III: Jātaka Stories


[102] A Pratyeka-Buddha In Pali it is known as Paccekabuddha or individual Buddha. He is inferior to the sammāsaṁbuddha. He is not omniscient. He has acquired knowledge necessary to Nirvāṇa but does not preach it to men. entered into Kāśī for piṇḍas (alms) but receiving no alms, was walking out of the village. At this time, a villager was returning home after daily work. The villager said to the Pratyeka­Buddha, “Ārya, Have you received alms?” The Pratyeka-Buddha did not reply but he showed him the empty bowl. On seeing the empty bowl, the villager began to speak ill of other villagers and asked him to follow him for food. He entered the village with the Pratyeka-Buddha and coming to the cross-way he began to shout, “Utter ruin! Utter ruin!” On hearing this loud shout, villagers, males and females, assembled there and asked him what the matter was and why he was shouting so loudly. The villager said “I am grieved to see the Pratyeka-Buddha going with empty hands.” Then all the inhabitants of the village determined to treat the Pratyeka-Buddha with due hospitality. The villager invited the Pratyeka-Buddha with a view to honour him with food and raiment for life. He had a daughter [103] who was also informed of this arrangement. The daughter was highly pleased. The villager got a stūpa built in his honour in course of time. The daughter of the villager used to worship daily at the stūpa with scents, garlands, incense, etc. This daughter was born in heaven. Hundreds of thousands of nymphs surrounded her and ornamented her head with various jewels. Descending from heaven, she was born in the womb of the queen of King Kki at Benares. She was named Mālinī.

The beautiful daughter of the king of Kāśī was of pure conduct and putting on pure garments, she used to stand before her father with folded hands. Her father entrusted to her the task of feeding the Brahmins. Mālinī fed twenty-thousand brahmins, but on finding them desirous of her, she hated them and thought that they were not worthy of presents. She then found out the disciples of the Buddha and sent her maid to bring them to the palace. Mālinī, after causing them to sit on good seats, requested them to accept food. The disciples of the Buddha said that they would not accept anything unless something be given to them as the food for the Buddha. Mālinī replied that after taking food they should take with them some food for the Buddha and convey her desire to the Buddha to accept her invitation to the palace. The disciples after taking their meals brought some food for the Buddha and expressed to him her desire. The Buddha Kāśyapa accepted her invitation and having [104] received this news she made arrangements for the food of the Buddha throughout the night. Next morning the Buddha Kāśyapa with his disciples including Tiṣya Bharadvāja and others entered Benares. Buddha with twenty thousand disciples entered the inner apartments of King Kki. Mālinī welcomed the Buddha with his disciples and satisfied them with excellent food and drink. The Buddha Kāśyapa after washing his mouth gave religious instruction to her. The Brahmins grew angry with Mālinī because she fed the Buddha Kāśyapa with his disciples. At this time the influence of the Brahmins was great. The Brahmins resolved to kill her because she hated them and honoured the śramaṇas and was depriving the Brahmins of the means of their livelihood.

The Brahmins sent a messenger to king Kki with the complaint that Mālinī was not showing reverence to the Brahmins, and that, having brought Kāśyapa with his disciples to Rājagha, she had greatly honoured and worshipped him, while the Brahmins were not given the opportunity to see her. She was not carrying out the instructions of the king. She was asked to feed twenty­thousand Brahmins at Rājagha but in vain. The king came to Benares, and saw many Brahmins assembled there. The Brahmins offered their blessings to him and brought to his notice their grievances concerning Mālinī. They added, “If Mālinī lives then the Brahmins will not daily obtain the thing which they usually get from [105] your palace. If you want the state of a brahmin, you should renounce Mālinī.” The king after considering much, thought it better to leave her. The king then sent a messenger to bring her inside the city. The messenger went to Rājagha and informed Mālinī thus, “The king has renounced you and the brahmins will kill you.” Mālinī cried aloud in the presence of her mother and there was a great lamentation in the harem. All the inhabitants of the city became very much aggrieved to hear the news. Mālinī was brought before the king and she with folded hands requested the Brahmins to allow her to say a few words, “O Brahmins, I am now under your control and you have made up your mind to kill me. I pray for a week’s time so that I can offer charity according to my desire and accumulate merit. After the lapse of the week you may either kill me or do whatever you like.” The Brahmins after much deliberation gave her time for a week. Then Mālinī informed her father that she would accumulate merit by offering charity for a week from to-day. Mālinī said, “I shall request Buddha Kāśyapa with his disciples to stay in the palace and accept my offerings.” With the king’s permission, Mālinī invited Kāśyapa to accept it. At this, the Brahmins became angry and was anxious to kill her in course of the week. But Mālinī somehow pacified them. In the first day, Mālinī fed Kāśyapa with his disciples in the presence of her parents. Kāśyapa gave religions [106] instructions to the king who gradually became a devotee with the female members of his harem. On the second day, five hundred sons became his followers. On the third day, the members of the family, on the fourth day, the royal officers, on the fifth day, the army, on the sixth day, the royal ācāryas (preceptors), and on the seventh day, all others became the followers of Kāśyapa. The king being pleased again invited Kāśyapa with his disciples. When all of them became attached to the religion of Kāśyapa, it struck them that it was owing to the influence of Mālinī that they acquired pure insight into all religions. They made up their mind to save Mālinī from the hands of the Brahmins and they informed the Brahmins that they must not kill her. All were assembled in the royal city and came before the Brahmins. The Brahmins seeing their strength informed the king that they would not kill Mālinī but they would try to subdue Kāśyapa who was responsible for all this. They sent ten persons well armed to kill Kāśyapa but as soon as they reached Kāśyapa, they became attached to the religion of the Buddha through the influence of his compassion. The Brahmins again sent twelve persons and they also became the followers of Kāśyapa. Afterwards thirty, forty, and fifty persons were sent successively to perform the same task but all of them became well-established in the Dharma of the Buddha and they afterwards sent a messenger to the remaining Brahmins that Kāśyapa was [107] a perfectly Enlightened One, compassionate and was always after the good of the world and they should not think of doing any injury to him. The remaining Brahmins were further informed that they should come being free from haughtiness and pride to worship Kāśyapa. As soon as they received news they ran towards Kāśyapa with sticks in their hands but they were afterwards defeated by him.

Mañjarī Jātaka

In the past, there lived in Benares a brahmin belonging to the Kauśika gotra. Seeing the world full of miseries, he left the household life, became a monk, and built a hermitage near the Ganges. He acquired the four kinds of meditation and five kinds of Abhiññā (supernatural faculties). He became a great sage. He used to take food without giving it to any other person. One of his relatives was reborn after death by virtue of pious deeds as a gandharvaputra, named Pañcasikha. In order to change his habit of taking food without giving it to any other person Pañcasikha came to the hermitage with the sun, the moon, Mātali, and Indra, in the guise of Brahmins, just at the time Kauśika was taking his food and asked for a share of his meal. At first, Kauśika was reluctant to part with a share of his meal; but on learning from them the merit of gift and their ancestry, Kauśika promised that he would not thenceforth partake of food, even nectar, without giving a share of it to śramaṇas and brāhmaṇas. [108]

At this time, the four daughters of Indra, viz., Śri (Goddess of prosperity), Śraddhā (Faith), Āśā (Hope), Hrī (Modesty) were worshipped with flowers by a sage. A dispute arose amongst them regarding an individual’s share of the flowers offered by the sage. In order to settle the dispute, the sage advised them to go to Indra and to seek his opinion as to who amongst them was the most superior. The daughters acted accordingly. Indra told them that they were all equal. The daughters were not satisfied at this. At their importunity Indra asked them to go to Kauśika, meanwhile, he sent nectar to Kauśika through Mātali. Kauśika would not drink it without giving a share of it to some other person. The daughters of Indra, Śrī, Śraddhā, Āśā, and Hrī prayed for nectar. Kauśika neglected the first three and gave nectar to Hrī. Indra again sent Mātali to Kauśika who came there and ask him the cause of indifference towards the first three. Kauśika said, “Śrī (Goddess of prosperity) goes lonely, Śraddhā (Faith) is evanescent, Āśā (Hope) is fruitless.” Considering Hrī (Modesty) to be pure, Kauśika gave nectar to her only. With this nectar, Hrī came to Indra and received the flowers offered by the sage. After death, Kauśika went to heaven. Kauśika was the Buddha and Hrī was Yaśodharā.

