Ja 84 Atthassadvārajātaka
The Birth Story about the Doors to Welfare (1s)
In the present a precocious youth seeks his spiritual welfare. The Buddha tells how he did the same in a previous life, and what advice the Bodhisatta had given him then, as now.
The Bodhisatta = the great wealthy man (mahāseṭṭhi),
the son = the same in the past (putta).
Keywords: Skill, Wisdom, Youth.
“Desire good health, which is the greatest gain.”
In the past when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was a very wealthy Treasurer; and he had a son who, when only seven years old, manifested great intelligence and anxiety for his spiritual welfare. One day the child came to his father to ask what were the Paths leading to spiritual welfare. And his father answered him by repeating this verse:
1. Ārogyam-icche, paramañ-ca lābhaṁ,
Sīlañ-ca vuddhānumataṁ sutañ-ca,
Dhammānuvattī ca alīnatā ca:
Atthassa dvārā pamukhā chaḷete ti.
Desire good health, which is the greatest gain, virtue, approval by elders, learning, conformity to the Dhamma, striving: these six gateways are the entrance to welfare.
In this wise did the Bodhisatta answer his son’s question as to the Paths that lead to spiritual welfare; and the boy from that time forward followed those six rules. After a life spent in generosity and other good works, the Bodhisatta passed away to fare thereafter according to his deeds.
His lesson ended, the Teacher identified the Jātaka by saying: “This child was also the child of those days, and I myself the Lord Treasurer.”
last updated: August 2023