Ja 85 Kimpakkajātaka
The Story about the Kimpakka (1s)
In the present a monk is overcome by lust for a woman. The Buddha advises him, that though indulgence is enjoyed at the time, it leads to destruction in the future. He then tells a story of how in a past life he saved his caravan by warding off the consumption of a poisonous fruit.
The Bodhisatta = the caravan leader (satthavāha),
the Buddha’s disciples = the rest of the cast (parisā).
Past Compare: Ja 54 Phala, Ja 85 Kimpakka, Ja 366 Gumbiya.
Keywords: Lust, Restraint.
“As they who ate.”
In the past when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta came to life as the leader of a caravan. Once when journeying with five hundred carts from east to west, he came to the outskirts of a forest. Assembling his men, he said to them, “In this forest grow trees that bear poisonous fruit. Let no man eat any unfamiliar fruit without first asking me.” When they had traversed the forest, they came at the other border on a Kimpakka tree with its boughs bending low with their burden of fruit. In form, smell and taste, its trunk, boughs, leaves and fruit resembled a mango. Taking the tree, from its misleading appearance and so forth, to be a mango, some plucked the fruit and ate; but others said: “Let us speak to our leader before we eat.” And these latter, plucking the fruit, waited for him to come up. When he came, he ordered them to fling away the fruit they had plucked, and had an emetic administered to those who had already eaten. Of these latter, some recovered; but such as had been the first to eat, died. The Bodhisatta reached his destination in safety, and sold his wares at a profit, after which he travelled home again. After a life spent in generosity and other good works, he passed away to fare according to his deeds.
It was when he had told this story, that the Teacher, after Fully Awakening, uttered this verse:
1. “As they who ate the Kimpakka died, so sensual desires,
When ripe, slay him who knowing not the woe
They breed hereafter, stoops to lustful deeds.”
Having thus shown that the sensual desires, which are so sweet in the hour of fruition, end by slaying their votaries, the Teacher preached the Four Truths, at the close
last updated: November 2021