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Academic Sutta Name Notes PSA Plae Vagga Nikaya PTS Keywords
J.364 Khajjopanaka Jaataka

When, as the result of the conspiracy of Senaka and the other ministers of Vedeha, Mahosadha was compelled to flee from the Court and live as a potter outside the city gates, the guardian angel in the king's parasol, wishing to restore him to favour, appeared to the king and put several questions to him. The king consulted Senaka and his colleagues but they could find no solution. The deity appeared again and regaled the king with the following insults:

Who, when they already have a light, goes searching for a light -- seeing a firefly at night thinks that it is a light?
That person sprinkles tinder and dust on the firefly thinking to produce light -- but is unable to kindle a fire through their misplaced understanding.
Fools are wont never to fulfil their wishes by misplaced means -- just as a cows horn has no milk and a person who milks a cowhorn will get no milk. The manyfolk gain benefit by correct means -- by putting down enemies and praising friends.
Monarchs in general can manage to rule their kingdoms only by having the best of ministers as his chaplain and by having the advice of his favourite minister.

The angel threatened the king with death if her questions were not answered. In despair, the king sent for Mahosadha. The Jataka forms one episode of the Mahaummagga | Mahosadha Jaataka (J.546).

58/812 Jaataka Khuddhaka J.iii.197ff. wisdom, justice

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Last modified on: Sunday, 2 January 2000.