Ja 219 Garahitajātaka
The Story about Blaming (2s)

In the present one monk can make no progress owing to discontent. The Buddha tells a story about a monkey who lived with a king and understood mankind’s wrongdoing, before being set free and reporting it to his fellows. They blocked their ears rather than listen.

The Bodhisatta = the lord of the monkeys (vānarinda),
the Buddha’s disciples = the group of monkeys (vānaragaṇa).

Keywords: Censure, Tale telling, Animals.

“The gold is mine.” This story the Teacher told at Jetavana, about a monk who was downcast and discontent.

This man could not concentrate his mind on any single object, but his life was all full of discontent; and this was told to the Teacher. When asked by the Teacher if he really were discontented, he said yes; asked why, he replied that it was through his passions. “O monk!” said the Teacher, “this passion has been despised even by the lower animals; and can you, a monk in such a dispensation, yield to discontent arising from the passion that even brutes despise?” Then he told him a story of the past.

In the past, when Brahmadatta reigned over Benares, the Bodhisatta came into the world as a monkey, in the region of the Himālayas. A forester caught him, brought him home and gave him to the king. For a long time he dwelt with the king, serving him faithfully, and he learned a great deal about the manners of the world of men. The king was [2.130] pleased at his faithfulness. He sent for the forester, and bade him set the monkey free in the very place where he had been caught; and so he did.

All the monkey tribe gathered together upon the face of a huge rock, to see the Bodhisatta now that he had come back to them; and they spoke pleasantly to him.

“Sir, where have you been living this long time?” “In the king’s palace at Benares.” “Then how did you get free?” “The king made me his pet monkey, and being pleased with my tricks, he let me go.”

The monkeys went on, “You must know the manner of living in the world of men: {2.185} tell us about it too – we want to hear!”

“Don’t ask me the manner of men’s living,” said the Bodhisatta. “Do tell – we want to hear!” they said again.

“Mankind,” said he, “both princes and brahmins, cry out – ‘Mine! Mine!’ They know not of the impermanence, by which the things that be are not. Hear now the way of these blind fools,” and he spoke these verses:

1. “ ‘The gold is mine, the precious gold!’ so cry they, night and day:
These foolish folk cast never a look upon the holy way.

2. There are two masters in the house; one has no beard to wear,
But has long breasts, ears pierced with holes, and goes with plaited hair;
His price is told in countless gold; he plagues all people there.” {2.186}

On hearing this, all the monkeys cried out, “Stop, stop! We have heard what it is not meet to hear!” and with both hands they stopped their ears tight. And they liked not the place, because they said: “In this place we heard a thing not seemly,” so they went elsewhere. And this rock went by the name of Garahitapiṭṭhi Rock, or the Rock of Blaming.

When the Teacher had ended this discourse, he declared the Truths and identified the Jātaka, at the conclusion of the Truths this monk reached the Fruit of the First Path. “The Buddha’s present followers were that troop of monkeys, and their chief was I myself.”