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Academic Sutta Name Notes PSA Plae Vagga Nikaya PTS Keywords
J.080 Bhiimasena Jaataka The Bodhisatva was once a very skilful archer educated at Takkasila and famed as Culladhanuggaha. He was a crooked little dwarf and, lest he should be refused employment on account of his size, he persuaded a tall, well-built weaver, called Bhimasena, to be his stalking horse. Bhimasena went with him to the king of Benares and obtained the post of royal archer. Once the kingdom was attacked by a tiger and Bhimasena was sent to kill it. Following the bodhisatvaís advice, he went with a large band of country men, and when the tiger was sighted he waited in a thicket and lay flat on his face. When he knew that the tiger had been killed, he came out of the thicket trailing a creeper in his hand and blamed the people saying that he had meant to lead the tiger like an ox to the king and had gone to the wood to find a creeper for that purpose. ëWho has killed the tiger and spoiled my plans?í he asked. ëI will report all of you to the king.í The terrified people bribed him heavily and said no word as to who had killed the tiger. The king, believing that Bhimasena himself had killed it, rewarded him handsomely. The same thing happened with a buffalo. Bhimasena grew rich and began to neglect the bodhisatva. Soon after, a hostile king marched on Benares. Bhimasena went with a large army riding on an elephant, with the bodhisatva behind him, but at the sight of the battlefield, Bhimasena was so terrified that he fouled the elephantís back. The bodhisatva taunted him and sent him home, while he himself captured the enemy king and brought him to the king of Benares, who showed him all honour. The story was related in reference to a monk of low birth who used to boast of his familyís greatness. The truth was discovered and his pretensions exposed. He is identified with Bhimasena. 56/264 Jaataka Khuddhaka J.i.355ff. cowardice


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Last modified on: Sunday, 2 January 2000.