The Kalinga-Bodhi Jataka
- First Gallery Balustrade (IBa 143 - 147)
Kalinga-bharadvaja told his king, the ascetic's son,
As he rolled the wheel of empire, guiding him, obeisance done:
This the place the poets sing of; here, 0 mighty king, alight!
Here attained to perfect wisdom perfect Buddhas, shining bright.
In the world, tradition has it, this one spot is hallowed ground,
Where in attitude of reverence herbs and creepers stand around.
Come, descend and do obeisance; since as far as the ocean bound
In the fertile earth all-fostering this one spot is hallowed ground."
This story the
Master told while dwelling at Jetavana about worship of the bo-tree
performed by Elder Ananda.
When the Tathagata had set forth on pilgrimage, for the purpose of
gathering in those who were ripe for conversion, the citizens of
Savatthi proceeded to Jetavana, their hands full of garlands and
fragrant wreaths, and finding no other place to show their reverence,
laid them by the gateway of the perfumed chamber and went off. This
caused great rejoicing. But Anathapindika got to hear of it; and on the
return of the Tathagata visited Elder Ananda and said to him, "This
monastery, Sir, is left unprovided while the Tathagata goes on
pilgrimage, and there is no place for the people to do reverence by
offering fragrant wreaths and garlands. Will you be so kind. Sir, as to
tell the Tathagata of this matter, and learn from him whether or no it
is possible to find a place for this purpose."
The other, nothing loath, did so, asking, "How many shrines are there?"
"Which are they ?"
"Shrines for a relic of the body, a relic of use or wear, a relic of
"Can a shrine be made, Sir, during your life?"
not a body-shrine; that kind is made when a Buddha enters Nirvana. A
shrine of memorial is improper because the connection depends on the
imagination only. But the great bo-tree used by the Buddhas is fit for
a shrine, be they alive or be they dead."
"Sir, while you are away on pilgrimage the great monastery of Jetavana
is unprotected, and the people have no place where they can show their
reverence. Shall I plant a seed of the great bo-tree before the gateway
"By all means so do, Ananda, and that shall be as it were an abiding
place for me."
The Elder told this to Anathapindika, and Visakha, and the king. Then
at the gateway of Jetavana he cleared out a pit for the bo to stand in,
and said to the chief Elder, Moggallana, "I want to plant a bo-tree in
front of Jetavana. Will you get me a fruit of the great bo-tree?"
The Elder, well willing, passed through the air to the platform under
the bo-tree. He placed in his robe a fruit that was dropping from its
stalk but had not reached the ground, brought it back, and delivered it
to Ananda. The Elder informed the King of Kosala that he was to plant
the bo-tree that day. So in the evening time came the King with a great
concourse, bringing all things necessary; then came also Anathapindika
and Visakha and a crowd of the faithful besides.
In the place where the bo-tree was to be planted the Elder had placed a
golden jar, and in the bottom of it was a hole; all was filled with
earth moistened with fragrant water. He said, "0 king, plant this seed
of the bo-tree," giving it to the king.
But the king, thinking that his kingdom was not to be in his hands for
ever, and that Anathapindika ought to plant it, passed the seed to
Anathapindika, the great merchant. Then Anathapindika stirred up the
fragrant soil and dropped it in. The instant it dropped from his hand,
before the very eyes of all, up sprang as broad as a plough-head a
bo-sapling, fifty cubits tall; on the four sides and upwards shot forth
five great branches of fifty cubits in length, like the trunk. So stood
the tree, a very lord of the forest already; a mighty miracle! The king
poured round the tree jars of gold and of silver, in number eight
hundred, filled with scented water, beauteous with a great quantity of
blue water-lilies. Aye, and caused to be set there a long line of
vessels all full, and a seat he had made of the seven precious things,
golden dust he had sprinkled about it, a wall was built round the
precincts, he erected a gate chamber of the seven precious things.
Great was the honor paid to it.
The Elder approaching the Tathagata, said to him, "Sir, for the
people's good, accomplish under the bo-tree which I have planted that
height of Attainment to which you attained under the great bo-tree."
"What is this you say, Ananda!" replied he. "There is no other place
can support me, if I sit there and attain to that which I attained in
the enclosure of the great bo-tree."
"Sir," said Ananda, "I pray you for the good of the people, to use this
tree for the rapture of Attainment, in so far as this spot of ground
can support the weight."
The Master used it during one night for the rapture of Attainment.
The Elder informed the king, and all the rest, and called it by the
name of the Bo Festival. And this tree, having been planted by Ananda,
was known by the name of Ananda's Bo-Tree.
At that time they began to talk of it in the Hall of Truth. "Brother,
while yet the Tathagata lived, the venerable Ananda caused a bo-tree to
be planted, and great reverence to be paid to it. Oh, how great is the
The Master entering asked what they were talking of. They told him. He
said, "This is not the first time, Brethren, that Ananda led captive
mankind in the four great continents, with all the surrounding throngs,
and caused a vast quantity of scented wreaths to be brought, and made a
bo-festival in the precinct of the great bo-tree."
So saying, he told a story of the past.
Once upon a time, in the kingdom of Kalinga, and in the city of
Dantapura, reigned a king named Kalinga. He had two sons, named
Maha-Kalinga and Culla-Kalinga, Kalinga the Greater and the Less.
fortune-tellers had foretold that the eldest son would reign after his
father's death; but that the youngest would live as an ascetic, and
live by alms, yet his son would be an universal monarch.
Time passed by, and on his father's death the eldest son became king,
the youngest viceroy. The youngest, ever thinking that a son born of
him was to be an universal monarch, grew arrogant on that account. This
the king could not brook, so sent a messenger to arrest Kalinga the
The man came and said, "Prince, the king wishes to have you arrested,
so save your life."
The prince showed the courtier charged with this mission his own signet
ring, a fine rug, and his sword: these three. Then he said, "By these
tokens you shall know my son, and make him king."
With these words, he sped away into the forest. There he built himself
a hut in a pleasant place, and lived as an ascetic upon the bank of a
Now in the kingdom of Madda, and in the city of Sagala, a daughter was
born to the King of Madda. Of the girl, as of the prince,
fortune-tellers foretold that she should live as an ascetic, but her
son was to be an universal monarch. The Kings of India, hearing this
rumor, came together with one accord, and surrounded the city. The king
thought to himself, "Now, if I give my daughter to one, all the other
kings will be enraged. I will try to save her."
So with wife and daughter he fled disguised away into the forest; and
after building himself a hut some distance from the river, above the
hut of Prince Kalinga, he lived there as an ascetic, eating what he
could pick up.
The parents, wishing to save their daughter, left her behind in the
hut, and went out to gather wild fruits. While they were gone she
gathered flowers of all kinds, and made them into a flower-wreath. Now
on the bank of the Ganges there is a mango tree with beautiful flowers,
which forms a kind of natural ladder. Upon this she climbed, and
playing managed to drop the wreath of flowers into the water.
One day, as Prince Kalinga was coming out of the river after a bath,
this flower-wreath caught in his hair.
He looked at it, and said, "Some woman made this, and no full-grown
woman but a tender young girl. I must make search for her."
So deeply in love he journeyed up the Ganges, until he heard her
singing in a sweet voice, as she sat in the mango tree. He approached
the foot of the tree, and seeing her, said, "What are you, fair lady?"
"I am human, Sir," she replied.
"Come down, then," quoth he.
"Sir, I cannot; I am of the warrior caste."
"So am I also, lady: come down!"
"No, no, Sir, that I cannot do. Saying will not make a warrior; if you
are so, tell me the secrets of that mystery."
Then they repeated to each other these guild secrets. And the princess
came down, and they had connection one with the other.
When her parents returned she told them about this son of the King of
Kalinga, and how he came into the forest, in all detail. They consented
to give her to him. While they lived together in happy union, the
princess conceived, and after ten months brought forth a son with the
signs of good luck and virtue; and they named him Kalinga. He grew up,
and learned all arts and accomplishments from his father and
At length his father knew from the conjunctions of the stars that his
brother was dead. So he called his son, and said, "My son, you must not
spend your life in the forest. Your father's brother, Kalinga the
Greater, is dead; you must go to Dantapura, and receive your hereditary
Then he gave him the things he had brought away with him--signet, rug,
and sword--saying, "My son, in the city of Dantapura, in such a street,
lives a courtier who is my very good servant. Descend into his house
and enter his bedchamber, and show him these three things and tell him
you are my son. He will place you upon the throne."
The lad bade farewell to his parents and grandparents; and by power of
his own virtue he passed through the air, and descending into the house
of that courtier entered his bedchamber.
"Who are you?" asked the other. "The son of Kalinga the Less," said he,
disclosing the three tokens. The courtier told it to the palace, and
all those of the court decorated the city and spread the umbrella of
royalty over his head. Then the chaplain, who was named
Kalinga-bharadvaja, taught him the ten ceremonies which an universal
monarch has to perform, and he fulfilled those duties. Then on the
fifteenth day, the fast-day, came to him from Cakkadaha the precious
Wheel of Empire, from the Uposatha stock the precious Elephant, from
the royal Valaha breed the precious Horse, from Vepulla the precious
Jewel; and the precious wife, retinue, and prince made their
appearance. Then he achieved sovereignty in the whole terrestrial
One day, surrounded by a company which covered six-and-thirty
leagues, and mounted upon an elephant all white, tall as a peak of
Mount Kelasa, in great pomp and splendor he went to visit his parents.
But beyond the circuit around the great bo-tree, the throne of victory
of all the Buddhas, which has become the very navel of the earth,
beyond this the elephant was unable to pass again and again the king
urged him on, but pass he could not.
Explaining this, the Master recited the first stanza;
"King Kalinga, lord supreme,
Ruled the earth by law and right,
To the bo-tree once he came
On an elephant of might."
Hereupon the king's chaplain, who was traveling with the king.
thought to himself, "In the air is no hindrance; why cannot the king
make his elephant go on? I will go, and see."
Then descending from the air, be beheld the throne of victory of all
the Buddhas, the navel of the earth, that circuit around the great
bo-tree. At that time, it is said, for the space of a royal karisa was
never a blade of grass, not so big as a hare's whisker; it seemed as it
were a smooth-spread sand, bright like a silver plate; but on all sides
were grass, creepers, mighty trees like the lords of the forest, as
though standing in reverent wise all about with their faces turned
towards the throne of the bo-tree. When the Brahmin beheld this spot of
he, "is the place where all the Buddhas have crushed all the desires of
the flesh; and beyond this none can pass, no not if he were Sakka
himself." Then approaching the king, he told him the quality of the
bo-tree circuit, and bade him descend.
"All the elephants thou ownest thorobred by dam and sire,
Hither drive them, they will surely come thus far, but come no higher.
He is thorobred you ride on; drive the creature as you will,
He can go not one step further; here the elephant stands still.
Spoke the soothsayer, heard Kalinga; then the King to him, quoth he,
"Driving deep the goad into him. Be this truth, we soon shall see.
Pierced, the creature trumpets loudly, shrill as any heron cries,
Moved, then fell upon his haunches neath the weight,
and could not rise."
Pierced and pierced again by the king, this elephant could not
endure the pain, and so died; but the king knew not he was dead, and
sat there still on his back. Then Kalinga-bharadvaja said, "0 great
king I your elephant is dead; pass on to another."
To explain this matter, the Master recited the tenth stanza:
"When Kalinga-bharadvajaa saw the elephant was dead,
He in fear and trepidation then to king Kalinga said:
Seek another, mighty monarch: this thy elephant is dead."
