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Academic Sutta Name Notes PSA Plae Vagga Nikaya PTS Keywords
J.018 Matakabhatta Jaataka Once a brahmin well versed in the Vedas, wished to sacrifice a goat at the feast of the dead (matakabhatta) and sent his pupils to bathe the goat in the river. After the bath, the goat remembered its past lives and knew that after its death that day it would be free from misery. So it laughed for joy. However, it also saw that the brahmin, through slaying it, would suffer great misery and this made it weep. On being questioned as to the reason for its laughing and weeping, it said the answer would be given before the brahmin. When the brahmin heard the goatís story, he resolved not to kill him -- but the same day, while the goat was grazing near a rock, lightening caused a rock splinter to break off and sever the goatís head. The bodhisatva, who was a tree sprite, saw all this and preached the Dhamma to the assembled multitude. The story was told in reference to a question by monks as to whether there was any benefit in offering sacrifices as feasts for the dead, as was the habit of the people of Savatthi. 55/267 Jaataka Khuddhaka J.i.166ff. karma, unavoidable

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Last modified on: Sunday, 2 January 2000.