilty

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monkey kept sitting in the trees watching her treasure. Then the Bodhisatta ordered a number of men to carefully observe every monkey in the grounds, till they saw one wearing the missing pearl necklace, and then frighten her into dropping it.

Tricked out in their new splendour, the other monkeys strutted about till they came to the real thief, before whom they flaunted their finery. Jealousy overcoming her prudence, she exclaimed, "They're only beads!" and put on her own necklace of real pearls. This was at once seen by the watchers, who promptly made her drop the necklace, which they picked up and brought to the Bodhisatta. He took it to the King, saying, "Here, sire, is the necklace. The five prisoners are innocent; it was a female monkey in the pleasaunce that took it." "How came you to find that out?" asked the King; "and how did you manage to get possession of it again?" Then the Bodhisatta told the whole story, and the King thanked 3 the Bodhisatta, saying, "You are the right man in the right place." And he uttered this stanza in praise of the Bodhisatta:--

For war men crave the hero's might,
  For counsel sage sobriety,
  Boon comrades for their jollity,
But judgment when in parlous plight.

[paragraph continues] Over and above these words of praise and gratitude, the King showered treasures upon the Bodhisatta like a storm-cloud pouring rain from the heavens. After following the Bodhisatta's counsels through a long life spent in charity and good works, the King passed away to fare thereafter according to his deserts.

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His lesson ended, the Master, after extolling the Elder's merits, identified the Birth by saying, "Ānanda was the King of those clays and I his wise counsellor."


Footnotes

223:1 Ānanda held 'advanced views on the woman question.' It was he who persuaded the reluctant Buddha into admitting women to the Order, as recorded in the Vinaya (S. B. E. XX, 320 et seqq.).

225:1 Or perhaps "a taxpaying ryot."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 93. Vissāsabhojana-Jātaka



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No. 93.

VISSĀSABHOJANA-JĀTAKA.

"Trust not the trusted." This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about taking things on trust.

Tradition tells us that in those days the Brethren, for the most part, used to rest content if anything was given them by their mothers or fathers, brothers or sisters, or uncles or aunts, or other kinsfolk. Arguing that in their lay state they had as a matter of course received things from the same hands, they, as Brethren,

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likewise shewed no circumspection or caution before using food, clothing and other requisites which their relations gave them. Observing this the Master felt that he must read the Brethren a lesson. So he called them together, and said, "Brethren, no matter whether 3 the giver be a relation or not, let circumspection accompany use. The Brother who without circumspection uses the requisites which are given to him, may entail on himself a subsequent existence as an ogre or as a ghost. Use without circumspection is like unto taking poison; and poison kills just the same, whether it be given by a relative or by a stranger. There were those who in bygone days actually did take poison because it was offered by those near and dear to them, and thereby they met their end." So saying, he told the following story of the past.

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Once upon a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was a very wealthy merchant. He had a herdsman who, when the corn was growing thick, drove his cows to the forest and kept them there at a shieling, bringing the produce from time to time to the merchant. Now hard by the shieling in the forest there dwelt a lion; and so afraid of the lion were the cows that they gave but little milk. So when the herdsman brought in his ghee one day, the merchant asked why there was so little of it. Then the herdsman told him the reason. "Well, has the lion formed an attachment to anything?" "Yes, master; he's fond of a doe." "Could you catch that doe?" "Yes, master." "Well, catch her, and rub her all over with poison and sugar, and let her dry. Keep her a day or two, and then turn her loose. Because of his affection for her, the lion will lick her all over with his tongue, and die. Take his hide with the claws and teeth and fat, and bring them back to me." So saying, he gave deadly poison to the herdsman and sent him off. With the aid of a net which he made, the herdsman caught the doe and carried out the Bodhisatta's orders.

As soon as he saw the doe again, the lion, in his great love for her, licked her with his tongue so that he died. And the herdsman took the lion's hide and the rest, and brought them to the Bodhisatta, who said, "Affection for others should be eschewed. Mark how, for all his strength, the king of beasts, the lion, was led by his sinful love for a doe to poison himself by licking her and so to die." So saying, he uttered this stanza for the instruction of those gathered around:--

[389] Trust not the trusted, nor th’ untrusted trust;
Trust kills; through trust the lion bit the dust.

Such was the lesson which the Bodhisatta taught to those around him. After a life spent in charity and other good works, he passed away to fare according to his deserts.

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His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "I was the merchant of those days."

[Note. Cf. Böhtlingk's "Indische Sprüche," (1st ed.) Nos. 1465-7 and 4346.]


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 94. Lomahaṁsa-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


p. 229

No. 94.

LOMAHAṀSA-JĀTAKA.

"Now scorched."--This story the Master told while at Pāṭikārāma near Vesāli, about Sunakkhatta.

For at that time Sunakkhatta, having become an adherent of the Master, was travelling about the country as a Brother with bowl and robes, when he was perverted to the tenets of Kora the Kshatriya 1. So he returned to the Blessed Buddha his bowl and robes-and reverted to a lay life by reason of Kora the Kshatriya, about the time when this latter had been re-born as the offspring of the Kālakañjaka Asura. And he went about within the three walls of Vesāli defaming the Master by affirming that there was nothing superhuman about the sage Gotama, who was not distinguished from other men by preaching a saving faith; that the sage Gotama had simply worked out a system which was the outcome of his own individual thought and study; and that the ideal for the attainment of which his doctrine was preached, did not lead to the destruction of sorrow in those who followed it 2.

Now the reverend Sāriputta was on his round for alms when he heard Sunakkhatta's blasphemies; and on his return from his round he reported this to the Blessed One. Said the Master, "Sunakkhatta is a hot-headed person, Sāriputta, and speaks idle words. His hot-headedness has led him to talk like this and to deny the saving grace of my doctrine. Unwittingly, this foolish person is extolling me; I say unwittingly, for he has no knowledge 3 of my efficacy. In me, Sāriputta, dwell the Six Knowledges, and herein am more than human; the Ten Powers are within me, and the Four Grounds of Confidence. I know the limits of the four types of earthly existence and the five states of possible re-birth after earthly death. This too is a superhuman quality in me; and whose denies it must retract his words, change his belief, and renounce his heresy, or he will without ado be cast into hell." Having thus magnified the superhuman nature and power which existed within him, the Master went on to say, "Sunakkhatta, I hear, Sāriputta, took delight in the misguided self-mortifications of the asceticism of Kora the Kshatriya; and therefore it was that he could take no pleasure in me. Ninety-one aeons ago I lived the higher life in ail its four forms 3, examining into that false asceticism to discover whether the truth abode therein. An ascetic was I, the chief of ascetics; worn and emaciated was I, beyond all others; loathing of comfort had I, a loathing surpassing that of all others; I dwelt apart, and unapproachable was my passion for solitude." Then, at the Elder's request, he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

Once on a time, ninety-one æons ago, the Bodhisatta set himself to examine into the false asceticism. So he became a recluse, according to the Naked Ascetics (Ājīvikas),--unclothed and covered with dust, solitary and lonely, fleeing like a deer from the face of men; his food was small

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fish, cowdung, and other refuse; and in order that his vigil might not be disturbed, he took up his abode in a dread thicket in the jungle. In the snows of winter, he came forth by night from the sheltering thicket to the open air, returning with the sun-rise to his thicket again; and, as he was wet with the driving snows by night, so in the day time he was drenched by the drizzle from the branches of the thicket. Thus day and night alike he endured the extremity of cold. In summer, he abode by day in the open air, and by night in the forest--scorched by the blazing sun by day, and fanned by no cooling breezes by night, so that the sweat streamed from him. And there presented itself to his mind this stanza, which was new and never uttered before:--

Now scorched, now frore, lone in the lonesome woods,
Beside no fire, but all afire within,
Naked, the hermit wrestles for the Truth.

[391] But when after a life spent in the rigours of this asceticism, the vision of hell rose before the Bodhisatta as he lay dying, he realised the worthlessness of all his austerities, and in that supreme moment broke away from his delusions, laid hold of the real truth, and was re-born in the Heaven of Devas.

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His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "I was the naked ascetic of those days."

[Note. For the 'story of the past'? cf. Cariyā Piṭaka, p. 102. For the introductory story see Sutta No. 12 of the Majjhima Nikāya.]


Footnotes

229:1 See Hardy's Manual of Budhism, p. 330.

229:2 This is a quotation from the Majjhima Nikāya I. 68.

229:3 i.e. as a learner, householder, réligieux, and recluse.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 95. Mahāsudassana-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 95.

MAHĀSUDASSANA-JĀTAKA.

"How transient."--This story was told by the Master as he lay on his death-bed, concerning Ānanda's words, "O Blessed One, suffer not your end to be in this sorry little town."

"When the Buddha was dwelling at Jetavana," thought the Master, "the Elder Sāriputta 1, who was born in Nāla village, died at Varaka in the month of Kattika, when the moon was at the full; and in the selfsame month, when the

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moon was on the wane, the great Moggallāna died 1. My two chief disciples being dead, I too will pass away, in Kusinārā."--So thought the Blessed One; and coming in his alms-pilgrimage to Kusinārā, there upon the Northward bench between the twin Sāl-trees he lay down never to rise again. Then said the Elder Ānanda, "O Blessed One, suffer not your end to be in this sorry little town, this rough little town in the jungle, this little suburban town. Shall not Rājagaha or some other large city be the death-place of the Buddha?"

"Nay, Ānanda," said the Master; "call not this a sorry little town, a little town in the jungle, a little suburban town. In bygone days, in the days of Sudassana's universal monarchy, it was in this town that I had my dwelling. It was then a mighty city encompassed by jewelled walls 2 3 twelve leagues round." Therewithal, at the Elder's request, he told this story of the past and uttered the Mahā-Sudassana Sutta 2.

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Then it was that Sudassana's queen Subhaddā marked how, after coming down from the Palace of Truth, her lord was lying hard by on his right side on the couch prepared for him in the Palm-grove 3 which was all of gold and jewels,--that couch from which he was not to rise again. And she said, "Eighty-four thousand cities, chief of which is the royal-city of Kusāvatī, own your sovereignty, sire. Set your heart on them."

"Say not so, my queen," said Sudassana; "rather exhort me, saying, 'Keep your heart set on this town, and yearn not after those others'."

"Why so, my lord?"

"Because I shall die to-day," answered the king.

In tears, wiping her streaming eyes, the queen managed to sob out the words the king bade her say. Then she broke into weeping and lamentation; and the other women of the harem, to the number of eighty-four thousand, also wept and wailed; nor could any of the courtiers forbear, but all alike joined in one universal lament.

"Peace!" said the Bodhisatta; and at his word their lamentation was stilled. Then, turning to the queen, he said,--"Weep not, my queen, nor wail. For, even down to a tiny seed of sesamum, there is no such thing as a compound thing which is permanent; all are transient, all must break up." Then, for the queen's behoof, he uttered this stanza:--

How transient are all component things!
Growth is their nature and decay:
They are produced, they are dissolved again:
And then is best,--when they have sunk to rest 4.

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[393] Thus did the great Sudassana lead his discourse up to ambrosial Nirvana as its goal. Moreover, to the rest of the multitude he gave the exhortation to be charitable, to obey the Commandments, and to keep hallowed the fast days. The destiny be won was to be re-born thereafter in the Realm of Devas.

_____________________________

His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "The mother of Rāhula 1 was the Queen Subhaddā of those days; Rāhula was the King's eldest son; the disciples of the Buddha were his courtiers; and I myself the great Sudassana."

[Note. For the evolution of this Jātaka, see the Mahā-parinibbāna Sutta and the Mahā-Sudassana Sutta, translated by Prof. Rhys Davids in his volume of "Buddhist Suttas."]


Footnotes

230:1 For the death of Sāriputta, see Bigandet's 'Legend of the Burmese Buddha.'

231:1 For the death of Moggallāna, see Fausböll's Dhammapada, p. 298, and Bigandet, op. cit.

231:2 The 17th Sutta of the Dīgha Nikāya, translated by Rhys Davids in Vol. XI. of the S. B. E.

231:3 See pp. 267 and 277 of Vol. XI. of the S. B. E. for this palm-grove.

231:4 This translation is borrowed from the Hibbert Lectures of Prof. Rhys Davids (2nd edition, p. 212), where a translation is given of the commentary on these "perhaps the most frequently quoted and most popular verses in Pāli Buddhist books."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 96. Telapatta-Jātaka



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No. 96.

TELAPATTA-JĀTAKA.

"As one with care."--This story was told by the Master while dwelling in a forest near the town of Desaka in the Sumbha country, concerning the Janapada-Kalyāṇi Sutta 2. For on that occasion the Blessed One said:--"Just as if, Brethren, a great crowd were to gather together, crying 'Hail to the Belle of the Land! Hail to the Belle of the Land!' and just as if in like manner a greater crowd were to gather together, crying 'The Belle of the Land is singing and dancing'; and then suppose there came a man fond of life, fearful of death, fond of pleasure, and averse to pain, and suppose such an one were addressed as follows,--'Hi, there! you are to carry this pot of oil, which is full to the brim, betwixt the crowd and the Belle of the Land; a man with a drawn sword will follow in your footsteps; and if you spill a single drop, he will cut off your head';--what think you, Brethren? Would that man, under these circumstances, be careless, and take no pains in carrying that pot of oil?" "By no manner of means, sir." "This is an allegory [394], which I framed to make my

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meaning clear, Brethren; and here is its meaning:--The brimming pot of oil typifies a collected state of mind as regards things concerning the body, and the lesson to be learnt is that such mindfulness should be practised and perfected. Fail not in this, Brethren." So saying, the Master gave forth the Sutta concerning the Belle of the Land, with both text and interpretation. 3 5 Then, by way of application, the Blessed One went on to say,--"A Brother desirous of practising right mindfulness concerning the body, should be as careful not to let his mindfulness drop, as the man in the allegory was not to let drop the pot of oil."

When they had heard the Sutta and its meaning, the Brethren said:--"It was a hard task, sir, for the man to pass by with the pot of oil without gazing on the charms of the Belle of the Land." "Not hard at all, Brethren; it was quite an easy task,--easy for the very good reason that he was escorted along by one who threatened him with a drawn sword. But it was a truly hard task for the wise and good of bygone days to preserve right mindfulness and to curb their passions so as not to look at celestial beauty in all its perfection. Still they triumphed, and passing on won a kingdom." So saying, he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was the youngest of the King's hundred sons, and grew up to manhood. Now in those days there were Pacceka Buddhas who used to come to take their meals at the palace, and the Bodhisatta ministered to them.

Thinking one day of the great number of brothers he had, the Bodhisatta asked himself whether there was any likelihood of his coming to the throne of his fathers in that city, and determined to ask the Pacceka Buddhas to tell him what should come to pass. Next day the Buddhas came, took the water-pot that was consecrated to holy uses, filtered the water, washed and dried their feet, and sate down to their meal. And as they sat, the Bodhisatta came and seating himself by them with a courteous salutation, put his question. And they answered and said, "Prince, you will never come to be king in this city. But in Gandhāra, two thousand leagues away, there stands the city of Takkasilā. If you can reach that city, in seven days you will become king there. But there is peril on the road thither, in journeying through a great forest. It is double the distance round the forest that it is to pass through it. Ogres have their dwelling therein, and ogresses make villages and houses arise by the wayside. Beneath a goodly canopy embroidered with stars overhead, their magic sets a costly couch shut in by fair curtains of wondrous dye. Arranged in celestial splendour the ogresses sit within their abodes, seducing wayfarers 3 6 with honied words. 'Weary you seem,' they say; 'come hither, and eat and drink before you journey further on your way.' Those that come at their bidding are given seats and fired to lust by the charm of their wanton beauty. But scarce have they sinned, before the ogresses slay them and eat them while the warm

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blood is still flowing. And they ensnare men's senses; captivating the sense of beauty with utter loveliness, the ear with sweet minstrelsy, the nostrils with heavenly odours, the taste with heavenly dainties of exquisite savour, and the touch with red-cushioned couches divinely soft. But if you can subdue your senses, and be strong in your resolve not to look upon them, then on the seventh day you will become king of the city of Takkasilā."

"Oh, sirs; how could I look upon the ogresses after your advice to me?" So saying, the Bodhisatta besought the Pacceka Buddhas to give him something to keep him safe on his journey. Receiving from them a charmed thread and some charmed sand, he first bade farewell to the Pacceka Buddhas and to his father and mother; and then, going to his own abode, he addressed his household as follows:--"I am going to Takkasilā to make myself king there. You will stop behind here." But five of them answered, "Let us go too."

"You may not come with me," answered the Bodhisatta; "for I am told that the way is beset by ogresses who captivate men's senses, and destroy those who succumb to their charms. Great is the danger, but I will rely on myself and go."

"If we go with you, prince, we should not gaze upon their baleful charms. We too will go to Takkasilā." "Then shew yourselves steadfast," said the Bodhisatta, and took those five with him on his journey.

