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Academic Sutta Name Notes PSA Plae Vagga Nikaya PTS Keywords
J.159 Mora Jaataka The bodhisatva was once born as a golden peacock and lived on a golden hill in Dandaka. He used to recite one spell in honour to the sun and another in praise of the Buddhas and thus was protected from all harm. Khema, queen of Benares, saw the peacock preaching in a dream. She longed for the dream to become true and told the king. He made enquiries and sent hunters to catch the golden peacock, but they failed. Khema died of grief and in his anger, the king inscribed a golden plaque that anyone eating the flesh of a golden peacock would gain immortality. Six generations of successive kings also failed to hunt down the peacock. At the seventh generation, a hunter trained a peahen to cry at the snap of his fingers and used her to bait a snare. The bodhisatva forgot his spell and was caught in the trap. When he was led before the king and told the reason for his capture, he agreed that his golden colour was due to good deeds done by him in the past as the king of the same city -- but he was a peacock owing to a sin he had committed. The eating of his flesh would not make anyone young or immortal, because even he himself was not immortal. Being asked to prove his words, he had the lake near to the city dredged to reveal the golden chariot he used to ride in as a king. The king thereupon paid him great honour and led him back to Dandaka. The story was told to a backsliding monk who was upset by the sight of a woman magnificently attired. Ananda is identified with the king of Benares. 57/060 Jaataka Khuddhaka J.ii.033ff. sensual restraint

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Last modified on: Sunday, 2 January 2000.