Ja 428 Kosambījātaka
The Story at Kosambī (9s)

Alternative Title: Kosambiyajātaka (Cst); Saṅghabhedakajātaka (Comm)

In the present two sets of monks fall into a dispute over a disciplinary matter, and although rebuked by the Buddha continue with it. The Buddha tells a story of a prince who forgave his father’s killer, and then admonishes the monks to behave at least as well as their royal predecessor. [This Jātaka is very unusual, as the story of the past is summarised in one paragraph, whereas the story laying the basis forms most of the Jātaka, including the verses.]

The Bodhisatta = prince Dīghāvu (Dīghāvukumāro),
Mahāmāyā = his mother (matā),
King Suddhodana = his father (pitā).

Present Source: Ja 428 Kosambī,
Quoted at: Ja 371 Dīghitikosala,
Present Compare: Vin Mv 10 (1.342), Dhp-a I.5 Kosambaka.

Keywords: Quarrels, Forgiveness.

“Whene’er the Saṅgha.” [3.289] This story the Teacher, while dwelling in the Ghosita park near Kosambī, told concerning certain quarrelsome folk at Kosambī. The incident that led to the story is to be found in The Section with the Vinaya relating to Kosambī. Mahāvagga, x. 1-10. Here is a short summary of it. At that time, it is said, two monks lived in the same house, the one versed in the Vinaya, the other in the Suttas. The latter of these one day having occasion to visit the lavatory went out leaving the surplus water for rinsing the mouth in a vessel. Afterwards the one versed in the Vinaya went in and seeing the water came out and asked his companion if the water had been left there by him. He answered, “Yes, sir.” “What! Do you not know that this is wrong?” “No, I was not aware of it.” “Well, monk, it is wrong.” “Then I will atone for it.” “But if you did it inadvertently and heedlessly, it is not wrong.” So he became as one who saw no wrong in what was wrongful.

The Vinaya scholar said to his pupils, “This Sutta scholar, though falling into wrong, is not aware of it.” They on seeing the other monk’s pupils said: “Your master though falling into wrong does not recognize its wrongfulness.” They went and told their master. He said: “This Vinaya scholar before said it was no wrong, and now he says it is wrong: he speaks falsely.” They went and told the others, “Your master speaks falsely.” Thus they stirred up a quarrel, one with another. Then the Vinaya scholar, finding an opportunity, went through the form of suspension of the monk for refusing to see his offence. Thenceforth even the laymen who provided necessaries for the monks were divided into two factions. The nuns too that accept their admonitions, and tutelary gods, with their friends and intimates and deities from those that rest in space These include all gods except those in the four highest heavens (arūpa-brahmalokas). {3.487} to those of the Brahmā World, even all such as were unconverted, formed two parties, and the uproar reached to the abode of the Akaniṭṭha gods.

Then a certain monk drew near to the Tathāgata, and announced the view of the suspending side who said: “The man is legally suspended,” and the view of the followers of the suspended one, who said: “He is illegally suspended,” and the practice of those who though forbidden by the suspending side, still gathered round in support of him. The Fortunate One said: “There is a schism, yes, a schism in the Saṅgha,” and he went to them and pointed out the misery involved in suspension to those that suspended, and the misery following upon the concealment of the wrong to the opposite party, and so departed.

Again when they were holding the Uposatha and similar services in the same place, within the boundary, and were quarrelling in the refectory and elsewhere, he laid down the rule that they were to sit down together, one by one from each side alternately. And hearing that they were still quarrelling in the monastery he went there and said: “Enough, monks, let us have no quarrelling.” And one of the heretical side, Reading adhammavādinā as in the parallel passage of the Mahāvagga, p. 341. not wishing to annoy the Fortunate One, said: “Let the Fortunate One, the master of the Dhamma, dwell quietly at ease, enjoying the bliss he has already obtained in this life. We shall make ourselves notorious by this quarrelling, altercation, disputing and contention.” [3.290]

But the Teacher said to them, “In the past, monks, Brahmadatta reigned as king of Kāsi in Benares, and he robbed Dīghati, [Elsewhere the name is given as Dīghiti.] king of Kosala, of his kingdom, and put him to death, when living in disguise, and when prince Dīghāvu spared the life of Brahmadatta, they became thenceforth close friends. [For a longer version of this story see: Ja 371 Dīghitikosalajātaka.]

