Ja 175 Ādiccupaṭṭhānajātaka
The Story about Worshipping the Sun (2s)
In the present there is a rogue; we are told no more about him. The Buddha tells a story of a monkey who dressed himself up as an ascetic in order to receive alms, but who was chased off with sticks and clods.
The Bodhisatta = the teacher of a group (gaṇasatthā),
the Buddha’s disciples = the seer’s group (isigaṇa),
the cheating monk = the monkey (makkaṭa).
Present Source: Ja 487 Uddāla,
Quoted at: Ja 89 Kuhaka, Ja 138 Godha, Ja 173 Makkaṭa, Ja 175 Ādiccupaṭṭhāna, Ja 336 Brahāchatta, Ja 377 Setaketu.
Keywords: Deceit, Animals.
“There is no tribe.”
This story the Teacher told, while dwelling in Jetavana, about a dishonest monk. This man, even though dedicated to the dispensation that leads to safety, notwithstanding to gain life’s necessaries fulfilled the threefold cheating practice [seeking requisites, seeking honour and hinting].
The monks brought to light all the evil parts in the man as they conversed together in the Dhamma Hall, “Such a one, monks, after he had dedicated himself to this dispensation which leads to safety, yet lives in deceit!” The Teacher came in, and would know what they talked of there. They told him. Said he, “This is not now the first time; he was deceitful before,” and so saying he told a story of the past.
In the past, when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born in a brahmin family of Kāsi. Coming of years, he went to Taxila, and there completed his education. Then he embraced the ascetic life, cultivated the Super Knowledges and Attainments, and becoming the preceptor of a large band of pupils he spent his life in the Himālayas.
There for a long time he abode; until once in need of salt and seasoning, he came down from the highlands to a border village, where he stayed in a leaf-hut. When they were absent seeking alms, a mischievous monkey used to enter the hermitage, and turn everything upside down, spill the water out of the jars, smash the jugs, and finish by making a mess in the cell where the fire was.
The rains over, the ascetics thought of returning, and took leave of the villagers, “For now,” they thought, “the flowers and fruit are ripening on the mountains.” “Tomorrow,” was the answer, “we will come to your dwelling with our alms; you shall eat before you go.” So next day they brought there plenty of food, solid and liquid. The monkey thought to himself, “I’ll trick these people and cajole them into giving me some food too.” So he put on the air of a holy man seeking alms,
1. “There is no tribe of animals but hath its virtuous one:
See how this wretched monkey here stands worshipping the sun!”
After this fashion the people praised our monkey’s virtues. But the Bodhisatta, observing it, replied, “You don’t know the ways of a mischievous monkey, or you would not praise one who little deserves praise,” adding the second verse:
2. “You praise this creature’s character because you know him not;
He has defiled the sacred fire, and broke each waterpot.”
When the people heard what a rascally monkey it was, seizing sticks and clods they pelted him, and gave their alms to the monks. The sages returned to the Himālayas; and without once interrupting their Absorption they came at last to Brahmā’s Realm.
At the end of this discourse, the Teacher identified the Jātaka, “This deceitful person was in those days the monkey; the Buddha’s followers were the company of sages; and their leader was I myself.”
last updated: November 2021