Ja 110 Sabbasaṁhārakapañha
The Compilation of Questions (1s)
There is no story of the present. In the past a woman steals a necklace from a village woman, claiming it is her own. A wise man asks what perfumes they use when they wear it. The thief tells of an expensive one, the woman of a cheap one. The wise man calls a perfumer, who correctly identifies the perfume.
The Bodhisatta = the wise man (paṇḍita),
(No present day):,
The poor woman (duggatā),
The female thief (corī).
Present Source: Ja 546 Mahā-ummagga,
Quoted at: Ja 110 Sabbasaṁhārakapañha.
Keywords: Wisdom, Honesty.
“There is no All-embracing.” This All-embracing Question will be set out at length in the Ummaggajātaka [Ja 546].
A certain poor woman had tied together several threads of different colours and made them into a necklace, which she took off from her neck and placed on her clothes as she went down to bathe in a tank which the wise man had caused to be made. A young woman who saw this conceived a longing for it, took it up and said to her, “Mother, this is a very beautiful necklace, how much did it cost to make? I will make such a one for myself. May I put it on my own neck and ascertain its size?” The other gave her leave, and she put it on her neck and ran off. The elder woman seeing it came quickly out of the water, and putting on her clothes ran after her and seized hold of her dress, crying, “You are running away with a necklace which I made.” The other replied, “I am not taking anything of yours, it is the necklace which I wear on my neck,” and a great crowd collected as they heard this.
The sage, while he played with the boys, heard them quarrelling as they passed by the door of the hall and asked what the noise was about. When he heard the cause of the quarrel he sent for them both, and having known at once by her countenance which was the thief, he asked them whether they would abide by his decision. On their both agreeing to do so, he asked the thief, “What scent do you use for this necklace?” She replied, “I always use sabbasaṁhhāraka to scent it with.” Then he asked the other, who replied, “How shall a poor woman like me get sabbasaṁhāraka? I always scent it with perfume made of piyaṅgu flowers.” Then the sage had a vessel of water brought and put the necklace in it. Then he sent for a perfume-seller and told him to smell the vessel and find out what it smelt of. He directly recognised the smell of the piyaṅgu flower, and quoted the verse which has already been given in the first book:
1. “No perfume collection it is; only the poor piyaṅgu smells;
That wicked woman told a lie; the truth the village woman tells.”
The Great Being told the bystanders all the circumstances and asked each of them respectively, “Are you the thief? Are you not the thief?” and made the guilty one confess, and from that time his wisdom became known to the people.
last updated: November 2021