Ja 274 The Story about the Greedy (Crow)

In the present one monk is very greedy. The Buddha tells a story of a crow who deceived his friend the pigeon in order to get access to a kitchen, which he stole from. But there the cook caught and plucked him and left him to die.

1. Kāyaṁ balākā sikhinī, corī laṅghipitāmahā?
Oraṁ balāke āgaccha, caṇḍo me vāyaso sakhā ti.

Who is this crested crane, a robber, an ascending grandfather? Come out from under the basket, dear crane, fierce is the crow my friend.

In this connection, who is this crested crane, that crow, whose body is smeared white with thick buttermilk, with a crest placed on his head, asking: “Who is this crested crane?” he called upon him.

A robber means his clan is not allowed in the family house, or, because of having entered the basket of the despised crow, a robber is said. It is hard to see how this explains the word corī.

An ascending grandfather, ascending is said from ascending like a cloud in the sky, cranes normally conceive Lit.: grasp a womb. at the sound of a thunderstorm, the sound of thunder is the father of cranes, the cloud is the grandfather, because of that, an ascending grandfather is said. The whole explanation is rather curious, and hard to understand. It is quoted and translated in PED, s.v. laṅghi.

Come out from under the basket, dear crane means dear crane, come from here.

Fierce is the crow my friend, my friend, the crow, who is lord of the basket, is fierce, rough. Seeing you he will come, having smashed you with his mace-like beak, you will reach the destruction of life, therefore do not come as far as the crow, having descended from your basket, come here, quickly flee, is what is said.

2. Nāhaṁ balākā sikhinī, ahaṁ lolosmi vāyaso,
Akatvā vacanaṁ tuyhaṁ, passa lūnosmi āgato ti.

I am not a crested crane, I am but a greedy crow, by not doing your command, after coming, see me being plucked.

In this connection, after coming, now you, after coming from your pasture, see me being plucked, this is the meaning.

3. Punapāpajjasī samma, sīlañ-hi tava tādisaṁ,
Na hi mānusakā bhogā subhuñjā honti pakkhinā ti.

Again you will suffer, dear friend, such is your character, the wealth of human beings cannot be enjoyed by birds.

In this connection, again you will suffer, dear friend, dear friend crow, again you will surely undergo such suffering, there is no such freedom for you.

What is the reason? Such is your wicked character, since your character is such, it is only proper you will undergo suffering.

The wealth of human beings cannot, humans normally have great merit, but there is no such merit for animals, therefore the wealth of human beings cannot be enjoyed by birds, who are animals.