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The Jātaka:
or
Stories of the Buddha's Former Births
Volume II

Book 2: Dukanipāta

No. 188

Sīhakoṭṭhuka-Jātaka

Translated from the Pāli by
W.H.D Rouse, M.A., Sometime Fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge
Under the Editorship of Professor E. B. Cowell
Published 1969 For the Pāli Text Society.
First Published by The Cambridge University Press in 1895

This work is in the Public Domain. The Pali Text Society owns the copyright."

 


 

"Lion's claws and lion's paws," etc. — This is a story told by the Master whilst at Jetavana, about Kokālika. They say that Kokālika one day hearing a number of wise Brethren preaching, desired to preach himself; all the rest is like the circumstances given in a previous tale[1]. This time again the Master on hearing of it said, "Not this once only has Kokālika 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 on a time, when Brahmadatta was king of Benares, the Bodhisatta 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 dam.

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, yon 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!"

[109] In answer the Bodhisatta said, "It's your brother, the Jackal's cub; like me in form, but in voice like his dam." 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 Kokālika was the Jackal, Rahula was the brother cub, and the king of beasts was I myself."

 


[1] No. 172; compare No. 189. Kokālika is often alluded to in this way; cp. nos. 117, 481. There is a story in the Cullavagga i. 18. 3, turning on a similar point; a hen has a chick by a crow, and when it would cry cock-a-doodle-doo it caws, and vice versa (Vinaya Texts, S. B. E., ii. p. 362).

 


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