By the virtue and magical power of the king, another beast of
the Uposatha breed appeared and offered his back. The king sat on his
back. At that moment the dead elephant fell upon the earth.
By way of explaining this the Master recited the following stanzas:
"This Kalinga-bharadvaja told his king, the ascetic's son,
As he rolled the wheel of empire, guiding him, obeisance done:
This the place the poets sing of; here, 0 mighty king, alight!
Here attained to perfect wisdom perfect Buddhas, shining bright.
In the world, tradition has it, this one spot is hallowed ground,
Where in attitude of reverence herbs and creepers stand around.
Come, descend and do obeisance; since as far as the ocean bound
In the fertile earth all-fostering this one spot is hallowed ground.
To explain this matter, the Master repeated another stanza:
"This heard, Kalinga in dismay
Mounted another, and straightway
Upon the earth the corpse sank down,
And the soothsayer's word for very truth was shown."
Thereupon the king came down from the air, and beholding the precinct
of the bo-tree, and the miracle that was done, he praised Bharadvaja,
"To Kalinga-bharadvaja king Kalinga thus did say:
'All thou knowest and understandest and thou seest all always."
Now the Brahmin would not accept this praise; but standing in his own
humble place, he extolled the Buddhas, and praised them.
To explain this, the Master repeated these stanzas:
"But the Brahmin straight denied it, and thus spoke unto the king:
'I know sooth
of marks and tokens: but the Buddhas, everything.
Though all-knowing and all-seeing, yet in marks they have no skill.
They know all, but know by insight; I a man of books am still.'"
The king, hearing the virtues of the Buddhas, was delighted in heart;
and he caused all the dwellers in the world to bring fragrant wreaths
in plenty, and for seven days he made them do worship at the circuit of
the Great Bo-tree.
By way of explanation, the Master recited a couple of stanzas:
"Thus worshipped he the great bo-tree with much melodious sound
Of music, and with fragrant wreaths: a wall he set around,
and after that the king went on his way.
Brought flowers in sixty thousand carts an offering to be;
Thus king Kalinga worshipped the Circuit of the Tree."
Having in this manner done worship to the Great Bo-tree, he visited his
parents, and took them back with him again to Dantapura; where he gave
alms and did good deeds, until he was born again in the Heaven of the
The Master, having finished this discourse, said: "It is not now the
first time, Brethren, that Ananda did worship the bo-tree, but
aforetime also;" and then he identified the Birth:
"At that time Ananda was Kalinga, and I myself was Kalinga-bharadvaja."
No. 497. The Matanga Jataka - First Gallery Balustrade (IBa
148 - 158)
story about the hereditary king Udena was told by the Master while
dwelling in the Jetavana. At that time, the reverend Pindola-bharadvaja
passing from Jetavana through the air, used generally to pass the heat
of the day in king Udena's park at Kosambl. The Elder, we are told, had
in a former existence been king, and for a long time had enjoyed glory
in that very park with his retinue. By virtue of the good then by him
performed, he used to sit there in the heat of the day, enjoying the
bliss of Attainment which was its fruit.
One day he was in that place, and sitting under a sal-tree in full
flower, when Udena came into the park with a large number of followers.
For seven days he had been drinking deep, and he wished to take his
pleasure in the park. He lay down on the royal seat in the arms of one
of his women, and being foxed soon fell asleep. Then the women who sat
singing around threw down their instruments of music, and wandered
about the pleasance gathering flowers and fruit. By and by they saw the
Elder, and came up, and saluting him sat down.
The Elder sat where he was and discoursed to them. The other woman by
shifting her arms awoke the king, who said, "Where are those drabs
She replied, "They are sitting in a ring round an ascetic."
The king grew angry, and went to the Elder, abusing and reviling: "Out
on it, I'll have the fellow devoured by red ants!"
So in rage he caused a basket full of red ants to be broken over the
Elder's body. But the Elder rose up in the air, and admonished the
king; then to Jetavana he went, and alighted at the gateway of the
"Whence have you come?" asked the Tathagata: and he told him the fact.
said the Buddha, "this is not the first time Udena has done despite to
a religious man, but he did the same before." Then at the Elder's
request, he told a story of the past.
Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta was king of Benares, the
Great Being was born outside the city, as a Candala's son, and they
gave him the name of Matanga, the Elephant. Afterwards he attained
wisdom, and his fame was blown abroad as the Wise Matanga. Now at that
time one Dittha-mangalika, daughter of a Benares merchant, every month
or two used to come and disport herself in the park with a crowd of
companions. One day, the Great Being had gone to town on some business,
and as he was entering the gate met Dittha-mangalika. He stepped aside,
and stood quite still.
From behind her curtain Dittha-mangalika spied him, and asked, "Who is
"A Candala, my lady."
"Bah," says she, "I have seen something that brings bad luck," and
washing her eyes with scented water she turned back.
The people with her cried out, "Ah, vile outcast, you have lost us free
food and liquor today!"
In rage they pummeled Matanga the wise with hands and feet, and made
him senseless, and went away.
After a while he recovered consciousness, and thought, "The crowd
around Dittha-mangalika beat me for no reason, an innocent man. I will
not budge till I get her, not a moment before."
With this resolve, he went and lay down at the door of her father's
house. When they asked him why he lay there, his reply was, "All I want
One day passed, then a second, a third, fourth, fifth, and sixth. The
resolve of the Buddhas is immovable, therefore on the seventh day they
brought out the girl and gave her to him.
Then she said, "Rise up, master, and let us go to your house."
But he said, " Lady, I have been well pummeled by your people, I am
weak, take me up on your back and carry me."
So she did, and in full view of the citizens went forth from the city
to the Candala settlement.
There for a few days the Great Being kept her, without transgressing in
any way the rules of caste.
Then he thought, "Only by renouncing the world, and in no other way,
shall I be able to show this lady the highest honor and give her the
So he said to her, "Lady, if I fetch nothing out of the forest, we
cannot live. I will go into the forest; wait till I return, but do not
He laid injunctions upon the household not to neglect her, and went
into the forest, and embraced the life of a religious ascetic, with all
diligence; so that in seven days he developed the Eight Attainments and
the Five Supernatural Faculties.
Then he thought, "Now I shall be able to protect Dittha-mangalika."
By his supernatural power he went back, and alighted at the gate of the
Candala village, whence he proceeded to the door of Dittha mangalika's
house. When she heard of his return, she came out, and began to weep,
saying, "Why have you deserted me, master, and become an ascetic!"
He said, "Never mind, lady, now I will make you more glorious than your
former glory. Will you be able to say in the midst of the people just
this: 'My husband is not Mantanga, but the Great Brahma?'"
"Yes, master, I can say it."
"Very well, when they ask you where is your husband, you must reply, He
has gone to Brahma's heaven. If they ask, when he will come back, you
must say, In seven days he will come, breaking the moon's disk when she
is at the full."
With these words, he went away to the Himalaya country.
Now Dittha-mangalika said what she had been told here and there in
Benares, amidst a great crowd. The people believed, saying, "Ah, he is
Great Brahma, and therefore does not visit Dittha-mangalika, but thus
and thus it will be."
On the night of full moon, at the time when the moon stands still in
mid-course, the Bodhisattva assumed the appearance of Brahma, and
amidst a blaze of light which filled all the kingdom of Kasi, and the
city of Benares twelve leagues in extent, broke through the moon and
came down: thrice he made circuit above the city of Benares, and
received the worship of the great crowd with perfumed garlands and such
like, and then turned his face towards the Candala village. The
devotees of Brahma gathered together, and went to the Candala village.
They covered Dittha-mangalika's house with white cloths, swept the
ground with four manner of sweet smelling things, scattered flowers,
burnt incense, spread an awning, prepared a splendid seat, lit a lamp
of scented oil, laid at the door sand white and smooth as a silver
plate, scattered flowers, put up banners. Before the house thus
decorated the Great Being came down, and entered, and sat a little
while on the seat.
At that time Dittha-murigalika was in her monthly terms. His thumb
touched her navel, and she conceived. Then the Great Being said to her,
"Lady, you are with child, and you shall bring forth a son; you and
your son shall receive the highest honor and tribute; the water that
washes your feet shall be used by kings for the ceremonial sprinkling
throughout all India the water you bathe in shall be an elixir of
immortality, those who sprinkle it on their heads shall be set free
from all disease and shall not know ill luck, they who lay the head on
your feet and salute you shall give a thousand pieces of money, they
who stand within your hearing and salute you shall give a hundred, they
who stand in your sight and salute you shall give one rupee each. Be
With this admonition, in view of the crowd, he rose up and re-entered
the moon. The devotees of Brahma collected, and stood there through the
whole night; in the morning they caused her to enter a golden
palanquin, and taking it upon their heads, bore her into the city.
A great concourse came to her, crying aloud, "The wife of Great
Brahma!" and did worship with scented garlands and other such things;
those who were allowed to lay the head on her feet and salute her gave
a purse of a thousand pieces, those who might salute her within hearing
gave a hundred, those who might salute her standing within her sight
gave one rupee each. Thus they included in their progress the whole
city of Benares, twelve leagues in extent, and received a sum of
Having thus made the circuit of that city, they brought her to the
center of it, and there built a great pavilion, and set curtains about
it and caused her to dwell there amidst much glory and prosperity.
Below the pavilion, they began to build seven great entrance gates, and
a palace with seven storeys: much new merit was set to their account.
In that same pavilion, Dittha-mangalika brought forth a son. On
his name-day, the Brahmins gathered together, and named him
Mandavya-kumara, the Prince of the Pavilion, because he was born there.
In ten months the palace was finished: from that time she dwelt in it,
highly honored. And Prince Mandavya grew up amid great magnificence.
When he was seven or eight years old, the best teachers in the length
and breadth of India gathered together, and they taught him the three
Vedas. From the age of sixteen he provided food for the Brahmins, and
sixteen thousand Brahmins were fed continually; at the fourth embattled
gateway the alms were distributed to the Brahmins.
Now on one great day of festival they prepared a quantity of rice
porridge, and sixteen thousand Brahmins sat by the fourth embattled
gateway and partook of this food, accompanied with fresh ghee of a
golden yellow, a decoction of honey and lump sugar; and the prince
himself, brilliantly adorned with jewels, with golden slippers upon his
feet, and a staff of fine gold in his hand, was walking about and
giving directions, "Ghee here, honey here."
At that time, the wise Matanga seated in his hermitage in the
Himalayas, turned his thoughts to see what news there was of
Dittha-mangalika's son. Perceiving that he was going in the wrong way,
he thought, "To-day I will go, and convert the young man, and I will
teach him how to give so that the gift shall bring much fruit."
He went through the air to Lake Anotatta, and there washed
his mouth, and so forth; standing in the district of Manosila, he
donned the pair of colored garments, girt his girdle about him, put on
the ragged robe, took his earthen bowl, and went through the air to the
fourth gateway, where he alighted just by the alms-hall, and stood on
one side. Mandavya, looking this way and that, espied him.
"Where do you come from," cried he, "you ascetic, you misbegotten
outcast, a goblin and no man?" and he repeated the first stanza:
"Whence comest thou, in filthy garments dressed,
A creature vile and goblin-like, I vow,
A robe of refuse-rags across thy breast,
Unworthy of a gift--say, who art thou?"
