Ja 30 Muṇikajātaka See hereon Benfey’s Pañcatantra, page 228, where the migrations of this popular story are traced.
The Story about (the Pig) Muṇika (1s)
Alternative Title: Munikajātaka (Cst)
In the present a monk is in danger of being seduced from his monastic life by a sensual girl. The Buddha tells how in a previous life a pig was fattened up and sent to his death by the same girl, and his life, though it looked like he was prospering, was nothing to be envious of.
The Bodhisatta = (the ox) Mahālohita,
Ānanda = (his brother) Cullalohita,
the young woman = the sensual girl (thullakumārika),
the lustful monk = the pig, Muṇika (Muṇikasūkara).
Present Source: Ja 477 Cullanāradakassapa,
Quoted at: Ja 30 Muṇika, Ja 106 Udañcani, Ja 286 Sālūka, Ja 348 Arañña, Ja 435 Haliddirāga,
Present Compare: Vin Mv 1 (1.35).
Keywords: Lust, Contentment, Animals.
“Then envy not poor Muṇika.” This story was told by the Teacher while at Jetavana about being seduced by a sensuous young woman, as will be related in the Thirteenth Book in the Cullanāradakassapajātaka [Ja 477].
There was then, we learn, a girl of about sixteen, daughter of a citizen of Sāvatthi, such as might bring good luck to a man, yet no man chose her. So her mother thought to herself, “This my daughter is of full age, yet no one chooses her. I will use her as bait for a fish, and make one of those Sākiyan ascetics come back to the world, and live upon him.”
At the time there was a young man of good birth living in Sāvatthi, who had given his heart to the dispensation and went forth. But from the time when he had received full ordination he had lost all desire for learning, and lived devoted to the adornment of his person.
The lay sister used to prepare in her house rice gruel, and other food hard or soft, and standing at the door, as the monks walked along the streets, looked out for someone who could be tempted by the craving for delicacies. Streaming by went a crowd of monks who upheld the Three Baskets, including the Abhidhamma and the Vinaya; but among them she saw none ready to rise to her bait. Among the figures with bowl and robe, preachers of the Dhamma with honey-sweet voice, moving like fleecy scud before the wind, she saw not one.
But at last she perceived a man approaching, the outer corners of his eyes anointed, hair hanging down, wearing an under-robe of fine cloth, and an outer robe shaken and cleansed, bearing a bowl coloured like some precious gem, and a sunshade after his own heart, a man who let his senses have their own way, his body much bronzed. “Here is a man I can catch!” thought she; and greeting him, she took his bowl, and invited him into the house. She found him a seat, and provided rice gruel and all the rest; then after the meal, begged him to make that house his resort in future. So he used to visit the house after that, and in course of time became intimate.
One day, the lay sister said in his hearing, “In this household we are happy enough, only I have no son or son-in-law capable of keeping it up.” The man heard it, and wondering what reason she could have for so saying, in a little while he was as it were pierced to the heart. She said to her daughter, “Tempt this man, and get him into your power.” So the girl after that time decked herself and adorned herself, and tempted him with all women’s tricks and wiles. Then the man, being young and under the power of passion, thought in his heart, “I cannot now hold on to the Buddha’s dispensation,” and he went to the monastery, and laying down bowl and robe, said to his spiritual teachers, “I am discontented.”
Then they conducted him to the Teacher, and said: “Sir, this monk is discontented.”
Then the Teacher asked that monk, saying: “Is it true, monk, as they say, that you are overcome by passion?” “It is true, sir,” was the reply. “Monk,” said the Teacher, “she is your bane; even in bygone days, you met your end and were made into a relish for the company on her marriage-day.” And so saying, he told this story of the past.
In the past, when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta came to life as an ox, named Mahālohita [Big Red], on the householder’s estate in a certain hamlet. And he had a younger brother who was known as Cullalohita [Little Red]. There were only these two brothers to do all the draught-work of the family. Also, the householder had an only daughter, whose hand was asked in marriage for his son by a gentleman of the town. And the parents of the girl, with a view to furnishing dainty fare
Observing this, Cullalohita said to his brother, “All the loads that have to be drawn for this household are drawn by you and me, my brother; but all they give us for our pains is sorry grass and straw to eat. Yet here is the pig being victualled on rice! What can be the reason why he should be treated to such fare?”
Said his brother, “My dear Cullalohita, envy him not; for the pig eats the food of death. It is but to furnish a relish for the guests at their daughter’s wedding, that the family are feeding up the pig. Wait but a little time and the guests will be coming. Then will you see that pig lugged out of his quarters by the legs, killed, and in process of conversion into curry.” And so saying, he repeated this verse:
1. “Then envy not poor Muṇika; ’tis death
He eats. Contented munch your frugal chaff –
The pledge and guarantee of length of days.”
Not long afterwards the guests did arrive; and Muṇika was killed and cooked into all manner of dishes. Said the Bodhisatta to Cullalohita, “Did you see Muṇika, dear brother?” “I have indeed seen, brother, the outcome of Muṇika’s feasting. Better a hundred, nay a thousand, times than such food is ours, though it be but grass, straw, and chaff; for our fare harms us not, and is a pledge that our lives will not be cut short.”
When he had ended his lesson to the effect that the monk had thus in bygone days been brought to his doom by that young woman and had been made into a relish for the company,
last updated: November 2021