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Academic Sutta Name Notes PSA Plae Vagga Nikaya PTS Keywords
J.051 Mahaasiilava Jaataka The bodhisatva was once king of Benares under the name of Mahasilava. He built six almonries and ruled in all goodness. One of his ministers, having intrigued with a member of his harem, was expelled and took service with the king of Kosala. He caused several bands of ruffians to invade the territory of Mahasilava at different times. When they were caught and brought before Mahasilava, the latter gave them money and sent them away telling them to act differently in future. In this way, the king of Kosala was easily persuaded that Mahasilava's kingdom could easily be captured. He therefore set out with an army, and as the people of Mahasilava were allowed to offer no resistance, the king and his ministers were captured alive and buried up to their necks in the cemetary. In the night, when jackals approached to eat them, Mahasilava fastened his teeth in the neck of a jackal that came to him. The jackal started howling and his companions fled. As the jackal scrabbled to get free, the jackal loosened the earth round Mahasilava who managed to free himself first and then his companions. In the cemetary, two yakkhas were arguing over a dead body and they asked Mahasilava to settle the dispute. However, he first wished to bathe and they fetched him water and perfume from the usurper's table in Benares and also his sword of state. With this he cut the body in half, giving half to each yakkha, and with their aid, he entered the usurper's room where he slept. When the latter showed signs of terror, Mahasilava told him of what had happened and granted him forgiveness. His kingdom was then restored and Mahasilava exhorted his subjects on the virtues of perseverance. The story was related to a backsliding monk. Devadatta is identified with the treacherous minister of the Jataka. See also Seyya Jataka (J.282). 56/060 Jaataka Khuddhaka J.i.261ff. justice

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Last modified on: Sunday, 2 January 2000.