Ja 458 Udayajātaka
The Story about (King) Udaya (11s)

In the present one monk is discontented with the monastic life and declares his wish to leave it. The Buddha tells a story of how two gods were reborn, one male and one female, and how they lived together in chastity, until the male died and was reborn as Sakka. Later he visited, and tried to tempt his former wife, but she remained chaste.

The Bodhisatta = (the King of the Devas) Sakka,
Rāhulamātā = the princess (rājadhītā).

Present Source: Ja 531 Kusa,
Quoted at: Ja 444 Kaṇhadīpāyana, Ja 458 Udaya, Ja 488 Bhisa.

Keywords: Chastity, Content, Devas.

“You flawless.” This story the Teacher told, while dwelling in Jetavana, about a discontented monk. The occasion will be explained under the Kusajātaka [Ja 531].

The story tells that he was of noble birth and lived at Sāvatthi, and on his heartily embracing the dispensation he adopted the ascetic life. Now one day as he was going his rounds for alms in Sāvatthi, he met a fair lady and fell in love with her at first sight. Overcome by his passion he lived an unhappy life, and letting his nails and hair grow long and wearing soiled robes, he pined away and became quite sallow, with all his veins standing out on his body. And just as in the Deva world, the Devaputtas who are destined to fall from their heavenly existence manifest five well-known signs, that is to say, their garlands wither, their robes soil, their bodies grow ill-favoured, perspiration pours from their armpits, and they no longer find pleasure in their Deva home, so too in the case of worldly monks, who fall from the Dhamma, the same five signs are to be seen: the flowers of faith wither, the robes of righteousness soil, through discontent and the effects of an evil name their persons grow ill-favoured, the sweat of corruption streams from them and they no longer delight in a life of solitude at the foot of forest trees – all these signs were to be found in him. So they brought him into the presence of the Teacher, saying: “Venerable sir, this fellow is discontented.”

Again the Teacher asked the man, “Is it true, monk, that you are discontent, as they say?” And he replied, “Yes, sir.” Then he said: “O monk, why are you discontent from a dispensation such as ours, that leads to safety, and all for fleshly sensual desires? Wise men of old, who were kings in Surundha, a city prosperous and measuring twelve leagues either way, though for seven hundred years they lived in one chamber with a woman beauteous as the Devaccharās, yet did not yield to their senses, and never so much as looked at her with desire.” So saying, he told a story of the past. [4.67]

In the past, when king Kāsi was reigning over the realm of Kāsi, in Surundha his city, neither son nor daughter had he. So he bade his queens offer prayer for sons. Then the Bodhisatta, passing out of the Brahmā Realm, was conceived in the womb of his chief queen. And because by his birth he cheered the hearts of a great multitude, he received the name of Udayabhadda, or Welcome. At the time when the lad could walk upon his feet, another being came into this world from the Brahmā Realm, and became a girl child in the womb of another of this king’s wives, and she was named with the same name, Udayabhaddā.

When the prince came of years, he attained a mastery in all branches of education; {4.105} more, he was chaste to a degree, and knew nothing of the deeds of the flesh, not even in dream, nor was his heart bent on sinfulness. The king desired In the text, the king’s words should begin at the word puttaṁ, as the context shows. to make his son king, with the solemn sprinkling, and to arrange plays for his pleasure; and gave command accordingly. But the Bodhisatta replied, “I do not want the kingdom, and my heart is not bent on sinfulness.” Again and again he was entreated, but his reply was to have made a woman’s image of red gold, which he sent to his parents, with the message, “When I find such a woman as this, I will accept the kingdom.” This golden image they dispatched over all Jambudīpa, but found no woman like to it. Then they decked out Udayabhaddā very fine, and confronted her with the image; and her beauty surpassed it as she stood. Then they wedded her to the Bodhisatta for consort, against their wills though it were, his own sister the princess Udayabhaddā, born of a different mother, and sprinkled him to be king.

These two lived together a life of chastity. In course of time, when his parents were dead, the Bodhisatta ruled the realm. The two dwelt together in one chamber, yet denied their senses, and never so much as looked upon one another in the way of desire; nay, a promise they even made, that which of them soever should first die, he should return to the other from his place of new birth, and say, “In such a place am I born again.”

Now from the time of his sprinkling the Bodhisatta lived seven hundred years, and then he died. There was no other king, the commands of Udayabhaddā were promulgated, the courtiers administered the kingdom. The Bodhisatta had become Sakka in the Heaven of the Thirty-Three, and by the magnificence of his glory was for seven days unable to remember the past. So he, after the course of seven hundred years, according to man’s reckoning, Does this mean that Sakka’s day equals 100 of our years? remembered, and said to himself, “To the king’s daughter Udayabhaddā I will go, and I will test her with [4.68] riches, and roaring with the roar of a lion I will discourse, and will fulfil my promise!”

In that age they say that the length of man’s life was ten thousand years. Now at that time, it being the time of night, the palace doors were fast closed, and the guard set, and the king’s daughter was sitting quiet and alone, in a magnificent chamber upon the fine terrace of her seven-storeyed mansion, {4.106} meditating upon her own virtue. Then Sakka took a golden dish filled with coins all of gold, and in her very sleeping-chamber appeared before her; and standing on one side, began speech with her by reciting the first verse:

1. “You flawless in your beauty, pure and bright,
You sitting lonely on this terrace-height,
In pose most graceful, eyed like nymphs of heaven,
I pray you, let me spend with you this night!”

