Ja 35 The Story about the Young Quail
(Vaṭṭakajātaka) See reference to this story under Jātaka No. 20, above.
In the present the Buddha and the monks, when traveling through a forest, were surrounded by fire, but in the exact spot they stood it did not burn. The monks think this is due to the Buddha’s current excellence; but he tells how, when he was a baby quail, he had made an asservation of truth in the past, which had stayed the fire in those parts for an aeon (full story).
1. Santi pakkhā apatanā, santi pādā avañcanā,
Mātāpitā ca nikkhantā: Jātaveda paṭikkamā ti.
Having wings that fly not, having feet that run not, abandoned by parents: Jātaveda, go back!
In this connection, having wings that fly not, knowing I have what are called my wings, but being unable to go up in the air and fly with them, they fly not.
Having feet that run not, I have feet, but being unable to walk about on them, and go on a journey, they run not.
Abandoned by parents means those who could lead me elsewhere, through fear of death, I was abandoned by my parents.
Jātaveda, he calls on fire. Because he is known or experienced by all that is born, therefore Jātaveda is said. It is rather obscure. This is what SED says: jātavedas, jāta-vedas (-ta-) mfn. (fr. vid cl. 6) “having whatever is born or created as his property”, “all-possessor” (or fr. vid cl.2. “knowing [or known by] all created beings”; cf. Nir. vii, 19 ŚBr. ix, 5, 1, 68 MBh. ii, 1146 &c.; N. of Agni) RV. AV. VS. &c.; m. fire...
Go back means: “Having turned round, return,” so he ordered Jātaveda.
last updated: July 2022