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Academic Sutta Name Notes PSA Plae Vagga Nikaya PTS Keywords
J.155 Gagga Jaataka The bodhisatva was once a traderís son in Kasi. One day, during their travels, father and son were obliged to take lodging in a hall haunted by a yakkha. In the case of persons occupying this hall, if one of them should happen to sneeze and the other failed thereupon, to wish him long life, the yakkha was allowed to eat them. This boon had been granted to the yakkha in return for twelve years services to Vessavana. The two travellers from Kasi took up their abode in the hall for the night, during which the father sneezed. The son, knowing nothing of his danger, said nothing, but on seeing the yakkha preparing to eat him, he guessed the reason and hastened to wish his father long life. The father acted likewise, and the yakkha was foiled in his attempt on their lives. The Bodhisatva, having heard the yakkhaís story, established him in the Five Precepts. The story became known and the bodhisatva was given the post of general, while the yakkha was made tax-gatherer. In the story, the bodhisatva addresses his father as Gagga. Once when the Buddha was preaching, he sneezed, and the whole audience shouted ëlong lifeí, interrupting the sermon. The Buddha told them that the custom was superstitious, and forbade them to follow it. On their obeying him, the common people blamed them for their lack of good manners. The Buddha thereupon, withdrew the injunction and related the story to account for the origin of the custom. Gagga is identified with MahaKassapa. 57/028 Jaataka Khuddhaka J.ii.015ff. sneezing, superstition

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Last modified on: Sunday, 2 January 2000.