The ogresses sat waiting by the way in their villages. And one of the five, the lover of beauty, looked upon the ogresses, and being ensnared by their beauty, lagged behind the rest. "Why are you dropping behind?" asked the Bodhisatta. "My feet hurt me, prince. I'll just sit down for a bit in one of these pavilions, and then catch you up." "My good mall, these are ogresses; don't hanker after them." "Be that as it may, prince, I can't go any further." "Well, you will soon be shewn in your real colours," said the Bodhisatta, as he went on with the other four.

Yielding to his senses, the lover of beauty drew near to the ogresses, who 3 tempted him to sin, and killed him then and there. Thereon they departed, and further along the road raised by magic arts a new pavilion, in which they sat singing to the music of divers instruments. And now the lover of music dropped behind and was eaten. Then the ogresses went on further and sat waiting in a bazaar stocked with all sweet scents and perfumes. And here the lover of sweet-smelling things fell behind. And when they had eaten him, they went on further and sat in a provision-booth where a profusion of heavenly viands of exquisite savour was offered for sale. And here the gourmet fell behind. And when they had eaten him, they went on further, and sat on heavenly conches wrought by their magic arts. And here the lover of comfort fell behind. And him too they ate.

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Only the Bodhisatta was left now. And one of the ogresses followed him, promising herself that for all his stern resolution she would succeed in devouring him ere she turned back. Further on in the forest, woodmen and others, seeing the ogress, asked her who the man was that walked on ahead.

"He is my husband, good gentlemen."

"Hi, there!" said they to the Bodhisatta; "when you have got a sweet young wife, fair as the flowers, to leave her home and put her trust in you, why don't you walk with her instead of letting her trudge wearily behind you?" "She is no wife of mine, but an ogress. She has eaten my five companions." "Alas! good gentlemen," said she, "anger will drive men to say their very wives are ogresses and ghouls."

Next, she simulated pregnancy and then the look of a woman who has borne one child; and child on hip, she followed after the Bodhisatta. Everyone they met asked just the same questions about the pair, and the Bodhisatta gave just the same answer as he journeyed on.

At last he came to Takkasilā, where the ogress made the child disappear, and followed alone. At the gates of the city the Bodhisatta entered a Rest-house and sat down. Because of the Bodhisatta's efficacy and power, she could not enter too; so she arrayed herself in divine beauty and stood on the threshold.

The King of Takkasilā was at that moment passing by on his way to his pleasaunce, and was snared by her loveliness. "Go, find out," said he to an attendant, "whether she has a husband 3 with her or not." And when the messenger came and asked whether she had a husband with her, she said, "Yes, sir; my husband is sitting within in the chamber."

"She is no wife of mine," said the Bodhisatta. "She is an ogress and has eaten my five companions."

And, as before, she said, "Alas! good gentlemen, anger will drive men to say anything that comes into their heads."

Then the man went back to the King and told him what each had said. "Treasure-trove is a royal perquisite," said the King. And he sent for the ogress and had her seated on the back of his elephant. After a solemn procession round the city, the King came back to his palace and had the ogress lodged in the apartments reserved for a queen-consort. After bathing and perfuming himself, the King ate his evening meal and then lay down on his royal bed. The ogress too prepared herself a meal, and donned all her splendour. And as she lay by the side of the delighted King, she turned on to her side and burst into tears. Being asked why she wept, she said, "Sire, you found me by the wayside, and the women of the harem are many. Dwelling here among enemies I shall feel crushed when they say 'Who knows who your father and mother are, or anything about your family? You were picked up by the wayside.' But if your

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majesty would give me power and authority over the whole kingdom, nobody would dare to annoy me with such taunts."

"Sweetheart, I have no power over those that dwell throughout my kingdom; I am not their lord and master. I have only jurisdiction over those who revolt or do iniquity 1. So I cannot give you power and authority over the whole kingdom."

"Then, sire, if you cannot give me authority over the kingdom or over the city, at least give me authority within the palace, that I may have rule here over those that dwell in the palace."

Too deeply smitten with her charms to refuse, the King gave her authority over all within the palace and bade her have rule over them [399]. Contented, she waited till the King was asleep, and then making her way to the city of the ogres returned with the whole crew of ogres to the palace. And she herself slew the King and devoured him, skin, tendons and flesh, leaving only the bare bones. And the rest of the ogres entering the gate devoured everything as it came in their way, not leaving even a fowl or a dog alive. Next day when people came and found the gate shut, they beat on it with impatient cries, and effected an entrance,--only to find the whole palace strewn with bones. And they exclaimed, "So the man was right in saying she was not his wife but an ogress. In his unwisdom the King brought her home to be his wife, and doubtless she has assembled the other ogres, devoured everybody, and then made off."

Now on that day the Bodhisatta, with the charmed sand on his head and the charmed thread twisted round his brow, was standing in the Rest-house, sword in hand, waiting for the dawn. Those others, meantime, cleansed the palace, garnished the floors afresh, sprinkled perfumes on them, scattered flowers, hanging nosegays from the roof and festooning the walls with garlands, and burning incense in the place. Then they took counsel together, as follows:--

"The man that could so master his senses as not so much as to look at the ogress as she followed him in her divine beauty, is a noble and steadfast man, filled with wisdom. With such an one as king, it would be well with the whole kingdom. Let us make him our king."

And all the courtiers and all the citizens of the kingdom were one-minded in the matter. So the Bodhisatta, being chosen king, was escorted into the capital and there decked in jewels and anointed king of Takkasilā. Shunning the four evil paths, and following the ten paths of kingly duty, he ruled his kingdom in righteousness, and after a life spent in charity and other good works passed away to fare according to his deserts.

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His story told, the Master, as Buddha, uttered this stanza:-- [400]

As one with care a pot of oil will bear,
  Full to the brim, that none may overflow,
So he who forth to foreign lands doth fare
  O’er his own heart like governaunce should shew.

[401] When the Master had thus led up to the highest point of instruction, which is Arahatship, he identified the Birth by saying, "The Buddha's disciples were in those days the king's courtiers, and I the prince that won a kingdom."


Footnotes

232:1 This is the general style in the canon of the wife of Goiania the Buddha. Cf. Oldenberg's Vinaya, Vol. I. page 82, and the translation in Sacred Books of the East, Vol. XIII. p. 208. It is not however correct to say that the Vinaya passage is "the only passage in the Pāli Piṭakas which mentions this lady." For she is mentioned in the Buddhavaṃsa (P. T. S. edition, page 65), and her name is there given as Bhaddakaccā.

232:2 It is not yet known where this Sutta occurs. A Pāli summary of it has been left untranslated, as adding little or nothing to the above 'Introductory Story.'

236:1 Cf. Milinda-pañho 359 for an exposition of the limited prerogative of kings.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 97. Nāmasiddhi-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 97.

NĀMASIDDHI-JĀTAKA.

"Seeing Quick dead."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a Brother who thought luck went by names. For we hear that a young man of good family, named 'Base,' had given his heart to the Faith, and joined the Brotherhood. 2 4 And the Brethren used to call to him, "Here, Brother Base!" and "Stay, Brother Base," till he resolved that, as 'Base' gave the idea of incarnate wickedness and ill-luck, he would change his name to one of better omen. Accordingly he asked his teachers and preceptors to give him a new name. But they said that a name only served to denote, and did not impute qualities; and they bade him rest content with the name he had. Time after time he renewed his request, till the whole Brotherhood knew what importance he attached to a mere name. And as they sat discussing the matter in the Hall of Truth, the Master entered and asked what it was they were speaking about. Being told, he said "This is not the first time this Brother has believed luck went by names; he was equally dissatisfied with the name he bore in a former age." So saying he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time the Bodhisatta was a teacher of world-wide fame at Takkasilā, and five hundred young brahmins learnt the Vedas from his lips. One of these young men was named Base. And from continually hearing his fellows say, "Go, Base" and "Come, Base," he longed to get rid of his name and to take one that had a less ill-omened ring about it. So he went to his master and asked that a new name of a respectable character might be given him. Said his master, "Go, my son, and travel through the land till you have found a name you fancy. Then come back and I will change your name for you."

The young man did as he was bidden, and taking provisions for the

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journey wandered from village to village till he cane to a certain town. Here a man named Quick had died, and the young brahmin seeing him borne to the cemetery asked what his name was.

"Quick," was the reply. "What, can Quick be dead?" "Yes, Quick is dead; both Quick and Dead die just the same. A name only serves to mark who's who. You seem a fool."

Hearing this he went on into the city, feeling neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with his own name.

Now a slave-girl had been thrown down at the door of a house, while her master and mistress beat her with rope-ends because she had not brought home her wages. And the girl's name was Rich. 3 4 Seeing the girl being beaten, as he walked along the street, he asked the reason, and was told in reply that it was because she had no wages to shew.

"And what is the girl's name?"

"Rich," said they. "And cannot Rich make good a paltry day's pay?" "Be she called Rich or Poor, the money's not forthcoming any the more. A name only serves to mark who's who. You seem a fool."

More reconciled to his own name, the young brahmin left the city and on the road found a. man who had lost his way. Having learnt that he had lost his way, the young man asked what his name was. "Guide," was the reply. "And has Guide lost his way?" "Guide or Misguide, you can lose your way just the same. A name only serves to mark who's who. You seem a fool."

Quite reconciled now to his name, the young brahmin came back to his master.

"Well, what name have you chosen?" asked the Bodhisatta. "Master," said he, "I find that death comes to 'Quick' and 'Dead' alike, that 'Rich' and 'Poor' may be poor together, and that 'Guide' and 'Misguide' alike miss their way. I know now that a name serves only to tell who is who, and does not govern its owner's destiny. So I am satisfied with my own name, and do not want to change it for any other."

Then the Bodhisatta uttered this stanza, combining what the young brahmin had done with the sights he had seen:--

Seeing Quick dead, Guide lost, Rich poor,
Base learned content nor travelled more.

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His story told, the Master said "So you see, Brethren, that in former days as now this Brother imagined there was a great deal in a name." And he identified the Birth by saying, "This Brother who is discontented with his name was the discontented young brahmin of those days; the Buddha's disciples were the pupils; and I myself their master."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 98. Kūṭavāṇija-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


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No. 98.

KŪṬAVĀṆIJA-JĀTAKA.

[404] "Wise rightly, Wisest wrongly."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a cheating merchant. There were two merchants in partnership at Sāvatthi, we are told, who travelled with their merchandise and came back with the proceeds. And the cheating merchant thought to himself, "My partner has been badly fed and badly lodged for so many days past that he will die of indigestion now he has got home again and can feast to his heart's content on dainties manifold. My plan is to divide what we have made into three portions, giving one to his orphans and keeping two for myself." And with this object he made some excuse day by day for putting off the division of the profits.

Finding that it was in vain to press for a division, the honest partner went to the Master at the monastery, made his salutation, and was received kindly. "It is a very long time," said the Buddha, "since you came last to see me." And hereupon the merchant told the Master what had befallen him.

"This is not the first time, lay-follower," said the Master, "that this man has been a cheating merchant; he was no less a cheat in times past. As he tries to defraud you now, so did he try to defraud the wise and good of other days." So saying, at the merchant's request, the Master told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born into a merchant's family and on name-day was named 'Wise.' When he grew up he entered into partnership with another merchant named 'Wisest,' and traded with him. And these two took five hundred waggons of merchandise from Benares to the country-districts, where they disposed of their wares, returning afterwards with the proceeds to the city. When the time for dividing came, Wisest said, "I must have a double share." "Why so?" asked Wise. "Because while you are only Wise, I am Wisest. And Wise ought to have only one share to Wisest's two." "But we both had an equal interest in the stock-in-trade and in the oxen and waggons. Why should you have two shares?" "Because I am Wisest." And so they talked away till they fell to quarrelling.

"Ah!" thought Wisest, "I have a plan." And he made his father hide in 4 5 a hollow tree, enjoining the old man to say, when the two came, "Wisest should have a double portion." This arranged, he went to the Bodhisatta and proposed to him to refer the claim for a double share to the competent decision of the Tree-Sprite. Then he made his appeal in these words: "Lord Tree-Sprite, decide our cause!" Hereupon the father, who was hidden in the tree, in a changed voice asked them to state the

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case. The cheat addressed the tree as follows: "Lord, here stands Wise, and here stand I Wisest. We have been partners in trade. Declare what share each should receive."

"Wise should receive one share, and Wisest two," was the response.

Hearing this decision, the Bodhisatta resolved to find out whether it was indeed a Tree-Sprite or not. So he filled the hollow trunk with straw and set it on fire. And Wisest's father was half roasted by the rising flames and clambered up by clutching hold of a bough. Falling to the ground, he uttered this stanza:--

Wise rightly, Wisest wrongly got his name;
Through Wisest, I'm nigh roasted in the flame.

Then the two merchants made an equal division and each took half, and at their deaths passed away to fare according to their deserts.

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"Thus you see," said the Master, "that your partner was as great a cheat in past times as now." Having ended his story, he identified the Birth by saying, "The cheating merchant of to-day was the cheating merchant in the story, and I the honest merchant named Wise."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 99. Parosahassa-Jātaka



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No. 99.

PAROSAHASSA-JĀTAKA.

"Far better than a thousand fools."--This story was told by the Master when at Jetavana, concerning the question of the unconverted. [406]

(The incidents will be related in the Sarabhaṅga-jātaka 1.)

On a certain occasion the Brethren met in the Hall of Truth and praised the wisdom of Sāriputta, the Captain of the Faith, who had expounded the meaning of the Buddha's pithy saying. Entering the hall, the Master asked and was told what the Brethren were talking about. "This is not the first time, Brethren," said he, "that the meaning of a pithy saying of mine has been brought out by Sāriputta. He did the like in times gone by." So saying, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born a Northern brahmin and perfected his education at Takkasilā. Putting Lusts from him and renouncing the world for the hermit's life, he

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won the Five Knowledges and the Eight Attainments, and dwelt in the Himalayas, where five 'hundred hermits gathered round him. One rainy season, his chief disciple went with half the hermits to the haunts of men to get salt and vinegar. And that was the time when the Bodhisatta should die. And his disciples, wishing to know his spiritual attainment, said to him, "What excellence have you won?"

"Won?" said he; "I have won Nothing 1." So saying, he died, but was reborn in the Brahma Realm of Radiant Devils. (For Bodhisattas even though they may have attained to the highest state are never reborn in the Formless World, because they are incapable of passing beyond the Realm of Form.) Mistaking his meaning, his disciples concluded that he had failed to win any spiritual attainment. So they did not pay the customary honours at cremation.

On his return the chief disciple learnt that the master was dead, and asked whether they had asked what he had won. "He said he had won nothing," said they. "So we did not pay him the usual honours at cremation."

"You understood not his meaning," said that chief disciple. "Our master meant that he had attained to the insight called the insight into the Nothingness of Things." But though he explained this again and again to the disciples, they believed him not.

Knowing their unbelief, the Bodhisatta cried, "Fools! they do not believe my chief disciple. I will make this thing plain unto them." And he came from the Brahma Realm and by virtue of his mighty powers rested in mid-air above the hermitage and uttered this stanza in praise of the wisdom of the chief disciple:--[407]

Far better than a thousand fools, though they
Cry out a hundred years unceasingly,
Is one who, hearing, straightway understands.

Thus did the Great Being from mid-air proclaim the Truth and rebuke the band of hermits. Then he passed back to the Brahma Realm, and all those hermits too qualified themselves for rebirth in the same Realm.

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His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "Sāriputta was the chief disciple of those days, and I Mahā-Brahma."


Footnotes

240:1 No. 522.

241:1 One of the highest Attainments was the insight into the nothingness of things; everything being a delusion.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 100. Asātarūpa-Jātaka



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p. 242

No. 100.

ASĀTARŪPA-JĀTAKA.

"In guise of joy."--This story was told by the Master while at Kuṇḍadhānavana near the city of Kuṇḍiya about Suppavāsā, a lay-sister, who was daughter to King Koliya. For at that time, she, who had carried a child seven years in her womb, was in the seventh day of her throes, and her pains were grievous. In spite of all her agony, she thought as follows:--"All-Enlightened is the Blessed One who preaches the Truth to the end that such suffering may cease; righteous are the Elect of the Blessed One who so walk that such suffering may cease; blessed is Nirvana wherein such suffering cloth cease." These three thoughts were her consolation in her pangs. And she sent her husband to the Buddha to tell her state and bear a greeting for her.

Her message was given to the Blessed One, who said, 4 "May Suppavāsā, daughter of the king of the Koliyas, grow strong and well again, and bear a healthy child." And at the word of the Blessed One, Suppavāsā, daughter of the king of the Koliyas, became well and strong, and bore a healthy child. Finding on his return that his wife had been safely delivered, the husband marvelled greatly at the exalted powers of the Buddha. Now that her child was born, Suppavāsā was eager to show bounty for seven days to the Brotherhood with the Buddha at its head, and sent her husband back to invite them. Now it chanced that at that time the Brotherhood with the Buddha at its head had received an invitation from the layman who supported the Elder Moggallāna the Great; but the Master, wishing to gratify Suppavāsā's charitable desires, sent to the Elder to explain the matter, and with the Brotherhood accepted for seven days the hospitality of Suppavāsā. On the seventh day she dressed up her little boy, whose name was Sīvali, and made him bow before the Buddha and the Brotherhood. And when he was brought in due course to Sāriputta, the Elder in all kindness greeted the infant, saying, "Well, Sīvali, is all well with you?" "How could it be, sir?" said the infant. "Seven long years have I had to wallow in blood."