The Great Being listened, then with gentle heart addressed him in the
words of the second stanza :
"The food, 0 noble sir! is ready set,
The people taste, and eat, and drink of it:
You know we live on what we chance to get;
Rise! let the low-caste churl enjoy a bit."
Then Mandavya recited the third stanza:
"For Brahmins, for my blessing, by my hand
This food is got, the gift of faithful heart.
Away! what boots it in my sight to stand?
'Tis not for such as thou: vile wretch, depart!"
Thereupon the Great Being repeated a stanza:
"They sow the seed on high ground and on low,
Hoping for fruit, and on the marshy plain:
In such a faith as this thy gifts bestow;
Worthy recipients so thou shalt obtain."
Then Mandavya repeated a stanza:
"I know the lands wherein I mean to sow,
The proper places in this world for seed,
Brahmins highborn, that holy scriptures know:
These are good ground and fertile fields indeed.
Then the Great Being repeated two stanzas:
"The pride of birth, overweening self-conceit,
Drunkenness, hatred, ignorance, and greed,
Those in whose hearts these vices find their seat,
They all are bad and barren fields for seed.
"The pride of birth overweening, self-conceit,
Drunkenness, hatred, ignorance, and greed,
Those in whose hearts these vices find no seat,
They all are good and fertile fields for seed."
These words the Great Being repeated again and again; but the
other grew angry, and cried "The fellow prates overmuch. Where
are my porters gone, that they do not cast out the churl?"
Then he repeated a stanza:
"Ho Bhandakucchi, Upajjhaya ho!
And where is Upajotaya, I say?
Punish the fellow, kill the fellow, go--
And by the throat hale the vile churl away!"'
The men hearing his call, came up at a run, and saluting him,
asked, "What are we to do, my lord?"
"Did you ever see this base outcast?"
"No, Sire, we did not know he had come in at all: some juggler he is
doubtless, or cunning rogue."
"Well, why do you stand there?"
"What are we to do, my lord?"
"Why, strike the fellow's mouth, break his jaw, tear his back with rods
and cudgels, punish him, take the wretch by the throat, knock him down,
away with him out of this place!"
But the Great Being, ere they could come at him, rose up in the air,
and there poised, repeated a stanza:
"Revile a sage! to swallow blazing fire as much avails,
Or bite hard iron, or dig down a mountain with your nails."
Having uttered these words, the Great Being rose high in the air,
while the youth and the Brahmins gazed at the sight.
Explaining this, the Master recited a stanza:
"So spake the sage Matanga, champion of truth and right,
Then in the air he rose aloft before the Brahmins' sight."
He turned his face to the eastwards, and coming down in a certain
street, with intent that his footsteps might be visible, he begged alms
near the eastern gate; then, having collected a quantity of mixed
victuals, he sat him down in a certain hall and began to eat. But the
deities of the city came up, finding it intolerable that this king
should so speak as to annoy their sage. So the eldest goblin among them
seized hold of Mandavyn by the neck, and twisted it, and the others
seized the other Brahmins and twisted their necks.
But through pity
for the Bodhisattva, they did not kill Mandavya: "He is his son," they
said, and only tormented him. Mandavya's head was twisted so that it
looked backwards over his shoulders, hands and feet were stiff and
stark; his eyes were turned up, as though he were a dead man: there he
lay stark. The other Brahmins turned round and round, drabbling spittle
at the mouth.
People went and told Dittha-mangalika, "Something has happened to your
son, my lady!".
She made all haste thither, and seeing him said, "Oh, what is this!"
and recited a stanza:
"Over the shoulder twisted stands his head;
See how he stretches out a helpless arm!
White are his eyes as though he were quite dead:
0 who is it has wrought my son this harm?"
Then the bystanders repeated a stanza, telling her about it:
"A hermit came, in filthy garments dressed,
A creature vile and goblin-like to see,
With robe of refuse-rags across his breast:
The man who treated thus thy son, is he."
On hearing this, she thought: "No other has the power, the wise
Mantanga without doubt it must be! But one who is steadfast, and full
of goodwill to all creatures, will never go away and leave all these
folk to torment. Now in what direction can he have gone?" which
question she put in the following stanza:
"In what direction went the wise one hence?
0 noble youths, pray answer me this thing!
"Come let us make atonement for the offense,
Our son to life again that we may bring."
The young men answered her in this manner:
"That wise one, up into the air rose he,
Like moon in mid-career the fifteenth day:
The sage, truth-consecrated, fair to see,
Towards the east moreover bent his way."
This answer given, she said, "I will seek my husband!" and bidding take
with her pitchers of gold and cups of gold, surrounded with a company
of waiting women, she went and found the place where his footsteps had
touched the ground; these she followed, until she came to him sitting
upon a seat, and eating his meal.
Approaching she saluted him, and stood still. On seeing her he placed
some boiled rice in his bowl. Dittha-mangalika poured water for him
from a golden pitcher; he at once washed his hands and rinsed out his
mouth. Then she said, " Who has done this cruel thing to my son?"
repeating this stanza:
"Over the shoulder twisted stands his head;
See how he stretches out a helpless arm!
White are his eyes, as though he were quite dead:
0 who is it has wrought my son this harm?"
The stanzas which follow are said by the two alternately:
"Goblins there are, whose might and power is great,
Who follow sages, beautiful to see:
They saw thy son ill-minded, passionate,
And they nave treated thus thy son for thee."
"Then it is goblins who this thing have done:
Do not be wroth, 0 holy man, with me!
0 Brother! full of love towards my son
Hither for refuge to thy feet I flee!"
"Then let me tell thee that my mind doth hide
Nor then nor now a thought of enmity:
Thy son, through fancied knowledge, drunk with pride,
Knows not the meaning of the Vedas three."
"0 Brother! verily a man may find
All in a trice his senses quite gone blind.
Forgive me my one error, 0 wise sage!
They who are wise are never fierce in rage!."
The Great Being, thus pacified by her, replied, "Well, I will
give you the elixir of immortal life (amrita), to make the goblins
depart;" and he recited this stanza:
"This fragment of my leavings take with thee,
Let the poor fool Mandavya eat a piece:
Thy son shall be made whole, restored to thee,
And so the goblins shall their prey release."
When she heard the words of the Great Being, she held out a golden
bowl, saying, "Give me the elixir of immortality, my lord!"
The Great Being dropped in it some of his rice gruel, and said, "First
put the half of this into your son's mouth; the rest mix with water in
a vessel, and put it in the mouths of the other Brahmins: they shall
all be made whole." Then he arose and departed to Himalaya. She carried
off the pitcher upon her head, crying, "I have the elixir of
Arrived at the house, she first put some of it in her son's mouth. The
Goblin fled away; the king got up, and brushed off the dust, asking,
"What is this, mother?"
"You know well enough what you have done; now see the miserable plight
of your dolesmen!"
When he looked at them, he was filled with remorse. Then his mother
said, "Mandavya, my dear son, you are a fool, and you do not know how
to give so that the gift may bear fruit. Such as these are not fit for
your bounty, but only such as are like the wise Matanga. Hence-forward
give nothing to evil men like these, but give to the virtuous."
Then she said :
"Thou art a fool, Mandavya, small of wit,
Not knowing when to do good deeds is fit:
Thou givest to those whose sinfulness is great,
To evildoers and intemperate.
Garments of skin, a mass of shaggy hair,
Mouth like an ancient well with grass overgrown,
And see what ragged clouts the creatures wear!
But fools are saved not by such things alone.
When passion, hate, and ignorance, afar from men are driven,
Give to such calm and holy men: much fruit for this is given."
"Therefore from this time forward give not to wicked men like
this; but who so in this world has reached the eight Attainments,
righteous ascetics and Brahmins who have gained the Five Transcendent
Faculties, Pacceka Buddhas, to these give your gifts. come my son, let
me give these our servants the elixir of immortality, and make them
So saying, she had the leavings of the rice gruel taken, and put in a
pitcher of water, and sprinkled over the mouths of the sixteen thousand
Brahmins. Each one got up, and brushed off the dust.
Then these Brahmins, having been made to taste the leavings of a
Candala, were put out of caste by the other Brahmins. In shame they
departed from Benares, and went to the kingdom of Mejjha, where they
lived with the king of that country. But Mandavya remained where he was.
At that time there was a Brahmin named Jatimauta, one of the religious,
who lived hard by the city of Vettavati on the banks of the river of
that name; and he was a man mightily proud of his birth. The Great
Being went thither, resolved to humble the man's pride; and he made his
abode near him, but further up stream. One day, having nibbled at a
tooth-stick, he let it fall into the river, resolving that it should
get entangled in Jatimanta's knot of hair. Accordingly, as he was
washing in the water the stick became entangled in his hair.
"Curse the brute!" said he, when he saw it, "where has this come from,
with a pest! I will enquire." He proceeded up stream, and finding the
Great Being, asked him, "What caste are you of?"
"I am a Candala."
"Did you drop a tooth-stick into the river?"
"Yes, I did."
"You brute! curse you, vile outcast a murrain on you, don't
stay here, but go further down stream."
But even when he went to live down stream, the tooth-sticks he dropped
floated against the current, and stuck in Jatimanta's hair. "Curse
you!" quoth he, "if you stay here, in seven days your head shall burst
into seven pieces!"
The Great Being thought, "If I allow myself to be angry with the man, I
shall not be keeping my virtue; but I will find a way to break down his
On the seventh day, he prevented the sunrise. All the world was put
out: they came to the ascetic Jatimanta, and asked, "Is it you, Sir,
who prevent the sun from rising?"
He said, "That is no doing of mine; but there is a Candala living by
the riverside, and his doing it must be."
Then the people came to the Great Being, and asked him, "Is it you,
Sir, who keep the sun from rising?"
"Yes, friends," said he.
"Why!" they asked. "
"The ascetic who is your favorite reviles me, an innocent man; when he
comes and falls at my feet to ask for mercy, then I will let the sun
They went and dragged him along, and cast him down before the Great
Being's feet, and tried to appease him, saying, "Sir, pray let the sun
But he said, "I cannot let him go; if I do so, this man's head will
burst into seven pieces."
They said, "Then, Sir, what are we to do?"
"Bring me a lump of clay." They brought it.
"Now place it upon the head of this ascetic, and let the ascetic down
into the water." After making these arrangements, he let the sun rise.
No sooner was the sun set free', the lump of clay split in seven, and
the ascetic plunged under t water. Having thus humbled him, the Great
Being pondered: "Where now are those sixteen thousand Brahmins?"
He perceived they were with the king of Mejjha, and resolved to humble
them; by his supernatural power he alighted in the neighborhood of the
city, and bowl in hand tramped the city seeking alms. When the brahmins
descried him, they said, "Let him stay here but a couple of days, and
he will leave us without a refuge!"
In all haste
they went to the king, crying, "0 mighty king, here is a juggler and
mountebank come: take him prisoner!"
The king was ready enough. The Great Being, with his mess of mixed
victuals, was sitting beside a wall, on a bench, and eating. There, as
he was busy partaking of the food, the king's messengers found him, and
striking him with a sword, killed him. After his death, he was born in
the Brahma world. It is said that in this birth the Bodhisattva was a
mongoose-tamer, and in this servile occupation was put to death. The
deities were angry, and poured down upon the whole kingdom of Mejjha a
torrent of hot ashes, and wiped it out from among kingdoms. Therefore
it is said:
"So the whole nation was destroyed of Mejjha, as they say,
For glorious Matanga's death, the kingdom swept away."
