Ja 286 Sālūkajātaka Compare No. 30, Vol. i. p. 75, and No. 477; parallels are quoted by Benfey, Pañcatantra pref. pp. 228, 229. Æsop’s fable of the Calf and the Ox will occur to the reader. See also Rhys Davids’ note to his translation of No. 30.
The Story about (the Pig) Sālūka (3s)
In the present a monk is seduced by a sensual young woman. When the Buddha finds out he tells a story of how an ox envied a pig, until he found out the pig was being fattened for slaughter, then he became satisfied with his lot.
The Bodhisatta = (the ox) Mahālohita,
Ānanda = (his brother) Cullalohita,
the dissatisfied monk = (the pig) Sālūka,
the sensual girl = the same in the past (thullakumārikā).
Present Source: Ja 477 Cullanāradakassapa,
Quoted at: Ja 30 Muṇika, Ja 106 Udañcani, Ja 286 Sālūka, Ja 348 Arañña, Ja 435 Haliddirāga,
Present Compare: Vin Mv 1 (1.35).
Keywords: Seduction, Dissatisfaction, Women, Animals.
“Envy not what Sālūka eats.”
This story the Teacher told, while dwelling at Jetavana, about the allurements of a sensual girl.
There was then, we learn, a girl of about sixteen, daughter of a citizen of Sāvatthi, such as might bring good luck to a man, yet no man chose her. So her mother thought to herself, “This my daughter is of full age, yet no one chooses her. I will use her as bait for a fish, and make one of those Sākiyan ascetics come back to the world, and live upon him.” At the time there was a young man of good birth living in Sāvatthi, who had given his heart to the dispensation and went forth. But from the time when he had received full ordination he had lost all desire for learning, and lived devoted to the adornment of his person.
The lay sister used to prepare in her house rice gruel, and other food hard or soft, and standing at the door, as the monks walked along the streets, looked out for someone who could be tempted by the craving for delicacies. Streaming by went a crowd of monks who upheld the Three Baskets, including the Abhidhamma and the Vinaya; but among them she saw none ready to rise to her bait. Among the figures with bowl and robe, preachers of the Dhamma with honey-sweet voice, moving like fleecy scud before the wind, she saw not one.
But at last she perceived a man approaching, the outer corners of his eyes anointed, hair hanging down, wearing an under-robe of fine cloth, and an outer robe shaken and cleansed, bearing a bowl coloured like some precious gem, and a sunshade after his own heart, a man who let his senses have their own way, his body much bronzed. “Here is a man I can catch!” thought she; and greeting him, she took his bowl, and invited him into the house. She found him a seat, and provided rice gruel and all the rest; then after the meal, begged him to make that house his resort in future. So he used to visit the house after that, and in course of time became intimate.
One day, the lay sister said in his hearing, “In this household we are happy enough, only I have no son or son-in-law capable of keeping it up.” The man heard it, and wondering what reason she could have for so saying, in a little while he was as it were pierced to the heart. She said to her daughter, “Tempt this man, and get him into your power.” So the girl after that time decked herself and adorned herself, and tempted him with all women’s tricks and wiles. Then the man, being young and under the power of passion, thought in his heart, “I cannot now hold on to the Buddha’s dispensation,” and he went to the monastery, and laying down bowl and robe, said to his spiritual teachers, “I am discontented.”
Then they conducted him to the Teacher, and said: “Sir, this monk is discontented.”
So the Teacher asked this monk whether it was true he had fallen in love. Yes, he said. “With whom?” the Teacher asked. “With a sensual girl.” “That woman, monk,” said the Teacher, “is your bane; long ago, as now, you became food for the crowd through your desire to marry her.” Then at the request of the monks he told a story of the past.
In the past, when Brahmadatta reigned in Benares, the Bodhisatta was an ox named Mahālohita [Big Red], and he had a young brother called Cullalohita [Little Red]. Both of them worked for a family in some village.
There was in this family a grown-up girl, who was asked in marriage by another family. Now in the first family a pig called Sālūka [Celery], Lit. edible lotus root. was being fattened, on purpose to serve for a feast on the wedding-day; it used to sleep in a sty. Heṭṭhamañca, ‘perhaps the platform outside the house under the eaves, a favourite resort.’ Cp. Rhys Davids, Buddhist Birth Stories, p. 277.
One day, Cullalohita said to his brother, “Brother, we work for this family, and we help them to get their living. Yet they only give us grass and straw, while they feed that pig with rice porridge, and let it sleep in a sty; and what can it do for them?”
“Brother,” said Big Redcoat, “don’t covet his porridge. They want to make a feast of him on our young lady’s wedding-day, that’s why they are fattening him up. Wait a few days, and you’ll see him dragged out of his sty, killed, chopped into bits, and eaten up by the visitors.” So saying, he composed the first two verses:
1. “Envy not what Sālūka eats;
Deadly is the food he gets.
Be content and eat your chaff:
It means long life on your behalf.
2. By and by the guest will come,
With his gossips all and some.
All chopped up poor Sālūka
With his big flat snout will lie.”
A few days after, the wedding guests came, and Sālūka was killed and made a meal of. Both oxen, seeing what became of him, thought their own chaff was the best.
The Teacher, after Fully Awakening, repeated the third verse by way of explanation:
3. “When they saw the flat-snout lie
All chopped up, ‘Poor Sālūka,’
Said the oxen, ‘Best by half
Surely is our humble chaff!’ ”
When the Teacher had finished this discourse, he declared the Truths, and identified the Jātaka, at the conclusion of the Truths, the monk in question attained the fruition of the First Path. “At that time, the sensual girl was the same, the lovesick monk was Sālūka, Ānanda was Cullalohita, and I was Mahālohita myself.”
last updated: November 2021