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Academic Sutta Name Notes PSA Plae Vagga Nikaya PTS Keywords
J.390 Mayhaka Jaataka | Jaataka The bodhisatva was once born in a very wealthy family, and he built an alms hall and gave away generously. He married, and, on the birth of a son, he entrusted wife and child to his younger brother and became an ascetic. When the boy began to grow up, the brother drowned him in the river lest he should claim half the estate. The bodhisatva saw this with his divine eye and called on his brother to whom he pointed out the folly of covetousness. ëYou are like a mayhaka-bird who sits on a pipal tree and keeps on crying mine! mine!, while the other birds eat the fruit.í The story was told in reference to a wealthy man of Savatthi, a stranger who settled there. He neither enjoyed his wealth nor gave it to others, living in poverty, eating rice-dust and sour gruel, and travelling in a broken-down chariot with a parasol of leaves. He died without issue and his money passed to the king. When the king told the Buddha of this, the Buddha explained that the miser had, in a previous birth, met the paccekabuddha Tagarasikhi begging for alms and had sent word to his wife to give the food prepared for himself. This the wife gladly did -- but when the man saw Tagarasikhi with his bowl full of sweet foods, he regretted his generosity. Therefore, in this birth, though possessing much wealth, he never enjoyed it. He was childless because he was the very man who had drowned the Bodhisatvaís son. 59/161 Jaataka Khuddhaka J.iii.299ff. stinginess

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Last modified on: Sunday, 2 January 2000.