Then in joy Suppavāsā exclaimed, "My child, only seven days old, is actually discoursing on religion with the apostle Sāriputta, the Captain of the Faith?"

"Would you like another such a child?" asked the Master. "Yes, sir;" said Suppavāsā, "seven more, if I could have them like him." In solemn phrase the Master gave thanks for Suppavāsā's hospitality and departed.

At seven years of age the child Sīvali gave his heart to the Faith and forsook the world to join the Brotherhood; at twenty he was admitted a full Brother. Righteous was he and won the crown of righteousness which is Arahatship, and the earth shouted aloud for joy.

So one day the assembled Brethren talked with one another in the Hall of Truth respecting the matter, saying, "The Elder Sīvali, who is now so shining a light, was the child of many prayers; seven long years was he in the womb and seven days in birth. How great must have been the pains of mother and child! Of what deeds were their pains the fruit?"

Entering the hall, the Master asked the subject of their discourse. "Brethren," said he, "the righteous Sīvali 4 was seven years in the womb and seven days in birth all because of his own past deeds. And similarly Suppavāsā's seven years' pregnancy and seven days' travail resulted from her own past deeds." So saying, he told this story of the past.

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p. 243

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was the child of the queen-consort, and grew up and was educated at Takkasilā, and at his father's death became king and ruled righteously. Now in those days the King of Kosala came up with a great force against Benares and slew the king and bore off his queen to be his own wife.

When the king was slain, his son made his escape through the sewer. Afterwards he collected a mighty force and came to Benares. Encamping hard by, he sent a message to the king to either surrender the kingdom or give battle. And the king sent back the answer that he would give battle. But the mother of the young prince, hearing of this, sent a message to her son, saying, "There is no need to do battle. Let every approach to the city on every side be invested and barred, till lack of firewood and water and food wears out the people. Then the city will fall into your hands without any fighting." Following his mother's advice, the prince for seven days invested the city with so close a blockade that the citizens on the seventh day cut off their king's head and brought it to the prince. Then he entered the city and made himself king, and when his life ended he passed away to fare according to his deserts.

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The result and consequence of his acts in blockading the city for those seven days was that for seven years he abode in the womb and was seven days in birth. But, inasmuch as he had fallen at the feet of the Buddha Padumuttara and had prayed with many gifts that the crown of Arahatship might be his; and, inasmuch as, in the days of the Buddha Vipassī, he had offered up the same prayer, he and his townsfolk, with gifts of great price;--[410] therefore, by his merit, he won the crown of Arahatship. And because Suppavāsā sent the message bidding her son take the city by blockade, she was doomed to a seven years' pregnancy and to a seven days' travail.

His story ended, the Master, as Buddha, repeated these verses:--

In guise of joy and blessings, sorrow comes
And trouble, sluggards' hearts to overwhelm.

And when he had taught this lesson, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "Sīvali was the prince who in those days blockaded the city, and became king; Suppavāsā was his mother, and I his father, the king of Benares."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 101. Parosata-Jātaka



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No. 101.

PAROSATA-JĀTAKA.

Far better than a hundred fools, though they
Think hard a hundred years unceasingly,
Is one who, hearing, straightway understands.

[411] This story is in all respects analogous to the Parosahassa-Jātaka (No. 99), with the sole difference that 'think hard' is read here.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 102. Paṇṇika-Jātaka



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p. 244

No. 102.

PAṆṆIKA-JĀTAKA.

"He that should prove."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a lay-brother who was a greengrocer in Sāvatthi and made a living by the sale of various roots and vegetables, and pumpkins and the like. Now he had a pretty daughter who was as good and virtuous as she was pretty, but was always laughing. And when she was asked in marriage by a family of his own station in life, he thought "She ought to be married, but she's always laughing; and a bad girl married into a strange family is her parents' shame. I must find out for certain whether she is a good girl or not."

So one day he made his daughter take a basket and come with him to the forest to gather herbs. Then to try her, he took her by the hand with whispered words of love. Straightway the girl burst into tears and began to cry out that such a thing would be as monstrous as fire rising out of water, and she besought him to forbear. Then he told her that his only intent was to try her, and asked whether she was virtuous. And she declared that she was and that she had never looked on any man with eyes of love. Calming her fears and taking her back home, he made a feast and gave her in marriage. Then feeling that he ought to go and pay his respects to the Master, he took perfumes and garlands in his hand and went to Jetavana. His salutations done and offerings made, he seated himself near the Master, who observed that it was a long time since his last coming. Then the man told the Blessed One the whole story.

"She has always been a good girl," said the Master. "You have put her to the test now just as you did in days gone by." Then at the greengrocer's request he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares [412], the Bodhisatta was a Tree-Sprite in a forest. And a lay-follower who was a greengrocer of Benares had just the sane doubts of his daughter, and all fell out as in the introductory story. And as her father took hold of her hand the weeping girl repeated these verses:--

He that should prove my buckler strong,
My father, worketh me this wrong.
Forlorn in thickest wood I cry;
My helper proves my enemy.

Then her father calmed her fears, and asked whether she was a virgin. And when she declared that she was, he brought her home and made a feast and gave the girl in marriage.

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p. 245

His story ended, the Master preached the Four Truths, at the close whereof the greengrocer was established in the First Path of Salvation. Then the faster identified the Birth by saying, "The father and daughter of to-day were the father and daughter in the story, and I the Tree-Sprite who witnessed the scene."

[Note. Cf. No. 217.]


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 103. Veri-Jātaka



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No. 103.

VERI-JĀTAKA.

"If wise, thou ’lt loiter not."--This story was told by the Master at Jetavana about Anātha-piṇḍika. For we hear that Anātha-piṇḍika was returning from the village of which he was headman, when he saw robbers on the road. "It won't do to loiter by the way," thought he; "I must hurry on to Sāvatthi." So he urged his oxen to speed 1 3 4 and got safely into Sāvatthi. Next day he went to the monastery and told the Master what had befallen him. "Sir," said the Master, "in other times too the wise and good espied robbers on the road and hastened without delay to their homes." Then at the merchant's request he told this story of the past.

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was a rich merchant, who had been to a village to collect his dues and was on his homeward way when he saw robbers on the road. At once he urged his oxen to their topmost speed and reached home in safety. And as he sat on his couch of state after a rich repast, he exclaimed, "I have escaped from the robbers' hand to mine own house, where fear dwells not." And in his thankfulness he uttered this stanza:--

If wise, thou 'lt loiter not 'mid enemies;
A night or two with such brings miseries.

So, from the fulness of his heart, spake the Bodhisatta, and after a life of charity and other good deeds he passed away to fare according to his deserts.

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His story ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "I was the merchant of Benares of those days."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 104. Mittavinda-Jātaka



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p. 246

No. 104.

MITTAVINDA-JĀTAKA.

"From four to eight."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, concerning an unruly Brother. The incidents are the same as those in the previous story of Mittavindaka 1, but belong to the days of the Buddha Kassapa.

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[414] Now at that time one of the damned who had put on the circlet and was suffering the tortures of hell, asked the Bodhisatta--"Lord, what sin have I committed?" The Bodhisatta detailed the man's evil deeds to hire and uttered this stanza:--

From four to eight, to sixteen thence, and so
To thirty-two insatiate greed doth go,
--Still pressing on till insatiety
Doth win the circlet's griding misery 2.

So saying he went back to the Realm of Devas, but the other abode in hell till his sin had been purged from him. Then he passed thence to fare according to his deserts.

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His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "This unruly Brother was then Mittavindaka and I the Deva."


Footnotes

246:1 No. 41.

246:2 Part of these lines occur in the Pañca Tantra 98.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 105. Dubbalakaṭṭha-Jātaka



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No. 105.

DUBBALAKAṬṬHA-JĀTAKA.

"Fear’st thou the wind."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a Brother who lived in a perpetual state of nervous alarm. We learn that he came of a good family in Sāvatthi, and was led to give up the world by hearing the Truth preached, and that he was always in fear of his life

p. 247

both by night and by day. The sough of the wind, the rustle of a fan, or the cry of bird or beast would inspire him with such abject terror that he would shriek and dash away. He never reflected that death was sure to come upon him; though, had he practised meditation on the certainty of death, he would not have feared it. 1 4 5 For only they that do not so meditate fear death. Now his constant fear of dying became known to the Brethren, and one day they met in the Hall of Truth and fell to discussing his fearfulness and the propriety of every Brother's taking death as a theme for meditation. Entering the Hall, the Master asked, and was told, what they were discussing. So he sent for that Brother and asked him whether it was true he lived in fear of death. The Brother confessed that he did. "Be not angry, Brethren," said the Master, "with this Brother. The fear of death that fills his breast, now was no less strong in bygone times." So saying he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was a Tree-Sprite near the Himalayas. And in those days the king put his state elephant in the elephant-trainers' hands to be broken in to stand firm. And they tied the elephant up fast to a post, and with goads in their hands set about training the animal. Unable to bear the pain whilst he was being made to do their bidding, the elephant broke the post down, put the trainers to flight, and made off to the Himalayas. And the men, being unable to catch it, had to come back empty-handed. The elephant lived in the Himalayas in constant fear of death. A breath of wind sufficed to fill him with fear and to start him off at full speed, shaking his trunk to and fro. And it was with him as though he was still tied to the post to be trained. All happiness of mind and body gone, he wandered up and down in constant dread. Seeing this, the Tree-Sprite stood in the fork of his tree and uttered this stanza:--

Fear'st thou the wind that ceaselessly
The rotten boughs doth rend alway?
Such fear will waste thee quite away!

[416] Such were the Tree-Sprite's cheering words. And the elephant thenceforth feared no more.

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His lesson ended, the Master taught the Four Truths (at the close whereof the Brother entered the Paths), and identified the Birth by saying, "This Brother was the elephant of those days and I the Tree-Sprite."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 106. Udañcani-Jātaka



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p. 248

No. 106.

UDAÑCANI-JĀTAKA.

"A happy life was mine."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a temptation by a fat girl. The incident will be related in the Culla-Nārada-Kassapa Jātaka 1 in the Thirteenth Book.

On asking the Brother, the Master was told that it was true he was in love, and in love with the fat girl. "Brother," said the Master, "she is leading you astray. So too in times gone by she led you into evil, and you were only restored to happiness by the wise and good of those days." So saying, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, those things came to pass which will be told in the Culla-Nārada-Kassapa Jātaka. But on this occasion the Bodhisatta at evening came with fruits to the hermitage, and, opening the door, said to his son, "Every other day you brought wood and victuals, and lit a fire. Why have you not done any of these things to-day, but sit sadly here pining away?"

"Father," said the young man, "while you were away gathering fruits, there came a woman who tried to lure me away with blandishments. But I would not go with her till I had your leave, and so left her sitting waiting for me. And now my wish is to depart."

Finding that the young man was too much in love to be able to give her up, the Bodhisatta bade him go, saying "But when she wants meat 1 4 or fish or ghee or salt or ride or any such thing to eat, and sends you hurrying to and fro on her errands, then remember this hermitage and flee away back to me."

So the other went off with the woman to the haunts of men; and when he was come to her house, she made him run about to fetch every single thing she wanted.

"I might just as well be her slave as this," thought he, and promptly ran away back to his father, and saluting him, stood and repeated this stanza:--

A happy life was mine till that fell she,
--That worrying, tiresome pitcher styled my wife--
Set me to run the errands of her whims.

And the Bodhisatta commended the young man, and exhorted him to kindliness and mercy, setting forth the four forms of right feeling towards

p. 249

men and the modes of ensuring Insight. Nor was it long before the young man won the Knowledges and Attainments, and attained to right feeling towards his fellow-creatures, and with his father was re-born into the Brahma Realm.

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His lesson ended, and the Four Truths preached (at the close whereof that Brother entered the First Path) the Master identified the Birth by saying, "The fat girl of to-day was also the fat girl of those days; this yoking Brother was the son; and I the father of those days."


Footnotes

248:1 No. 477.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 107. Sālittaka-Jātaka



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No. 107.

SĀLITTAKA-JĀTAKA.

[418] "Prize skill."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a Brother who threw and hit a swan. We are told that this Brother, who came of a good family in Sāvatthi, had acquired great skill in hitting things with stones; and that hearing the Truth preached one day he gave his heart to it and, giving up the world, was admitted to full Brotherhood. But neither in study nor practice did he excel as a Brother. One day, with a youthful Brother, he went to the river Aciravatī 1, and was standing on the hank after bathing, when he saw two white swans flying by. Said he to the younger Brother, "I'll hit the hinder swan in the eye and bring it down." "Bring it down indeed!" said the other; "you can't hit it." "Just you wait a moment. I'll hit it on the eye this side through the eye on the other." "Oh, nonsense." "Very well; you wait and see." Then he took a three-cornered stone in his hand and flung it after the swan. 'Whiz' went the stone through the air and the swan, suspecting danger, stopped to listen. At once the Brother seized a smooth round stone and as the resting swan was looking in another direction hit it full in the eye, so that the stone went in at one eye and came out at the other. And with a loud scream the swan fell to the ground at their feet. "That is a highly improper action," said the other Brother, and brought him before the Master, with an account of what had happened. After rebuking the Brother, the Master said, "The same skill was his, Brethren, in past times as now." And he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was one of the King's courtiers. And the royal chaplain of those days was so talkative and longwinded that, when he once started, no

p. 250

one else could get a word in. So the King cast about for someone to cut the chaplain short, and looked high and low for such an one. Now at that time there was a cripple in Benares who was a wonderful marksman with stones, and the boys used to put him on a little cart and 1 4 draw him to the gates of Benares, where there is a large branching banyan-tree covered with leaves. There they would gather round and give him half-pence, saying 'Make an elephant,' or 'Make a horse.' And the cripple would throw stone after stone till he had cut the foliage into the shapes asked for. And the ground was covered with fallen leaves.

On his way to his pleasaunce the King came to, the spot, and all the boys scampered off in fear of the King, leaving the cripple there helpless. At the sight of the litter of leaves the King asked, as he rode by in his chariot, who had cut the leaves off. And he was told that the cripple had done it. Thinking that here might be a way to stop the chaplain's mouth, the King asked where the cripple was, and was shewn him sitting at the foot of the tree. Then the King had him brought to him and, motioning his retinue to stand apart, said to the cripple, "I have a very talkative chaplain. Do you think you could stop his talking?"

"Yes, sire,--if I had a peashooter full of dry goat's dung," said the cripple. Then the King had him taken to the palace and set with a pea-shooter full of dry goat's dung behind a curtain with a slit in it, facing the chaplain's seat. When the brahmin came to wait upon the King and was seated on the seat prepared for him, his majesty started a conversation. And the chaplain forthwith monopolized the conversation, and no one else could get a word in. Hereon the cripple shot the pellets of goat's dung one by one, like flies, through the slit in the curtain right into the chaplain's gullet. And the brahmin swallowed the pellets down as they came, like so much oil, till all had disappeared. When the whole peashooter-full of pellets was lodged in the chaplain's stomach, they swelled to the size of half a peck; and the King, knowing they were all gone, addressed the brahmin in these words: "Reverend sir, so talkative are you, that you have swallowed down a peashooter-full of goat's dung without noticing it. That's about as much as you will be able to take at a sitting. Now go home and take a dose of panick seed and water by way of emetic, and put yourself right again."

From that day 2 4 the chaplain kept his mouth shut and sat as silent during conversation as though his lips were sealed.

"Well, my ears are indebted to the cripple for this relief," said the King, and bestowed on him four villages, one in the North, one in the South, one in the West, and one in the East, producing a hundred thousand a year.

The Bodhisatta drew near to the King and said, "In this world, sire,

p. 251

skill should be cultivated by the wise. Mere skill in aiming has brought this cripple all this prosperity." So saying he uttered this stanza:--

Prize skill, and note the marksman lame;
--Four villages reward his aim.

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His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "This Brother was the cripple of those days, Ānanda the King, and I the wise courtier."


Footnotes

249:1 The modern Rāpti, in Oudh.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 108. Bāhiya-Jātaka



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No. 108.

BĀHIYA-JĀTAKA.

"Learn thou betimes."--This story was told by the Master, while he was dwelling in the Gabled Chamber at the Great Grove near Vesāli, about a Licchavi, a pious prince who had embraced the Truth. He had invited the Brotherhood with the Buddha at their head to his house, and there had shewn great bounty towards them. Now his wife was a very fat woman, almost bloated in appearance, and she was badly dressed.

Thanking the King for his hospitality, the Master returned to the monastery and, after a discourse to the Brethren, retired to his perfumed chamber.