Godhā Jātaka

In ancient times, there reigned in Benares a king, named Suprabha. His son was named Suteja, who was loved [109] by everybody. The king thought that as the prince was dear to one and all, his subjects might kill him (the king) and install his son on the throne. This thought led him to banish the prince. The latter with his wife lived in a hut near the Himalayas. He lived on fruits, vegetables, and the flesh of boars and deer. One day, while he went out of his hut, a cat killed an iguana, and kept it near the princess who did not touch it. Meanwhile, having collected fruits and vegetables, the prince returned and seeing the iguana the prince said to his wife, “whence has this iguana come?” The wife replied, “A cat has brought it here.” The prince then peeled off the skin of the iguana and boiled it. His wife went to bring water. The prince thought that his wife did not even touch the iguana although she had a desire for eating its flesh. Had she had a little love for me, she would have cooked it. The prince, therefore, did not see any necessity of keeping some meat for his wife but he himself ate up the whole of the cooked iguana before his wife’s return. On her return, the princess did not find the iguana but she learnt from her husband that the animal had fled. The princess was astonished at this impossibility and took it to heart that the prince had no love for her. In course of time, king Suprabha died and the ministers took the prince from the forest and made him king. On ascending the throne, the prince tried in vain to please his wife who had not then forgotten the iguana [110] affair. The prince asked her about the cause of her dissatisfaction and learnt the true facts. In Pali, there are two Godhā Jātakas, but the stories are different from what is stated above.

Hārapradāna Jātaka

At the time of the distribution of ornaments, Yaśodharā came last. The prince fixed his look on her. The prince took out from his own neck the most valuable necklace and gave it to Yaśodharā. The latter said, “Am I worthy to receive so much?” The prince forthwith took out of his finger the most valuable ring and gave it to her. Distributing all ornaments the prince entered the harem. The king learnt from his ministers that Yaśodharā, the daughter of Mahānāma, had attracted the prince’s attention. The king prayed to Mahānāma for Yaśodharā. Mahānāma said, “The prince has been brought up in the harem. He has not learnt art, archery, politics, etc. He cannot be given a girl.” The king was sorry. The prince heard of the cause of his father’s sorrow and declared that on the seventh day from the day of declaration let all versed in art, archery, etc., come for competition. The king was delighted. Many persons came to the appointed place from Kapilavastu and various janapadas and Adhiṣṭhānas to see the prince’s skill in art, archery, etc. At the door of the appointed place there was a powerful elephant. Prince Devadatta killed the elephant by one slap and being unable [111] to move the huge animal, he walked over it. Prince Sundarananda saw the elephant on his way. He moved the elephant to a distance of seven feet from the door; still the door was blocked. Prince Sarbārthasiddha got down from the chariot and threw away the elephant beyond the seven walls (Prakāra) of Kapilavastu. People were astonished to notice the prince’s prowess. The path was cleared. Everybody went that way easily. Mahānāma too went that way.

Prince Sarbārthasiddha showed various feats. None could equal him in battle or boxing. At last arrows were shot. Seven palm trees were planted within twenty miles, each at a distance of two miles from the other. Someone’s arrow went to the first palm tree, others to the second palm tree. Devadatta’s arrow touched the third palm tree, Sundarananda’s arrow passed the third palm tree, and dropped down between the third and the fourth palm trees. Bodhisattva got the arrow of his grandfather Simhahanu and said, “who can fix the arrow on this bow?” The assembly could not. The Śākya boys were asked to do it but they failed. Then, one after another, the Koliyas, the Licchavis were asked, they too failed. The Bodhisattva himself fixed the arrow on the bow of his grandfather after worshipping it with scents and garlands. Kapilavastu reverberated with the sound of the bow. The arrow passed the seven palm trees, pierced the earth and reached hell. Flower-rain was showered from [112] the sky. Every one was pleased with the prince for his strength and prowess.

When the Bodhisattva came out and turned the wheel of Dharma, the bhikkhus heard of this and asked the Buddha about it. The Buddha replied that it was not in that birth but in previous births as well that he knew the Śākyas to have lost for ever the strength of their fist.

Vyagrībhūta Yaśodharā Jātaka

Once, at the foot of the Himalayas, all the quadrupeds assembled to select one of themselves to be their king. It was decided that he who would be able to reach the Himalaya mountain first would be selected king. A tigress reached the destination first. All the animals found that they were defeated by a female. Everywhere the king was male and no female ever reigned. The animals decided that one who would be married by the tigress would be the king of the quadrupeds. Ox, elephant, and lion wanted the tigress. The tigress forsook the first two and chose the lion as her husband. The Buddha was the lion at that birth and Yaśodharā, the tigress.

Dharmapāla Jātaka

In ancient times, there lived in Benares a king, named Brahmadatta. He had a learned priest named Brahmāyu. The latter sent his son, Dharmapāla, to a guru (preceptor) near the Himalayas to learn the Vedas, etc. Near the hermitage of the preceptor, there was a lake where lived a monster (rākṣasa) who used to devour any person [113] coming there to take a bath. Dharmapāla used to bathe in that lake where a nāga, a friend of Dharmapāla, used to live. His preceptor warned him against bathing in the lake. One day a boy resembling Dharmapāla went there to bathe. The monster ate him up partially. The half-eaten body floated on the surface of water. The brahmin pupils at once informed their teacher. The latter came to the spot, saw the half-eaten body which he thought to be that of Dharmapāla. He took it up. With bone and ash he came to Brahmāyu who said that such a thing could never happen. Nobody in his family had died young. Virtue alone saved the virtuous. Dharmapāla did not die. The Brahman came back to his house and was astonished to see Dharmapāla. In previous births, Buddha was Brahmāyu and his son Rāhula was Dharmapāla.

Śarakṣepaṇa Jātaka

In former ages, there lived in Benares a king whose kingdom extended up to Takṣaśīlā. The king installed his younger brother on the throne of Benares and went to live in Takṣaśīlā. At this time another king besieged Benares. The younger brother informed the king at Takṣaśīlā. The king wrote down something on a Bhurja leaf and wrapping the leaf round an arrow and binding it with a thread, he shot the arrow towards Benares. The arrow fell on the feet of the besieging king and broke into pieces the shield of his legs (pādaphalaka). The king thought that the [114] arrow had been shot from Benares. He was greatly astonished. He took out from the arrow the Bhurjapatra and opening it found the following lines written therein:- “I break into pieces the shield of your leg. If you do not desire death, you should leave my kingdom.” The king was afraid and astonished. He had a temple built there, established the arrow in it, and worshipped it. Thereafter he left Benares.

