a collection of
Buddhist Wisdom Verses
Jā 493 Mahāvāṇijajātakaṁ This verse also occurs at Jā 528, Mahābodhijātakaṁ.
The Great Merchant
Gratefulness and Moderation
The god of a Banyan tree gives presents to merchants, who out of greed decide to cut down the tree. Their chief protests with this verse, and is the only one spared retribution.
125. Yassa rukkhassa chāyāya, nisīdeyya sayeyya vā,
That tree with shade where you can sit or lie,
Na tassa sākhaṁ bhañjeyya mittadubbho hi pāpako.
Its branch the wicked deceiver of friends should not destroy.
Jā 516 Mahākapijātakaṁ
The Great Monkey
Ungratefulness gets its Just Desserts
A man lost in a forest is saved by a monkey, the Bodhisatta, who, tired out, lies down to rest. The man, who is hungry, tries to kill him with a rock but fails. He is struck with leprosy, dies and is reborn in hell.
126. Kuṭṭhī kilāsī bhavati yo mittānaṁ idhaddubhi,
He who betrays his friends here will become an outcaste leper,
Kāyassa bhedā mittaddu Nirayaṁ so upapajjati.
And when that deceiver of friends dies Lit: when his body breaks up. he will rearise in the Nether Regions.
Jā 538 Mūgapakkhajātakaṁ
The Dumb and Lame
Not Deceiving One’s Friends
The King sends his charioteer to kill and bury his son (the Bodhisatta) whom he believes to be disabled and unlucky. The Bodhisatta appeals to the charioteer thus.
127. Pahūtabhakkho bhavati, vippavuttho sakā gharā,
He has an abundance of food, (even) when away from his home,
Bahū naṁ upajīvanti, yo mittānaṁ na dūbhati.
Many live depending on him, he who does not deceive his friends.
128. Yaṁ yaṁ janapadaṁ yāti, nigame Rājadhāniyo,
Whatever country he goes to, in a town or a King’s city,
Sabbattha pūjito hoti, yo mittānaṁ na dūbhati.
Everywhere (he goes) he is honoured, he who does not deceive his friends.
129. Nāssa corā pasahanti, nātimaññeti khattiyo, ChS, Thai:
Thieves do not overpower him, and nobles do not despise him,
Sabbe amitte tarati, yo mittānaṁ na dūbhati.
He overcomes all of his foes, he who does not deceive his friends.
130. Akkuddho sagharaṁ eti, sabhāya paṭinandito,
Without anger he comes back home, he is welcomed in public halls,
Ñātīnaṁ uttamo hoti, yo mittānaṁ na dūbhati.
He is the best of relatives, he who does not deceive his friends.
131. Sakkatvā sakkato hoti, garu hoti sagāravo,
After greeting, he is greeted, respectable, he is respected,
Vaṇṇakittibhato hoti, yo mittānaṁ na dūbhati.
He enjoys splendour and renown, he who does not deceive his friends.
132. Pūjako labhate pūjaṁ, vandako paṭivandanaṁ,
Honourable, he receives honour, worshipful, he is worshipped,
Yaso kittiñ-ca pappoti, yo mittānaṁ na dūbhati.
He acquires repute and renown, he who does not deceive his friends.
133. Aggi yathā pajjalati, devatā va virocati,
Just like a fire he shines forth, he is brilliant like a god,
Siriyā ajahito hoti, yo mittānaṁ na dūbhati.
Good luck does not abandon him, he who does not deceive his friends.
134. Gāvo tassa pajāyanti, khette vuttaṁ virūhati,
His cows are productive for him, what is sown in his fields grows up,
Puttānaṁ ChS, Thai:
He enjoys the boon of children, he who does not deceive his friends.
135. Darito pabbatāto vā, rukkhato patito naro,
Whether that man has fallen from a cleft, a mountain, or a tree,
Cuto patiṭṭhaṁ labhati, yo mittānaṁ na dūbhati.
While falling, he receives support, he who does not deceive his friends.
136. Virūḷhamūlasantānaṁ, nigrodham-iva māluto,
As the wind (cannot overpower) a banyan tree with roots well grown,
Amittā nappasahanti yo mittānaṁ na dūbhati.
(So) foes cannot overpower he who does not deceive his friends.
Jā 302 Mahā-assārohajātakaṁ See also below 175, 176, which complete the verses found in this Jātaka.
The Great Horseman
Prudence in Giving
A royalist treats with kindness a great horseman who has been defeated in battle, not knowing it is the King himself. The great horseman tells him if he comes to the city he will receive his reward. One day the man comes and the King gives him half his kingdom.
137. Adeyyesu dadaṁ dānaṁ, deyyesu nappavecchati,
(By) giving a gift to those unworthy of gifts, not donating to those worthy of gifts,
Āpāsu vyasanaṁ patto sahāyaṁ nādhigacchati.
One who has come to distress and misfortune will not gain a companion.
138. Nādeyyesu dadaṁ dānaṁ, deyyesu yo pavecchati,
(By) not giving a gift to those unworthy of gifts, and donating to those worthy of gifts,
Āpāsu vyasanaṁ patto sahāyam-adhigacchati.
One who has come to distress and misfortune will gain a companion.
Jā 528 Mahābodhijātakaṁ
Overstaying One’s Welcome
The Bodhisatta is an ascetic who is invited by the King to stay in his park. After some time the King plots to kill him, and he decides to leave.
139. Accābhikkhaṇasaṁsaggā asamosaraṇena ca,
Too constant an association and never coming together,
Etena mittā jīranti – akāle yācanāya ca.
Through these things friendship decays Comm:
140. Tasmā nābhikkhaṇaṁ gacche, na ca gacche cirāciraṁ,
Therefore he should not go constantly, nor should he go after a long time,
Kālena yācaṁ yāceyya, evaṁ mittā na jīyare,
He should beg a gift at the right time, thus friendship will not decay,
Aticiraṁ nivāsena piyo bhavati appiyo.
Through staying back for a long time one held dear is no more held dear.
last updated: February 2011