Assembled in the Hall of Truth, the Brethren expressed their surprise that a man like this Licchavi prince should have such a fat badly-dressed woman for his wife, and be so fond of her. Entering the Hall and hearing what they were discussing, the Master said, "Brethren, as now, so in former times he was fond of a fat woman." Then, at their request, he told this story of the past.

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[421] Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was one of his courtiers. And a fat and badly-dressed country woman, who worked for hire, was passing near the courtyard of the palace, when pressing need for an occasion came upon her. Bending down with her raiment decently gathered round her, she accomplished her purpose, and was erect again in a trice.

The King chanced to be looking out on to the courtyard through a window at the time and saw this. Thought he, "A woman who could manage this with so much decency must enjoy good health. She would be sure to be cleanly in her house; and a son born into a cleanly house would be sure to grow up cleanly and virtuous. I will make her my queen-consort." And accordingly the King, first assuring himself that she

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was not another's, sent for her and made her his queen. And she became very near and dear to him. Not long afterwards a son was born, and this son became an Universal Monarch.

Observing her fortunes, the Bodhisatta took occasion to say to the King, "Sire, why should not care be taken duly to fulfil all proper observances, when this excellent woman by her modesty and decency in relieving nature won your majesty's favour and rose to such fortune?" And he went on to utter this stanza:--

Learn thou betimes, though headstrong folk there be;
The rustic pleased the King by modesty.

Thus did the Great Being commend the virtues of those who devoted themselves to the study of proper observances.

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[422] His story ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "The husband and wife of to-day were also the husband and wife of those times, and I the wise courtier."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 109. Kuṇḍakapūva-Jātaka



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No. 109.

KUṆḌAKAPŪVA-JĀTAKA.

"As fares his worshipper."--This story was told by the Master when at Sāvatthi, about a very poor man.

Now at Sāvatthi the Brotherhood with the Buddha at their head used to be entertained now by a single family, now by three or four families together. Or a body of people or a whole street would club together, or sometimes the whole city entertained them. But on the occasion now in question it was a street that was skewing the hospitality. And the inhabitants had arranged to provide rice-gruel followed by cakes.

Now in that street there lived a very poor man, a hired labourer, who could not see how he could give the gruel, but resolved to give cakes. And he scraped out the red powder from empty husks and kneaded it with water into a round cake. This cake he wrapped in a leaf of swallow-wort, and baked it in the embers. When it was done, he made up his mind that none but the Buddha should have it, and accordingly took his stand immediately by the Master. No sooner had the word been given to offer cakes, than he stepped forward quicker than anyone else and put his cake in the Master's alms-bowl. And the Master declined all other cakes offered him and ate the poor man's cake. Forthwith the whole city talked of nothing but how the All-Enlightened One had not disdained to eat the poor roan's bran-cake. And from porters to nobles and King, all classes flocked to the spot, saluted the Master, and crowded round the poor man,

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offering him food, or two to five hundred pieces of money if he would make over to them the merit of his act.

Thinking he had better ask the Master first, he went to him and stated his case. "Take what they offer," said the Master, "and impute your righteousness to all living creatures." So the man set to work to collect the offerings. Some gave twice as much as others, some four times as much, others eight times as much, and so on, till nine crores of gold were contributed.

Returning thanks for the hospitality, the Master went back to the monastery and after instructing the Brethren and imparting his blessed teaching to them, retired to his perfumed chamber.

In the evening the King sent for the poor man, and created him Lord Treasurer.

Assembling in the Hall of Truth the Brethren spoke together of how the Master, not disdaining the poor man's bran-cake, had eaten it as though it were ambrosia, and how the poor man had been enriched 2 3 4 and made Lord Treasurer to his great good fortune. And when the Master entered the Hall and heard what they were talking of, he said, "Brethren, this is not the first time that I have not disdained to eat that poor man's cake of bran. I did the same when I was a Tree-sprite, and then too was the means of his being made Lord Treasurer." So saying he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was a Tree-sprite dwelling in a castor-oil plant. And the villagers of those days were superstitious about gods. A festival came round and the villagers offered sacrifices to their respective Tree-sprites. Seeing this, a poor man shewed worship to the castor-oil tree. All the others had come with garlands, odours, perfumes, and cakes; but the poor man had only a cake of husk-powder and water in a cocoanut shell for his tree. Standing before it, he thought within himself, "Tree-sprites are used to heavenly food, and my Tree-sprite will not eat this cake of husk-powder. Why then should I lose it outright? I will eat it myself." And he turned to go away, when the Bodhisatta from the fork of his tree exclaimed, "My good man, if you were a great lord you would bring me dainty manchets; but as you are a poor man, what shall I have to eat if not that cake? Rob me not of my portion." And he uttered this stanza:--

As fares his worshipper, a Sprite must fare.
Bring me the cake, nor rob me of my share.

Then the man turned again, and, seeing the Bodhisatta, offered up his sacrifice. The Bodhisatta fed on the savour and said, "Why do you worship me?" "I am a poor man, my lord, and I worship you to be eased of my poverty." 2 4 "Have no more care for that. You have sacrificed to one who is grateful and mindful of kindly deeds. Round this tree, neck to neck, are buried pots of treasure. Go tell the King, and take the treasure away in waggons to the King's courtyard. There pile it in a heap, and the King shall be so well-pleased that he will make you Lord Treasurer." So saying, the Bodhisatta vanished from sight. The

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man did as he was bidden, and the King made him Lord Treasurer. Thus did the poor man by aid of the Bodhisatta come to great fortune; and when he died, he passed away to fare according to his deserts.

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His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "The poor man of to-day was also the poor man of those times, and I the Tree-sprite who dwelt in the castor-oil tree."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 110. Sabbasaṁhāraka-Pañha



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No. 110.

SABBASAṀHĀRAKA-PAÑHA.

"There is no All-embracing."--This All-embracing Question will be set out at length in the Ummagga-jātaka 1. This is the end of the All-embracing Question.


Footnotes

254:1 Not yet edited; it occurs at the end of the collection of Jātakas.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 111. Gadrabha-Pañha



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No. 111.

GADRABHA-PAÑHA.

"Thou think’st thyself a swan."--This Question as to the Ass will also be set out at length in the Ummagga-jātaka. This is the end of the Question as to the Ass.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 112. Amarādevī-Pañha



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No. 112.

AMARĀDEVĪ-PAÑHA.

"Cakes and gruel."--This question too will be found in the same Jātaka. This is the end of the Question of Queen Amarā 2.


Footnotes

254:2 Amarā was the wife of King Mahosadha; of. Milindapañho, page 205. The Bodhisatta was Mahosadha, cf. Jātaka (test) i. p. 53.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 113. Sigāla-Jātaka



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No. 113.

SIGĀLA-JĀTAKA.

"The drunken jackal."--This story was told by the Master while at the Bamboo-grove, about Devadatta. The Brethren had assembled 2 4 5 in the Hall of Truth and were telling how Devadatta had gone to Gayāsīsa with five hundred followers, whom he was leading into error by declaring that the Truth was manifest in him "and not in the ascetic Gotama"; and how by his lies he was breaking up the Brotherhood; and how he kept two fast-days a week. And as they sate there talking of the wickedness of Devadatta, the Master entered and was told the subject of their conversation. "Brethren," said he, "Devadatta was as great a liar in past times as he is now." So saying, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born a Tree-sprite in a cemetery grove. In those days a festival was proclaimed in Benares, and the people resolved to sacrifice to the ogres. So they strewed fish and meat about courtyards, and streets, and other places, and set out great pots of strong drink. At midnight a jackal came into the town by the sewer, and regaled himself on the meat and liquor. Crawling into some bushes, he was fast asleep when morning dawned. Waking up and seeing it was broad daylight, he know that he could not make his way back at that hour with safety. So he lay down quietly near the roadside where he could not be seen, till at last he saw a solitary brahmin on his way to rinse his mouth in the tank. Then the jackal thought to himself, "Brahmins are a greedy lot. I must so play on his greediness as to get him to carry me out of the city in his waist-cloth under his outer robe." So, with a human voice, he cried "Brahmin."

"Who calls me?" said the brahmin, turning round. "I, brahmin." "What for?" "I have two hundred gold pieces, brahmin; and if you will hide me in your waist-cloth under your outer robe and so get me out of the city without my being seen, you shall have them all."

Closing with the offer, the greedy brahmin hid the jackal and carried the beast a little way out of the city. "What place is this, brahmin?" said the jackal. "Oh, it's such and such a place," said the brahmin. "Go on a bit further," said the jackal and kept urging the brahmin on always a little further, till at last the cremation-park was reached. 2 4 6 "Put me down here," said the jackal; and the brahmin did so. "Spread your robe out on the ground, brahmin." And the greedy brahmin did so.

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"And now dig up this tree by the roots," said he, and while the brahmin was at work he walked on to the robe, and dunged and staled on it in five places,--the four corners and the middle. This done, he made off into the wood.

Hereon the Bodhisatta, standing in the fork of the tree, uttered this stanza:--

The drunken jackal, brahmin, cheats thy trust!
Thou ’lt find not here a hundred cowry-shells,
Far less thy quest, two hundred coins of gold.

And when he had repeated these verses, the Bodhisatta said to the brahmin, "Go now and wash your robe and bathe, and go about your business." So saying, he vanished from sight, and the brahmin did as he was bidden, and departed very mortified at having been so tricked.

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His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "Devadatta was the jackal of those days, and I the Tree-sprite."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 114. Mitacinti-Jātaka



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No. 114.

MITACINTI-JĀTAKA.

"They twain in fisher's net."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about two aged Elders. After a rainy-season spent in a forest in the country they resolved to seek out the Master, and got together provisions for their journey. But they kept putting off their departure day by day, till a month flew by. Then they provided a fresh supply of provisions, and procrastinated till a second month was gone, and a third. When their indolence and sluggishness had lost them three months, they set out and came to Jetavana. Laying aside their bowls and robes in the common-room, they came into the Master's presence. The Brethren remarked on the length of the time since the two had visited the Master, and asked the reason. Then 2 4 they told their story and all the Brotherhood came to know of the laziness of these indolent Brethren.

Assembling in the Hall of Truth the Brethren talked together of this thing. And the Master entered and was told what they were discussing. Being asked whether they were really so indolent, those Brethren admitted their short-coming. "Brethren," said he, "in former times, no less than now, they were indolent and loth to leave their abode." So saying, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, there lived in the river of Benares three fishes, named Over-thoughtful, Thoughtful, and

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[paragraph continues] Thoughtless. And they came down-stream from the wild country to where men dwelt. Hereupon Thoughtful said to the other two, "This is a dangerous and perilous neighbourhood, where fishermen catch fish with nets, basket-traps, and such like tackle. Let us be off to the wild country again." But so lazy were the other two fishes, and so greedy, that they kept putting off their going from day to day, until they had let three months slip by. Now fishermen cast their nets into the river; and Over-thoughtful and Thoughtless were swimming on ahead in quest of food when in their fully they blindly rushed into the net. Thoughtful, who was behind, observed the net, and saw the fate of the other two.

"I must save these lazy fools from death," thought he. So first he dodged round the net, and splashed in the water in front of it like a fish that has broken through and gone up stream; and then doubling back, he splashed about behind it, like a fish that has broken through and gone down stream. Seeing this, the fishermen thought the fish had broken the net and all got away; so they pulled it in by one corner and the two fishes escaped from the net into the open water again. In this way they owed their lives to Thoughtful.

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His story told, the Master, as Buddha, recited this stanza:

[428] They twain in fisher's nets are ta’en;
       Them Thoughtful saves and frees again.

His lesson ended, and the Four Truths expounded (at the close whereof the aged Brethren gained fruition of the First Path), the Master identified the Birth by saying: "These two Brethren were then Over-thoughtful and Thoughtless, and I Thoughtful."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 115. Anusāsika-Jātaka



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No. 115.

ANUSĀSIKA-JĀTAKA.

"The greed-denouncing bird."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a Sister who gave a warning to others. For we are told that she came of a good Sāvatthi family, but that from the day of her entrance into the Order she failed of her duty and was filled with a gluttonous spirit; she used to seek alms in quarters of the city unvisited by other Sisters. And dainty food was given her there. Now her gluttony made her afraid that other Sisters might go there too and take away from her part of the food. Casting about for a device to stop them from going and to keep everything to herself, she warned

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the other Sisters that it was a dangerous quarter, troubled by a fierce elephant, a fierce horse, and a fierce dog. And she besought them not to go there for alms. Accordingly not a single Sister gave so much as a look in that direction.

Now one day on her way through this district for alms, as she was hurrying into a house there, a fierce ram butted her with such violence as to break her leg. Up ran the people and set her leg and brought her on a litter to the convent of the Sisterhood. And all the Sisters tauntingly said her broken leg came of her going where she had warned them not to go.

Not long after the Brotherhood came to hear of this; and one day in the Hall of Truth 2 4 the Brethren spoke of how this sister had got her leg broken by a fierce ram in a quarter of the city against which she had warned the other Sisters; and they condemned her conduct. Entering the Hall at this moment, the Master asked, and was told, what they were discussing. "As now, Brethren," said he, "so too in a past time she gave warnings which she did not follow herself; and then as now she came to harm." So saying, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born a bird, and growing up became king of the birds and came to the Himalayas with thousands of birds in his train. During their stay in that place, a certain fierce bird used to go in quest of food along a highway where she found rice, beans, and other grain dropped by passing waggons. Casting about how best-to keep the others from coming there too, she addressed them as follows:--"The highway is full of peril. Along it go elephants and horses, waggons drawn by fierce oxen, and such like dangerous things. And as it is impossible to take wing on the instant, don't go there at all." And because of her warning, the other birds dubbed her 'Warner'.

Now one day when she was feeding along the highway she heard the sound of a carriage coming swiftly along the road, and turned her head to look at it. "Oh it's quite a long way off," thought she and went on as before. Up swift as the wind came the carriage, and before she could rise, the wheel had crushed her and whirled on its way. At the muster, the King marked her absence and ordered search to be made for her. And at last she was found cut in two on the highway and the news was brought to the king. "Through not following her own caution to the other birds she has been cut in two," said he, and uttered this stanza:--

The greed-denouncing bird, to greed a prey,
The chariot wheels leave mangled on the way.

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[430] His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "The warning sister was the bird 'Warner' of those times, and I the King of the birds."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 116. Dubbaca-Jātaka



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p. 259

No. 116.

DUBBACA-JĀTAKA.

"Too much."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about an unruly Brother whose-own story will be given in the Ninth Book in the Gijjha-jātaka 1.

The Master rebuked him in these words:--"As now, so in former days wert thou unruly, Brother, disregarding the counsels of the wise and good. Wherefore, by a javelin thou didst die." So saying, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born into an acrobat's family. When he grew up, he was a very wise and clever fellow. From another acrobat he learned the javelin dance, and with his master used to travel about exhibiting his skill. Now this master of his knew the four javelin dance but not the five; but one day when performing in a certain village, he, being in liquor, had five javelins set up in a row and gave out that he would dance through the lot.

Said the Bodhisatta, "You can't manage all five javelins, master. Have one taken away. If you try the five, you will be run through by the fifth and die."

"Then you don't know what I can do when I try," said the drunken fellow; and paying no heed to the Bodhisatta's words, he danced through four of the javelins only to impale himself on the fifth like the Bassia flower on its stalk. And there he lay groaning. Said the Bodhisatta, "This calamity comes of your disregarding the counsels of the wise and good"; and he uttered this stanza:--

[431] Too much--though sore against my will--you tried;
       Clearing the four, upon the fifth you died.

So saying, he lifted his master from off the javelin point and duly performed the last offices to his body.

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His story done, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "This unruly Brother was the master of those days, and I the pupil."


Footnotes

259:1 No. 427.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 117. Tittira-Jātaka



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p. 260

No. 117.

TITTIRA-JĀTAKA.

"As died the partridge."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about Kokālika, whose story will be found in the Thirteenth Book in the Takkāriya Jātaka 1.

Said the Master, "As now, Brethren, so likewise in former times, Kokālika's tongue has worked his destruction."

So saying, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born a brahmin in the North country. When he grew up, he received a complete education at Takkasilā, and, renouncing Lusts, gave up the world to become a hermit. He won the Five Knowledges and the Eight Attainments, and all the recluses of the Himalayas to the number of five hundred assembled together and followed him as their master.

Insight was his as he dwelt amid his disciples in the Himalayas.

In those days there was an ascetic suffering from jaundice who was chopping wood with an axe. And a chattering Brother came and sat by him, and directed his work, bidding him give here a chop and there a chop, 2 3 4 till the jaundiced ascetic lost his temper. In a rage he cried, "Who are you to teach me how to chop wood?" and lifting up his keen-edged axe stretched the other dead with a single blow. And the Bodhisatta had the body buried.

Now on an ant-hill hard by the hermitage there dwelt a partridge which early and late was always piping on the top of the ant-hill. Recognising the note of a partridge, a sportsman killed the bird and took it off with him. Missing the bird's note, the Bodhisatta asked the hermits why they did not hear their neighbour the partridge now. Then they told him what had happened, and he linked the two events together in this stanza:--

As died the partridge for her clamorous cry,
So prate and chatter doomed this fool to die.