In that birth, Buddha was the king of Benares who shot the arrow from Takṣaśīlā.

Amarā Jātaka

In days of yore, there was a village named Yavakacchaka situated at a distance of half a yojana from Mithilā. Outside Yavakacchaka there was a village of blacksmiths.

A blacksmith of that village had a learned daughter, named Amarā. A man of the Yavakacchaka village had a son, named Mahauṣadha. Once Mahauṣadha saw Amarā with rice on his way to the field. Mahauṣadha asked her who she was, what her name was, and so on. Amarā answered him in a riddle. Mahauṣadha understood her clearly. Both of them were attached to each other. Mahauṣadha went to Amarā’s father and prayed for Amarā’s hand. Amarā’s parents told him that they would not marry their daughter to any body excepting a blacksmith. Mahauṣadha was intelligent and experienced in all the arts. He thought that the minutest work of the blacksmith was the manufacture of the needle. One [115] able to manufacture the needle can do all sorts of blacksmith’s works. He manufactured a wonderful needle and went to the village-smith to sell it. Amarā heard his voice and ran out to him and told him why he had come to sell a needle in a place where such needles were manufactured. Mahauṣadha said, “the blacksmith will understand my skill in manufacturing needles so I have come here. If your parents know that I am skilled in preparing needles, they may give you to me.”

Amarā told her father that this smith’s son had manufactured a beautiful needle. Amarā’s father marked his skill and gave him his daughter. In this birth Buddha was Mahauṣadha, Yaśodharā was Amarā, and Mahānāma Śākya was the lord of the village-smiths.

Siri Jātaka

In the past, there lived in the city Vāravāli, a brahmin well-versed in the three Vedas together with their glossaries and history. He had five hundred pupils whom he taught Vedamantras. He had a daughter of unique beauty, named Śiri. Once he was invited by a sacrificer, named Sārthavāha, living in a sea­port to perform sacrifice and was offered riches even if he would fail to attend personally. The brahmin called his pupils and said, “whoever will brave the journey to the sea-port will be given my daughter, Śiri.” One of his pupils who was courageous and powerful and was already in deep love with Śiri wanted to go. He was sent by the brahmin with a letter to Sārthavāha. On [116] reaching his destination, he made over the letter to Sārthavāha who read the letter and gave him gold and riches. The pupil bundled the riches and left the place. On his way home, the bundle fell into the sea during transhipment from the ship to the boat. He was sorely grieved and began to bale out the water of the sea. The sea-god appeared to him in the guise of a brahmin and asked him why he was making vain efforts. The boy said that he would worship the sea-god so long as he would not return him his riches. The sea-god was pleased and returned him his riches. He then won the hand of Śiri in exchange for gold and riches.

The Buddha identified the personages of the story by saying that in previous birth he was the disciple and Yaśodharā was Śiri. He won his wife after a strenuous endeavour.

Kinnarī Jātaka

In former ages, there reigned in Hastināpura a king, named Suvāhu, who had a handsome and meritorious son, named Sudhanu. Suvāhu entrusted the cares of the government to Sudhanu, the crown prince, and himself retired from royal affairs.

In the neighbouring town, known as Sinhapura, there reigned a king, named Sucandrima who was the friend of Suvāhu. Once king Sucandrima inaugurated a great sacrifice. He ordered hunters and fowlers to collect all animals, aquatic or moving on land. They did so. King Sucandrima invited those ṣis (sages) who had acquired four stages [117] of mystic meditation, possessed five supernatural faculties (pañca abhijñā) and great miraculous power and who could move about in the air. The sages came and said that all sorts of animals had been collected with the exception of the kinnarīs (fabled beings of the Himalayan region). As desired by the sages, the king sent the chief of the hunters to bring a Kinnarī. The hunter reached the hermitage of a sage in the Himalayas. The sage entertained him with fruits and water. At that time, the hunter heard sweet songs and learnt from the sage that Manoharā, the daughter of Druma, King of the Kinnaras, living in the Himalayas, used to come to the lotus-lake to sport with her female attendants, and that the Kinnara daughter and her attendants were then singing.

The hunter skilfully came to know from the sage that the Kinnarīs were brought under control by truthful words. The hunter came to the lotus lake. The kinnarīs were intoxicated with music and could not see him. Then the hunter said, “you are the daughter of Druma, king of Kinnaras and your name is Manoharā. You are bound by this truth. Manoharā! Don’t walk a step further.”

Manoharā was bound by the words of the hunter and was brought to Sinhapura. King Sucandrima rewarded the hunter and invited Suvāhu, King of Hastināpura, to attend the sacrifice. Suvāhu’s son, Sudhanu, came to Sinhapura to honour the invitation but he was charmed with the beauty of the Kinnarī who, too, became [118] attached to him. On enquiry, Sudhanu learnt from Sucandrima that the animals were brought for slaughter and that they would go to heaven being slain in the sacrifice. He further learnt that the sacrificer would go to heaven as many times as the number of animals he would slay in the sacrifice. Sudhanu said, “This is not true. Harmlessness is the best religion. Killing animals is a sin. To refrain from killing animals is religion.”

Thus instructing on the tenfold virtuous paths of action, he said, “Man goes to heaven through these tenfold paths of action. Without these paths, he too goes hell.”

King Sucandrima heard the words of Prince Sudhanu and let loose all the animals. Manoharā went with Sudhanu to Hastināpura. Sudhanu was so greatly attached to the Kinnarī that he neglected the royal duties. The ministers informed king Suvāhu of this. Suvāhu ordered the confinement of Sudhanu and the expulsion of the Kinnarī from the kingdom. The Kinnarī walked towards the Himalayas. Sometimes she turned to look back to see whether Sudhanu was coming. When she reached the Satadru river, she gave a ring and garland to two fowlers, named Utpalaka and Mālaka, and told them to inform Sudhanu of her if Sudhanu happened to come that way. Then she crossed the river and proceeded to Mount Kailas. On the Kinnarī’s departure, King Suvāhu released his son and had the harem decorated with [119] various objects of luxury. This could not satisfy Sudhanu. He went out with his attendant, named Kaulaka, in search of the Kinnarī. On their way they met Utpalaka and Mālaka and came to know everything. Utpalaka and Mālaka accompanied them. They reached the hermitage of the sage Kāśyapa, and gave him the description of the Kinnarī. The sage said that he had seen her go that way, and warned the prince against the dangers of the impassable way. When the prince did not stop, the sage requested the chief of the monkeys to accompany Sudhanu to the kingdom of the Kinnara King Druma. The chief of the monkeys took them on his back and reached the kingdom of the Kinnara rāj. On that day there was a grand festival in the city. On an enquiry Sudhanu learnt that the festival was in honour of the advent of Manoharā. He then threw his ring into the pot of one of those who came to bring water for Manoharā’s bath without their knowledge. During the sprinkling of water that ring fell on Manoharā’s lap. Manoharā saw the ring and understood that Sudhanu had come. She said this to her father, Druma, who received Sudhanu with great honour. Sudhanu stayed there with Manoharā for a long time. Then he received Druma’s permission to go to Hastināpura with his family. King Druma was pleased and ordered the Yakṣa, named Yantaka, to accompany his daughter and son-in-law to Hastināpura. By the power of the Yakṣa, Sudhanu [120] saw that he had come to the outer garden of Hastināpura the following morning. The gardener informed the king of his arrival. King Suvāhu had sought for his son in vain, and being sure of Sudhanu’s death, he had performed his sradh ceremony. Editor’s note: i.e. the death rites.

