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

Book 2: Dukanipāta

No. 175


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."



"There is no tribe," etc. — This is a story told by the Master in Jetavana, about a rogue.

Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was born in a brahmin family of Kāsi. Coming of years, he went to Takkasilā, and there completed his education. Then he embraced the religious life, cultivated the Faculties and the Attainments, and becoming the preceptor of a large band of pupils he spent his life in Himalaya.

There for a long time he abode; until once having to buy salt and seasoning, he came down from the highlands to a border village, where he stayed in a leaf-hut. When they were absent seeking alms, a mischievous monkey used to enter the hermitage, and turn everything upside down, spill the water out of the jars, smash the jugs, and finish by making a mess in the cell where the fire was.

The rains over, the anchorites thought of returning, and took leave of the villagers; "for now," they thought, "the flowers and fruit are ripening on the mountains." "To-morrow," was the answer, "we will come to your dwelling with our alms; you shall eat before you go." So next day they brought thither plenty of food, solid and liquid. The monkey thought to himself, "I'll trick these people and cajole them into giving me some food too." So he put on the air of a holy man seeking alms, [73] and close by the anchorites he stood, worshipping the sun. When the people saw him, they thought, "Holy are they who live with the holy," and repeated the first stanza:

"There is no tribe of animals but hath its virtuous one:
See how this wretched monkey here stands worshipping the sun!"

After this fashion the people praised our monkey's virtues. But the Bodhisatta, observing it, replied, "You don't know the ways of a mischievous monkey, or you would not praise one who little deserves praise;" adding the second stanza:

"You praise this creature's character because you know him not;
He has defiled the sacred fire, and broke each waterpot."

[51] When the people heard what a rascally monkey it was, seizing sticks and clods they pelted him, and gave their alms to the Brethren. The sages returned to Himalaya; and without once interrupting their mystic ecstasy they came at last to Brahma's heaven.



At the end of this discourse, the Master identified the Birth: "This hypocrite was in those days the Monkey; the Buddha's followers were the company of sages; and their leader was I myself."


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