Having developed within himself the four Perfect States, the Bodhisatta thus became destined to rebirth in the Brahma Realm.

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Said the Master, "Brethren, as now, so likewise in former days Kokālika's tongue has worked his destruction." And at the close of this lesson he identified the Birth by saying, "Kokālika was the meddling ascetic of those days, my followers the band of hermits, and I their master."


Footnotes

260:1 No. 481. Kokālika was one of Devadatta's schismatics.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 118. Vaṭṭaka-Jātaka



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No. 118.

VAṬṬAKA-JĀTAKA.

"The thoughtless man."--This story the Master told while at Jetavana, about the son of Over-Treasurer. This Over-Treasurer is said to have been a very rich man of Sāvatthi, and his wife became the mother of a righteous being from the realm of Brahma angels, who grew up as lovely as Brahma. 3 4 Now one day when the Kattikā festival had been proclaimed in Sāvatthi, the whole city gave itself up to the festivities. His companions, sons of other rich men, had all got wives, but Over-Treasurer's son had lived so long in the Brahma Realm that he was purged from passion. His companions plotted together to get him too a sweetheart and make him keep the feast with them. So going to him they said, "Dear friend, it is the great feast of Kattikā.. Can't we get a sweetheart for you too, and have a good time together?" At last his friends picked out a charming girl and decked her out, and left her at his house, with directions to make her way to his chamber. But when she entered the room, not a look or a word did she get from the young merchant. Piqued at this slight to her beauty, she put forth all her graces and feminine blandishments, smiling meantime so as just to shew her pretty teeth. The sight of her teeth suggested bones, and his mind was filled with the idea of bones, till the girl's whole body seemed to him nothing but a chain of bones. Then he gave her money and bade her begone. But as she came out of the house a nobleman saw her in the street and gave her a present to accompany him home.

At the end of seven days the festival was over, and the girl's mother, seeing her daughter did not come back, went to the young merchant's friends and asked where she was, and they in turn asked the young merchant. And he said he had paid her and sent her packing as soon as he saw her.

Then the girl's mother insisted on having her daughter restored to her, and brought the young man before the king, who proceeded to examine into the matter. In answer to the king's questions, the young man admitted that the girl had been passed on to him, but said he had no knowledge of her whereabouts, and no means of producing her. Then said the king, "If he fails to produce the girl, execute him." So the young man was forthwith hauled off with his hands tied behind his back to be executed, and the whole city was in an uproar at the news. With hands laid on their breasts the people followed after him with lamentations, saying, "What means this, sir? You suffer unjustly."

Then thought the young man 3 4 "All this sorrow has befallen me because I was living a lay life. If I can only escape this danger, I will give up the world and join the Brotherhood of the great Gotama, the All-Enlightened One."

Now the girl herself heard the uproar and asked what it meant. Being told, she ran swiftly out, crying, "Stand aside, sirs! let me pass! let the king's men see me." As soon as she had thus shown herself, she was handed over to her mother by the king's men, who set the young man free and went their way.

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Surrounded by his friends, the son of Over-Treasurer went down to the river and bathed. Returning home, he breakfasted and let his parents know his resolve to give up the world. Then taking cloth for his ascetic's robe, and followed by a great crowd, he sought out the Master and with due salutation asked to be admitted to the Brotherhood. A novice first, and afterwards a full Brother, he meditated on the idea of Bondage till he gained Insight, and not long afterwards won Arahatship.

Now one day in the Hall of Truth the assembled Brethren talked of his virtues, recalling how in the hour of danger he had recognized the excellence of the Truth, and, wisely resolving to give up the world for its sake, had won that highest fruit which is Arahatship. And as they talked, the Master entered, and, on his asking, was told what was the subject of their converse. Whereon he declared to them that, like the son of Over-Treasurer, the wise of former times, by taking thought in the hour of peril, had escaped death. So saying, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Ḅenares, the Bodhisatta by change of existence was born a quail. Now in those days there was a quail-catcher who used to catch numbers of these birds in the forest and take them home to fatten. When they were fat, he used to sell them to people and so make a living. And one day he caught the Bodhisatta and brought him home with a number of other quails. Thought the Bodhisatta to himself, "If I take the food and drink he gives me, I shall be sold; whilst if I don't eat it, I shall get so thin, that people will notice it and pass me over, with the result that I shall be safe. This, then, is what I must do." So he fasted and fasted till he got so thin that he was nothing but skin and bone, and not a soul would have him at any price. Having disposed 3 4 5 of every one of his birds except the Bodhisatta, the bird-catcher took the Bodhisatta out of the cage and laid him on the palms of his hand to see what ailed the bird. Watching when the man was off his guard, the Bodhisatta spread his wings and flew off to the forest. Seeing him return, the other quails asked what had become of him so long, and where he had been. Then he told them he had been caught by a fowler, and, being asked how he had escaped, replied, that it was by a device he had thought of, namely, not to take either the food or the drink which the fowler supplied. So saying, he uttered this stanza:--

The thoughtless man no profit reaps.--But see
Thought's fruit in me, from death and bondage free.

In this manner did the Bodhisatta speak of what he had done.

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His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "I was the quail that escaped death in those days."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 119. Akālarāvi-Jātaka



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p. 263

No. 119.

AKĀLARĀVI-JĀTAKA.

"No parents trained."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a Brother who used to be noisy at wrong seasons. He is said to have come of a good Sāvatthi family and to have given up the world for the Truth, but to have neglected his duties and despised instruction. He never took count of the hours for duties, for ministry or for reciting the texts. Throughout the three watches of the night, as well as the hours of waking, he was never quiet;--so that the other Brethren could not get a wink of sleep. Accordingly, the Brethren in the Hall of Truth censured his conduct. Entering the Hall and learning on enquiry what they were talking about, the Master said, "Brethren, as now, so in past times, this Brother was noisy out of season, and for his unseasonable conduct was strangled." So saying he told this story of the past.

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[436] Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born into a northern brahmin family, and when he grew up, learned all knowledge and became a teacher of world-wide fame with five hundred young brahmins studying under him. Now these young brahmins had a cock who crowed betimes and roused them to their studies. And this cock died. So they looked all about for another, and one of their number, when picking up firewood in the cemetery-grove, saw a cock there which he brought home and kept in a coop. But, as this second cock had been bred in a cemetery, he had no knowledge of times and seasons, and used to crow casually,--at midnight as well as at daybreak. Roused by his crowing at midnight, the young brahmins fell to their studies; by dawn they were tired out and could not for sleepiness keep their attention on the subject; and when he fell a-crowing in broad day they did not get a chance of quiet for repeating their lesson. And 'as it was the cock's crowing both at midnight and by day which had brought their studies to a standstill, they took the bird and wrung his neck. Then they told their teacher that they had killed the cock that crowed in and out of season.

Said their teacher, for their edification, "It was his bad bringing up that brought this cock to his end." So saying, he uttered this stanza:--

No parents trained, no teacher taught this bird:
Both in and out of season was he heard.

p. 264

Such was the Bodhisatta's teaching on the matter; and when he had lived his allotted time on earth, he passed away to fare according to his deserts.

_____________________________

His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth as follows,--"This Brother was the cock of those times, who did not know when not to crow; my disciples were the young brahmins; and I their teacher."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 120. Bandhanamokkha-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 120.

[437] BANDHANAMOKKHA-JĀTAKA.

"Whilst folly's speech"--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about the brahmin-girl Ciñcā, whose history will be given in the Twelfth Book in the Mahāpaduma-jātaka 1. On this occasion the Master said, "Brethren, this is not the first time Ciñcā has laid false accusations against me. She did the like in other times." So saying he told this story of the past.

_____________________________

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born into the chaplain's family, and on his father's death succeeded to the chaplaincy.

Now the king promised to grant whatsoever boon his queen should ask of him, and she said,--"The boon I ask is an easy one; henceforth you must not look on any other woman with eyes of love." At first he refused, but, wearied by her unceasing importunity, was obliged to give way at last. And from that day forward he never cast a glance of love at any one of his sixteen thousand nautch-girls.

Now a disturbance arose on the borders of his kingdom, and after two or three engagements with the robbers, the troops there sent a letter to the king saying that they were unable to carry the matter through. Then the king was anxious to go in person and assembled a mighty host. And he said to his wife, "Dear one, I go to the frontier, where battles will rage ending in victory or defeat. The camp is no place for a woman, and you must stay behind here."

"I can't stop if you go, my lord," said she. But finding the king firm in his decision she made the following request instead,--"Every league,

p. 265

send a messenger to enquire how I fare." And the king promised to do so. Accordingly, when he marched out with his host, leaving the Bodhisatta in the city, the king sent back a messenger at the end of every league to let the queen know how he was, and to find out how she fared. Of each man as he came she asked what brought him back. And on receiving the answer that he was come to learn how she fared, they queen beckoned the messenger to her and sinned with him. Now the king journeyed two and thirty leagues and sent two and thirty messengers [438], and the queen sinned with them all. And when he had pacified the frontier, to the great joy of the inhabitants, he started on his homeward journey, despatching a second series of thirty-two messengers. And the queen misbehaved with each one of these, as before. Halting his victorious army near the city, the king sent a letter to the Bodhisatta to prepare the city for his entry. The preparations in the city were done, and the Bodhisatta was preparing the palace for the king's arrival, when he came to the queen's apartments. The sight of his great beauty so moved the queen that she called to him to satisfy her lust. But the Bodhisatta pleaded with her, urging the king's honour, and protesting that he shrank from all sin and would not do as she wished. "No thoughts of the king frightened sixty-four of the king's messengers," said she; "and will you for the king's sake fear to do my will?"

Said the Bodhisatta, "Had these messengers thought with me, they would not have acted thus. As for me that know the right, I will not commit this sin."

"Don't talk nonsense," said she. "If you refuse, I will have your head chopped off."

"So be it. Cut off my head in this or in a hundred thousand existences; yet will I not do your bidding."

"All right; I will see," said the queen menacingly. And retiring to her chamber, she scratched herself, put oil on her limbs, clad herself in dirty clothes and feigned to be ill. Then she sent for her slaves and bade them tell the king, when he should ask after her, that she was ill.

Meantime the Bodhisatta had gone to meet the king, who, after marching round the city in solemn procession, entered his palace. Not seeing the queen, he asked where she was, and was told that she was ill. Entering the royal bed-chamber, the king caressed the queen and asked what ailed her. She was silent; but when the king asked the third time, she looked at him and said, "Though my lord the king still lives, yet poor women like me have to own a master."

"What do you mean?"

"The chaplain whom you left to watch over the city came here on pretence of seeing after the palace; and because I would not yield to his will, 3 4 he beat me to his heart's content and went off."

p. 266

Then the king fumed with rage, like the crackling of salt or sugar in the fire; and he rushed from the chamber. Calling his servants, he bade them bind the chaplain with his hands behind him, like one condemned to death, and cut off his head at the place of execution. So away they hurried and bound the Bodhisatta. And the drum was beaten to announce the execution.

Thought the Bodhisatta, "Doubtless that wicked queen has already poisoned the king's mind against me, and now must I save myself from this peril." So he said to his captors, "Bring me into the king's presence before you slay me." "Why so?" said they. "Because, as the king's servant, I have toiled greatly on the king's business, and know where great treasures are hidden which I have discovered. If I am not brought before the king, all this wealth will be lost. So lead me to him, and then do your duty."

Accordingly, they brought him before the king, who asked why reverence had not restrained him from such wickedness.

"Sire," answered the Bodhisatta, "I was born a brahmin, and have never taken the life so much as of an emmet or ant. I have never taken what was not my own, even to a blade of grass. Never have I looked with lustful eyes upon another man's wife. Not even in jest have I spoken falsely, and not a drop of strong drink have I ever drunk. Innocent am I, sire; but that wicked woman took me lustfully by the hand, and, being rebuffed, threatened me, nor did she retire to her chamber before she had told me her secret evil-doing. For there were sixty-four messengers who came with letters from you to the queen. Send for these men and ask each whether he did as the queen bade him or not." Then the king had the sixty-four men bound and sent for the queen. And she confessed to having had guilty converse with the men. Then the king ordered off all the sixty-four to be beheaded.

But at this point 4 the Bodhisatta cried out, "Nay, sire, the men are not to blame; for they were constrained by the queen. Wherefore pardon them. And as for the queen:--she is not to blame, for the passions of women are insatiate, and she does but act according to her inborn nature. Wherefore, pardon her also, O king."

Upon this entreaty the king was merciful, and so the Bodhisatta saved the lives of the queen and the sixty-four men, and he gave them each a place to dwell in. Then the Bodhisatta came to the king and said, "Sire, the baseless accusations of folly put the wise in unmerited bonds, but the words of the wise released the foolish. Thus folly wrongfully binds, and wisdom sets free from bonds." So saying, he uttered this stanza:--

Whilst folly's speech doth bind unrighteously,
At wisdom's word the justly bound go free.

p. 267

When he had taught the king the Truth in these verses, he exclaimed, "All this trouble sprang from my living a lay life. I must change my mode of life, and crave your permission, sire, to give up the world." And with the king's permission he gave up the world and quitted his tearful relations and his great wealth to become a recluse. His dwelling was in the Himalayas, and there he won the Higher Knowledges and the Attainments and became destined to rebirth in the Brahma Realm.

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His teaching ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "Ciñcā was the wicked queen of those days, Ānanda the king, and I his chaplain."


Footnotes

264:1 No. 472. Cf. note, page 143.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 121. Kusanāḷi-Jātaka



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No. 121.

[441] KUSANĀḶI-JĀTAKA.

"Let great and small."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about Anātha-piṇḍika's true friend. For his acquaintances and friends and relations came to him and tried hard to stop his intimacy with a certain man, saying that neither in birth nor wealth was he Anātha-piṇḍika's equal. But the great merchant replied that friendship should not depend on equality or inequality of externals. And when he went off to his zemindary, he put this friend in charge of his wealth. Everything came to pass as in the Kālakaṇṇi jātaka 1. But, when in this case Anātha-piṇḍika related the danger his house had been in, the Master said, "Layman, a friend rightly so-called is never inferior. The standard is ability to befriend. A friend rightly so-called, though only equal or inferior to one's self, should be held a superior, for all such friends fail not to grapple with trouble which befalls one's self. It is your real friend that has now saved you your wealth. So in days gone by a like real friend saved a Sprite's mansion." Then at Anātha-piṇḍika's request, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born a Sprite in the king's pleasaunce, and dwelt in a clump of kusa-grass. Now in the same grounds near the king's seat there grew a beautiful Wishing Tree (also called the Mukkhaka) with straight stem and spreading branches, which received great favour from the king. Here dwelt one who had been a mighty deva-king and had been reborn a Tree-sprite. And the Bodhisatta was on terms of intimate friendship with this Tree-sprite.

Now the king's dwelling had only one pillar to support the roof

p. 268

and that pillar grew shaky. Being told of this, the king sent for carpenters and ordered them to put in a sound pillar and make it secure. So the carpenters 2 4 looked about for a tree that would do and, not finding one elsewhere, went to the pleasaunce and saw the Mukkhaka. Then away they went back to the king. "Well," said he, "have you found a tree that will do?" "Yes, sire," said they; "but we don't like to fell it." "Why not?" said the king. Then they told him how they had in vain looked everywhere for a tree and did not dare to cut down the sacred tree. "Go and cut it down," said he, "and make the roof secure. I will look out for another tree."

So they went away. And they took a sacrifice to the pleasaunce and offered it to the tree, saying among themselves that they would come and cut it down next day. Hearing their words, the Tree-sprite knew that her home would be destroyed on the morrow, and burst into tears as she clasped her children to her breast, not knowing whither to fly with them. Her friends, the spirits of the forest, came and asked what the matter was. But not one of them could devise how to stay the carpenters' hand, and all embraced her with tears and lamentations. At this moment up came the Bodhisatta to call upon the Tree-sprite and was told the news. "Have no fear," said the Bodhisatta cheerfully. "I will see that the tree is not cut down. Only wait and see what I will do when the carpenters come to-morrow."

Next day when the men came, the Bodhisatta, assuming the shape of a chameleon, was at the tree before they were, and got in at the roots and worked his way up till he got out among the branches, making the tree look full of holes. Then the Bodhisatta rested among the boughs with his head rapidly moving to and fro. Up came the carpenters; and at sight of the chameleon their leader struck the tree with his hand, and exclaimed that the tree was rotten and that they didn't look carefully before making their offerings the day before. And off he went full of scorn for the great strong tree. In this way the Bodhisatta saved the Tree-sprite's home. And when all her friends 3 4 and acquaintances came to see her, she joyfully sang the praises of the Bodhisatta, as the saviour of her home, saying, "Sprites of the Trees, for all our mighty power we knew not what to do; while a humble Kusa-sprite had wit to save my home for me. Truly we should choose our friends without considering whether they are superiors, equals, or inferiors, making no distinction of rank. For each according to his strength can help a friend in the hour of need." And she repeated this stanza about friendship and its duties:--

Let great and small and equals, all,
Do each their best, if harm befal,
And help a friend in evil plight,
As I was helped by Kusa-sprite.

p. 269

Thus did she teach the assembled devas, adding these words, "Wherefore, such as would escape from an evil plight must not merely consider whether a man is an equal or a superior, but must make friends of the wise whatsoever their station in life." And she lived her life and with the Kusa-sprite finally passed away to fare according to her deserts.

