|Structure of the Tipitaka|
Source: Adapted from Archaic translation by Robert ChalmersEdit
JATAKA No. 15
"For when a deer."
--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana monastery about an unruly Brother(Monk). Tradition says that this Brother(Monk) was unruly and would not mind admonition. Accordingly, the Master asked him, saying, "Is it true, as they say, that you are unruly and will not mind admonition?"
"It is true, Lord Buddha," was the reply.
"So too in past days," said the Master, "you were unruly and would not mind the admonition of the wise and good, with the result that you were caught in a snare and met your death." And so saying, he told this story of the past.
Once upon a time when Brahmadatta was in Benares the Bodhisattva was born a deer and lived in the forest at the head of a herd of deer. His sister brought her son to him, saying, "Brother, this is your nephew; teach him deer's tactics." And thus she placed her son under the Bodhisattva's care. Said the latter to his nephew, "Come at such and such a time and I will give you a lesson." But the nephew made no appearance at the time appointed. And, as on that day, so on seven days did he skip his lesson and fail to learn the tricks of deer; and at last, as he was roaming about, he was caught in a snare. His mother came and said to the Bodhisattva, "Brother, was not your nephew taught deer's tactics?"
"Take no thought for the unteachable rascal," said the Bodhisattva; "your son failed to learn the tactics of deer." And so saying, having lost all desire to advise the rascal even in his deadly peril, he repeated this stanza:-
For when a deer has twice four hoofs to run
And branching antlers armed with countless sharp points,
And when by seven tricks he's saved himself,
I teach him then, Kharadiya, no more.
But the hunter killed the self-willed deer that was caught in the snare, and departed with its flesh.
When the Master had ended this lesson in support of what he had said as to the unruliness of the Brother(Monk) in past days as well as in the present, he explained the relation, and identified the Birth, by saying "In those days this unruly Brother (Monk)was the nephew-deer, Uppala-vanna (*1) was the sister, and I myself the deer who gave the advice."
(1)Uppala-vanna theri(elder nun) came by that name because she had a skin like the colour in the heart of the dark-blue lotus.