Ja 304 Daddarajātaka
The Story about (the Nāga) Daddara (4s)

In the present one monk is very irritable and unable to control his anger. The Buddha tells a story of two Nāgas who were exiled from their kingdom because one of them was irritable, and how they lived on a dunghill and were insulted by children, but had to put up with it.

The Bodhisatta = (the prince) Mahādaddara,
the angry monk = (his brother) Culladaddara.

Keywords: Anger, Annoyance, Devas.

“O Daddara, who.” This story the Teacher told while dwelling at Jetavana, about a certain choleric fellow. The circumstance has already been related before. [Unfortunately where the story is is not stated, and many stories might fit, so it is not easy to reconstruct it here.]

On this occasion when a discussion had arisen in the Dhamma Hall about the passionate nature of the man, the Teacher came up, and when in answer to his inquiry he was told by the monks the subject of their discourse, he sent for the man and asked, “Is it true, monk, what they say, that you are passionate?” “Yes, my lord, it is so,” he replied. {3.16} Then the Teacher said: “Not only now, monks, but of old too this fellow was very choleric, and [3.11] owing to his passionate temper wise men of former days though continuing to lead perfectly innocent lives as Nāga princes, had to dwell three years on a filthy dunghill.” And herewith he told a story of the past.

In the past when Brahmadatta was reigning at Benares, the Daddara Nāgas dwelt at the foot of Mount Daddara in the Himālayas region and the Bodhisatta came to life as Mahādaddara [Great Daddara], the son of Sūradaddara [Hero Daddara], the king of that country, with a younger brother named Culladaddara [Little Daddara]. The latter was passionate and cruel, and went about abusing and striking the Nāga maidens. The Nāga king, on hearing of his cruelty, gave orders for his expulsion from the Nāga world. But Mahādaddara got his father to forgive him and saved his brother from expulsion. A second time the king was angry with him, and again he was induced to forgive him. But on the third occasion the king said: “You have prevented me from expelling this good-for-nothing fellow; now both of you get you gone from this Nāga world, and live for three years at Benares on a dunghill.”

So he drove them forth from the Nāga country and they went and lived at Benares. And when the village boys saw them looking for their food in a ditch bounding the dunghill, they struck them and threw clods and sticks and other missiles at them, and crying out, “What have we here – water lizards with big heads and tails like needles?” uttered other words of abuse. But Culladaddara, by reason of his fierce and passionate nature, being unable to put up with such disrespect said: “Brother, these boys are mocking us. They don’t know that we are venomous serpents. I can’t stand their contempt for us. I will destroy them by the breath of my nostril.” And then addressing his brother, he repeated the first verse:

1. “O Daddara, who such an insult could bear?
‘Ho! Frog-eating stick-i’-the-mud,’ they cry:
To think that these poor harmless creatures should dare
A serpent with poisonous fang to defy!” {3.17}

On hearing his words Mahādaddara uttered the rest of the verses:

2. “An exile driven to a foreign shore
Must of abuse lay up a goodly store.

3. For where his rank and virtues none can know,
Only the fool his pride would care to show.

4. He who at home a shining light may be,
Abroad must suffer men of low degree.

So they dwelt there three years. Then their father recalled them home. And from that day their pride was abated. [3.12]

When the Teacher had brought his discourse to an end, he proclaimed the Truths and identified the Jātaka. At the conclusion of the Truths the choleric monk attained Fruition of the Third Path. “At that time the choleric monk was Culladaddara, and I myself was Mahādaddara.”