Now he was delighted to hear of his son’s arrival, rewarded the gardener, and received his son and daughter-in-law with great honour.

In his previous birth, Buddha was Sudhanu, Yaśodharā was Manoharā. Śuddhodana was Suvāhu and Mahānāma was Druma, Chanaka was Yantaka, Kaṇṭaka was the monkey-king. Rāhula was Utpalaka, Ānanda Thera was Mālaka, and Mahākāśyapa Thera was sage Kāśyapa of the Himalayas.

Story of Kuśa

King Ikṣvāku of Benares was childless. He used to allow the women of the harem to be known in the town on the 8th, 14th, and 15th day of every fortnight, in accordance with the suggestion of his purohita (the royal priest). Śakra did not approve of this conduct of the king. In the guise of an old brāhmaṇa, he came to the king who granted him the permission to choose a wife in the harem. He selected Alindā, the first queen, and took her away in spite of the reluctances of the queen and the hesitations of Ikṣvāku. During the night, Śakra revealed himself under his real appearance to Alindā and granted her a boon. The queen asked for a son and Śakra gave her a drug with [121] directions to take it on the tip of her tongue, and declared that in punishment of her reluctance, her son, strong and wise, would be of an extreme ugliness. Śakra then disappeared. The queen came back to the King and related the adventure. The King got irritated at the prophesied ugliness and hid the drug; but the queen got a little of it from the stone where it had been ground for distribution to the other queens. Each one among the five hundred women gave birth to a son.

Kuśa, the son of queen Alindā, succeeded Ikṣvāku after his death. He claimed from his mother a beautiful queen. Sudarśanā, the daughter of the king of the Madrakas, was brought to him. But the couple met only in the dark. The princess complained of this sort of meeting to the queen­mother. Alindā replied to the protestations of the princess saying that they ought to see each other when Kuśa would be twelve years old. However, to appease her impatience Alindā permitted her daughter-in-law to see in a party given by the Court a pretended Kuśa, who was no one else but his brother Kuśadruma clad with the ensigns of royalty, while Kuśa played the part of the royal standard-bearer. Sudarsanā was delighted to see the king but no sooner did she notice the ugliness of the standard-bearer than she was struck with horror. She demanded the removal of this ugly person. But the pretended king, in praise of the standard-bearer, said to Sudarśanā that the [122] standard-bearer being powerful, wealthy, heroic, and virtuous was his beloved associate.

Once on her return from the pond of lotus, Sudarśanā was asked by the king why she had not brought a lotus for him; but Sudarśanā said that while she had gone to the lotus-pond for bathing, she had fainted away to see a rākṣasa (demon) of the waters who resembled the standard­bearer. On another occasion after her return from the Mango-garden Sudarśanā was enquired by the King why she had not brought a mango for him; but she said that she had fainted away to see a rākṣasa (demon) of the wood who resembled the standard-bearer.

Once fire broke out in the elephant-stable, Kuśa girding up his loins, entered the stable, cut the chords with his sword, released the elephants, and himself extinguished the great fire. The harem praised him for his dexterity and vigour. Then Queen Sudarśanā found out, in despair, how her husband was ugly. She ran away to her father’s house.

Kuśa installed his brother, Kuśadruma, on the throne and himself chased the fugitive towards the north with a Vīṇā (a seven-stringed musical instrument) in his hand. On his way he passed the night in the house of an old woman who took him to be a demon from his eating up all that was offered him. Then he arrived at Kānyakubja.

On his entering the harem, he became a laughing [123] stock of the women, and failed to conciliate Sudarśanā who disgracefully repulsed his advances and threats.

King Mahendraka reproached his daughter for having forsaken a powerful husband. He threatened to cut her into seven pieces and to give a piece of her to each of the besiegers of his town. Sudarśanā got frightened and went back to Kuśa. Sudarśanā’s mother on seeing Kuśa in the harem could not recognise him to be her son-in-law and she questioned him about his parentage but the real name and power of Kuśa was revealed to her by her daughter. King Mahendraka heard of the presence of Kuśa in the harem and was sorry for not having been informed of this. Immediately the King greeted him with rich dishes and garments worthy of a king and Kuśa, too, allowed himself to be easily moved. As ordered by Kuśa, the ears of every man and animal of the town were closed and Kuśa uttered the shout of war like the roars of a lion. All the besiegers were assembled and each of them was given a daughter in marriage by the King and sent away. Then Kuśa left Kānyakubja with his wife. On his way, while looking at his shadow in the water, he was horrified by his own ugliness and was about to kill himself when Śakra gave him a jyotirasa stone which, while being worn on his head, would change him into the nicest man among all and while being covered with the hand, would give him again his first appearance. Kuśa wore the stone [124] on his head and was transformed into the most handsome man. He returned to his capital.

At the end of the story, the bhikkhus asked the Exalted One why Kuśa was so ugly. The Lord said that his ugliness was due to his having, in a former existence, conceived unjust sentiments of envy when he found his young wife with a pratyekabuddha to whom she had just made an offering. Kuśa was at that time a man of the city of Kampilla. Cf. Kuśa Jātaka, Jātaka Edited by Faüsboll Vol. V.

Story of Vṣabha

On being questioned by the bhikkhus, Buddha said that it was not the only time that Māra had spied on him with a view to catch him, but in vain. He narrated the story of the jackal Girika who pursued the bull from which he hoped the testicles would come off and become his prey but was deceived by another jackal.

Story of Vānara

In the past, there was in the Himalayas a pack of monkeys that used to go to a great lake to drink water. In this lake there was an aquatic monster; whoever went there to drink water whether deer, birds, monkeys, or men were devoured by this rākṣasa. The chief of the monkeys was surprised to find the number of monkeys decreased each time when the troop returned from the lake after drinking water. At last, he found out the cause and warned his companions and advised them to drink water by means of reeds held from a good [125] distance from the bank. Buddha was the chief of the monkeys and Māra, the rākṣasa.

On another occasion, the monkey-chief with his troops eating various fruits of the Himalayas during summer became thirsty and came to the lake to drink water. He stepped on a stone which, however got broken and he fell into the water, quite close to the hole of an ajagara (boa constrictor) which was ready to devour him. ln order to find a point of support he directed the attention of the snake towards his companions. No sooner did the snake turn its neck than the chief of the monkeys stepped on its hood, jumped on the bank and escaped. Cf. Vānara Jātaka, Jātaka, Vol. III.

Story of Puṇyavarta

In ancient times, there reigned in Kāśī a powerful King, named Añjana. Puṇyavanta was his only son. He used to praise good deeds and had four comrades who were the sons of the ministers of the king. They, too, in their turn used to speak highly of prowess, art, form (rūpa), and wisdom (prajñā). These five friends came to Kampilla from Benares to know who amongst them was specially respected. They came out of the town and reached the banks of the Ganges. They found a piece of wood drifting along the stream. Vīryavanta exhibiting his prowess took it ashore and found it to be a piece of sandalwood. He sold it to dealers in perfumes and spices for a thousand purāṇas (a measure equal to 16 paṇas). [126] Śilpavanta showed his skill in art. He played upon a lute. The people of Kampilla had never listened to such a captivating lute (a seven-stringed musical instrument). One of the strings of the lute was torn yet the ringing sound of the lute continued in the same strain. Gradually the other six strings were torn yet the lute continued to sound. Everybody was astonished. Śilpavanta was amply rewarded with gold. Rūpavanta was walking in his garden and he was seen by the foremost harlot of the city. Being enchanted by his handsome appearance the harlot sent her maid to him. Later, she pleased Rūpavanta in various ways and gave him many gold coins.