When the Master had ended this discourse, he said: "It is not now the
first time that Udena has abused religious men, but he did the same
Then be identified the Birth: "At that time, Udena was Mandavya, and I
myself was the wise Matanga."
No. 506. The Campeyya Jataka - First Gallery Balustrade (IBa
This story the Master told while dwelling in
Jetavana, about the fast-day vows. The Master said, "It is well done,
lay Brethren, that ye have taken upon you the fast-day vows. Wise men
of old likewise even renounced the glory of being a Serpent King, and
lived under these vows." Then at their request be told a story of the
Once upon a time, when Anga was king in the kingdom of Anga, and
Magadha king in Magadha, betwixt the realms of Anga and Magadlia was a
river Camps, there was a place where serpents dwelt, and here a serpent
king Campeyya held sway.
Sometimes King Magadha took the Anga country, sometimes King
Anga took Magadha. One day King Magadha, having fought a battle
with Anga and got the worse, mounted his charger and took to flight,
pursued by Anga's warriors. When he came to the Campa river, it was in
flood. Bat he said, " Better death drowned in this river than death at
the hands of my enemies!" Then man and horse plunged in the stream.
Now the serpent king Campeyya had built him under the water a
jeweled pavilion, and there at this moment in the midst of his court he
was carousing deep. But the king and his horse plunged into the river
just in front of the Serpent King. The serpent, beholding this
magnificent monarch, conceived a liking for him. Rising from his seat,
he made the king sit down upon his own throne, bidding him fear nought,
and asked why he came plunging into the water. The king told him all as
it was. Then said the serpent,
"Fear nothing, 0 great king! I will make yon master of both kingdoms."
Thus he consoled him, and for seven days he showed him high honor. On
the seventh day he with King Magadha left the serpent palace. Then by
the Serpent King's power, King Magadha got possession of King Anga, and
slew him, and ruled over the two realms together. From that time there
was firm affiance between him and the Serpent King.
Year by year he caused a jeweled pavilion to be built on the bank of
the river Campa, and offered tribute to the Serpent King at great cost:
the Serpent King would come forth with a large retinue from his palace
to receive the tribute, and all the people beheld the glory of the
At that time the Bodhisattva was one of a poor family, and he used to
go down with the king's people to the riverside. There seeing the
Serpent King's glory, he became covetous of it; and in this state of
desire he died, and seven days after the death of the serpent king
Canipeyya, the Bodhisattva, having given alms and lived a virtuous
life, came into being in his palace on his royal couch: his body was
like a great festoon of jessamine. When. he saw it, he was filled with
consequence of my good deeds," quoth he, "I have power laid up in the
six chief worlds of sense, as corn is laid up in a granary. But see,
here am I born in this reptile shape; what care I for life!"
And so he had thoughts of putting an end to himself. But a young female
serpent, named Sumana, seeing him, gave the lead to the rest,
"This must be Sukka, mighty in power, born here to us?" Then they all
came and made offering to him, with all manner of musical instruments
in their hands. That serpent's palace of his became as it were the
palace of Sakka, the thought of death left him: he put off his serpent
shape, and sat on the couch in magnificence of dress and adornment.
From that time great was his glory, and he ruled over the serpents.
Another time again he repented, thinking, "What care I for this reptile
shape? I will live under the fasting vows, and from this place I will
shake myself free, amongst men I will go, and learn the Truths, and I
will make an end of pain."
But afterwards he still remained in that same palace, fulfilling the
fasting vows, and when the young female serpents came about him all
gaily adorned, he generally violated his rule of virtue. After that he
went forth from the palace into the park, but they followed him
thither, and his vow was broken as before. Then he thought: "I must
leave this palace, and go into the world of men, and there must I live
under the fasting vows."
So then on the fast-days he went forth from the palace, and lay on the
top of an ant heap by the high road, not far from a frontier village.
Said he, "Those who desire my skin or any part of me, let them take it;
or if any would have me a dancing snake, let them make me so." Thus did
he yield his body as a gift, and contracting his hood he lay there
observing the fast-day vows.
Those who went to and fro on the highway espying him, did him worship
with scents and perfumes. And the dwellers in that frontier village,
holding him to be a serpent king of great power, set up a pavilion over
him, spread sand before it, did worship with perfumes and scented
things. Now people began to crave sons by his aid, having faith in the
Great Being and doing him worship. The Great Being kept there the
fasting vows on the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the half-moon,
lying upon the ant heap; and on the first day of the lunar half he
would return to his palace, and as he thus fulfilled his vows, time
One day his consort Sumana spoke to him thus: "My lord, you are wont to
go among men to keep your fast-vows. The world of men is dangerous,
full of fear. Suppose some danger should come upon you, tell me now by
what sign I shall learn of it."
The Great Being led her to the side of a lucky pond, and s&id, "If
any one strike me or do me hurt, the water in this pond will become
turbid. If a roc bird carry me off, the water will disappear. If a
snake-charmer seize me, the water will turn to the color of blood."
signs explained to her, he went forth from his palace to keep the fast
of the fourteenth day, went and lay down on the ant heap, illuminating
the ant heap with the sheen o his body. White was his body as a coil of
pure silver, like a ball of red wool was his head: now in this Birth
the Bodhisattva's body was thick as a plough-head, in the Bhuridatta
Birth thick as a thigh, in theSankhapala Birth as big round as a
trough-canoe with an outrigger.
In those days there was a young Brahmin of Benares come to Takkasila to
study at the feet of a world-renowned teacher, from whom he had learned
the charm which commands all things of sense. Going home along that
road, what should he see but the Great Being.
"This snake I will catch," thinks he, "and I will travel through town
and village and royal city, making him dance and amassing great
Then he procured magical herbs, and repeating the magic charm he
approached the snake. No sooner he heard the sound of this charm, than
the Great Being felt his ears as it were pierced by burning splinters,
his head was as though broken by the blow of a sword. "What have we
here!" thought he, putting forth his head from the hood, he beheld the
Then he thought, "My poison is powerful, and if I am angry and send
forth the breath of my nostrils' his body will be shattered and
scattered like a fist-full of chaff; then my virtue will be broken. I
will not look upon him."
Closing his eyes he drew his head within the hood. The Brahmin
snake-charmer ate a herb, repeated his charm, spat upon him : by virtue
of herb and charm, wherever the spittle touched him, blains arose. Then
the man seized him by the tail, dragged him, laid him out at full
length; with a goats-foot staff he squeezed him till he was weak, then
catching tight hold on his head, crushed him hard.
The Great Being opened his mouth wide; the man dropped spittle in it,
and by the herb and charm broke his teeth; the mouth was full of blood.
But the Great Being so feared lest he break his virtue, that he bore
all this torment and never so much as opened an eye to glance at him.
Then the man said, "I'll weaken this royal snake!"
From tail to head he squeezed the snake's body as though he would crush
his very bones to powder. Then he wrapped him in what they call the
cloth-wrap, gave him what they call the rope-rubbing, caught him by the
tail and gave him the cotton blow, as they call it.
The Great Being's body was all smeared with blood, and he was in great
pain. Seeing that the serpent was now weak, the man made an osier
basket in which he laid the snake. Then he carried him to the village,
and made him perform to the crowd. Black or blue or what not, round
figure and square figure, little or large, whatever the Brahmin
desires, that the Great Being will do, dancing, spreading his hood as
if by hundreds or by thousands. The people were so pleased that they
gave much money: in one day he would take a thousand rupees, and things
worth another thousand. At the first the man had intended to let him go
free when he should gain a thousand pieces of money; but when he got
it, he thought, "In a small frontier village I have gained all this:
from kings and courtiers how much wealth may I look to win!"
So he bought a cart and a pleasure-car, and in the cart loaded his
goods, while he sat in the carriage. Thus with an attendant throng he
traversed town and village, making the Great Being perform, and went on
with the intent to show him off before King Uggasena in Benares; and
then he would let him go.
He used to kill frogs and give them to the royal snake. But the snake
each time refused to eat, that none might be killed for his sake. Then
the man gave him honey and fried corn. But the Great Being refused to
eat these also; for he thought, "If I take food, I shall be in this
basket till I die."
In a month's time the Brahmin was come to Benares. There he got
much money by making the snake perform in the villages beyond the
gates. The king also sent fur him, and commanded a performance: the man
promised this for the morrow, which was the last day of the half-month.
Then the king sent a drum beating about the city, with proclamation,
that on the morrow a royal snake would dance in the palace court; let
the people then gather to see it in their multitudes. Next day the
courtyard of the palace was adorned, and the Brahmin summoned.
He brought in the Great Being in a jeweled basket on a gay rug, which
he set down, and himself took a seat. The king came down from the upper
storey, and sat on his royal seat, in the midst of a great concourse of
people. The Brahmin took out the Great Being, and made him dance.
The people could not keep still: thousands of kerchiefs waved in the
air; a shower of jewels in all seven kinds fell about the Bodhisattva.
It was now the full month since the Serpent was caught; and for all
that time he had taken no food. Now Sumana began to think: "My dear
husband tarries long. It is now a month since he has not returned: what
can the matter be?"
So she went and looked at the pond: Lo, the water was red as blood!
Then she knew that he must have been caught by a snake-charmer. Forth
from the palace she came, and to the ant heap; she saw the place where
he had been caught, and the place where be had been tormented, and she
wept. Then she went to the frontier village, and inquired; and learning
all the fact, she went on to Benares, and in the midst of the people,
above the palace court in the air she stood now lamenting.
The Great Being as he danced looked up in the air, and saw her, and
being ashamed crept into his basket, and there he lay. When he crept
into the basket, the king cried out, "What is the matter now?" Looking
this way and that way, he saw her poised in the air, and recited the
"Who is it like the lightning shines, or like a blazing star?
Goddess or Titanesa ? Methinks no human thing you are."
Their conversation is given in the stanzas following:
"No Goddess I, nor Titaness, nor human, mighty king!
A female of the serpent kind, come for a certain thing."
"Full of wrath and rage you show,
From your eyes the teardrops flow:
Say what wrong or what desire
Brings you, lady? I would know."
"Crawling serpent, fierce as flame!
So they called him: one there came,
Seized him for his profit, sire:
Freedom for my lord I claim!"
"How could such a starveling wight
Catch a creature full of might?
Daughter of the serpents, say,
How to discern the snake aright?"
"Such his might, that e'en this town
He could bum to cinders down.
But he loves the holy way,
And seeks austerity's renown."
Then the king asked how the man had caught him. She replied in the
"On holy days' the royal snake
At the four-ways used to take
Holy vows: a juggler caught him.
Free my husband for my sake!"
After these words she added yet these other two stanzas, begging his
"Lo sixteen thousand women gay with jewel and with ring,
Beneath the waters counted him their refuge and their king.
"Justly, gently set him free,
Buy the Serpent liberty,
With gold, a hundred kine, a village:
That will merit win for thee."
Then the king recited three stanzas:
"Justly now and gently see
I buy the Serpent liberty
With gold, a hundred kine, a village,
That will merit win for me."
"A jeweled earring give I thee, a hundred drachmas of gold,
A lovely throne like flower of flax with cushions laid fourfold!"
"A bull, a hundred kine, two wives of equal birth with thee:
Release the holy Snake: the deed will meritorious be."
To this the hunter made reply:
"I want no gifts, your majesty,
But let the Serpent now go free.
Thus I now release the Serpent:
The deed will meritorious be."
