Ja 225 Khantivaṇṇanajātaka
The Story in Praise of Patience (2s)

Alternative Title: Khantivaṇṇajātaka (Cst)

In the present a courtier had an affair in the king of Kosala’s harem, and the king asked the Buddha advice as to what he should do. The Buddha told a story of courtier who was intriguing in the harem, while his attendant was intriguing with his own wife! When he complained about the attendant the king explained his own course of action was to be patient.

The Bodhisatta = the king of Benares (Bārāṇasirājā).

Keywords: Adultery, Forgiveness, Women.

“There is a man.” This story the Teacher told at Jetavana, about the king of Kosala. A very useful subordinate intrigued in the harem. [cf. Ja 195 Pabbatūpattharajātaka.] Even though he knew about the culprit, the king pocketed the affront, because the fellow was useful, and told the Teacher of it. The Teacher said: “Other kings in days long gone by have done the same,” and at his request, told the following story.

In the past, when Brahmadatta was king of Benares, a man of his court fell into an intrigue in the king’s harem, and an attendant of this courtier did the same thing in the courtier’s house. The man could not endure to be thus affronted. So he led the other before the king, saying: “My lord, {2.207} I have a servant who does all manner of work, and he has made me a cuckold: what must I do with him?” and with the question he uttered this first verse following

1. “There is a man within my house, a zealous servant too;
He has betrayed my trust, O king! Say – what am I to do?” [2.146]

On hearing this, the king uttered the second verse:

2. “I too a zealous servant have; and here he stands, indeed!
Good men, I know, are rare enow: so patience is my tip.”

The courtier saw that these words of the king were aimed at him; and for the future did do no wrong in the king’s house. And the servant likewise, having come to know that the matter had been told to the king, in the future did that thing no more.

This discourse ended, the Teacher identified the Jātaka, “I was the king of Benares.” And the courtier on this occasion found out that the king had told of him to the Teacher, and never did such a thing again.