One day, a banker’s son wanted to take the harlot away for the night but she having been engaged previously, could not accept the invitation. Next morning the whore came to the banker’s son. On being told that she had been enjoyed by him in a dream on the previous night, the prostitute demanded her fees. The banker’s son having refused to pay anything, a dispute arose between them. No one could settle it. At length, Prajñāvanta happened to come there. He was appointed arbiter by the two. He took a thousand gold coins and a mirror. He showed the reflection of gold coins on the mirror to the prostitute and asked her to take the coins. Everybody was pleased with his decision. Prajñāvanta was paid much gold and the prostitute went away with a broken heart. [127]

Prince Puṇyavanta, too, went out to try his luck. While he was strolling about in the street near the palace, he was seen by the minister’s son who became compassionate to him, invited him, and fed him to his satisfaction. After the meal, while he was sleeping in the royal carriage-shed, the princess came there and taking him to be the minister’s son waited for his waking up. But Puṇyavanta did not awake and the princess fell asleep. At sunset, the ministers saw her leaving the carriage-shed and finding Puṇyavanta asleep there took him to King Brahmadatta. Prince Puṇyavanta acquainted the King with his descent and told the truth. The minister’s son and the princess supported Puṇyavanta. Then King Brahmadatta was very pleased with Prince Puṇyavanta and gave the princess in marriage to him. The King had no son. He installed Puṇyavanta on the throne. Puṇyavanta won a princess and the kingdom. Prajñāvanta was Sāriputra and Puṇyavanta was the Buddha.

The Story of Vijitāvī

In the past, there lived in Mithilā a famous king, named Vijitāvī. Everything he had was at the disposal of Brahmins and śramaṇas. The royal treasury was depleted by his unbounded charity. He was banished from the kingdom at the concerted action of the princes, prime-ministers, astrologers, citizens, merchants, etc. He took his abode in a leaf-hut near the Himalayas. Here, too, he used to collect fruits and vegetables and [128] feed the ṣis before taking his own food. To test him, Indra appeared before him and began to speak ill of charity. He created a hell and made him understand that the miserable plight of the creatures in hell was due to their charity. The king could not believe in Indra’s words. He said that he would gladly suffer in hell for the pleasure derived from charity. At this Indra became pleased with him and disclosing his identity went away to heaven. A great famine, drought, rebellion, etc., visited Mithilā just on the exile of the king. Then the leading people of the country went to the forest, begged pardon of the king and brought him back to Mithilā which soon regained her former peaceful state.

The story of five hundred merchants and the rākṣasīs

In the past, five hundred merchants made a sea-voyage for trade from Jambudvīpa. They were shipwrecked, but living on vegetables they succeeded in saving their lives and came to an island inhabited by female demons. They were treated to various edibles and drinks and were kept there by the female demons as their husbands. The merchants lived there comfortably in the company of these female demons. They were allowed to go everywhere except to the south. One day, a merchant stealthily went to the south and saw a city surrounded by a wall made of copper. The city had no outlet. The merchant climbed a tree standing close to the wall and saw many people crying. On enquiry, he learnt from [129] them that those females were demons who had received them with great respect but had confined them after getting new merchants; that for want of food they were on the point of death. The merchant thought of the fate of his company and himself when the female demons would get a new band of merchants. He then enquired of the confined merchants as to the means of getting rid of these female demons. The imprisoned merchants advised the merchant to attend to the call of aśvarāja (king of horses), named Keśi, when he would come to this island on the full moon day in the month of Kārtika and would enquire thrice from the banks as to who would like to go to Jambudvīpa. They further told him that that aśvarāja would take them to Jambudvīpa. The merchant came back and told these facts to his companions. Then, on the full moon day in the month of Kārtika, the merchants came to the banks of the sea. They found the horse, named Keśi and entreated him to take them to Jambudvīpa. During their departure the female demons and their children entreated them to stay there but in vain. With the help of Keśi, the merchants came to Jambudvīpa. Cf. Valāhassa Jātaka, Jātaka, Vol. Il.

Story of the Raven

In the past, there lived in Benares a King, named Brahmadatta. At this time a king of the crows, named Supātra, lived there. His wife, named Supārśvā, who was pregnant had a longing for taking [130] royal meal. She expressed her desire to the king of the crows. The king ordered his minister to have the royal meal brought for his queen. None out of eighty thousands of crows could bring the royal meal. Then the minister-crow himself executed the royal orders. Daily he used to bring a share of the royal meal from the royal kitchen. The royal cooks informed the king of the rudeness of the crow. The king ordered the covering of the kitchen with a net. The crow could not get the royal meal, so be began to pounce upon it. The king ordered that the meals should be brought covered. The crow lost all convenience, but he used to pounce upon the meal from the hands of the maid-servants when they used to carry it for the queens. By royal command the meals for the queens were also carried under cover. The king was very much annoyed with the crow and he declared a reward to be paid to one who would be able to catch the crow alive. The crow, too, being unable to get meals struck the nose of a maid-servant with his beak while she was carrying meals for the queens. At this time the maid-servant caught hold of the crow. The king asked the crow why he was creating so much annoyance. Then the minister-crow informed the king of the longing of Supārśvā in her family­way. The king was pleased with the bold answer of the crow and making arrangements for his daily taking away meal, the king left him. The crow used to eat a portion of the meal given [131] by the royal cook and took the remainder for the queen. The crow king was Buddha, Supārśvā was Yaśodharā, Brahmadatta was Śuddhodana, and the minister-crow was Kālodāyī. Kāka Jātaka in Pāli is different from this story.

The Story of a female elephant

In the past, there was a mountain, called Caṇḍagiri, by the side of the Himalayas. Close by there was a great forest where a pair of elephants dwelt. Of this pair, the female elephant had a son who was greatly devoted to his blind mother and did not partake of food without giving anything to his mother. In course of time, hunters informed the king of Benares of the young elephant. The king of Benares came to the forest with his retinue and caught the animal. Gradually the animal became lean from not taking the food. The king enquired of the animal as to the cause of his hunger-strike. The young elephant told the king that his blind mother being deprived of his company was passing her days in grief. The king was greatly pleased with the animal for his devotion to his mother and released him. The young elephant came to the forest and shouted loudly in quest of his mother. The mother, too, understood the voice of his son and shouted at the top of her voice. Following the course of his mother’s voice the young elephant came to his mother. On seeing his mother rolling in dust, the young elephant washed her with the water of the lake. His mother’s blindness disappeared, and [132] she got back her sight. Then she saw her son and became greatly delighted. She heard everything from her young one and blessed the king of Benares.

The female elephant was Mahāprajāpatī Gautamī, king of Benares was Nanda, and the young elephant was the Buddha.

Nalinī Jātaka

In the past, there was to the north of Kāśī, by the side of the Himalayas, a hermitage called Sāhañjanī. In that hermitage there lived a sage named Kāśyapa. One day the sage committed nuisance on a slab of stone. The urine was mixed with sperm. A female deer drank it taking it to be water and licked the passage of her vulva with her tongue. The sperm of the sage got into her womb and she conceived. In course of time she gave birth to a young one in human form. The sage learnt everything by meditation. Placing the child on a piece of deer skin the sage took him to his hermitage. The female deer followed the sage. The child was washed and cleaned by the sage. The female deer used to stroll about near the hermitage and suckled the child. The child gradually grew up, and a horn appeared on his forehead. The sage named him Ekaśṅga and he used to wander about in the company of the female deer and other young antelopes and then return to the hermitage. Antelopes and various birds used to join in the pastime with him. When Ekaśṅga grew up, he used to wait upon the sage in various [133] ways and to take his meal after feeding his mother.