To this the princess made answer in the two verses following:

2. “To this battlemented city, dug with moats, approach is hard,
While its trenches and its towers hand and sword unite to guard.

3. Not the young and not the mighty entrance here can lightly gain;
Tell me – what can be the reason why to meet me you are fain?”

Then Sakka recited the fourth verse: {4.107}

4. “I, fair beauty, am a Yakkha, I that now appear to you:
Grant to me your favour, lady, this full bowl receive from me.”

On hearing which the princess replied by repeating the fifth verse:

5. “I ask for none, since Udaya has died,
Nor god nor Yakkha, no nor man, beside:
Therefore, O mighty Yakkha, get you gone,
Come no more hither, but far off abide.”

Hearing her lion’s note, he stood not, but made as though to depart; and at once disappeared. Next day at the same hour, he took a silver bowl filled with golden coins and addressed her by repeating the sixth verse:

6. “That chief joy, to lovers known completely,
Which makes men do full many an evil thing,
Despise not you, O lady, smiling sweetly:
See, a full bowl of silver here I bring!”

Then the princess began to think, “If I allow him to talk and prate, he will come again and again. I will have nothing to say to him now.” {4.108} So she said nothing at all. Sakka finding that she had nothing to say, disappeared at once from his place.

Next day, at the same time, he took an iron bowl full of coins, and said: “Lady, if you will bless me with your love, I will give this iron bowl full of coins to you.” When she saw him, the princess repeated the seventh verse: [4.69]

7. “Men that would woo a woman, raise and raise
The bids of gold, till she their will obeys.
The gods’ ways differ, as I judge by you:
You comest now with less than other days.”

The Great Being, when he heard these words, made reply, “Lady princess, I am a wary trader, and I waste not my substance for nought. If you were increasing in youth or beauty, I would also increase the present I offer you; but you are fading, and so I make the offering dwindle also.” So saying, he repeated three verses:

8. “O woman! Youthful bloom and beauty fade
Within this world of men, you fair-limbed maid.
And you today are older grown than erst,
So dwindles less the sum I would have paid.

9. Thus, glorious daughter of a king, before my gazing eyes
As goes the flight of day and night your beauty fades and dies.

10. But if, O daughter of a king most wise, it pleases you
Holy and pure to aye endure, more lovely shall you be!” {4.109}

Hereupon the princess repeated another verse:

11. “The gods are not like men, they grow not old;
Upon their flesh is seen no wrinkled fold.
How is’t the gods have no corporeal frame?
This, mighty Yakkha, I would now be told!”

Then Sakka explained the matter by repeating another verse:

12. “The gods are not like men: they grow not old;
Upon their flesh is seen no wrinkled fold:
Tomorrow and tomorrow ever more
Celestial beauty grows, and bliss untold.” {4.110}

When she heard the beauty of the world of gods, she asked the way to go there in another verse:

13. “What terrifies so many mortals here?
I ask you, mighty Yakkha, to make clear
That path, in such diversity explained:
How faring heavenwards need no one fear?”

Then Sakka explained the matter in another verse:

14. “Who keeps in due control both voice and mind,
Who with the body loves not wrong to do,
Within whose house much food and drink we find,
Large-handed, bounteous, in all faith all true,
Of favours free, soft-tongued, of kindly cheer –
He that so walks to heaven need nothing fear.” {4.111}

When the princess had heard his words, she rendered thanks in another verse:

15. “Like a mother, like a father, Yakkha, you admonish me:
Mighty one, O beauteous being, tell me, tell me who you be?” [4.70]

Then the Bodhisatta repeated another verse:

16. “I am Udaya, fair lady, for my promise come to you:
Now I go, for I have spoken; from the promise I am free.”

The princess drew a deep breath, and said: “You are king Udayabhadda, my lord!” then burst into a flood of tears, and added, “Without you I cannot live! Instruct me, that I may live with you always!” So saying she repeated another verse:

17. “If you’re Udaya, come hither for your promise – truly he –,
Then instruct me, that together we, O prince, again may be!”

Then he repeated four verses by way of instruction:

18. “Youth passes soon: a moment – ’tis gone by;
No standing-place is firm: all creatures die
To new life born: this fragile frame decays:
Then be not careless, walk in piety.

19. If the whole earth with all her wealth could be
The realm of one sole king to hold in fee,
A holy saint would leave him in the race:
Then be not careless, walk in piety. {4.112}

20. Mother and father, brother-kin, and she
(The wife) who with a price can purchased be,
They go, and each the other leave behind:
Then be not careless, walk in piety.

21. Remember that this body food shall be
For others; joy alike and misery,
A passing hour, as life succeeds to life:
Then be not careless, walk in piety.”

In this manner discoursed the Great Being. The lady being pleased with the discoursing, rendered thanks in the words of the last verse: {4.113}

22. “Sweet the saying of this Yakkha: brief the life that mortals know,
Sad it is, and short, and with it comes inseparable woe.
I renounce the world: from Kāsi, from Surundhana, I go.”

Having thus discoursed to her, the Bodhisatta went back to his own place.

The next day the princess entrusted her courtiers with the government; and in that very city of hers, in a delightful park, she became a recluse. There she lived righteously, until at the end of her days she was born again in the Heaven of the Thirty-Three, as the Bodhisatta’s handmaiden.

When the Teacher had ended this discourse, he declared the Truths and identified the Jātaka, now at the conclusion of the Truths, the discontented monk was established in the fruit of the First Path. “At that time Rāhula’s mother was the princess, and Sakka was I myself.”