After this speech he took the Great Being out of his basket. The
Serpent King came forth and crept into a flower, where he put off his
shape and reappeared in the form of a young man magnificently arrayed:
there he stood, as though he had cleft the earth and come through. And
down from the sky came Sumana, and stood beside him. The Serpent King
stood reverently joining his hands in respect to the king.
To make all clear, the Master recited two stanzas:
"The Serpent King Campeyyaka addressed the King, now
'0 King of Kasi, fostering lord, all honor now to thee!
I do thee reverence, ere I go again my home to see.'"
"'Superhuman beings may
Hardly win belief, they say.
If you speak the truth, 0 Serpent,
Where's your palace? Show the way.'"
But the Great Being, to make him believe, swore an oath as follows in
these two stanzas:
"Should the wind move mountains high,
Moon and sun fall from the sky,
Flow upstream the running rivers,
I, 0 King! could never lie.
"Split the sky, the sea run dry,
Bounteous mother earth awry
Crumpling roll, uproot Mount Meru,
Yet, 0 King, I could not lie!"
But notwithstanding this assurance, he still disbelieved the Great
Being, and said:
"Superhuman beings may
Hardly win belief, they say.
If you speak the truth, 0 Serpent I
Where's your palace? Show the way."
Again he repeated the same stanza, adding, "You must be grateful for
the good deeds wrought by me: whether I should believe you to be right
or not, however, that is for me to decide." This he made dear in the
" Deadly envenomed, full of might,
Quick in quarrel, shining bright,
You are freed by me from prison:
Then is gratitude my right."
The Great Being made oath thus to win his belief:
"He that will no thanks return,
Happiness should never learn:
He should die in basket-prison,
He in horrid hell should burn!"
Now the king believed him, and thanked him thus:
"As that vow of thine is true,
Anger flee and hate eschew:
As we flee the fire in summer,
May the roc-birds flee from you!"
The Great Being too on his part said another stanza meaning to thank
"As a mother would have done
To an only well-loved son,
You are kind to all the serpents:
We will serve you, every one."
Now the king eager to visit the serpent's world, gave command
that his army should be made ready to go in the following stanza:
"Yoke the royal cars, and stand
Trained Cambodian mules at hand,
Elephants in golden trappings:
We will visit serpent-land!"
The next is a stanza of the Perfect Wisdom:
'Bounce the tabors, thump the drums,
Conch and cymbal sounds and thrums,
Glorious mid a host of women
See King Uggasena comes."
At the moment he left the city, the Great Being by his power made
visible in the serpent world an enclosing wall of seven precious
things, and gate-towers, and all the road of approach to the abode of
the serpents he made to be gloriously adorned. By this road the king
with his following entered the palace, and saw a delightful spot with
mansions in it.
Explaining this, the Master said:
"The lord of Kfiai saw the ground sprinkled with golden sand,
Fair flowers of coral' strewn around, gold towers on every hand.
"So then the King did enter in Campeyya's halls divine,
Which like the brazen thunderbolt8 or ruddy sun did shine.
"Into Campeyya's halls divine the King his entrance made:
A thousand perfumes scent the air, a thousand trees give shade.
"Within Campeyya's palace once the King his step advanced,
Celestial harps made melody, fair serpent-maidens danced."
He is shown a golden seat
Cushioned and with sandal sweet,
Where the bevy of fair maidens
Tread the halls with thronging feet."
No sooner was he there seated, than they set before him food divine of
choice flavor, and they gave it also to the sixteen thousand women and
to the rest of the company, for seven days he with his retinue partook
of the divine food and drink, and enjoyed all manner of pleasure.
Sitting in his fair seat he praised the glory of the Great Being: "0
King of the serpents," said he, "why did you leave all this
magnificence, to lie on an ant-heap, in the world of men, and to keep
the fast-day vows?" The other told him.
To explain this, the Master said :
"There the King in pleasure stayed.
To Campeyya then he said:
'Glorious mansions these of thine!
Buddy like the sun they shine.
Such on earth are none to see:
Why wouldst thou a hermit be?
"'fair and fine these damsels stand,
Who with taper-fingers hold
Drink in either red-stained hand,
Breast and body girt with gold.
Such on earth are none to see:
Why wouldst thou a hermit be?
"'River, fishpond, glassy fair,
Each with well-built landing-stair,
Such on earth are none to see:
Why wouldst thou a hermit be?
"'Heron, peacock, heavenly geese,
Charms of cuckoo like to these,
Such on earth are none to see:
Why wouldst thou a hermit be?
"'Mango, sal, and tilak grown,
Cassia' trumpet-flower' full-blown,
Such on earth are none to see:
Why wouldst thou a hermit be?
"'See the lakes! and wafted o'er
Scants divine on every shore:
Such on earth are none to see;
Why wouldst thou a hermit be?'
"'Not for life or sons or pelf
Do I wrestle with myself;
Tis my craving, if I can,
To be born again as Man."'
To this answer the king replied;
"Bravely dressed, eyes red and bleared,
Broad-shouldered, shaven head, and beard,
Like an angel-King addressing
All the world, with sandal smeared.
"Great in might, in power divine,
Lord of all desires, incline,
Serpent-King, to rede my question--
How our world surpasses thine?"
This was answered by the Serpent-King as follows:
"Comes control and cleansing when
One is in the world of men,
Only there: once man, I'll never
See nor birth nor death warn"
The king listened, and thus replied:
"Surely tis good to venerate the wise
In whom deep wisdom and high thoughts arise.
When thee and all these maids I behold,
I will do virtuous actions manifold."
To him the Serpent-King said:
"Surely tis good to venerate the wise
In whom deep wisdom and high thoughts arise.
When me and all these maids thou dost behold,
Then do thou virtuous actions manifold."
After this speech, Uggasena wished to go, and he took leave, saying,
"Serpent King, I have stayed long here, and I must go."
The Great Being
pointed to his treasure, and offered him whatever he wished to take,
"I renounce it, gold untold,
Tree-high silver-heaps, behold!
Take and make you walls of silver,
Take and houses make of gold.
"Pearls, five thousand loads, I ween,
Coral blushing in between,
Take and spread them in thy palace
Till nor earth nor dirt be seen.
"Such a mansion as I tell
Build, and there, 0 monarch! dwell:
Rich will be Benares city:
Rule it wisely, rule it well."
The king agreed to this suggestion. Then the Great Being sent
proclamation about the city by beat of drum : "Let all the attendants
of the king take what they will of my wealth, gold and fine gold !" And
he sent the treasure to the king loaded in several hundred carts. After
this the king left the serpent world with great pomp, and returned to
From that time, they say, the ground was all golden throughout India.
This discourse ended, the Master said, " Thus wise men of old left the
glories of the serpent world, to keep the fast-day vows." Then he
identified the Birth: "At that time, Devadatin was the snake-charmer,
Rahula's mother was Sumana, Sariputta was Uggaaeoa, and I was myself
Campeyya King of the Snakes."
The Kummasapinda Jataka -
First Gallery Balustrade (IBa 170 - 172)
|The Master told this tale concerning queen Mallika
while dwelling in the Jetavanaa. She was the daughter of the chief of
the garland-makers of Savatthi, extremely beautiful and very good.
When she was sixteen years of age, as she was going to a flower-garden
with some other girls, she had three portions of sour gruel in a
flower-basket. As she was leaving the town, she saw the Blessed One
entering it, diffusing radiance and surrounded by the assembly of the
Brethren: and she brought him the three portions of gruel.
Once upon a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the
Bodhisattva was born in a poor family: when he grew up he made a living
by working for wages with a certain rich man. One day he got four
portions of sour gruel from a shop, thinking, "This will do for my
breakfast," and so went on to his farming-work. Seeing four
pacceka-buddhas coming towards Benares to collect alms, he thought, "I
have these four portions of gruel, what if I were to give them to these
men who are coming to Benares for alms?"
So he came up and saluting them said, "Sirs, I have these four portions
of gruel in hand: I offer them to you; pray accept them, good sirs, and
so I shall gain merit to my lasting good and welfare."
Seeing that they accepted, he spread sand and arranged four seats and
strewed broken branches on them: then he set the pacceka-buddhas in
order; bringing water in a leaf-basket, he poured the water of
donation, and then set the four portions of gruel in. four bowls with
salutation and the words, "Sirs, in consequence of these may I not be
born in a poor family; may this be the cause of my attaining
The pacceka-buddhas ate and
then gave thanks and departed to the Nandamula cave. The Bodhisattva,
as he saluted, felt the joy of association with pacceka-buddhas, and
after they had departed from his sight and he had gone to his work, he
remembered them always till his death: as the fruit of this, he was
born in the womb of the chief queen of Benares. His name was called
From the time of his being able to walk alone, he saw clearly by the
power of recollecting all that he had done in former births, like the
reflection of his own face in a clear mirror, that he was now born in
that state because he had given four portions of gruel to the
pacceka-buddhas when he was a servant and going to work in that same
When he grew up he learned all
the arts at Takkasili: on his return his father was pleased with the
accomplishments he displayed, and appointed him viceroy: afterwards, on
his father's death, he was established in the kingdom. Then he married
the exceedingly beautiful daughter of the Kosala king, and made her his
On the day of his parasol-festival they decorated the whole city as if
it were a city of the gods. He went round the city in procession; then
he ascended the palace, which was decorated, and on the dais mounted a
throne with the white parasol erected on it; sitting there he looked
down on all those that stood in attendance, on one side the ministers,
on another the Brahmins and householders resplendent in the beauty of
varied apparel, on another the townspeople with various gifts in their
hands, on another troops of dancing-girls to the number of sixteen
thousand like a gathering of the nymphs of heaven in full apparel.
Looking on all this entrancing splendor he remembered his former estate
and thought, "This white parasol with golden garland and plinth of
massive gold, these many thousand elephants and chariots, my great
territory full of jewels and pearls, teeming with wealth and grain of
all kinds, these women like the nymphs of heaven, and all this
splendor, which is mine alone, is due only to an alms-gift of four
portions of gruel given to four pacceka-buddhas: I have gained all this
through them;" and so remembering the excellence of the pacceka-buddhas
he plainly declared his own former action of merit. As he thought of it
his whole body was filled with delight. Delight melted his heart and
amid the multitude he uttered two stanzas of joyous song:
"Service done to Buddhas high
Ne'er, they say, is reckoned cheap:
Alms of gruel, saltless, dry,
Bring me this reward to reap.
Elephant and horse and kine,
Gold and corn and all the land,
Troops of girls with form divine:
Alms have brought them to my hand.
So the Bodhisattva in his joy and delight on the day of his
parasol-ceremony sang the song of joy in two stanzas. From that time
onward they were called the king's favorite song; and all sung
them--the Bodhisattva's dancing girls, his other dancers and musicians,
his people in the palace, the townsfolk and those in ministerial
After a long time had passed, the chief queen became anxious to know
the meaning of the song, but she durst not ask the Great Being. One day
the king was pleased with some quality of hers and said, "Lady, I will
give you a boon; accept a boon." " It is well, 0 king, I accept."
"What shall I give you, elephants, horses or the like?"
"0 king, through your grace I lack nothing, I have no need of such
things: but if you wish to give me a boon, give it by telling me the
meaning of your song."
"Lady, what need have yon of that boon? Accept something else."
"0 king, I have no need of anything else: it is that I will accept."