The sage taught him four kinds of meditation and five supernatural faculties which he acquired in a short time. He became a Brahmacārī (a celibate).

At this time, the king of Benares having had no son, performed various religious sacrifices in expectation of a son, but in vain. His only daughter, Nalinī, had by this time attained youth. The king of Benares heard of Ekaśṅga and intended to marry his daughter to the latter so that he might treat Ekaśṅga as his son or son­in-law. Then he sent his daughter with the royal priest to the Sāhañjanī hermitage. The priest took rice and sweetmeats and came by a chariot to the hermitage with princess Nalinī. There, in the hermitage, the princess began to play with her attendants. Their pastime frightened birds and antelopes who fled in various directions. While enquiring about the cause of fear of the animals Ekaśṅga came to Nalinī. Seeing the princess dressed in precious clothes and decked with ornaments, Ekaśṅga said, “Beautiful are these sons of sages, beautiful is their matted hair, beautiful are their deer skins, waistbands, and the strings of beads worn round their neck.” Nalinī took Ekaśṅga by the hand and gave him sweets and drink. Ekaśṅga said that he had never partaken of such fruits and drink. The princess showed the chariot to Ekaśṅga and asked him to get [134] into it which was her hermitage. Ekaśṅga found the horses, the carriers of the chariot, to be like his mother and did not get into the chariot. The princess embraced and kissed Ekaśṅga who was astonished to gaze at her person. Mutual conversation resulted in love between them. The princess tempted Ekaśṅga with various edibles and drink, and returned to Benares. Ekaśṅga came back to his hermitage. He was attached to the princess. He began to think of her and could not perform his daily duties. On being questioned, Ekaśṅga said everything to the sage Kāśyapa who made him understand that his acquaintances were women, that sages should not be friendly with them, that they were obstacles to asceticism, and that their company should be given up.

By this time a large boat was beautifully decorated with flowers and fruit-trees. The boat looked like a hermitage. It sailed to Benares with the princess Nalinī, in charge of the royal priest. On reaching Benares, Nalinī alighted from the boat and entering the hermitage she began to pluck flowers and tear off leaves. The birds of the hermitage got frightened and made noise. Ekaśṅga came there and was glad to see the princess. Nalinī, too, was glad to see Ekaśṅga, embraced him, kissed him, and received him with refreshments. The princess with Ekaśṅga came to Benares by boat. The royal priest performed the marriage ceremony of princess Nalinī with [135] Ekaśṅga who took the princess to be his friend and began to sport with her. With the princess Ekaśṅga again come back to the Sāhañjanī hermitage. In reply to the question put by the female deer as to where he had gone, Ekaśṅga said that he had accompanied his friend, Nalinī, to her hermitage and that he had accepted her hand after circumambulating fire. The female deer understood everything and thought that her son was yet ignorant of the distinction between a friend and a wife.

Once Ekaśṅga wanted to enter the hermitage of female ascetics on the banks of the Ganges, near Sāhañjanī hermitage, but he was prevented from doing so by the ladies of the hermitage on the ground that he was a male. On being asked by Ekaśṅga to explain the distinction between male and female, the ladies of the hermitage narrated feminine virtues and said that Nalinī was not his friend but a woman and that she should not be separated when already married.

Then Ekaśṅga in the company of the princess came to the sage Kāśyapa and told him everything. Kāśyapa understood that there was attachment between his son and the princess, that they had been married and that they should not live separately. With his permission Ekaśṅga with the princess came to Benares. The King of Benares received him with great affection and anointed him crown prince. In course of time the King of Benares died. Ekaśṅga succeeded [136] to the title. By his wife, Nalinī, he had 32 twin sons and by other wives he had 100 sons.

Ekaśṅga ruled over his kingdom righteously, and in course of time, he installed his eldest son to the throne and himself became a religious mendicant. By virtue of penance, he acquired four kinds of meditation and five supernatural faculties. After death, he was re-born in the Brahma world.

Kāśyapa was Śuddhodana,
Mgī was Mahāprajāpatī,
Kāśīrāja was Mahānāma Śākya,
Ekaśṅga was Buddha,
Nalinī was Yaśodharā. Cf. Ekaśṅgāvadānaṁ of the Avadānakalpalatā, and Nalinikā Jātaka, Jātaka, Vol. V.

Story of Padmāvatī

In ancient times, there lived in a great forest near the Himalayas, a hermit named Māṇḍavya. Once the sage passed urine mixed with sperm on a slab of stone. A thirsty female deer, while in her courses, drank the urine of the sage and licked the passage of her vulva with her tongue. Consequently she conceived and in due course she gave birth to a beautiful daughter. The wise sage understood everything by meditation and brought the child to his hermitage, placing it on a piece of deer skin. The female deer followed him. Sucking her mother’s breast and eating fruits given by the sage, the girl continued to grow up. When she learnt to walk, a lotus rose up from the ground under each of her [137] foot-steps by virtue of good deeds done by her in her previous births; and she used to sport with lotuses. The sage noticed these and named her Padmāvatī.

Padmāvatī used to stroll about and play near the hermitage in the company of antelopes. She also used to follow her mother, wherever she grazed. When she grew up, she used to gather fruits, bring water, keep the hermitage clean and tidy and wait upon the sage. One day while Padmāvatī had gone to bring water, she was seen by Brahmadatta, king of Kampilla, who happened to come there in course of his hunting excursion. King Brahmadatta learnt from Padmāvatī that she was the daughter of the sage, Māṇḍavya, and conceived the desire to have her as his wife. Seeing her ignorance and knowing how she took him for some hermit, he made her taste some cakes that he was carrying away on his saddle and sent her to her father to tell him that she had liked to be the wife of the sage in whose hermitage such sweetmeats were available. Padmāvatī requested him to wait till her return with the sage’s permission. The sage on hearing her words understood everything and told Padmāvatī that she had been tempted by the fruit of Kāma (sensual desire). Padmāvatī was, however, too simple to understand the meaning of Kāma which she took to mean a tree and she wanted the fruit of this tree, she informed the ṣi that the donor of sweetmeats had been waiting near the tank. The saint took Padmāvatī [138] to King Brahmadatta and gave her away in marriage to the latter.

King Brahmadatta saluted the saint and taking Padmāvatī on horseback started for Kampilla. On his way home he was received by his army. Leaving the horse, he rode on elephant back and reached his country. He showed the palaces to Padmāvatī and said that these were thatched cottages and explained the noise of the city to be the howlings of wild animals. Padmāvatī believed everything and was accompanied by the king to the pleasure garden where both the king and Padmāvatī performed a sacrifice. The king married Padmāvatī, while Padmāvatī was circumambulating fire with the king, each of her footsteps brought forth a lotus from the ground. The subjects were struck with wonder and admiration to see this.

