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Tipitaka >> Sutta Pitaka >> Khuddaka Nikaya >> Jataka >>Ādiccupaṭṭhāna-Jātaka

Source: Adapted from Archaic translation by W.H.D. RouseEdit

JATAKA No. 175


"There is no tribe," etc.--This is a story told by the Master in Jetavana monastery, about a rogue.

Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisattva was born in a brahmin family of Kasi. Coming of years, he went to Taxila, and there completed his education. Then he embraced the religious(ascetic) life, cultivated the Faculties and the Attainments, and becoming the instructor of a large band of pupils he spent his life in Himalaya.

There for a long time he dwelling; until once having to buy salt and spices, he came down from the highlands to a border village, where he stayed in a leaf-hut. When they were absent seeking alms, a mischievous monkey used to enter the hermitage, and turn everything upside down, spill the water out of the jars, smash the jugs, and finish by making a mess in the cell where the fire was.

The rains over, the hermits thought of returning, and took leave of the villagers; "for now," they thought, "the flowers and fruit are ripening on the mountains." "Tomorrow," was the answer, "we will come to your living with our alms; you shall eat before you go." So next day they brought there plenty of food, solid and liquid. The monkey thought to himself, "I'll trick these people and persuade them into giving me some food too." So he put on the air of a holy man seeking alms, and close by the hermits he stood, worshipping the sun. When the people saw him, they thought, "Holy are they who live with the holy," and repeated the first stanza:

  "There is no tribe of animals but bath its virtuous one:
   See how this miserable monkey here stands worshipping the sun!"

After this fashion the people praised our monkey's virtues. But the Bodhisattva, observing it, replied, "You don't know the ways of a mischievous monkey, or you would not praise one who little deserves praise;" adding the second stanza:

  "You praise this creature's character because you know him not;
   He has defiled the sacred fire, and broke each waterpot."

When the people heard what a rascally monkey it was, seizing sticks and stones they pelted him, and gave their alms to the Brethren(Monks). The sages returned to Himalaya; and without once interrupting their mystic ecstacy (trance) they came at last to Brahma's upper heaven(of ArchAngels).

At the end of this discourse, the Master identified the Birth: "This hypocrite was in those days the Monkey; the Buddha's followers were the company of sages; and their leader was I myself."

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