Ja 230 Dutiyapalāyijātaka
The Second Story about (the King) who Fled (2s)

Alternative Title: Dutiyapalāyitajātaka (Cst)

In the present one ascetic goes about arguing with all he meets, when he meets the Buddha he is intimidated by the radiance of his face, and decides not to argue. The Buddha tells a story of a mighty king who got up a huge army, but when he saw the radiance of the face of the king he intended to overthrow he was intimidated and decided to withdraw.

The Bodhisatta = the king of Benares (Bārāṇasirājā),
the roaming wanderer = the king of Gandhāra (Gandhārarājā).

Past Compare: Ja 229 Palāyi, Ja 230 Dutiyapalāyi.

Keywords: Overestimation, Vanity.

“Countless are my banners.” [2.153] {2.219} This story the Teacher told while living at Jetavana, about this same wanderer mendicant.

At that time, the Teacher, with a large company round him, sitting on the beautifully adorned throne of the truth, upon a vermilion dais, was discoursing like a young lion roaring with a lion’s roar. The mendicant, seeing the One with Ten Powers’ form like the form of Brahmā, his face like the glory of the full moon, and his forehead like a plate of gold, turned round where he had come, in the midst of the crowd, and ran off, saying: “Who could overcome a man like this?”

The crowd went in chase, then came back and told the Teacher. He said: “Not only now has this mendicant fled at the mere sight of my golden face; he did the same before.” And he told a story of the past.

In the past, the Bodhisatta was king in Benares, and in Taxila reigned a certain king of Gandhāra. This king, desiring to capture Benares, went and compassed the city about with a complete army of four divisions. And taking his stand at the city gate, he looked upon his army, and said he, “Who shall be able to conquer so great an army as this?” and describing his army, he uttered the first verse:

1. “Countless are my banners: rival none they own:
Flocks of crows can never stem the rolling sea
Never can the storm-blast beat a mountain down:
So, of all the living none can conquer me!” {2.220}

Then the Bodhisatta disclosed his own glorious countenance, in fashion as the full moon; and threatening him, thus spoke, “Fool, babble not vainly! Now will I destroy your host, as a maddened elephant crushes a thicket of reeds!” and he repeated the second verse:

2. “Fool! And have you never yet a rival found?
You are hot with fever, if you seek to wound
Solitary savage elephants like me!
As they crush a reed-stalk so will I crush thee!”

When the king of Gandhāra heard him threaten thus, {2.221} he looked up, and beholding his wide forehead like a plate of gold, for fear of being captured himself he turned and ran away, and came again even unto his own city.

This discourse ended, the Teacher identified the Jātaka, “The vagrant wanderer was at that time the king of Gandhāra, and the king of Benares was I myself.”