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

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


JATAKA No. 188

SIHAKOTTHUKA-JATAKA

"Lion's claws and lion's paws," etc.--This is a story told by the Master while at Jetavana monastery, about Kokalika. They say that Kokalika(*1) one day hearing a number of wise Brethren(Monks) preaching, desired to preach himself; all the rest is like the circumstances given in a previous tale. This time again the Master on hearing of it said, "Not this once only has Kokalika been shown up for what he was worth by means of his own voice; the very same thing happened before." And he told a story.


Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta was king of Benares, the Bodhisattva was a Lion in the Himalaya mountains, and he had a cub by a she jackal who mated with him. The cub was just like his sire in toes, claws, mane, colour, figure--all these; but in voice he was like his mother.

One day, after a shower of rain, all the Lions were gambolling together and roaring; the cub thought he would like to roar too, and yelped like a jackal. On hearing which all the Lions fell silent at once! Another cub of the same sire, own brother of this one, heard the sound, and said, "Father, the lion is like us in colour and everything except in voice. Who's he?" in asking which question he repeated the first stanza:

 "Lion's claws and lion's paws,
    Lion's feet to stand upon;
  But the bellow of this fellow
    Sounds not like a lion's son!"

In answer the Bodhisattva said, "It's your brother, the Jackal's cub; like me in form, but in voice like his mother." Then he gave a word of advice to the other cub--"My dear son, as long as you live here keep a quiet tongue in your head. If you give tongue again, they'll all find out that you are a Jackal." To drive the advice home he repeated the second stanza:-

 "All will see what kind you be
    If you yelp as once before;
  So don't try it, but keep quiet:
    Yours is not a lion's roar."

After this advice the creature never again so much as tried to roar.


When the Master had finished this discourse, he identified the Birth:-"In those days Kokalika was the Jackal, Rahul was the brother cub, and the king of beasts was I myself."

Footnotes:

(1)He was with Devadatta both heretics.

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