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

Source: Adapted from Archaic translation by Robert ChalmersEdit

JATAKA No. 103


"If wise, you 'lt loiter not."--This story was told by the Master at Jetavana monastery about Anatha-pindika. For we hear that Anatha-pindika was returning from the village of which he was headman, when he saw robbers on the road. "It won't do to loiter by the way," thought he; "I must hurry on to Shravasti city." So he urged his oxen to speed and got safely into Shravasti city. Next day he went to the monastery and told the Master what had happened to him. "Sir," said the Master, "in other times too the wise and good saw robbers on the road and moved fast without delay to their homes." Then at the merchant's request he told this story of the past.

Once upon a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisattva was a rich merchant, who had been to a village to collect his dues and was on his homeward way when he saw robbers on the road. At once he urged his oxen to their topmost speed and reached home in safety. And as he sat on his couch of state after a rich meal, he exclaimed, "I have escaped from the robbers' hand to mine own house, where fear dwells not." And in his thankfulness he uttered this stanza:-

If wise, you should loiter not amidst enemies;
A night or two with such brings miseries.

So, from the fulness of his heart, spoke the Bodhisattva, and after a life of charity and other good deeds he passed away to fare according to his deeds.

His story ended, the Master identified the Birth by saying, "I was the merchant of Benares of those days."

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