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

Source: Adapted from Archaic translation by Robert ChalmersEdit


JATAKA No. 17

MALUTA-JATAKA

"In light or dark."

--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana monastery about two Brethren(Monks) who had joined the Brotherhood(Monks Order) in their old age. Tradition says that they were living in a forest-living in the Kosala country, and that one was named the elder Dark and the other the elder Light. Now one day Light said to Dark, "Sir, at what time does what is called cold appear?" "It appears in the dark half of the month." And one day Dark said to Light, "Sir, at what time does what is called cold appear?" "It appears in the light half of the month."

As the pair of them together could not solve the question, they went to the Master and with due salutation asked, saying, "Sir, at what time does what is called cold appear?"

After the Master had heard what they had to say, he said, "Brethren, in past days also, I answered for you this same question; but your previous existences have become forgotten in your minds." And so saying, he told this story of the past.



Once upon a time at the foot of a certain mountain there were living together in one and the same cave two friends, a lion and a tiger. The Bodhisattva too was living at the foot of the same hill, as a hermit.

Now one day a debate arose between the two friends about the cold. The tiger said it was cold in the dark half of the month, while the lion maintained that it was cold in the light half. As the two of them together could not settle the question, they put it to the Bodhisattva. He repeated this stanza--

In light or dark half, whensoever the wind

Did blow, it is cold. For cold is caused by wind.

And, therefore, I decide you both are right.

Thus did the Bodhisattva make peace between those friends.


When the Master had ended his lesson in support of what he had said as to his having answered the same question in past days, he preached the Four Truths, at the close of which both of the Elder Monks won the Fruit of the First Path(Trance).

The Master explained the relation and identified the Birth, by saying, "Dark was the tiger of those days, Light the lion, and I myself the ascetic who answered the question."

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