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His lesson ended the Master identified the birth by saying, "Ānanda was then the Tree-sprite, and I the Kusa-sprite."


Footnotes

267:1 No. 83.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 122. Dummedha-Jātaka



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No. 122.

[444] DUMMEDHA-JĀTAKA.

"Exalted station breeds a fool great woe."--This story was told by the Master while at the Bamboo-grove, about Devadatta. For the Brethren had met together in the Hall of Truth, and were talking of how the sight of the Buddha's perfections and all the distinctive signs of Buddhahood 1 maddened Devadatta; and how in his jealousy he could not bear to hear the praises of the Buddha's utter wisdom. Entering the Hall, the Master asked what was the subject of their converse. And when they told him, he said, "Brethren, as now, so in former times Devadatta was maddened by hearing my praises." So saying, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when King Magadha was ruling in Rājagaha in Magadha, the Bodhisatta was born an elephant. He was white all over and graced with all the beauty of form described above 2. And because of his beauty the king made him his state elephant.

One festal day the king adorned the city like a city of the devas and, mounted on the elephant in all its trappings, made a solemn procession round the city attended by a great retinue. And all along the route the people were moved by the sight of that peerless elephant to exclaim, "Oh what a stately gait! what proportions! what beauty! what grace! such a white elephant is worthy of an universal monarch." All this praise of his

p. 270

elephant awoke the king's jealousy and he resolved to have it cast over a precipice and killed. So he summoned the mahout and asked whether he called that a trained elephant.

"Indeed he is well trained, sire," said the mahout. "No, he is very badly trained." "Sire, he is well trained." 4 5 "If he is so well trained, can you get him to climb to the summit of Mount Vepulla?" "Yes, sire." "Away with you, then," said the king. And he got down from the elephant, making the mahout mount instead, and went himself to the foot of the mountain, whilst the mahout rode on the elephant's back up to the top of Mount Vepulla. The king with his courtiers also climbed the mountain, and had the elephant halted at the brink of a precipice. "Now," said he to the man, "if he is so well trained as you say, make him stand on three legs."

And the mahout on the elephant's back just touched the animal with his goad by way of sign and called to him, "Hi! my beauty, stand on three legs." "Now make him stand on his two fore-legs," said the king. And the Great Being raised his hind-legs and stood on his fore-legs alone. "Now on the hind-legs," said the king, and the obedient elephant raised his fore-legs till he stood on his hind-legs alone. "Now on one leg," said the king, and the elephant stood on one leg.

Seeing that the elephant did not fall over the precipice, the king cried, "Now if you can, make him stand in the air."

Then thought the mahout to himself, "All India cannot shew the match of this elephant for excellence of training. Surely the king must want to make him tumble over the precipice and meet his death." So he whispered in the elephant's ear, "My son, the king wants you to fall over and get killed. He is not worthy of you. If you have power to journey through the air, rise up with me upon your back and fly through the air to Benares."

And the Great Being, endowed as he was with the marvellous powers which flow from Merit, straightway rose up into the air. Then said the mahout, "Sire, this elephant, possessed as he is with the marvellous powers which flow from Merit, is too good for such a worthless fool as you: none but a wise and good king is worthy to be his master. When those who are so worthless as you get an elephant like this, they don't know his value, and so they lose their elephant, and all the rest of their glory and splendour." So saying the mahout, seated on the elephant's neck, recited this stanza:--

Exalted station breeds a fool great woe;
He proves his own and others' mortal foe.

[446] "And now, goodbye," said he to the king as he ended this rebuke; and rising in the air, he passed to Benares and halted in mid-air

p. 271

over the royal courtyard. And there was a great stir in the city and all cried out, "Look at the state-elephant that has come through the air for our king and is hovering over the royal courtyard." And with all haste the news was conveyed to the king too, who came out and said, "If your coming is for my behoof, alight on the earth." And the Bodhisatta descended from the air. Then the mahout got down and bowed before the king, and in answer to the king's enquiries told the whole story of their leaving Rājagaha. "It was very good of you," said the king, "to come here"; and in his joy he had the city decorated and the elephant installed in his state-stable. Then he divided his kingdom into three portions, and made over one to the Bodhisatta, one to the mahout, and one he kept himself. And his power grew from the day of the Bodhisatta's coming till all India owned his sovereign sway. As Emperor of India, he was charitable and did other good works till he passed away to fare according to his deserts.

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His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying "Devadatta was in those days the king of Magadha, Sāriputta the king of Benares, Ānanda the mahout, and I the elephant."

[Note. Cf. Milinda-pañho, 201.]


Footnotes

269:1 See p. 2, and (e.g.) the Sela Sutta (No. 33 of the Sutta Nipāta and No. 92 of the Majjhima Nikāya).

269:2 Apparently the reference is to p. 175.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 123. Naṅgalīsa-Jātaka



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No. 123.

NAṄGALĪSA-JĀTAKA.

"For universal application."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about the Elder Lāḷudāyi who is said to have had a knack of always saying the wrong thing. He never knew the proper occasion for the several teachings. For instance, if it was a festival, he would croak out the gloomy text 1, "Without the walls they lurk, and where four cross-roads meet." If it was a funeral, he would burst out with "Joy filled the hearts of gods and men," or with "Oh may you see 4 a hundred, nay a thousand such glad days!"

Now one day the Brethren in the Hall of Truth commented on his singular infelicity of subject and his knack of always saying the wrong thing. As they sat talking, the Master entered, and, in answer to his question, was told the subject of their talk. "Brethren," said he, "this is not the first time that Lāḷudāyi's folly has made him say the wrong thing. He has always been as inept as now." So saying he told this story of the past.

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p. 272

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born into a rich brahmin's family, and when he grew up, was versed in all knowledge and was a world-renowned professor with five hundred young brahmins to instruct.

At the time of our story there was among the young brahmins one who always had foolish notions in his head and always said the wrong thing; he was engaged with the rest in learning the scriptures as a pupil, but because of his folly could not master them. He was the devoted attendant of the Bodhisatta and ministered to him like a slave.

Now one day after supper the Bodhisatta laid himself on his bed and there was washed and perfumed by the young brahmin on hands, feet and back. And as the youth turned to go away, the Bodhisatta said to him, "Prop up the feet of my bed before you go." And the young brahmin propped up the feet of the bed on one side all right, but could not find anything to prop it up with on the other side. Accordingly he used his leg as a prop and passed the night so. When the Bodhisatta got up in the morning and saw the young brahmin, he asked why he was sitting there. "Master," said the young man, "I could not find one of the bed supports; so I've got my leg under to prop it up instead."

Moved at these words, the Bodhisatta thought, "What devotion! And to think it should come from the veriest dullard of all my pupils. Yet how can I impart learning to him?" And the thought came to him that the best way was to question the young brahmin on his return from gathering firewood and leaves, as to something he had seen or done that day; and then to ask what it was like. 4 "For," thought the master, "this will lead him on to making comparisons and giving reasons, and the continuous practice of comparing and reasoning on his part will enable me to impart learning to him."

Accordingly he sent for the young man and told him always on his return from picking up firewood and leaves to say what he had seen or eaten or drunk. And the young man promised he would. So one day having seen a snake when out with the other pupils picking up wood in the forest, he said, "Master, I saw a snake." "What did it look like?" "Oh, like the shaft of a plough." "That is a very good comparison. Snakes are like the shafts of ploughs," said the Bodhisatta, who began to have hopes that he might at last succeed with his pupil.

Another day the young brahmin saw an elephant in the forest and told his master. "And what is an elephant like?" "Oh, like the shaft of a plough." His master said nothing, for he thought that, as the elephant's trunk and tusks bore a certain resemblance to the shaft of a plough, perhaps his pupil's stupidity made him speak thus generally (though he was thinking of the trunk in particular), because of his inability to go into accurate detail,

p. 273

A third day he was invited to eat sugar-cane, and duly told his master. "And what is a sugar-cane like?" "Oh, like the shaft of a plough." .,That is scarcely a good comparison," thought his master, but said nothing. Another day, again, the pupils were invited to eat molasses with curds and milk, and this too was duly reported. "And what are curds and milk like?" "Oh, like the shaft of a plough." Then the master thought to himself, "This young man was perfectly right in saying a snake was like the shaft of a plough, and was more or less right, though not accurate, in saying an elephant and a sugar-cane had the same similitude. But milk and curds (which are always white in colour) take the shape of whatever vessel they are placed in; 4 and here he missed the comparison entirely. This dullard will never learn." So saying he uttered this stanza:--

For universal application he
Employs a term of limited import.
Plough-shaft and curds to him alike unknown,
--The fool asserts the two things are the same.

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His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "Lāḷudāyi was the dullard of those days, and I the professor of world-wide renown."


Footnotes

271:1 For this quotation see the Khuddaka Pātha edited by Childers (J. R. A. S. 1870, p. 319).


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 124. Amba-Jātaka



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No. 124.

AMBA-JĀTAKA.

"Toil on, my brother."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a good brahmin belonging to a noble Sāvatthi family who gave his heart to the Truth, and, joining the Brotherhood, became constant in all duties. Blameless in his attendance on teachers; scrupulous in the matter of foods and drinks; zealous in the performance of the duties of the chapter-house, bath-house, and so forth; perfectly punctual in the observance of the fourteen major and of the eighty minor disciplines; he used to sweep the monastery, the cells, the cloisters, and the path leading to their monastery, and gave water to thirsty folk. And because of his great goodness folk gave regularly five hundred meals a clay to the Brethren; and great gain and honour accrued to the monastery, the many prospering for the virtues of one. And one day in the Hall of Truth the Brethren fell to talking of how that Brother's goodness had brought them gain and honour, and filled many lives with joy. Entering the Hall, 4 5 the Master asked, and

p. 274

was told, what their talk was about. "This is not the first time, Brethren," said he, "that this Brother has been regular in the fulfilment of duties, In days gone by five hundred hermits going out to gather fruits were supported on the fruits that his goodness provided." So saying, he told this story of the past.

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born a brahmin in the North, and, growing up, gave up the world and dwelt at the head of five hundred hermits at the foot of the mountains. In those days there came a great drought upon the Himalaya country, and everywhere the water was dried up, and sore distress fell upon all beasts. Seeing the poor creatures suffering from thirst, one of the hermits cut down a tree which he hollowed into a trough; and this trough he filled with all the water he could find. In this way he gave the animals to drink. And they came in herds and drank and drank till the hermit had no time left to go and gather fruits for himself. Heedless of his own hunger, he worked away to quench the animals' thirst. Thought they to themselves, "So wrapt up is this hermit in ministering to our wants that he leaves himself no time to go in quest of fruits. He must be very hungry. Let us agree that everyone of us who comes here to drink must bring such fruits as he can to the hermit." This they agreed to do, every animal that came bringing mangoes or jambus or bread-fruits or the like, till their offerings would have filled two hundred and fifty waggons; and there was food for the whole five hundred hermits with abundance to spare. Seeing this, the Bodhisatta exclaimed, "Thus has one main's goodness been the means of supplying with food all these hermits. Truly, we should always be stedfast in right-doing." So saying, he uttered this stanza:--

Toil on, my brother; still in hope stand fast;
  Nor let thy courage flag and tire;
Forget not him, who by his grievous fast 1
  Reaped fruits beyond his heart's desire.

[451] Such was the teaching of the Great Being to the band of hermits.

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His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "This Brother was the good hermit of those days, and I the hermits' master."


Footnotes

274:1 Cf. Vol. iv. 269 (text), and supra page 133.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 125. Kaṭāhaka-Jātaka



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p. 275

No. 125.

KAṬĀHAKA-JĀTAKA.

"If he ’mid strangers."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a boastful Brother. The introductory story about him is like what has been already related 1.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was a rich Treasurer, and his wife bore him a son. And the selfsame day a female slave in his house gave birth to a boy, and the two children grew up together. And when the rich man's son was being taught to write, the young slave used to go with his young master's tablets and so learned at the same time to write himself. Next he learned two or three handicrafts, and grew up to be a fair-spoken and handsome young man; and his name was Kaṭāhaka. Being employed as private secretary, he thought to himself, "I shall not always be kept at this work. The slightest fault and I shall be beaten, imprisoned, branded, and fed on slave's fare. On the border there lives a merchant, a friend of my master's. Why should I not go to him with a letter purporting to come from my master, and, passing myself off as my master's son, marry the merchant's daughter and live happily ever afterwards?

So he wrote a letter, 2 4 5 saying, "The bearer of this is my son. It is meet that our houses should be united in marriage, and I would have you give your daughter to this my son and keep the young couple near you for the present. As soon as I can conveniently do so, I will come to you." This letter he sealed with his master's private seal, and came to the border-merchant's with a well-filled purse, handsome dresses, and perfumes and the like. And with a bow he stood before the merchant. "Where do you come from?" said the merchant. "From Benares." "Who is your father?" "The Treasurer of Benares." "And what brings you here?" "This letter will tell you," said Kaṭāhaka, handing it to him. The merchant read the letter and exclaimed, "This gives me new life." And in his joy he gave his daughter to Kaṭāhaka and set up the young couple, who lived in great style. But Kaṭāhaka gave himself airs, and used to find fault with the victuals and the clothes that were brought him, calling them "provincial." "These misguided provincials," he would say, "have

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no idea of dressing. And as for taste in scents and garlands, they've got none."

Missing his slave, the Bodhisatta said, "I don't see Kaṭāhaka. Where has he gone? Find him." And off went the Bodhisatta's people in quest of him, and searched far and wide till they found him. Then back they came, without Kaṭāhaka recognizing them, and told the Bodhisatta.

"This will never do," said the Bodhisatta on hearing the news. "I will go and bring him back." So he asked the King's permission, and departed with a great following. And the tidings spread everywhere that the Treasurer was on his way to the borders. Hearing the news Kaṭāhaka fell to thinking of his course of action. He knew that he was the sole reason of the Treasurer's coming, and he saw that to run away now was to destroy all chance of returning. So he decided to go to meet the Treasurer, and conciliate him by acting as a slave towards him as in the old days. Acting on this plan, he made a point of proclaiming in 3 4 5 public on all occasions his disapprobation of the lamentable decay of respect towards parents which shewed itself in children's sitting down to meals with their parents, instead of waiting upon them. "When my parents take their meals," said Kaṭāhaka, "I hand the plates and dishes, bring the spittoon, and fetch their fans for them. Such is my invariable practice." And he explained carefully a slave's duty to his master, such as bringing the water . and ministering to him when he retired. And having already schooled folk in general, he had said to his father-in-law shortly before the arrival of the Bodhisatta, "I hear that my father is coming to see you. You had better make ready to entertain him, while I will go and meet him on the road with a present." "Do so, my dear boy," said his father-in-law.

So Kaṭāhaka took a magnificent present and went out with a large retinue to meet the Bodhisatta, to whom he handed the present with a low obeisance. The Bodhisatta took the present in a kindly way, and at breakfast time made his encampment and retired for the purposes of nature. Stopping his retinue, Kaṭāhaka took water and approached the Bodhisatta. Then the young man fell at the Bodhisatta's feet and cried, "Oh, sir, I will pay any sum you may require; but do not expose me."

"Fear no exposure at my hands," said the Bodhisatta, pleased at his dutiful conduct, and entered into the city, where he was fēted with great magnificence. And Kaṭāhaka still acted as his slave.

As the Treasurer sat at his ease, the border-merchant said, "My Lord, upon receipt of your letter I duly gave my daughter in marriage to your son." And the Treasurer made a suitable reply about 'his son' in so kindly a way that the merchant was delighted beyond measure. But from that time forth the Bodhisatta could not bear the sight of Kaṭāhaka.

One day the Great Being sent for the merchant's daughter and said, "My dear, please look my head over." She did so, and he thanked her for

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her much-needed services, 4 5 adding, "And now tell me, my dear, whether my son is a reasonable man in weal and woe, and whether you manage to get on well with him."

"My husband has only one fault. He will find fault with his food."

"He has always had his faults, my dear; but I will tell you how to stop his tongue. I will tell you a text which you must learn carefully and repeat to your husband when he finds fault again with his food." And he taught her the lines and shortly afterwards set out for Benares. Kaṭāhaka accompanied him part of the way, and took his leave after offering most valuable presents to the Treasurer. Dating from the departure of the Bodhisatta, Kaṭāhaka waxed prouder and prouder. One day his wife ordered a nice dinner, and began to help him to it with a spoon, but at the first mouthful Kaṭāhaka began to grumble. Thereon the merchant's daughter remembering her lesson, repeated the following stanza:--

If he ’mid strangers far from home talks big 1,
Back comes his visitor to spoil it all.
--Come, eat your dinner then, Kaṭāhaka 2.