In course of time Padmāvatī conceived. Other queens envied the respectful treatment accorded to her by the king. At the moment of her confinement they tied up her eyes with a piece of cloth. When twin sons were born they were placed in a basket (marked with royal insignia) which was consigned to the current of the Ganges. Padmāvatī’s face was daubed with blood by her co-wives, and she was told that she had brought forth two flowers. The king, however, learnt on enquiry that Padmāvatī had given birth to twin sons but she had devoured them. The king saw Padmāvatī and found her face blood-stained. He took her to be a demoness and ordered her execution. The ministers came to [139] know of the true affairs, and concealing Padmāvatī, informed the king that his orders had been executed. The harem was delighted.

A divine revelation acquainted the king with the whole affair. The king enquired of the inmates and was greatly afflicted with sorrow to hear of the true affair.

By this time, fishermen while catching fish got a basket with twin sons marked with royal insignia. The king fainted away to see the children. The ministers saw the king in this sad plight and brought Padmāvatī before the king who received her with great care and honour and expressed sorrow for the past events. Padmāvatī took the whole affair to be the fruit of her karma (deeds) and recollecting the words of the sage Māṇḍavya, she gave up “Kāmaphala” (the fruit of sensual desire) and took to ascetic life.

In the dress of a female ascetic, Padmāvatī came to her father’s hermitage and learnt that the sage had died long ago, and found the cottage broken. Then Padmāvatī, in course of her round in villages and cities for alms, reached Benares, the capital of King Kki who tried his utmost to tempt Padmāvatī, but in vain. Ascetic Padmāvatī, however, began to stay in the palace. By this time Brahmadatta, king of Pañcāla, came to the palace of the king of Benares in the guise of a brāhmaṇa; when the king was engaged in playing at dice with his queens, Brahmadatta in the guise of a brahmin recognised Padmāvatī [140] and asked her why she had come there. Padmāvatī replied that her arrival was due to his fault. The king of Benares heard of their conversation and became suspicious. On learning Brahmadatta’s identity, he received him with great respect. Brahmadatta, king of Pañcāla, took Padmāvatī on the back of an elephant and with fourfold army came again to the city of Pañcāla. On reaching Kampilla each of Padmāvatī’s steps brought forth lotus. The production of lotus under each of Padmāvatī’s steps from the ground alludes to the following event. While Padmāvatī in her previous birth was bringing water, she met a Pratyeka-Buddha on the way, and offered him the lotus which was in her hand, but she took the lotus back and again presented the Pratyeka­Buddha with it once for all. For her offering lotus to the Pratyeka-Buddha, Padmāvatī acquired the merit whereby lotus used to appear under each of her steps from the ground, but she had to suffer affliction in the middle of her life for having taken the lotus back from the Pratyeka­Buddha.

Buddha = Māṇḍavya:
Yaśodharā = Padmāvatī:
Śuddhodana = Brahmadatta.

Story of Sūrya and Candra

In ancient times, there lived in Mithilā a Brahmin king who had two sons named Sūrya and Candra. On the death of the Brahmin King, Candra asked his brother, Sūrya, to rule over the kingdom as he was the eldest. Sūrya asked his [141] brother to explain the duties of a king. Candra said that a king should issue orders to his subjects. Then Sūrya said that as a king he was issuing orders to his brother to govern the kingdom and that he himself would become a religious mendicant. Thus settled, Sūrya installed his brother Candra on the throne, and he himself and his family renounced worldly life. Very soon they acquired four stages of mystic meditation and five supernatural faculties. Then Sūrya decided that he would not use tooth-stick and drink water not given to him.

Once by mistake the sage Sūrya drank water from the vessel of another sage. Later, he remembered that he had done wrong and had become a thief. He came down from his seat and sat down on the ground. When his disciples came to salute him, he asked them not to do so and told them all about his stealing. His disciples endeavoured to make him understand that his act had not amounted to theft. But he could not settle his mind. He became eager for receiving punishment.

Advised by his disciples, he came to King Candra to receive punishment. He asked the king not to salute him when the latter was about to do so. On his expressing the desire of receiving punishment, the king did not consent to inflict any punishment on him. But the stubbornness of the sage constrained the king to comply with his request in consultation with his son and nephew. [142] The king ordered the internment of the sage in the well-decorated Aśoka forest provided with various kinds of food and sweetmeats. After six days’ internment the sage Sūrya was released and he came back to his hermitage. It was Rāhula who was then Candra. It was for these six days of seclusion that he had inflicted on Bhagvat (Sūrya) that he was condemned to remain six years in his mother’ s breast.


Upāli, a barber’s son, was the barber of the Lord. The Śākya lads gave away their clothes to Upāli. On seeing this, Upāli became a protégé of the Buddha and took holy orders. Then five hundred Śākya lads took holy orders and by order of the Lord, they bowed down to Upāli. Their conceit and pride disappeared. King Śuddhodana too, with the members of his family, bowed down to Upāli.

The bhikkhus marked the honour received by Upāli of low caste and enquired of the Buddha about the reason thereof. The Buddha narrated the history of his previous birth.

Story of Gaṅgapāla

In ancient times, there lived in Benares two poor boys. One day taking sour gruel they went to a forest to gather fuel. At this time a Pratyeka-Buddha was entering Benares on his round for alms. On seeing him, the two boys were greatly delighted and poured their gruel on the pot of the Pratyeka-Buddha. One of them thought that he would be re-born as a king by [143] virtue of the merit acquired by that gift. The other intended to come of a brahmin family in consequence of this gift.

As a result of their good deeds, both of them were re-born as desired. The brahmin’s son, Upaka, was attached to a certain Sūdra woman. During the festival known as Kaumudī Cāturmāsī, It is a religious vow observed for four months commencing from the twelfth or fifteenth day of the light fortnight in the month of Āṣādha to the twelfth day of the light fortnight in the month of Kārtik. the Sūdra woman prayed to Upaka for a scented flower-garland. Upaka received from a certain person some māṣakalāi A sort of pulse (Phaseolus Radiatus). which he left on the banks of the Ganges. One noon, while he was singing songs on his way to the Ganges for bringing Māṣakalāi, King Brahmadatta heard of Upaka’s song from the upstairs of his palace and was pleased with him probably because of his friendship with him in a previous birth. On learning the reason of his singing songs at mid-day, King Brahmadatta wanted to give him some māṣakalāi. But Upaka did not stop. Then the king gave him half of his kingdom. Both of them began to pass their days happily.

One day, while Brahmadatta was fast asleep placing his head on the lap of Upaka, the latter first thought of acquiring the kingdom by taking away the life of Brahmadatta but on a further reflection he found that that would be an act of [144] ingratitude towards one who had given him half of one’s kingdom. Thereafter the thought of the renunciation of worldly life crossed his mind. On Brahmadatta’s waking up, Upaka told him everything and became a religious monk.

At that time there lived in the north of Kāśī, a wandering ascetic (by caste a potter) possessed of five supernatural faculties. Upaka came to him and was ordained. In course of time he became a ṣi by virtue of deep meditation. Brahmadatta heard of Upaka’s having become a Buddhist monk, and used to say, “The condition in which I am now is the fruit of the acquisition of a very little amount of wealth. Upaka has acquired a vast amount of riches. The greatest gain is in the lot of one who receives ordination after annihilating desires.” The royal inmates could not understand Brahmadatta’s words.

The king had a barber named Gaṅgapāla. He was very pleased with his handicrafts and desired to reward him with a village. At the advice of the royal inmates, the barber wanted to know the meaning of the king’s words instead of a village. The king narrated in detail the events connected with the life of Upaka. The royal inmates then uttered the king’s words, and wanted to give valuable ornaments to Gaṅgapāla who, however, being greatly moved to hear of Upaka, came to the latter and received ordination from him. In course of time Gaṅgapāla became a great ṣi. [145]

Sometime after, King Brahmadatta with his ministers came to the hermitage of Gaṅgapāla to pay him respects. Gaṅgapāla addressed the king by his name. This enraged the ministers but they touched the feet of Gaṅgapāla and sat on one side when the influence of penance was explained to them by the king.

