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Academic Sutta Name Notes PSA Plae Vagga Nikaya PTS Keywords
J.078 Illiisa Jaatakaa There was once a lame, hunch-backed millionnaire with a squint by the name of Illisa. He was an infidel and a miser, never giving away any of his wealth or enjoying it himself. Seven generations of his ancestors had been generous, but Illisa burned down the alms house and drove the poor away from his house. Once, at the sight of a yokel drinking, with a piece of dried fish as a relish, Illisa was sorely tempted to drink himself. For a long time he fought the temptation, but he eventually gave in to himself and sent a slave with a single penny to the tavern, ordering him to hide the bottle of spirits in a riverside thicket where Illisa could go to drink unseen. Meanwhile, Illisaís late father, who had been reborn as Sakka, realizing his son had become a miser, came down to earth to wean him from his folly. Sakka assumed the identicle form of Illisa, and entering the kingís palace, offered the king all Illisaís wealth. The king refused the offer, so Sakka went to Illisaís house and ordered all Illisaís property to be distributed to the poor. When Illisa discovers that there is a second Illisa who has ordered the distribution of his wealth, he swoons. Sakka reveals himself and informs Illisa that the wealth is really his and not Illisaís, the latter not having earned it. He urges Illisa to do good and practise generosity, or he would die, smitten by Indraís thunderbolt. Illisa taking heed of the warning, becomes a virtuous man. The story is related in reference to the conversation by Moggallana of the banker of Maccharikosiya of Sakkhara. Illisa of the past is identified with Maccharikosiya. The story is given as an example of iddhi by means of which Moggallana made a little thing increase manyfold. 56/242 Jaataka Khuddhaka J.i.345ff. miracle, stinginess

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Last modified on: Sunday, 2 January 2000.