"Dear me," thought Kaṭāhaka, "the Treasurer must have informed her of my name, and have told her the whole story." And from that day forth he gave himself no more airs, but humbly ate what was set before him, and at his death passed away to fare according to his deserts.

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[455] His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "This bumptious Brother was the Kaṭāhaka of those days, and I the Treasurer of Benares."


Footnotes

275:1 No. 80, probably.

277:1 Cf. Upham Mahāv. 3. 301.

277:2 The scholiast explains that the wife had no understanding of the meaning of the verse, but only repeated the words as she was taught them. That is to say, the gāthā was not in the vernacular, but in a learned tongue intelligible to the educated Kaṭāhaka, but not to the woman, who repeated it parrot-fashion.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 126. Asilakkhaṇa-Jātaka



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No. 126.

ASILAKKHAṆA-JĀTAKA.

"Our diverse fates."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a brahmin retained by the King of Kosala because of his power of telling whether swords were lucky or not. We are told that when the king's smiths had forged a sword, this brahmin could by merely smelling it tell whether it was

p. 278

a lucky one or not. And he made it a rule only to commend the work of those smiths who gave him presents, while he rejected the work of those who did not bribe him.

Now a certain smith made a sword and put into the sheath with it some finely-ground pepper, and brought it in this state to the King, who at once handed it over to the brahmin to test. The brahmin unsheathed the blade and sniffed at it. The pepper got up his nose and made him sneeze, and that so violently that he slit his nose on the edge of the sword 1.

This mishap of the brahmin came to the Brethren's ears, and one day they were talking about it in the Hall of Truth when the Master entered. On learning the subject of their talk, he said, "This is not the first time, Brethren, that this brahmin has slit his nose sniffing swords. The same fate befell him in former days." So saying, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, he had in his service a brahmin who professed to tell whether swords were lucky or not, and all came to pass as in the Introductory Story. And the king called in the surgeons and had him fitted with a false tip to his nose which was cunningly painted for all the world like a real nose; and then the brahmin resumed his duties again about the king. Now Brahmadatta had no son, only a daughter and a nephew, whom he had brought up under his own eye. And when these two grew up, they fell in love with one another. So the king sent for his councillors and said to them, "My nephew is heir to the throne. If I give him my daughter to wife, he shall be anointed king."

[456] But, on second thoughts, he decided that as in any case his nephew was like a son, he had better marry him to a foreign princess, and give his daughter to a prince of another royal house. For, he thought, this plan would give him more grandchildren and vest in his line the sceptres of two several kingdoms. And, after consulting with his councillors, he resolved to separate the two, and they were accordingly made to dwell apart from one another. Now they were sixteen years old and very much in love, and the young prince thought of nothing but how to carry off the princess from her father's palace. At last the plan struck him of sending for a wise woman, to whom he gave a pocketful of money.

"And what's this for?" said she.

Then he told her of his passion, and besought the wise woman to convey him to his dear princess.

And she promised him success, and said that she would tell the king that his daughter was under the influence of witchcraft, but that, as the demon had possessed her so long that he was off his guard, she would take

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the princess one day in a carriage to the cemetery with a strong escort under arms, and there in a magic circle lay the princess on a bed with a dead man under it, and with a hundred and eight douches of scented water wash the demon out of her. "And when on this pretext I bring the princess to the cemetery," continued the wise woman, "mind that you just reach the cemetery before us in your carriage with an armed escort, taking some ground pepper with you. Arrived at the cemetery, you will leave your carriage at the entrance, and despatch your men to the cemetery grove, while you will yourself go to the top of the mound and lie down as though dead. Then I will come and set up a bed over you on which I will lay the princess. Then will come the time when you must sniff at the pepper till you sneeze two or three times, and 4 5 when you sneeze we will leave the princess and take to our heels. Thereon you and the princess must bathe all over, and you must take her home with you." "Capital," said the prince; "a most excellent device."

So away went the wise woman to the king, and he fell in with her idea, as did the princess when it was explained to her. When the day came, the old woman told the princess their errand, and said to the guards on the road in order to frighten them, "Listen. Under the bed that I shall set up, there will be a dead man; and that dead man will sneeze. And mark well that, so soon as he has sneezed, he will come out from under the bed and seize on the first person he finds. So be prepared, all of you."

Now the prince had already got to the place and got under the bed as had been arranged.

Next the crone led off the princess and laid her upon the bed, whispering to her not to be afraid. At once the prince sniffed at the pepper and fell a-sneezing. And scarce had he begun to sneeze before the wise woman left the princess and with a loud scream was off, quicker than ally of them. Not a man stood his ground;--one and all they threw away their arms and bolted for dear life. Hereon the prince came forth and bore off the princess to his home, as had been before arranged. And the old woman made her way to the king and told him what had happened.

"Well," thought the king, "I always intended her for him, and they've grown up together like ghee in rice-porridge." So he didn't fly into a passion, but in course of time made his nephew king of the land, with his daughter as queen-consort.

Now the new king kept on in his service the brahmin who professed to tell the temper of swords, and one day as he stood in the sun, the false tip to the brahmin's nose got loose and fell off. And there he stood, hanging his head for very shame. "Never mind, never mind," laughed the king. "Sneezing is good for some, but bad for others. One sneeze

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lost you your nose [458]; whilst I have to thank a sneeze for both my throne and queen." So saying he uttered this stanza:--

Our diverse fates this moral show,
--What brings me weal, may work you woe.

So spake the king, and after a life spent in charity and other good works, he passed away to fare according to his deserts.

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In this wise did the Master teach the lesson that the world was wrong in thinking things were definitely and absolutely good or bad in all cases alike. Lastly, he identified the Birth by saying, "The same man that now professes to understand whether swords are lucky or not, professed the same skill in those days; and I was myself the prince who inherited his uncle's kingdom."


Footnotes

278:1 Cf. Rogers' "Buddhaghosha's Parables," p. 119, where this Introductory Story is given.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 127. Kalaṇḍuka-Jātaka



The Jataka, Volume I, tr. by Robert Chalmers, [1895], at sacred-texts.com


No. 127.

KALAṆḌUKA-JĀTAKA.

"You vaunt."--This story was told by the Master once at Jetavana, about a boastful Brother. (The introductory story and the story of the past in this case are like those of Kaṭāhaka related above 1.)

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Kalaṇḍuka was in this case the name of the slave of the Treasurer of Benares. And when he had run away and was living in luxury with the daughter of the border-merchant, the Treasurer missed him and could not discover his whereabouts. So he sent a young pet parrot to search for the runaway. And off flew the parrot in quest of Kalaṇḍuka, and searched for him far and wide, till at last the bird came to the town where he dwelt. And just at that very time Kalaṇḍuka was enjoying himself on the river with his wife in a boat well-stocked with dainty fare and with flowers and perfumes. Now the nobles of that land at their water-parties make a point of taking milk with a pungent drug to drink, and so escape suffering from cold after their pastime on the water. 4 5 But when our Kalaṇḍuka tasted this milk, he hawked and spat it out; and in so doing spat on the head of the merchant's daughter. At this moment up flew the parrot, and saw all this from the bough of a fig-tree on the bank. "Come, come,

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slave Kalaṇḍuka," cried the bird; "remember who and what you are, and don't spit on the head of this young gentlewoman. Know your place, fellow." So saying, he uttered the following stanza:--

You vaunt your high descent, your high degree,
With lying tongue. Though but a bird, I know
The truth. You'll soon be caught, you runaway.
Scorn not the milk then, slave Kalaṇḍuka.

Recognizing the parrot, Kalaṇḍuka grew afraid of being exposed, and exclaimed, "Ah! good master, when did you arrive?"

Thought the parrot, "It is not friendliness, but a wish to wring my neck, that prompts this kindly interest." So he replied that he did not stand in need of Kalaṇḍuka's services, and flew off to Benares, where he told the Lord Treasurer everything he had seen.

"The rascal!" cried the Treasurer, and ordered Kalaṇḍuka to be hauled back to Benares where he had once more to put up with a slave's fare.

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His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "This Brother was Kalaṇḍuka in the story, and I the Treasurer of Benares."


Footnotes

280:1 No. 125.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 128. Biḷāra-Jātaka



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[460] No. 128.

BIḶĀRA-JĀTAKA.

"Where saintliness."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a hypocrite. When the Brother's hypocrisy was reported to him, the Master said, "This is not the first time he has shewn himself a hypocrite; he was just the sane in times gone by." So saying he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born rat, perfect in wisdom, and as big as a young boar.

He had his dwelling in the forest and many hundreds of other rats owned his sway.

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Now there was a roving jackal who espied this troop of rats and fell to scheming how to beguile and eat them. And he took up his stand near their home with his face to the sun, snuffing up the wind, and standing on one leg. Seeing this when out on his road in quest of food, the Bodhisatta conceived the jackal to be a saintly being, and went up and asked his name.

"'Godly' is my name," said the jackal. "Why do you stand only on one leg?" "Because if I stood on all four at once, the earth could not bear my weight. That is why I stand on one leg only." "And why do you keep your mouth open?" "To take the air. I live on air; it is my only food." "And why do you face the sun?" "To worship him." "What uprightness!" thought the Bodhisatta, and thenceforward he made a point of going, attended by the other rats, to pay his respects morning and evening to the saintly jackal. And when the rats were leaving, the jackal seized and devoured the hindermost one of them, wiped his lips, and looked as though nothing had happened. In consequence of this the rats grew fewer and fewer, till they noticed the gaps in their ranks, and wondering why this was so, asked the Bodhisatta the reason. He could not make it out, but suspecting the jackal, 1 4 6 resolved to put him to the test. So next day he let the other rats go out first and himself brought up the rear. The jackal made a spring on the Bodhisatta who, seeing him coming, faced round and cried, "So this is your saintliness, you hypocrite and rascal!" And he repeated the following stanza:--

Where saintliness is but a cloak
Whereby to cozen guileless folk
And screen a villain's treachery,
--The cat-like nature there we see 1.

So saying, the king of the rats sprang at the jackal's throat and bit his windpipe asunder just under the jaw, so that he died. Back trooped the other rats and gobbled up the body of the jackal with a 'crunch, crunch, crunch';--that is to say, the foremost of them did, for they say there was none left for the last-corners. And ever after the rats lived happily in peace and quiet.

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His lesson ended, the Master made the connection by saying, "This hypocritical Brother was the jackal of those days, and I the king of the rats."


Footnotes

282:1 Though the foregoing prose relates to a jackal, the stanza speaks of a cat, as does the Mahābhārata in its version of this story.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 129. Aggika-Jātaka



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p. 283

No. 129.

AGGIKA-JĀTAKA.

"’Twas greed."..Ṭhis story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about another hypocrite.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was King of the Rats and dwelt in the forest. Now a fire broke out in the forest, and a jackal who could not run away put his head against a tree 2 4 6 and let the flames sweep by him. The fire singed the hair off his body everywhere, and left him perfectly bald, except for a tuft like a scalp-knot 1 where the crown of his head was pressed against the tree. Drinking one day in a rocky pool, he caught sight of this top-knot reflected in the water. "At last I've got wherewithal to go to market," thought he. Coming in the course of his wanderings in the forest to the rats' cave, he said to himself, "I'll hoodwink those rats and devour them;" and with this intent he took up his stand hard by, just as in the foregoing story.

On his way out in quest of food, the Bodhisatta observed the jackal and, crediting the beast with virtue and goodness, came to him and asked what his name was.

"Bhāradvāja 2, Votary of the Fire-God."

"Why have you come here?"

"In order to guard you and yours."

"What will you do to guard us?"

"I know how to count on my fingers, and will count your numbers both morning and evening, so as to be sure that as many came home at night, as went out in the morning. That's how I'll guard you."

"Then stay, uncle, and watch over us."

And accordingly, as the rats were starting in the morning he set about counting them "One, two, three;" and so again when they came back at night. And every time he counted them, he seized and ate the hindmost. Everything came to pass as in the foregoing story, except that here the King of the Rats turned and said to the jackal, "It is not sanctity,

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[paragraph continues] Bhāradvāja, Votary of the Fire-God, but gluttony that has decked your crown with that top-knot." So saying, he uttered this stanza:--

’Twas greed, not virtue, furnished you this crest.
Our dwindling numbers fail to work out right;
We've had enough, Fire-votary, of you.

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His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "This Brother was the jackal of those days, and I the King of the Rats."


Footnotes

283:1 The Buddhist 'Brother' shaves his crown, except for a tuft of hair on the top, which is the analogue of the tonsure of Roman Catholic priests.

283:2 Bhāradvāja was the name of a clan of great Rishis, or religious teachers, to whom the sixth book of the Rigveda is ascribed.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 130. Kosiya-Jātaka



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No. 130.

KOSIYA-JĀTAKA 1.

[463] "You may ail or eat."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a woman of Sāvatthi. She is said to have been the wicked wife of a good and virtuous brahmin, who was a lay-brother. Her nights she spent in gadding about; whilst by day she did not a stroke of work, but made out to be ill and lay abed groaning.

"What is the matter with you, my dear?" said her husband.

"Wind troubles me."

"What can I get for you?"

"Sweets, savouries, rich food, rice-gruel, boiled-rice, oil, and so forth."

The obedient husband did as she wished, and toiled like a slave for her. She meantime kept her bed while her husband was about the house; but no sooner saw the door shut on him, than she was in the arms of her paramours.

"My poor wife doesn't seem to get any better of the wind," thought the brahmin at last, and betook himself with offerings of perfumes, flowers, and the like, to the Master at Jetavana. His obeisance done, he stood before the Blessed One, who asked him why he had been absent so long.

"Sir," said the brahmin, "I'm told my wife is troubled with the wind, and I toil away to keep her supplied with every conceivable dainty. And now she is stout and her complexion quite clear, but the wind is as troublesome as ever. It is through ministering to my wife that I have not had any time to come here, sir."

Said the Master, who knew the wife's wickedness, "Ah! brahmin, the wise and good of days gone by taught you how to physic a woman suffering like your wife from so stubborn an ailment. But re-birth has confused your memory so that you forget." So saying, he told the following story of the past.

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Once upon a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born a brahmin in a very distinguished family. After perfecting

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his education at Takkasilā, he became a teacher of world-wide fame in Benares. To him flocked as pupils the young nobles and brahmins from all the princely and wealthy families. Now a country brahmin, who had learned from the Bodhisatta the three Vedas, and the eighteen Sciences, and who stopped on in Benares to look after his estate, came two or three times every day to listen to the Bodhisatta's teachings. 4 6 And this brahmin had a wife who was a bad, wicked woman. And everything came to pass as above. When the brahmin explained how it was that he could not get away to listen to his master's teachings, the Bodhisatta, who knew that the brahmin's wife was only feigning sickness, thought to himself, "I will tell him what physic will cure the creature." So he said to the brahmin, "Get her no more dainties, my son, but collect the stalings of cows and therein souse five kinds of fruit and so forth, and let the lot pickle in a new copper pot till the whole savours of the metal. Then take a rope or cord or stick and go to your wife, and tell her plainly she must either swallow the safe cure you have brought her, or else work for her food. (And here you will repeat certain lines which I will tell you.) If she refuses the remedy, then threaten to let her have a taste of the rope or stick, and to drag her about for a time by the hair, while you pummel her with your fists. You will find that at the mere threat she will be up and about her work."

So off went the brahmin and brought his wife a mess prepared as the Bodhisatta had directed.

"Who prescribed this?" said she.

"The master," said her husband.

"Take it away, I won't have it."

"So you won't have it, eh?" said the young brahmin, taking up the rope-end; "well then, you've either got to swallow down that safe cure or else to work for honest fare." So saying he uttered this stanza:--

You may ail or eat; which shall it be?
For you can't do both, my Kosiyā.

[465] Terrified by this, the woman Kosiyā realised from the moment the master interfered how impossible it was to deceive him, and, getting up, went about her work. And the consciousness that the master knew her wickedness made her repent, and become as good as she had formerly been wicked.

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(So ended the story, and the brahmin's wife, feeling that the All-enlightened Buddha knew what she was, stood in such awe of him that she sinned no more.)

His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "The husband and wife of today were the husband and wife of the story, and I was the master."


Footnotes

284:1 See also No. 226.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 131. Asampadāna-Jātaka



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p. 286

No. 131.

ASAMPADĀNA-JĀTAKA.

"If a friend."--This story was told by the Master while at the Bamboo-grove, about Devadatta. For at that time the Brethren were discussing in the Hall of Truth the ingratitude of Devadatta and his inability to recognise the Master's goodness, when the Master himself entered and on enquiry was told the subject of their talk. "Brethren," said he, "this is not the first time that Devadatta has been ungrateful; he was just as ungrateful in bygone days." So saying, he told this story of the past.

