Ja 379 Nerujātaka
The Story about (Mount) Neru (6s)
In the present one virtuous monk goes to stay in a village, but the villagers abandon him for the sectarians. The Buddha tells a story of how two golden birds would not stay on Mount Neru which made all birds appear golden, as it made no discrimination in casting its lustre.
The Bodhisatta = the elder goose (jeṭṭhakahaṁsa),
Ānanda = the younger goose (kaniṭṭhahaṁsa).
Keywords: Discrimination, Animals, Birds.
“Ravens and crows.” The Teacher told this tale in Jetavana concerning a certain monk. The story is that he got instruction in meditation from the Teacher and then went to a frontier village. There the people, pleased with his behaviour, fed him, built him a hut in the wood, and exacting a promise, made him live there, and gave him great honour. But they forsook him for the teachers of the permanence of matter, afterwards forsaking those for the sect who deny immortality, and those again for the sect of naked ascetics: for teachers of all these sects came among them in turn. So he was unhappy
In the past when Brahmadatta was king in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born as a golden goose. Along with his younger brother
1. “Ravens and crows, and we the best of birds,
When on this mountain, all appear the same.
2. Mean jackals rival tigers and their lords,
The lions: what can be the mountain’s name?”
The Bodhisatta hearing this spoke the third verse:
3. “Noblest of Mountains, Neru is it hight,
All animals are here made fair to sight.”
The younger one hearing this spoke the remaining three verses:
4. “Where’er the good find honour small or none,
Or less than others, live not, but begone.
5. Dull and clever, brave and coward, all are honoured equally:
Undiscriminating mountain, good men will not stay on you!
6. Best, indifferent and meanest Neru does not separate,
Undiscriminating Neru, we, alas, must leave you straight.”
With this they both flew up and went to Cittakūṭa.
After the lesson, the Teacher proclaimed the Truths and identified the Jātaka, at the close of the Truths, that monk was established in the fruition of the First Path. “At that time the younger goose was Ānanda, the elder was myself.”
last updated: November 2021