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

Book 3: Tika Nipāta

No. 295


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."



"Like to a bull," etc. — [440] This is another story told by the Master in the same place and about the same people. The circumstances are the sane as before.



Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta was king of Benares, the Bodhisatta became the spirit of a castor-oil-tree which stood in the approach to a certain village. An old ox died in a certain village; and they dragged the carcase out and threw it down in the grove of these trees by the village gate. A Jackal came and began to eat its flesh. Then came a Crow, and perched upon the tree. When she saw the Jackal, she cast about whether by flattery she could not get some of this carcase to eat. And so she repeated the first stanza:

"Like to a bull your body seems to be,
Like to a lion your activity.
O king of beasts! all glory be to thee!
Please don't forget to leave a bit for inc."

[301] On hearing this the Jackal repeated the second:

"They that of gentle birth and breeding be
Know how to praise the gentle worthily,
O Crow, whose neck is like the peacock's neck,
Come down from off' the tree and take a peck!"

The Tree-spirit, on seeing this, repeated the third:

"The lowest of all beasts the Jackal is,
The Crow is lowest of all birds y-wis,
The Castor-oil of trees the lowest tree:
And now these lowest things are here all three!"



[441] When the Master had ended this discourse he identified the Birth: "At that time Devadatta was the Jackal, Kokālika was the Crow, but the Tree-spirit was I myself.


[1] Folk-Lore Journal, 3. 363. Compare No. 294.


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