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[466] Once on a time, when a certain king of Magadha was reigning in Rājagaha, the Bodhisatta was his Treasurer, worth eighty crores, and known as the 'Millionaire.' In Benares there dwelt a Treasurer also worth eighty crores, who was named Piliya, and was a great friend of the Millionaire. For some reason or other Piliya of Benares got into difficulties, and lost all his property, and was reduced to beggary. In his need he left Benares, and with his wife journeyed on foot to Rājagaha, to see the Millionaire, the last hope left him. And the Millionaire embraced his friend and treated him as an honoured guest, asking, in due course, the reason of the visit. "I am a ruined man," answered Piliya, "I have lost everything, and have come to ask you to help me."

"With all my heart! Have no fear on that score," said the Millionaire. He had his strong-room opened, and gave to Piliya forty crones. Also he divided into two equal parts the whole of his property, live stock and all, and bestowed on Piliya the just half of his entire fortune. Taking his wealth, Piliya went back to Benares, and there dwelt.

Not long after a like calamity overtook the Millionaire, who, in his turn, lost every penny he had. Casting about whither to turn in the hour of need, he bethought him how he had befriended Piliya to the half of his possessions, and might go to him for assistance without fear of being thrown over. So he set out from Rājagaha with his wife, and came to Benares. At the entrance to the city he said to her, "Wife, it is not befitting for you to trudge along the streets with me. Wait here a little till I send a carriage with a servant to bring you into the city in proper state." So saying, he left her under shelter, and went on alone into the town, till he came to Piliya's house, where he bade himself be announced as the Millionaire from Rājagaha, come to see his friend.

"Well, show him in," said Piliya; but at sight of the other's condition he neither rose to meet him, nor greeted him with words of welcome, but only demanded what brought him here.

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"To see you," was the reply.

[467] "Where are you stopping?"

"Nowhere, as yet. I left my wife under shelter and came straight to you."

"There's no room here for you. Take a dole of rice, find somewhere to cook and eat it, and then begone and never come to visit me again." So saying, the rich man despatched a servant with orders to give his unfortunate friend half-a-quartern of pollard to carry away tied up in the corner of his cloth;--and this, though that very day he had had a thousand waggon-loads of the best rice threshed out and stored up in his overflowing granaries. Yes, the rascal, who had coolly taken four hundred millions, now doled out half-a-quartern of pollard to his benefactor! Accordingly, the servant measured out the pollard in a basket, and brought it to the Bodhisatta, who argued within himself whether or no he should take it. And he thought, "This ingrate breaks off our friendship because I am a ruined man. Now, if I refuse his paltry gift, I shall be as bad as he. For the ignoble, who scorn a modest gift, outrage the first idea of friendship. Be it, therefore, mine to fulfil friendship so far as in me lies, by taking his gift of pollard." So he tied up the pollard in the corner of his cloth, and made his way back to where he had housed his wife.

"What have you got, dear?" said she.

"Our friend Piliya gives us this pollard, and washes his hands of us."

"Oh, why did you take it? Is this a fit return for the forty crores?"

"Don't cry, dear wife," said the Bodhisatta. "I took it simply because I wanted not to violate the principle of friendship. Why these tears?" So saying, he uttered this stanza:--

If a friend plays the niggard's part,
A simpleton is cut to th’ heart;
4 6 His dole of pollard I will take,
And not for this our friendship break.

But still the wife kept on crying.

Now, at that moment a farm-servant whom the Millionaire had given to Piliya was passing by and drew near on hearing the weeping of his former mistress. Recognising his master and mistress, he fell at their feet, and with tears and sobs asked the reason of their coming. And the Bodhisatta told him their story.

"Keep up your spirits," said the man, cheerily; and, taking them to his own dwelling, there made ready perfumed baths, and a meal for them. Then he let the other slaves know that their old master and mistress had come, and after a few days marched them in a body to the King's palace, where they made quite a commotion.

The King asked what the matter was, and they told him the whole

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story. So he sent forthwith for the two, and asked the Millionaire whether the report was true that he had given four hundred millions to Piliya.

"Sir," said he, "when in his need nay friend confided in me, and came to seek my aid, I gave him the half, not only of my money, but of my live stock and of everything that I possessed."

"Is this so?" said the king to Piliya.

"Yes, sire," said he.

"And when, in his turn, your benefactor confided in you and sought you out, did you show him honour and hospitality?"

Here Piliya was silent.

"Did you have a half-quartern of pollard doled out into the corner of his cloth?"

[469] Still Piliya was silent.

Then the king took counsel with his ministers as to what should be done, and finally, as a judgment on Piliya, ordered them to go to Piliya's house and give the whole of Piliya's wealth to the Millionaire.

"Nay, sire," said the Bodhisatta; "I need not what is another's. Let me be given nothing beyond what I formerly gave him."

Then the king ordered that the Bodhisatta should enjoy his own again; and the Bodhisatta, with a large retinue of servants, came back with his regained wealth to Rājagaha, where he put his affairs in order, and after a life spent in charity and other good works, passed away to fare according to his deserts.

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His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "Devadatta was the Treasurer Piliya of those days, and I myself the Millionaire."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 132. Pañcagaru-Jātaka



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No. 132.

PAÑCAGARU-JĀTAKA.

"Wise counsels heeding."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana about the Sutta concerning the Temptation by the Daughters of Māra 1 at the Goat-herds' Banyan-tree. The Master quoted the Sutta, beginning with its opening words:--

In all their dazzling beauty on they came,
--Craving and Hate and Lust. Like cotton-down
Before the wind, the Master made them fly.

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After he had recited the Sutta right through to the end, the Brethren met together in the Hall of Truth and spoke of how the Daughters of Māra drew near in all their myriad charms yet failed to seduce the All-Enlightened One. For he did not as much as open his eyes to look upon them, so marvellous was he! Entering the hall, the Master asked, and was told, what they were discussing. "Brethren," said he, "it is no marvel that I did not so much as look upon the Daughters of Māra in this life when I have put sin from me and have won enlightenment. In former days when I was but in quest of Wisdom, when sin still dwelt within me, I found strength not to gaze even upon loveliness divine by way of lust in violation of virtue; and by that continence I won a kingdom." So saying, he told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was the youngest of a hundred brothers, and his adventures are to be detailed here, as above 4 in the Takkasilā-Jātaka 1. When the kingdom had been offered to the Bodhisatta by the people, and when he had accepted it and been anointed king, the people decorated the town like a city of the gods and the royal palace like the palace of Indra. Entering the city the Bodhisatta passed into the spacious hall of the palace and there seated himself in all his godlike beauty on his jewelled throne beneath the white umbrella of his Kingship. Round him in glittering splendour stood his ministers and brahmins and nobles, whilst sixteen thousand nautch girls, fair as the nymphs of heaven, sang and danced and made music, till the palace was loud with sounds like the ocean when the storm bursts in thunder on its waters 2. Gazing round on the pomp of his royal state, the Bodhisatta thought how, had he looked upon the charms of the ogresses, he would have perished miserably, nor ever have lived to see his present magnificence, which he owed to his following the counsels of the Pacceka Buddhas. And as these thoughts filled his heart, his emotion found vent in these verses:--

Wise counsels heeding, firm in my resolve,
With dauntless heart still holding on my course,
I shunned the Sirens' dwellings and their snares,
And found a great salvation in my need.

[471] So ended the lesson which these verses taught. And the Great Being ruled his kingdom in righteousness, and abounded in charity and other good works till in the end he passed away to fare according to his deserts.

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His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "I was the prince of those days who went to Takkasilā and won a kingdom."


Footnotes

288:1 See pp. 78 and 79 of Volume I. of the text for the temptation. I have not been able to trace the Palobhana Sutta referred to.

289:1 Apparently the reference is to No. 96. For a like confusion of title see note 1, p. 112.

289:2 Or is the meaning 'like the vault of heaven filled with thunder-clouds'? Cf. arṇava in the Rigveda.


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 133. Ghatāsana-Jātaka



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p. 290

No. 133.

GHATĀSANA-JĀTAKA.

"Lo! in your stronghold."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about a certain Brother who was given by the Master a subject for meditation, and, going to the borders, took up his abode in the forest near a hamlet. Here he hoped to pass the rainy season, but during the very first month his hut was burnt down whilst he was in the village seeking alms. Feeling the loss of its sheltering roof, he told his lay friends of his misfortune, and they readily undertook to build him another hut. But, in spite of their protestations, three months slipped away without its being rebuilt. Having no roof to shelter him, the Brother had no success in his meditation. Not even the dawn of the Light had been vouchsafed to him when at the close of the rainy season he went back to Jetavana and stood respectfully before the Master. In the course of talk the Master asked whether the Brother's meditation had been successful. Then that Brother related from the beginning the good and ill that had befallen him. Said the Master, "In days gone by, even brute beasts could discern between what was good and what bad for them and so quitted betimes, ere they proved dangerous, the habitations that had sheltered them in happier days. And if beasts were so discerning, how could you fall so far short of them in wisdom?" So saying, at that Brother's request, the Master told this story of the past.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born a bird. When he came to years of discretion, good fortune attended him and he became king of the birds, taking up his abode with his subjects in a giant tree which stretched its leafy branches over the waters of a lake. And all these birds, 2 4 roosting in the boughs, dropped their dung into the waters below. Now that lake was the abode of Caṇḍa, the Naga King, who was enraged by this fouling of his water and resolved to take vengeance on the birds and burn them out. So one night when they were all roosting along the branches, he set to work, and first he made the waters of the lake to boil, then he caused smoke to arise, and thirdly he made flames dart up as high as a palm-tree.

Seeing the flames shooting up from the water, the Bodhisatta cried to the birds, "Water is used to quench fire; but here is the water itself on fire. This is no place for us; let us seek a home elsewhere." So saying, he uttered this stanza:--

Lo! in your stronghold stands the foe,
  And fire doth water burn;
So from your tree make haste to go,
  Let trust to trembling turn.

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And hereupon the Bodhisatta flew off with such of the birds as followed his advice; but the disobedient birds, who stopped behind, all perished.

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His lesson ended, the Master preached the Four Truths (at the close whereof that Brother won Arahatship) and identified the Birth by saying, "The loyal and obedient birds of those days are now become my disciples, and I myself was then the king of the birds."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 134. Jhānasodhana-Jātaka.



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No. 134.

[473] JHĀNASODHANA-JĀTAKA.

"With conscious."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about the interpretation by Sāriputta, Captain of the Faith, at the gate of Saṁkassa town, of a problem tersely propounded by the Master. And the following was the story of the past he then told.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares,...&c.... the Bodhisatta, as he expired in his forest-home, exclaimed, "Neither conscious nor unconscious." And the recluses did not believe the interpretation which the Bodhisatta's chief disciple gave of the Master's words. Back came the Bodhisatta from the Radiant Realm, and from mid-air recited this stanza:--

With conscious, with unconscious, too,
Dwells sorrow. Either ill eschew.
Pure bliss, from all corruption free,
Springs but from Insight's ecstasy.

His lesson ended, the Bodhisatta praised his disciple and went back to the Brahma Realm. Then the rest of the recluses believed the chief disciple.

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His lesson taught, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "In those days Sāriputta was the chief disciple, and I Mahā-Brahma."


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 135. Candābha-Jātaka



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p. 292

No. 135.

[474] CANDĀBHA-JĀTAKA.

"Who sagely meditates."--This story too was told by the Master while at Jetavana about the interpretation of a problem by the Elder Sāriputta at the gate of Saṁkassa.

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Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta, as he expired in his forest-home, answered his disciples' enquiries with the words--"Moonlight and Sunlight." With these words he died and passed to the Radiant Realm.

Now when the chief disciple interpreted the Master's words his fellows did not believe him. Then back came the Bodhisatta and from mid-air recited this stanza:--

Who sagely meditates on sun and moon,
Shall win (when Reason unto Ecstasy
Gives place) his after-lot in Radiant Realms 1.

Such was the Bodhisatta's teaching, and, first praising his disciple, he went his way back to the Brahma Realm.

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His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "Sāriputta was the chief disciple of those days, and I Mahā-Brahmā."


Footnotes

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


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 136. Suvaṇṇahaṁsa-Jātaka



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No. 136.

SUVAṆṆAHAṀSA-JĀTAKA.

"Contented be."--This story was told by the Master about a Sister named Fat Nandā.

A lay-brother at Sāvatthi had offered the Sisterhood a supply of garlic, and, sending for his bailiff; had given orders that, if they should come, each Sister was to receive two or three handfuls. After that they made a practice 4 5 of coming

p. 293

to his house or field for their garlic. Now one holiday the supply of garlic in the house ran out, and the Sister Fat Nandā, coming with others to the house, was told, when she said she wanted some garlic, that there was none left in the house, it had all been used up out of hand, and that she must go to the field for it. So away to the field she went and carried off an excessive amount of garlic. The bailiff grew angry and remarked what a greedy lot these Sisters were! This piqued the more moderate Sisters; and the Brethren too were piqued at the taunt when the Sisters repeated it to them, and they told the Blessed One. Rebuking the greed of Fat Nandā, the Master said, "Brethren, a greedy person is harsh and unkind even to the mother who bore him; a greedy person cannot convert the unconverted, or make the converted grow in grace, or cause alms to come in, or save them when come in; whereas the moderate person can do all these things." In such wise did the Master point the moral, ending by saying, "Brethren, as Fat Nandā is greedy now, so she was greedy in times gone by." And thereupon he told the following story of the past.

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Once upon a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born a Brahmin, and growing up was married to a bride of his own rank, who bore him three daughters named Nandā, Nanda-vatī and Sundari-nandā. The Bodhisatta dying, they were taken in by neighbours and friends, whilst he was born again into the world as a golden mallard endowed with consciousness of its former existences. Growing up, the bird viewed its own magnificent size and golden plumage, and remembered that previously it had been a human being. Discovering that his wife and daughters were living on the charity of others, the mallard bethought him of his plumage like hammered and beaten gold and how by giving them a golden feather at a time he could enable his wife and daughters to live in comfort. So away he flew to where they dwelt and alighted on the top of the central beam of the roof. Seeing the Bodhisatta, 4 6 the wife and girls asked where he had come from; and he told them that he was their father who had died and been born a golden mallard, and that he had come to visit them and put an end to their miserable necessity of working for hire. "You shall have my feathers," said he, "one by one, and they will sell for enough to keep you all in ease and comfort." So saying, he gave them one of his feathers and departed. And from time to time he returned to give them another feather, and with the proceeds of their sale these brahmin-women grew prosperous and quite well-to-do. But one day the mother said to her daughters, "There's no trusting animals, my children. Who's to say your father might not go away one of these days and never come back again? Let us use our time and pluck him clean next time he comes, so as to make sure of all his feathers." Thinking this would pain him, the daughters refused. The mother in her greed called the golden mallard to her one day when he came, and then took him with both hands and plucked him. Now the Bodhisatta's feathers had this property that if

p. 294

they were plucked out against his wish, they ceased to be golden and became like a crane's feathers. And now the poor bird, though he stretched his wings, could not fly, and the woman flung him into a barrel and gave him food there. As time went on his feathers grew again (though they were plain white ones now), and he flew away to his own abode and never came back again.

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At the close of this story the Master said, "Thus you see, Brethren, how Fat Nandā was as greedy in times past as she is now. And her greed then lost her the gold in the same way as her greed now will lose her the garlic. Observe, moreover, how her greed has deprived the whole Sisterhood of their supply of garlic, and learn therefrom to be moderate in your desires and to be content with what is given you, however small that may be." So saying, he uttered this stanza:--

Contented be, nor itch for further store.
They seized the swan--but had its gold no more.

So saying, the Master soundly rebuked the erring Sister and laid down the precept that any Sister who should eat garlic would have to do penance. Then, 4 making the connexion, he said, "Fat Nandā was the brahmin's wife of the story, her three sisters were the brahmin's three daughters, and I myself the golden mallard."

[Note. The story occurs at pp. 258-9 of Vol. IV. of the Vinaya. Cf. La poule aux œufs d’or in La Fontaine (v. 13) &c.]


The Jataka, Volume I: Book I.--Ekanipāta: No. 137. Babbu-Jātaka



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No. 137.

BABBU-JĀTAKA.

"Give food to one cat."--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana, about the precept respecting Kāṇā's mother. She was a lay-sister at Sāvatthi known only as Kāṇā's mother, who had entered the Paths of Salvation and was of the Elect. Her daughter Kāṇā 1 was married to a husband of the same caste in another village, and some errand or other made her go to see her mother. A few days went by, and her husband sent a messenger to say he wished her to come back. The girl asked her mother whether she should go, and the mother said she could not go back empty-handed after so long an absence, and set about making a cake. Just then up came a Brother going his round for alms, and the mother sat him down to the cake she had just baked. Away he went

p. 295

and told another Brother, who came up just in time to get the second cake that was baked for the daughter to take home with her. He told a third, and the third told a fourth, and so each fresh cake was taken by a fresh comer. The result of this was that the daughter did not start on her way home, and the husband sent a second and a third messenger after her. And the message he sent by the third was that if his wife did not come back, he should get another wife. And each message had exactly the same result. So the husband took another wife, and at the news his former wife fell a-weeping. Knowing all this, the Master put on his robes early in the morning and went with his alms-bowl to the house of Kāṇā's moth