Ja 79 Kharassarajātaka
The Story about the Beating (Drum) (1s)
In the present a minister makes an agreement with thieves and withdraws his men from protecting a village, which is then plundered. The Buddha tells how he did the same thing in a past life.
The Bodhisatta = the wise man who recited (the verse) (udāhārakapaṇḍitamanussa),
the minister = the same in the past life (amacca).
Keywords: Treachery, Greed.
“He gave the robbers time.”
In the past when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, he appointed a certain minister to be headman of a border-village; and everything came to pass as in the above case. Now in those days the Bodhisatta was making the round of the border-villages in the way of trade,
1. “He gave the robbers time to drive and slay
The cattle, burn the houses, capture folk;
And then with drums beating, home he marched,
A son no more, for such a son is dead.” The commentator’s explanation is, that a son who is so lost to all decency and shame, ceases ipso facto to be a son, and that his mother is sonless even while her son is still alive.
In such wise did the Bodhisatta condemn the headman. Not long after, the villany was detected, and the rascal was punished by the king as his wickedness deserved.
“This is not the first time, sire,” said the king, “that he has been of this disposition; he was just the same in bygone days also.”
His lesson ended, the Teacher showed the connection and identified the Jātaka by saying: “The headman of today was also the headman of those days, and I myself the wise and good man who recited the verse.”
last updated: November 2021