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Academic Sutta Name Notes PSA Plae Vagga Nikaya PTS Keywords
J.126 Jaataka In Benares was a brahmin who could tell, by smelling them, whether swords were lucky or not. One day, while testing a sword, he sneezed and cut off the tip of his nose. The king had a false tip made and fastened to his nose so that no-one could tell the difference. The king had a daughter and an adopted nephew, who when they grew up, fell deeply in love with each other. They wished to marry, but the king, having other plans, kept them apart. The prince bribed an older women to obtain his beloved for him. The old woman reported to the king that his daughter was under influence of witchcraft and that the only way of curing her was to take her to the cemetery under armed escort, where she must be laid on a bed with a corpse under it. There she must be bathed for the purpose of exorcism. The prince was to impersonate the corpse, being provided with pepper to make him sneeze at the right moment. The guard were warned that if the exorcism succeeded, the dead body would sneeze, rise up and kill the first thing it got hold of. The plot succeeded, the guard running away as soon as the prince sneezed. The two lovers were married and were forgiven by the king. Later, they became king and queen. One day, the sword-testing brahmin was standing in the sun when the false tip of his nose melted and fell off. He stood hanging his head out of shame. ŽNever mindŪ laughed the king, Žsneezing is bad for some but good for others. A sneeze lost you your nose, but won for me both my throne and my queen.Ū The story was related in reference to a brahmin of the kingdom of Kosala who tested swords by smelling them. He accepted bribes and passed the swords only of those who had won his favour. One day, an exasperated dealer put pepper on his sword so that when the brahmin smelled it, he sneezed, slitting his nose. The monks were once talking about him when the Buddha entered and told the story of the past. The two brahmins were one and the same man in different births. 56/491 Jaataka Khuddhaka J.i.455ff. sneeze

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Last modified on: Sunday, 2 January 2000.