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Academic Sutta Name Notes PSA Plae Vagga Nikaya PTS Keywords
J.377 Setaketu Jaataka The bodhisatva was once a far-famed teacher with 500 pupils, chief among which was Setaketu, an udicca-brahmin who prided himself on his high caste. One day, meeting an untouchable (candala), Setaketu told him to pass him downwind, but the untouchable refused, challenging Setaketu to answer a question. Setaketu accepted the challenge and was asked what the ëfour quartersí were. Setaketu gave the usual answer whereupon the untouchable forced him between his feet. When this was reported to his teacher, he told Setaketu that the four quarters were parents, teachers, generous householders and deliverance from misery. Later Setaketu left for Takkasila and after finishing his studies there, went to Benares with 500 ascetics. There they practises sham penances and won the kingís approval. The kingís chaplain, however, warned the king against them, saying that they possessed only false knowledge and had no morality. The chaplain persuaded Setaketu and his followers to become laymen and enter the kingís service. The Jataka was related in similar circumstances as the Uddaalaka Jataka (J.487). Setaketu is identified with the false priest, the untouchable with Sariputta and the kingís chaplain with the bodhisatva. 59/013 Jaataka Khuddhaka J.iii.232ff. hypocrisy, arrogance

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Last modified on: Sunday, 2 January 2000.