Ja 19 Āyācitabhattajātaka
The Birth Story about the Feasts following a Vow (1s)
In the present the monks hear about a tradition of making a sacrifice following a journey, after making a vow to the gods, and ask the Buddha if any good can come of it. The Buddha replies that it cannot, and tells a story of someone who wanted to make a sacrifice to a Tree Devatā, only to be reproved by that very same god.
The Bodhisatta = Tree Devatā (Rukkhadevatā).
Keywords: Restraint, Delusion, Devas.
“If you would be released after dying.”
When the monks became aware of this, they asked the Fortunate One, saying: “Can there be any good in this, sir?”
The Fortunate One told this story of the past.
In the past in the Kāsi country the householder of a certain little village had promised a sacrifice to the Devatā of a banyan tree which stood at the entrance to the village. Afterwards when he returned, he slew a number
1. Sace mucce pecca mucce, muccamāno hi bajjhati,
Na hevaṁ dhīrā muccanti, mutti bālassa bandhanan-ti.
If you would be released after dying, know that releasing surely binds you, for the wise do not release in this way, such release is only a fool’s bondage.
Thenceforth, men refrained from such taking of life, and by walking in righteousness thronged thereafter the city of the Devas.
His lesson ended, the Teacher showed the connection and identified the Jātaka, by saying: “I was the Tree Devatā of those days.”
last updated: August 2023