"Well, lady, I will tell it, but not as a secret to you alone: I will
send a drum round the whole twelve leagues of Benares, I will make a
jeweled pavilion at my palace-door and arrange there a jeweled throne:
on it I will sit amidst ministers, Brahmins and other people of the
city, and the sixteen thousand women, and there tell the tale." She
The king had all done as he said, and then sat on the throne amidst a
great multitude, like Sakka amidst the company of the gods. The queen
too with all her ornaments set a golden chair of ceremony and sat in an
appropriate place on one side, and looking with a side glance she said,
"0 king, tell and explain to me, as if causing the moon to arise in the
sky, the meaning of the song of joy you sang in your delight;" and so
she spoke the third stanza:
"Glorious and righteous king,
Many a time the song you sing,
In exceeding joy of heart:
Pray to me the cause impart."
The Great Being declaring the meaning of the song spoke four
"This the city, but the station different, in my previous birth:
Servant was I to another, hireling, but of honest worth.
Going from the town to labor four ascetics once I saw,
Passionless and calm in bearing, perfect in the moral law.
All my thoughts went to those Buddhas: as they sat beneath the tree,
With my hands I brought them gruel, offering of piety.
Such the virtuous deed of merit: lo! the fruit I reap to-day
All the kingly state and riches, all the land beneath my sway."
When she heard the Great Being thus fully explaining the fruit
of his action, the queen said joyfully, "Great king, if you discern so
visibly the fruits of charitable giving, from this day forward take a
portion of rice and do not eat yourself until you have given it to
righteous priests and Brahmins;" and she spoke a stanza in praise of
Eat, due alms remembering,
Set the wheel of right to roll:
Flee injustice, mighty king,
Righteously thy realm control.
The Great Being, accepting what was said, spoke a stanza:
"Still I make that road my own
Walking in the path of right,
Where the good, fair queen, nave gone:
Saints are pleasant to my sight."
After saying this, he looked at the queen's beauty and said,
"Pair lady, I have told fully my good deeds done in former time, but
amongst all these ladies there is none like you in beauty or charming
grace: by what deed did you attain this beauty?" And he spoke a stanza:
"Lady, like a nymph of heaven,
You the crowd of maids outshine:
for what gracious deed was given
Meed of beauty so divine?"
Then she told the virtuous deed done is her former birth, and spoke the
last two stanzas:
I was once a handmaid's slave
At Ambalha's royal court,
To modesty my heart I gave,
To virtue and to good report.
In a begging Brother's bowl
Once an alms of rice I put;
Charity had filled my soul:
Such the deed, and lo! the fruit."
She too, it is said, spoke with accurate knowledge and remembrance of
So both fully declared their past deeds, and from that day they
had six halls of charity built, at the four gates, in the center of the
city and at the palace-door, and stirring up all India they gave great
gifts, kept the moral duties and the holy days, and at the end of their
lives became destined for heaven.
At the end of the lesson, the Master identified the birth: " At that
time the queen was the mother of Rahula, and the king was myself.'
The Somanassa Jataka - First
Gallery Balustrade (IBa 183 - 185)
|This story the Master told while dwelling at
Jetavana, how Devadatta went about to slay him. Then the Master said,
"This is not the first time, Brethren, that Devadatta has sought to
slay me, but he did the same thing before." Then he told them a story
of the past.
Once upon a time, in the kingdom of Kuru and the city of
Uttara-paficala, a king reigned whose name was Renu. At that time there
was an ascetic Maharakkhita, who dwelt in Himalaya with a company of
five hundred other ascetics. While visiting the country to get milk and
seasoning, he came to Uttarapancala, and then abode in the royal park.
Seeking alma with his people,
he came to the king's door, and the king beholding the sages and being
pleased with their manners, invited them to be seated upon a
magnificent dais, and gave them good food to eat. He then asked them to
remain in his park for the rain-season. He accompanied them into the
park, and provided places to dwell in, gave them the things necessary
for the religious life, and took leave of them.
After that they all received their meals in the palace. Now the king
was childless, and desired sons, but no sons were born to him.
When the season of rains was over, Maharakkhita said, "Now the
Himalaya region is pleasant; let us return thither."
Then he took leave of the king, who showed them all honor and bounty,
and departed. On the journey at noontide be left the high road, and
with his people sat down on the soft grass beneath a shady tree. The
ascetics began to talk. "There is no son," they said, " in the palace
to keep up the royal line. It would be a blessing if the king could get
a son, and continue the succession."
Maharakkhita hearing their talk, pondered: "Will the king have a son,
He perceived that the king would have a son, and said, "Do not be
anxious, sirs; this night at dawn a son of the gods will come down, and
will be conceived by the queen consort."
A sham ascetic heard it, and thought: "Now I will become a confidant of
the royal house."
When the time came for the ascetics to leave, he lay down and made as
though he were sick. "Come, let us go," they said.
"I cannot," said he. Maharakkhita learnt why the man lay still.
"Follow us when you can," he
said, and with the rest of the sages went on to Himalaya.
Now the cheat ran back as fast as he could, and standing at the palace
door, sent in a message that one of Maharakkhita's attendants was come.
He was summoned at once by the king, and going up to the terrace, sat
in a seat which they showed him. The king greeted him, and sitting on
one side, asked after the health of, the sages. "You have come back
very soon," he said. "What is the cause of your so speedy return?"
"0 mighty king," he replied, " as the sages were all sitting
comfortably together, they began to say how great a blessing it would
be if the king could have a son to keep up his line. When I heard it, I
pondered whether the king should get a son or no; and by divine vision
I beheld a mighty son of the gods, and saw that he was about to
descend, that he might be conceived by your queen consort Sudhamma.
Then I thought, If they know not, they may perchance destroy the life
conceived, so I must tell them; and to tell you the news, 0 king, I am
come. Now I have told it, let me depart again."
"No, no, friend," quoth the king, "that must not be;" and highly
delighted he brought the cheat into his park, and assigned him a place
to dwell in. Thenceforward he lived in the king's household, and got
his food there, and his name was Dibbacakkhuka, the man of Divine
Then the Bodhisattva came down from the heaven of the Thirty-three, and
was conceived there; and when he was born they gave him the name of
Somanassa Kumara, Prince Delight, and he was reared after the manner of
Now the false ascetic in a corner of the park used to plant vegetables
and pot-herbs and runners, and by selling these to the market gardeners
he amassed much wealth. When the Bodhisattva was seven years old,
there was a rebellion on the frontier. The king went out to quell it,
giving the ascetic Dibbacakkhuka into the prince's charge, with orders
not to neglect him. One day the prince went out to see the ascetic. He
found him with both yellow robes, upper and under, knotted up, holding
a water-jar in each hand, and watering his plants.
"This false ascetic," thought he, "instead of doing the ascetic's duty,
does the work of a gardener." Then he asked: "What are yon doing,
So he put him to shame, and left him without salute. "Now I have made
an enemy of this fellow," thought the man. "Who knows what he will do?
I must make an end of him at once."
About the time when the king was to return, the man threw his stone
bench on one side, broke his waterpot to bits, scattered grass about in
his hut, smeared all his body with oil, went into the hat and lay down
on his pallet, wrapped up head and all, making as though he were in
much pain. The king returned, and made a circuit about the city
But before he would enter his own house, he went to see his friend
Dibbacakkhuka. Standing by the door of the hut, he saw all in disorder,
and entered wondering what was the matter. There was the man lying
down. The king chafed his feet, repeating the first stanza:
"Who does thee harm or scorn?
Why dost thou sorrow sore?
Whose parents now must mourn?
Who lies here on the floor?"
At this the impostor rose up groaning, and said the second stanza:
"Thee I rejoice to see
0 King, though absent long!
Your son, who came to me,
Wrought unprovoked this wrong."
The connection of the following verses is clear; they are arranged in
"Executioners, what ho!
Servants, take year swords and go,
Strike Prince Somanasaa dead,
Hither bring his noble head!"
"The royal messengers went forth, and to the prince they cry
His majesty has cast thee off, and thou 0 prince must die.
"There the prince lamenting stands,
Craving grace with folded hands:
'Spare me yet awhile, and bring
Me alive to see the King!'"
"They heard his prayer, and to the King his son the servants led. He
saw his father from afar, and thus to him he said:
"'Let thy men take sword and slay,
Only hear me first, I pray !
0 great monarch ! tell me this!
What is it I've done amiss!'"
The king answered, "High estate is fallen very low: your error
is very great," and explained it in this stanza:
"Water morn and eve he draws,
Tends the fire without a pause.
Dare you call this holy man
Worldling? answer if you can !"
"My lord," said the prince, "if I call a worldling a worldling, what
harm is done?" and he repeated a stanza:
"He possesses trees and fruits,
And, my lord, all kinds of roots,
Tends them with incessant care:
Then he's worldly, I declare."
"And that is the reason," he went on, "why I called him a worldling. If
you do not believe me, enquire of the market gardeners at the four
gates." The king made enquiry.
They said, ''Yes, we buy from him vegetables and all sorts of fruit."
When he found out this green-grocery business, he made it known. The
prince's people went into the man's hut, and ferreted out a bundle of
rupees and small coins, the price of the green food, which they showed
to the king. Then the king knew the Great Being was guiltless, and said
"True it was that trees and roots
He possessed, with many fruits,
Tending with incessant care,
Worldly, as thou didst declare."
Then the Great Being thought, "While an ignorant fool like this is of
the king's household, the best thing to do is to go to Himalaya and
embrace the religious life. First I will proclaim his sin before the
company here assembled, and then this very day I will go and become a
religious." So with a bow to the company, he cried,
"Hear ye people as I call,
Country folk- and townsmen all:
By this foul's advise the King
Guiltless men to death would bring."
This said, he asked leave to do it in the next stanza:
"Thou a strong wide spreading tree,
I an offshoot fixed in thee,
Here beseech thee, bending low,
Leave to quit the world and go!"
The following stanzas give the conversation of the king with
"Prince, enjoy the wealth you own,
And ascend the Kuru throne.
Do not leave the world, to bring
Sorrow on yourself--be King!"
"What of joy can this world give?
When in heaven I used to live
There were sights and sounds and smell,
Taste and touch, the heart loves well!
"Joys of heaven, and nymphs divine,
I renounced, that once were mine.
With a King so weak as thou
I will stay no longer now."
"If I am foolish-weak, my son,
This once forgive me what I've done.
And if I do the same again,
Do what thou wilt, I'll not complain."
The Great Being then repeated eight stanzas, admonishing the king.
"A thoughtless act, or done without premeditation bad,
Like the miscarriage of a drug, the issue must bo bad.
"A thoughtful act, wherein is careful policy punniod,
Like a successful medicine, the issue must be good.
"The idle sensual layman I detest,
The false ascetic is a rogue contest;
A bad King will a case unheard decide;
Wrath in a sage can ne'er be justified.
"The warrior prince takes careful thought, and well-weighed judgement
When Kings their judgement ponder well, their fame for ever lives.
"Kings should give punishment with careful measure:
Things done in haste they will repent at leisure.
Are there good resolutions in the heart,
No late repentance brings her bitter smart.
"They who do deeds which no repentance bring,
Carefully weighing every single thing,
Gain what is good, and do what satisfies
The holy, win the approval of the wise.
"'What ho, my executioners!' you cried,
'Go seek my son, and where you find him, alay!'
Where I was sitting by my mother's side
They found me, dragged me cruelly away.
"A tender nursling, treated in this way,
I felt their cruel handling very sore.
Delivered from a cruel doom to-day
I'll leave the world, and live in it no more."
When the Great Being had thus discoursed, the king said to his
"So my young son, Sudhamma, says me nay,
Prince Somanasaa, delicate and kind.
