Ja 246 Telovādajātaka
The Story concerning the Advice about Oil (2s)

Alternative Title: Bālovādajātaka (Cst)

In the present the ascetic Nāthaputta blames the Buddha for eating meat. The Buddha tells a story of a past life in which he has been similarly blamed, and how he had said that it is not the one who eats, but the one who kills who is to blame for the meat.

The Bodhisatta = the ascetic (tāpasa),
Nigaṇṭha Nāthaputta = the landlord (kuṭumbika).

Keywords: Killing, Blame.

“The wicked kills.” [2.182] This is a story which the Teacher told while staying in his gabled chamber near Vesāli, about Sīhasenāpati.

It is said that this man, after he had fled to the refuge, offered hospitality and then gave food with meat in it. The naked ascetics on hearing this were angry and displeased; they wanted to do the Tathāgata a mischief, “The ascetic Gotama,” sneered they, “with his eyes open, eats meat prepared on purpose for him.”

The monks discussed this matter in their Dhamma Hall, “Friend, Nāthaputta the naked ascetic He is one of the six titthiyas (Heretics), and generally called Nāthaputta (which is probably the right spelling here). The ‘naked ascetics’ were probably the Jains. goes about sneering, because, he says, ‘The ascetic Gotama eats meat prepared on purpose for him, with his eyes open.’ ” Hearing this, the Teacher rejoined, “This is not the first time, monks, that Nāthaputta has been sneering at me for eating meat which was got ready for me on purpose; he did just so in former times.” And he told them a story.

In the past, when Brahmadatta was king of Benares, the Bodhisatta was born a brahmin. When he came of age he embraced the ascetic life.

He came down from the Himālayas to get salt and seasoning, and next day walked the city, begging alms. A certain wealthy man designed to annoy the ascetic. So he brought him to his dwelling, and pointed out a seat, and then served him with fish.

After the meal, the man sat on one side, and said: “This food was prepared on purpose for you, by killing living creatures. Not upon my head is this wrong, but upon yours!” And he repeated the first verse:

1. “The wicked kills, and cooks, and gives to eat:
He is defiled with wrong that takes such meat.” {2.263}

On hearing this, the Bodhisatta recited the second verse:

2. “The wicked may for gift slay wife or son,
Yet, if the holy eat, no wrong is done.” “…those who take life are in fault, but not the persons who eat the flesh; my monastics have permission to eat whatever food it is customary to eat in any place or country, so that it be done without the indulgence of the appetite, or evil desire.” Hardy, Manual, p. 327. [2.183]

And the Bodhisatta with these words of instruction rose from his seat and departed.

This discourse ended, the Teacher identified the Jātaka, “Nāthaputta, the naked ascetic was this wealthy man, and I was the ascetic.”