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

Source: Adapted from Archaic translation by Robert ChalmersEdit


JATAKA No. 132

PANCAGARU-JATAKA

"Wise advice regarding"--This story was told by the Master while at Jetavana monastery about the Sutta concerning the Temptation by the Daughters of Mara (*1) at the Goat-herds' Banyan-tree. The Master quoted the Sutta, beginning with its opening words:-

In all their dazzling beauty on they came,
Craving and Hate and Lust. Like cotton-down
Before the wind, the Master made them fly.

After he had recited the Sutta right through to the end, the Brethren met together in the Hall of Truth and spoke of how the Daughters of Mara came near in all their many charms yet failed to seduce the All-Enlightened One. For he did not as much as open his eyes to look upon them, so marvellous was he! Entering the hall, the Master asked, and was told, what they were discussing. "Brethren(Monks)," said he, "it is no marvel that I did not so much as look upon the Daughters of Mara in this life when I have put sin from me and have won enlightenment. In former days when I was but in quest of Wisdom, when sin still lived within me, I found strength not to gaze even upon loveliness divine by way of lust in violation of virtue; and by that continence I won a kingdom." So saying, he told this story of the past.


Once upon a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisattva was the youngest of a hundred brothers, and his adventures are to be detailed here, as above in the Taxila-Jataka (*2). When the kingdom had been offered to the Bodhisattva by the people, and when he had accepted it and been anointed king, the people decorated the town like a city of the gods and the royal palace like the palace of Indra. Entering the city the Bodhisattva passed into the spacious hall of the palace and there seated himself in all his godlike beauty on his jewelled throne beneath the white umbrella of his Kingship. Round him in glittering splendour stood his ministers and brahmins and nobles, while sixteen thousand dancing girls, fair as the nymphs of heaven, sang and danced and made music, till the palace was loud with sounds like the sky filled with thunder-clouds. Gazing round on the pomp of his royal state, the Bodhisattva thought how, had he looked upon the charms of the ogresses, he would have perished miserably, nor ever have lived to see his present magnificence, which he owed to his following the advices of the Pacceka Buddhas. And as these thoughts filled his heart, his emotion found release in these verses:-

Wise advices regarding, firm in my resolve,
With resolute heart still holding on my course,
I shunned the Sirens' livings and their snares,
And found a great salvation (nirvana) in my need.

So ended the lesson which these verses taught. And the Great Being ruled his kingdom in righteousness, and filled with charity and other good works till in the end he passed away to fare according to his deeds.


His lesson ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "I was the prince of those days who went to Taxila and won a kingdom."

Footnotes:

(1) Mara,(Devil/Satan) the god of death, rebirth, disease, temptation & material pleasures. Also known as Kamdeva. It is pronounced as Maar. Mara is known to be in control of all worlds including hell as well as heavens & upper heavens wherever rebirth takes place. It is only the glorious eternal transcendental state of Nirvana where Mara cannot exercise control. The aim of Buddhism is to reach this ultimate state of Nirvana by breaking attachments/desires to worldly realm.

(2)Apparently the reference is to No. (96).

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