Ja 52 Cullajanakajātaka
The Short Birth Story about (King) Janaka (1s)
Alternative Title: Cūḷajanakajātaka (Cst)
In the present a monk has given up his efforts. The Buddha tells the story of how when he was lost at sea, he persevered and eventually was rescued by a Devatā and made it to land.
The Bodhisatta = king Janaka (Janakarājā).
Past Compare: Ja 52 Cullajanakajātaka, Ja 539 Mahājanaka.
“A person must make an effort.” This story was told by the Teacher while at Jetavana, about another discontented monk. All the incidents that are to be related here, will be given in the Mahājanakajātaka [Ja 539].
In the early days of his reign, king Mahājanaka, the son of Ariṭṭhajanaka, ruled over all the kingdoms of Videha. “The king, they say, is a wise man, having skill in means, we will see him,” so the whole city was in a stir to see him, and they came from different parts with presents; they prepared a great festival in the city, covered the walls of the palace with plastered impressions of their hands, hung perfumes and flower-wreaths, darkened the air as they threw fried grain, flowers, perfumes and incense, and got ready all sorts of food to eat and drink. In order to present offerings to the king they gathered round and stood, bringing food hard and soft, and all kinds of drinks and fruits, while the crowd of the king’s ministers sat on one side, on another a host of brahmins, on another the wealthy merchants and the like, on another the most beautiful dancing girls; brahmin panegyrists, skilled in festive songs, sang their cheerful odes with loud voices, hundreds of musical instruments were played, the king’s palace was filled with one vast sound as if it were in the centre of the Yugandhara ocean; every place which he looked upon trembled. The Bodhisatta as he sat under the white umbrella, beheld the great pomp of glory like Sakka’s magnificence, and he remembered his own struggles in the great ocean, “Courage is the right thing to put forth, if I had not shown courage in the great ocean, should I ever have attained this glory?” and joy arose in his mind as he remembered it.
The king, seated beneath the white canopy of sovereignty, recited this verse:
1. Vāyametheva puriso, na nibbindeyya paṇḍito,
Passāmi vohaṁ attānaṁ udakā thalam-ubbhatan-ti.
A person must make an effort, the wise one should not be weary, I see myself as one who lifted myself from water to land.
Here too the discontented monk became an Arahat. The Supreme Buddha was king Janaka.
last updated: August 2023