Now since I cannot gain my end today,
Thyself must see if thou canst turn his mind."
But she urged him to renounce the world in this stanza:
"0 be the holy life thy pleasure, son!
Renounce the world, to righteousness stick fast:
Who of all creatures cruet is to none,
Blameless to Brahma's world will come at last."
Then the king repeated a stanza:
"This is a marvel which I hear from thee,
Sorrow to sorrow heaping up on me.
I asked thee to persuade our son to stay,
Thou dost but urge him more to haste away."
Again the queen repeated a stanza:
"There are who live from sin and sorrow free,
Blameless, and who Nirvana's height attain:
If of their noble path the prince would be
A partner, to withhold him is in vain."
In reply the king recited the last stanza:
"Surely tis good to venerate the wise,
In whom deep wisdom and high thoughts arise.
The queen has heard their words and learned their lore,
She feels no pain and has no longing more."
The Great Being then saluted his parents, asking them to pardon him if
be did amiss, and with a reverent obeisance to the company set his face
towards Himalaya. When the people had returned, he, with the deities
who had come thither in human shape, traversed the seven ranges of
hills and arrived at Himalaya. In a leaf-hut made by the heavenly
architect Vissakamma he entered upon the religious life, and there he
was waited upon by deities in the shape of a princely retinue until his
sixteenth year. But the deceitful ascetic was set upon by the crowd and
beaten to death. The Great Being cultivated the Faculty of Ecstasy, and
became destined to Brahma's heaven.
This discourse ended, the Master said, "Thus Brethren, he went
about to slay me in former day», as now," and then he identified
the Birth: "At that time Devadatta was the impostor, Mahamaya was the
mother, Sariputta was Rakkhita, and I myself was Prince Somanasaa."
No. 494. The Sadhina Jataka - First Gallery
Balustrade (IBa 200 - 214)
This story the
Master told while dwelling in Jatavana, about lay Brethren who took on
the fast-day vows. On that occasion the Master said: "Lay Brethren,
wise men of old, by virtue of their keeping the fast-day vows, went in
the body to heaven, and there dwelt for a long time."
Then at their request, he told a story of the past.
Once upon a time, there was a King Sadhina in Mithila, who reigned in
righteousness. At the four city gates, and in the midst of it, and at
his own palace door he caused to be made six alms-halls, and with his
alms-giving made a great stir through all India. Daily six hundred
thousand pieces were spent in alms: he kept the Fire Virtues, he
observed the fast-day vows; and they of the city also, following his
admonitions, gave alms and did good, and as they died, came to life at
once in the city of the gods.
The princes of heaven, sitting in full conclave in Sakka's justice
hall, praised Sadhina's virtuous life and goodness. The report of him
made all the other gods desirous to see him. Sakka, king of the gods,
perceiving their mind, asked, "Do you wish to see King Sadhina?"
yes they did. Then he commanded Matali, "Go to my palace Vejayanta,
yoke my chariot, and bring Sadhina hither."
He obeyed the
command and yoked the chariot, and went to the kingdom of Videha.
It was then the day of full moon. At the time when people had
partaken of their evening meal, and were sitting by their doors at
their ease, Matali drove his chariot side by side with the moon's disk.
All the people called out, "See, two moons are in the sky!" But when
they saw the chariot pass by the moon, and come towards them, then they
cried, "Tis no moon, but a chariot; a son of the gods, it would seem.
For whom is he bringing this divine car, with his team of thorobreds,
creatures of the imagination) Will it not be for our king? Yes, our
king is a righteous and good king!"
delight they joined hands with reverence, and standing repeated the
"A wonder in the world was seen, that made the hair uprise:
For great Videha's king is sent a chariot from the skies!"
Matali brought the car close, and then whilst the people worshipped
with flowers and perfumes, he drove it thrice round the city
right-wise. Then he proceeded to the king's door, and there stayed the
chariot, and stood still before the western window, making a sign that
he should ascend.
Now that day the king himself had inspected his alms-halls, and had
given directions how they were to distribute; which done, he took on
him the fast-day vows, and thus spent the day. Just then he was seated
on a gorgeous dais, facing the eastern window, with his courtiers all
around, discoursing to them on right and justice. At that moment Matali
invited him to enter the chariot, and having done this went away with
To explain this, the Master repeated the following stanzas:
"The god most mighty, Matali, the charioteer, did bring
A summons to Vedeha, who in Mithila was king.
"'0 mighty monarch, noble king, mount in this car with me:
Indra would see thee, and the gods, the glorious Thirty-three,
And now they sit in conclave all, bethinking them of thee.'
"Then King Sadhina turned his face, and mounted in the car:
Which with its thousand steeds then bore him to the gods afar.
"The gods beheld the king arrive: and then, their guest to greet Cried,
'Welcome mighty monarch, whom we are so glad to
0 King! beside the king of gods we pray you take a seat.'
Cried, 'Welcome mighty monarch, whom we are BO glad to meet!
0 King! beside the king of gods we pray you take a seat.'
"And Sakka welcomed Vedeha, the king of Mithila town,
Ay, Vasava (another name for Indra) offered him all joys, and prayed
him to sit down.
"'Amid the rulers of the world 0 welcome to our land:
Dwell with the gods, 0 king! who have all wishes at command,
Enjoy immortal pleasures, where the Three-and-thirty stand'."
Sakka king of the gods gave him the half of the city of the gods, ten
thousand leagues in extent, and of twenty-five millions of nymphs, and
of the palace Vejayanta. And there he dwelt for seven hundred years by
man's reckoning, enjoying felicity. But then his merit was exhausted in
that character in heaven; dissatisfaction arose in him, and so he spoke
to Sakka in these words, repeating a stanza:
"I joyed, when erst to heaven I came,
In dances, song and music clear:
Now I no longer feel the same.
Is my life done, does death draw near,
Or is it folly, king, that I must fear?"
Then Sakka said to him:
"Thy life's not done, and death is far,
Nor art thou foolish, mighty one:
But thy good deeds exhausted are
And now thy merit is all done.
"Still here abide, 0 mighty king, by my divine command;
Enjoy immortal pleasures, where the Three-and-thirty stand.'"
But the Great Being refused, and said to him:
"As when a chariot, or when goods are given on demand,
So is it to enjoy a bliss given by another's hand.
"I care not blessings to receive given by another's hand,
My goods are mine and mine alone when on my deeds I stand.
"I'll go and do much good to men, give alms throughout the land,
Will follow virtue, exercise control and self-command:
He that so acts is happy, and fears no remorse at band."
On hearing this, Sakka then gave orders to Matali: " Go now, convey
King Sadhina to Mithila, and set him down in his own park." He did so.
The king walked to and fro in his park; the park-keeper espied him,
and, after asking him who he was, went to King NSrada with the news.
When he learnt of the king's arrival, he sent on the keeper
with these words: " You go on before, and prepare two seats, one for
him and one for me." He did so.
Then the king asked him, "For whom do you prepare these two seats?"
He replied, "One for you, and one for our king.
Then the king said, "What other being shall sit down in my presence?"
He sat upon one seat, and put his feet on the other. King Narada came
up, and having saluted his feet, sat down on one side: now it is said
he was the seventh in direct descent from the king, and at that time
the age of man was five-score years. So long was the time which the
Great Being had spent, by the might of his goodness.
He took Narada by the hands, and, going up and down in the pleasance,
recited three stanzas:
"Here are the lands, the conduit round through which the waters go,
The green grass clothing it about, the rivulets that flow,
"The lovely lakes, that listen when the ruddy geese give call,
Where lotus white and lotus blue and trees like coral grow,
But those who loved this place with me, 0 say, where are they all?"
"These are the acres, this the place,
The pleasance and the fields are hero:
But seeing no familiar face,
To me it seems a desert drear."
Hereupon Narada said to him: "My lord, since yon departed to the world
of the gods seven hundred years have gone by; I am the seventh in line
from you, your attendants have all gone down into the jaws of death.
But this is your own rightful realm, and I beg you receive it."
The king answered, "My dear Narada, I came not here to be
king, but to do good I came hither, and good I will do."
He then said as follows:
"Celestial mansions I have seen, shining in every place,
The Thirty-three arch-angels, and their monarch, face to face.
"Joys more than human I have felt, a heavenly home was mine,
With all that heart could wish, among the Thirty-three divine.
"This I have seen, and to do deeds of virtue I came down:
And I will live a holy life: I want no royal crown.
"The Path that never leads to woe, the Path the Buddhas show,
Upon that Path I enter now by which the holy go."
So spake the Great Being, by his omniscience compressing all into these
stanzas. Then Narada again said to him, "Take the rule of the kingdom
upon you;" and he replied, "My dear son, I want no kingdom; but for
seven days I wish to distribute again the alms given during these seven
hundred years." Narada was willing, and doing as he was requested,
prepared a vast largess for distribution. For seven days the king gave
alms; and on the seventh day he died, and was born in the heaven of the
When the Master had ended this discourse, he said," Such is the
performance of the holy-day vows which it is duty to keep," and
declared the Truths: (now at the conclusion of the Truths, some of the
lay Brethren entered on the fruition of the First Path, and some of the
Second:) and he identified the Birth:
"At that time Ananda was King Narada, Anuruddha was Sakka, and I myself
was the King Sadhina."
No. 526. The Nalinika Jataka
This story the
Master told while residing at Jetavana concerning the temptation of a
Brother by the wife of his unregenerate days. And in telling the story
he asked the Brother by whom he had been led astray. "By a former
wife," said he.
"Verily, Brother," the Master said, " she worketh mischief for you. Of
old it was owing to her that you fell away from mystic meditation and
were mightily destroyed."
And so saying he told a story of the past.
Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta ruled in Benares, the Bodhisattva
was born of a wealthy family in the Brahmins of the North, and when he
had come of age and had been trained in all the arts, he adopted the
ascetic life, and after developing supernatural powers by the exercise
of mystic meditation he took up his abode in the Himalayas. Exactly in
the same way as related in the Alambusa Birth a doe conceived by him
and brought forth a son who was called Isisinga.
Now when he was grown up, his father admitted him to holy orders and
had him instructed in the rites inducing mystic meditation. In no long
time he developed by this means supernatural faculties and enjoyed the
bliss of ecstasy in the region of the Himalayas, and by mortification
of the senses he became a sage of such severe austerity that the abode
of Sakka was shaken by the power of his virtue. Sakka by reflection
discovered the cause of it, and thinking, "I will find a way to break
down his virtue," for the space of three years he stopped rain from
falling in the kingdom of Kasi, and the country became as it were
scorched up, and when no crops came to perfection, the people under the
stress of famine gathered themselves together in the palace yard and
reproached the king. Taking his stand at an open window, he asked what
was the matter.
"Your Majesty," they said, "for three years no rain has fallen from
heaven, and the whole kingdom is burned up and the people are suffering
greatly: cause rain to fall, Sire."
The king, taking upon him moral vows and observing a fast, yet failed
to bring down the rain. It was then that Sakka at midnight entered the
royal chamber and illuminating it all round was seen to stand in mid
air. The king on seeing him asked, "Who art thou?"
"I am Sakka," he said.
"Wherefore art thou come?"
"Does rain fall in your realm, Sire?"
"No, it does not rain."
"Do you know why it does not rain?"
"I do not know."
"In the Himalaya country, Sire, dwells an ascetic named Isisinga, who
from the mortification of his senses is severely austere. He
constantly, when it begins to rain, looks up at the sky in a rage and
so the rain ceases."