Upaka was Buddha,
Brahmadatta was Śuddhodana,
Gaṅgapāla was Upāli.

The story of Mahāgovinda

While the Lord was on the Gdhrakūṭa, the Gandharva Pañcasikha Cf. Mahāgovinda suttanta of the Dīgha Nikāya, Vol. II. came to relate to him what he had heard from the mouth of Śakra and Brahmā. The Gods, seeing new comers among them surpass the old ones by their various privileges and being informed that they were auditors of the Buddha, expressed the vow that there might be more than one Buddha at a time, in order that the benefits of his mission might have multiplied; Śakra told them that it was impossible that there might be more than one Buddha at a time. Śakra demonstrated to the devas the eight marvellous privileges (dharmas) of the Buddha, the grace of the benefits that he gave to the beings, the virtues of the law that he taught, the loneliness in which he lived dispersing his disciples and living in lonely places, his indifferences to all sensuality in the food, the great [146] intelligence which directs his instructions, his enfranchisement of all doubt, and the perfection of his word. Śakra said that he had never found these superiorities, but in the perfectly accomplished Buddha alone. He entertained the gods by repeating to them this statement a second and then a third time.

The great Brahmā narrated the story of Mahāgovinda in order to teach the gods the “Great exposition” (mahāprajñapti) of the Buddha.

Formerly reigned the King Diśāmpati. He had, for his priest and chief adviser, a wise and intelligent brāhmaṇa named Govinda. On the death of Govinda, the king was greatly afflicted with sorrow, and was advised by his son, Prince Renu, to appoint Govinda’s son, named Jyotipāla, who was more learned and skilful than his father. The king sent a messenger to invite him. Jyotipāla came to the king and accepted the royal offer of the post of his deceased father. He was then called Mahāgovinda.

On the death of Diśāmpati, six kṣatriya royal electors (rājakartārā) assured the inheritance of the kingdom to Prince Renu with the promise of dividing the kingdom among the seven of them. The moment came and Mahāgovinda proceeded with the division of the land, assigning to each his capital. He remained in charge of all their business and instructed seven hundred brāhmaṇas and the same number of snātakas Editor’s note: it means a brahmin who has completed his studies, done the final ablutions, and entered the next stage of life. who spread the rumour that Mahāgovinda had become familiar [147] with Brahmā and had followed his advice. Mahāgovinda grew jealous of justifying such a favourable opinion and strenuously devoted himself during the four rainy months to deep meditation at the end of which Brahmā appeared to him. As Brahmā promised him to answer his questions, Mahāgovinda inquired of the way of obtaining Brahmaloka. Brahmā explained to him that a man could reach the immortal Brahmaloka by leaving off egotism, by concentrating his mind, by being kind, retired, without sin and deprived of sexual pleasures. Mahāgovinda was greatly moved and embraced the life of a hermit.

Then follow accounts of the rewards received by the disciples of Mahāgovinda, and of chastisements to those who brought opposition to Mahāgovinda or to his disciples. In course of time Pañcasikha acquired insight into the Dharma, Buddha was at that time Mahāgovinda.

While the Buddha was once staying at Śrāvastī in the Jetavana Vihāra of Anāthapiṇḍika, he passed three months there with one dish of food per diem. He declared to Ānanda that he could have lived in this way during whole Kalpas; for such was the privilege of the exactly accomplished Buddhas who had attained the pāramitās (perfections). There are ten pāramitās:- (1) Dāna (almsgiving), (2) sīla (morality), (3) nekkhamma (renunciation of the world), (4) paññā (wisdom), (5) viriya (energy), (6) khanti (forbearance), (7) sacca (truthfulness), (8) adhiṭṭhāna (resolution), (9) mettā or metti (friendliness), and (10) upekkhā (indifference). [148] He further said that, an infinite number of Kalpas ago, there lived the Buddha Indraddhvaja in his capital, Indratapaṇa. He then enumerated a long series of Buddhas, viz., Mahādhvaja, Editor’s note: there are a large number of printing errors in these names, which I have corrected from the original text. Dhvajottama, Dhvajarucira, Dhvajaketu, Ketudhvaja, Dhvajadhvaja, Dhvajamaparājita, Aparājita, Supratāpa, Padīpa, Supratiṣṭhita, Nāgamuni, Mahāmuni, Munipravara, Saṁvtaskandha, Bandhuma, Ariṣṭa, Vijitāvī, Krakucchanda, Asamasama, Prabhaṁkara, Oghaja, Mahābala, Sujāta, Paraṁgata, Mahāprasāda, Sukhendriya, Nakṣatrarāja, Śatapuṣpa, Virāja, Brahmasvara, Śirasāhvaya who lived in his capital named Puspāvatī, Nāgakulottama, Kṣamottara, Nāgottama, Aṅgottama, Vāsava, Candrima, Hetumanta, Jinendra, Jāmbunada, Tagarasikhī, Paduma, Kaunḍinyagotra, Candana, Viraja, Hiteṣī, Supātra who lived in his capital Abhayapure, Varunottama, Dhtarāṣṭra, Śveturāṣṭra, Śikhi, Viruḍhaka, Sunetra, Sujāta, Utpala, Brahmottama, Sudarśana, Arthdarśī, Mūla, Auṣaḍī, Hitaiṣī, Jāmbūnada, Sāla, Abhijī, Jinavaruttama, Samaṁtabhadra, Śaśīvimala, Pauṇḍarīka, Candrima, Bhāvitātmā, Oghaja, Abhaya, Svayaṁprabha, Mahābala, Āditya, Pratāpavanta, Hiteṣī, Dhvajottama, Dhvajadhvaja, Ketu, Ketūttama, Asahya, Jāmbūnada, Sālarāja, Akutobhaya, Nirmita, Upaśānta, Jinendra, Sarvārthadarśi, Aśoka, Dhvajottama, Nyagrodharāja, Vipulayaśa, Jayanta, Śākyamuni who lived in his capital Sinhapuri, Sarvadaya, Atyuttama, Uttara, Samitāvī, Baladatta, Bhāgīratha, Aṅgīrasa, Nāgottama, Nāgabala, Puṣpa, Puṣputtara, [149] Meru, Ratnāgni, Puṣpakta, Dīpaṅkara, who lived in his capital Dīpavatī, Sarvābhibhū, Padumuttara, Atyuccagāmī, Yaśottara, Śākyamuni, Arthadarśī, Tiṣya, Puṣya, Vipeśyī, Śikhī, Viśvabhū, Krakucchanda, Konākamuni, Kāśyapa, Śākyamuni, Maitreya in his capital Ketumatī.

Thereafter, Ānanda asked the Exalted one how he had acquired the splendour with which he used to illuminate the world. The Lord said that it was through the respects he had paid to the ancient Buddhas from Dīpaṇkara to Kāśyapa. On being questioned by Ānanda as to when and for how long these Buddhas had lived, the Lord explained to him by turn that every one of these Buddhas had gone up to a number of Kalpas – the time that each one had spent on earth. He further explained the etymology of the names of the former Buddhas as well as the future Buddha, Maitreya, the class, Kṣatriya or Brāhmana to which each one of the Buddhas belonged, according to circumstances.