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Academic Sutta Name Notes PSA Plae Vagga Nikaya PTS Keywords
J.163 Susiima Jaataka Susima was king of Benares an the bodhisatva was his chaplainís son. The chaplain had been master of ceremonies in the kingís elephant-festival, and as a result, had amassed great wealth. He died when his son was sixteen. Soon after, another elephant-festival came round and other brahmins obtained the kingís permission to be in charge of ceremonies on the plea that the chaplainís son was too young. However, when only four days remained before the festival, the bodhisatva found his mother weeping. She explained that for seven successive generations, their family had managed the elephant-festival and she felt the change deeply. The bodhisatva discovered that a teacher-expert in elephant lore lived in Takkasila, two thousand leagues away. He comforted his mother and proceeded to Takkasila reaching it in a single day. There he paid his fee of 1,000 pieces to the teacher and explained the urgency of his mission. In one night the teacher taught him the three Vedas and the elephant lore and the pupil could even excel his teacher in knowledge. The next morning, he left early for Benares and reached it in one day. On the day of the festival, the bodhisatva went in all his array before the king and protested against the infringement of his rights. He challenged anyone to show superiority over him in elephant-lore and nobody could be found to do so. The king thus appointed him to conduct the ceremonies. The Jataka was related in reference to an attempt on the part of the heretics to prevent the people of Savatthi from giving alms to the Buddha. All the people of the city made a collection to hold an almsgiving, but they were divided in their allegiance, some wishing to entertain the Buddha, others favouring heretical teachers. A vote was passed and the majority were found to be in favour of the Buddha. For a whole week alms were given on a lavish scale and at the end of the week, the Buddha pronounced a blessing. Ananda is identified with Susima, Sariputta with the teacher, Mahamaya with the Bodhisatvaís mother and Suddhodana with his father. 57/085 Jaataka Khuddhaka J.ii.045ff. injustice, deviation from tradition

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Last modified on: Sunday, 2 January 2000.