"What their is to be done now?"
"Should his virtue be broken down, it will rain."
"But who is able to overcome his virtue?"
"Your daughter, Sire, Nalinika can do it. Summon her here and bid her
go to such and such a place and make a breach in the virtue of the
And, having thus admonished the king, Sakka returned to his own abode.
On the morrow the king took counsel with his courtiers and summoning
his daughter addressed her in the first stanza:
"Lo! the land lies scorched and ruined and my realm sinks to decay:
You, Nalinika, and, prithee, bring this Brahmin 'neath thy away."
On hearing this she repeated a second stanza:
"How shall I endure this hardship, how, midst elephants astray,
Through the glades of yonder forest shall I safely guide my way?"
Then the king repeated two stanzas:
"Seek thy happy home, my daughter, and from thence without delay.
In a car of wood so deftly framed ride thou upon thy way.
Horses, elephants, and footmen--go, begirt with brave array,
And with charm of beauty quickly thou shalt bring him 'neath thy sway."
Thus for the protection of his realm did he talk with his daughter even
of such things as should not be spoken of in words. And she readily
lent an ear to his proposals. Then, after giving her all that she
required, he sent her away with his ministers. They went to the
frontier and, after pitching their camp there, they had the princess
conveyed by a road tinted out to them by some foresters, and at break
of day, entering the Himalaya country, they arrived at a spot close to
the ascetic's hermitage.
At this very moment the Bodhisattva, leaving his son behind in the
Hermitage, had gone into the forest to gather wild fruits. The
foresters themselves approached the hermitage and, standing where they
could see it, they pointed it out to Nalinika and repeated two stanzas:
"With plantain marked, midst bhurja trees so green,
Lo! Isisinga's pretty hut is seen.
Yon smoke, methinks, arises from the flame
Nursed by that sage of wonder-working fame."
And the king's ministers at the very moment when the Bodhisattva had
gone into the forest surrounded the hermitage and set a watch over it,
and making the princess adopt the disguise of an ascetic, and arraying
her in an outer and inner garment of beautiful bark adorned with all
manner of ornaments, they bade her take in her hand a painted ball tied
to a string and sent her into the hermitage grounds, while they
themselves stood on guard outside. So playing with her ball she entered
Now at that moment Isisinga was seated on a bench at the door of his
hut of leaves, and when he saw her coming he was terrified and got up
and went and hid himself in the hut. And she drew nigh to the door and
continued playing with her ball.
The Master, to make this point and more beside clear, repeated three
Bedecked with gems as she drew nigh, a bright and lovely maid,
Poor Isisinga sought in fear his cell a protecting shade.
And while before the hermit's door with ball the damsel plays,
Her lovely limbs she doth expose all naked to his gaze.
But when he saw her sporting thus, forth from his cell he broke. And,
rushing from the leafy hut, words such as these he spoke.
"Fruit of what tree may this, Sir, be, that howe'er far 'tis tossed
'Twill still return to thee again and never more is lost?"
Then she telling him of the tree spoke this stanza:
"Mount Gandharmadana, the home wherein I dwell, can boast
Of many a tree with fruit maybe such that though far 'tis tossed,
'Twill still return to me again and never more is lost."
Thus did she speak falsely, but he believed her, and thinking it was an
ascetic he greeted her kindly and uttered this stanza:
"Pray, holy sir, come in and take a seat,
Accept some food and water for thy feet,
And resting here awhile enjoy with me
Such roots and berries as I offer thee.
Being an ingenuous youth and never having seen a woman
before he was led to believe the extraordinary story she told him, and
through her seductions his virtue was overcome and his mystic
meditation broken off. After disporting himself with her till he was
tired, he at length sallied forth and finding his way down to the tank
he bathed and, when his fatigue had passed off, he returned and sat in
his hut. And once more, still believing her to be an ascetic, he asked
where she dwelt, and spoke this stanza:
"By what road hither hast thou come,
And dost thou love thy woodland horned
Can roots and berries hunger stay,
And how eacapest thou beasts of prey?"
Then Nalinika recited four stanzas :
"North of this the Khema flows
Straight from Himalayan snows:
On its bank, a charming spot,
May be seen my hermit cot.
Mango, tilak, sal full-grown,
Cassia, trumpet-flower full-blown--
All with song of elves resound:
Here my home, Sir, may be found.
Here with dates and roots, I ween,
Every kind of fruit is seen :
'Tis a gay and fragrant spot
That has fallen to my lot.
Roots and berries here abound,
Sweet and fair and luscious found.
But I fear, should robbers come,
They'll despoil my happy home."
The ascetic, on hearing this, to put her off till his father should
return, spoke this stanza:
My father foraging for fruit is gone;
The sun is sinking, he'll be here anon.
When back from his fruit-gathering he is come,
We'll start together for thy hermit-home."
Then she thought: "This boy because he has been brought up in a
forest does not know that I am a woman, but his father will know it as
soon as ever he sees me, and will ask me what business I have here and
striking me with the end of his carrying-pole, he will break my head. I
must be off before he returns and the object of my coming is already
And telling him
how he was to find his way to her house
she repeated another stanza :
"Alas! I fear I may no longer stay,
But many a royal saint lives on the way:
Ask one of them to point you out the road;
He'll gladly act ah guide to my abode."
When she had thus devised a plan for her escape, she left the
hermitage, and bidding the youth, as he was wistfully looking after
her, to stay where he was, she returned to the ministers by the same
road by which she had come there, and they took her with them to their
encampment and by several stages reached Benares. And Sakka that very
day was so delighted that he caused rain to fall throughout the whole
kingdom. But directly she had left the ascetic, Isisinga, a fever
seized upon his frame and all of a tremble he entered the hut of leaves
and putting on his upper robe of bark he lay there groaning.
In the evening his father returned and missing his son he said, "Where
in the world is he gone!"
And he put down his carrying-pole and went into the hut, and when he
found him lying there he said, "What ails you, my dear son!" And
chafing his back he uttered three stanzas:
"No wood is cut, no water fetched, no fire alight. I pray
Tell me, thou silly lad, why thus thou dreams! the live-long day.
Until to-day the wood was ever cut,
The fire alight, and pot thereon was put,
My seat arranged, the water fetched. In sooth
Thou found'st thy pleasure in the task, good youth.
Today no wood is cleft, no water brought,
No fire alight; cooked food in vain is sought.
Today no welcome hast thou given to me:
What hast thou lost? What sorrow troubles thee!"
On hearing his father's words, in explaining the matter, he said:
"Here, Sire, today a holy youth has been,
A handsome, dapper boy, of winsome mien:
Not over tall nor yet too short was he,
Dark was his hair, as black as black could be.
Smooth-cheeked and beardless was this stripling wight,
And on his neck was hung a Jewel bright;
Two lovely swellings on his fair breast lay,
Like balls of burnished gold, of purest ray.
His face was wondrous fair, and from each ear
A curved ring depending did appear;
These and the fillet on his head gave out
Plashes of light, whene'er he moved about.
Yet other ornaments the youth did wear,
Or blue or red, upon his dress and hair;
Jingling, whene'er he moved, they rang again
Like little birds that chirp in time of rain.
No robe of bark, sign of ascetic grim,
No girdle made of munja grass for him.
His garments shimmer, clinging to the thigh,
Bright as a flash of lightning in the sky.
Fruits of what tree beneath his waist are bound,
Smooth and without or stalk or prickle found.
Stitched in his robe, in order loose but thick,
They strike each other with a sounding 'click.'
The tresses on his head were wondrous fair,
Hundreds of curls perfuming all the air:
These locks just parted in the midst had he
Dressed e'en as his would that my hair might be.
But when his locks he did perchance unbind
And loose in all their beauty to the wind,
Their fragrance filled our home midst forest trees,
Like scent of lotus borne along the breeze.
His very dust was fair to look upon,
His person quite unlike that of thy son:
It breathed forth odors wafted everywhere,
Like shrubs a blossom in the summer air.
His fruit so bright and fair, of varied hue,
Afar from him upon the ground he threw,
Yet back to him 'twould evermore return:
What fruit it is I fain from thee would learn.
His teeth in even rows, so pure and white,
Vie with the choicest pearls, a lovely sight;
Whene'er he opens his lips, how charming 'tis!
No food like ours, roots and vile potherbs, his!
His voice so soft and smooth, yet firm and clear
In gentle accents fell upon the ear;
It pierced me to the heart: so sweet a note
Ne'er issued from melodious cuckoo's throat.
Its tone I thought subdued, pitched far too low
For one rehearsing holy lore, I trow;
How be it so great his kindness, I would fain
Renew my friendship with this youth again.
His warm arms flashing in their gold array,
Like gleams of lightning all around me play.
With down, as eye-salve soft, were they overspread,
Bound were his fingers, blushing coral-red.
Smooth were his limbs, his tresses long untied,
Long too his nails with tips all crimson dyed:
With his soft arms around me clinging tight
The fair boy ministered to my delight.
His hands were white as cotton, gleaming bright
Like golden mirror that reflects the light;
At their soft touch I felt a burning thrill,
And though he's gone, the memory fires me still.
No load of grain he brought, nor ever could
Be won with his own hands to chop our wood,
Nor would he with his ax hew down a tree
Nor carry a sharp stake, to pleasure me,
This rumpled couch with leaves of creepers made
Bears witness to the merry pranks we played:
Then in yon lake our weary limbs we lave
And once more seek indoors the rest we crave.
Today no holy texts can I recite,
No fire for sacrifice is found alight:
Yea, from all roots and berries I'll abstain
Till I behold this pious youth again.
Tell me, dear father, for thou know'st it well,
Where in the world this holy youth may dwell;
And thither with all speed, pray, let us fly,
Or at thy door my death will surely lie.
I've heard him speak of glades, with floweriest gay,
And thronged with birds that sing the live-long day,
'Tis thither with all speed I fain would fly
Or here at once I'll lay me down and die."
The Great Being, on hearing the boy talk such nonsense, knew at
once that through some woman he had lost his virtue, and by way of
admonition he repeated six stanzas:
"An ancient home for sages long has stood
Within the sunlit precincts of this wood ;
In haunts of angels and of nymphs divine,
This feeling of unrest should ne'er be thine.
Friendships exist and then they cease to be;
Each one shows love to his own family;
But they poor creatures are who do not know
To whom their origin and love they owe.
Friendship is formed by constant intercourse;
When this is broken, friendship fails perforce.
Shouldst thou set eyes upon this youth once more,
Or converse hold with him, as heretofore,
Just as a flood sweeps oft' the ripened corn,
So will the power of virtue be o'er-borne.
Demons there be that through the wide earth run
In varied form disguised. Beware, my son!
He that is wise should not consort with such;
Virtue herself is blasted at their touch.
On hearing what his father had to say the youth thought, "She
was a female yaksha, he says, "and he was terrified and put away the
thought of her from him. Then he asked his father's pardon, saying,
"Forgive me, dear father, I will not leave this spot."
And his father comforted him, saying, "Come, my boy, cultivate charity,
pity, sympathy and equanimity," and he proclaimed to him the attainment
of the Perfect States. And the son walked accordingly therein and once
more developed mystic meditation.
The Master, having finished his lesson, revealed the Truths and
identified the Birth. At the conclusion of the Truths the back-sliding
Brother was established in the fruition of the First Path: "At that
time the wife of his unregenerate days was Nalinika, the back-sliding
Brother was Issinga, and I myself was the father."
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