Since such must have been the long-suffering and tenderness of these sceptred and sword-bearing kings, verily, monks, you ought to make it clear that you too, having embraced the ascetic life according to so well-taught a Dhamma and Discipline, can be forgiving and tender-hearted.” And thus admonishing them for the third time he said: “Enough, monks, let there be no quarrelling.”

When he saw that they did not cease at his bidding, he went away, saying: “Verily, these foolish folk are like men possessed, they are not easy of persuasion.” Next day returning from the collection of alms he rested awhile in his perfumed chamber, and put his room in order, and then taking his bowl and robe he stood poised in the air and delivered these verses in the midst of the assembly: {3.488}

1. “Whenever the Saṅgha in twain is rent, [All of these verse are quoted as a group in MN 128 Upakkilesasutta,.]
The common folk to loud-mouthed cries give vent:
Each one believes that he himself is wise,
And views his neighbour with disdainful eyes.

2. Bewildered souls, puffed up with self-esteem,
With open mouth they foolishly blaspheme;
And as through all the range of speech they stray,
They know not whom as leader to obey.

3. This Dhp v. 3-5. See also No. 371 supra. man abused me, that struck me a blow,
A third o’ercame and robbed me long ago.
All such as harbour feelings of this kind,
To mitigate their wrath are ne’er inclined.

4. He did abuse and buffet me of yore
He overcame me and oppressed me sore.
They who such thoughts refuse to entertain,
Appease their wrath and live at one again.

5. Not hate, but love alone makes hate to cease:
This is the everlasting law of peace.

6. Some men the law of self-restraint despise,
But who make up their quarrels, they are wise.

7. If men all scarred with wounds in deadly strife,
Robbers of cattle, taking human life,
Nay those that plunder a whole realm, may be
Friends with their foes, should monks not agree?

8. Should you [The last three verse are also found at Dhp. 328-330.] a wise and honest comrade find,
A kindred soul, to dwell with you inclined,
All dangers past, with him you still would stray,
In happy contemplation all the day.

9. But should you fail to meet with such a friend,
Your life ’twere best in solitude to spend,
Like to some prince that abdicates a throne,
Or elephant that ranges all alone.

10. For choice adopt the solitary life,
Companionship with fools but leads to strife;
In careless innocence pursue your way,
Like elephant in forest wild astray.” {3.489}

When the Teacher had thus spoken, as he failed to reconcile these monks, he went to Bālakaloṇakāragāma (the village of Bālaka, the salt-maker), [3.291] and discoursed to the venerable Bhagu of the blessings of solitude. Thence he repaired to the abode of three youths of gentle birth and spoke to them of the bliss to be found in the sweets of concord. Thence he journeyed to the Pārileyyaka forest, {3.490} and after dwelling there three months, without returning to Kosambī, he went straight to Sāvatthi. And the lay folk of Kosambī consulted together and said: “Surely these venerable monks of Kosambī have done us much harm; worried by them the Fortunate One is gone away. We will neither offer salutation nor other marks of respect to them, nor give alms to them when they visit us. So they will depart, or return to the world, or will propitiate the Fortunate One.” And they did so. And these monks overwhelmed by this form of punishment went to Sāvatthi and begged forgiveness of the Fortunate One.

The Teacher thus identified the Jātaka, “The father was the great king Suddhodana, the mother was Mahāmāyā, [Neither of which are actually mentioned in the Jātaka.] prince Dīghāvu was myself.”