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Academic Sutta Name Notes PSA Plae Vagga Nikaya PTS Keywords
J.407 Mahaakapi Jaataka | Raajovaada Jaataka The bodhisatva was once a monkey, leader of 80,000. In the grove where they lived was a mango tree (some say a banyan) growing on a river bank bearing fruit of diving flavour, and the monkeys were always careful never to let fruit drop in the river. However, one day, a fruit, which had been hidden by an antís nest, fell into the water and was picked up at Benares, where the king was bathing. The king tasted it, and being seized with the desire to eat more, had many rafts made and ascended the river with a company of foresters. They found the tree, and the king, having eaten his fill, lay down at the foot. At midnight, the bodhisatva came with his retinue and started to eat the mangoes. The king was disturbed and gave orders that the wood should be surrounded and the monkies shot by archers at daybreak. The bodhisatva, true to his leadership qualities, ascended a straight-growing branch and with one leap reached the river bank. Having cut off a bamboo shoot of the required length, fastened one end to a tree on the bank and the other end round his waist. On leaping back, he found that he had not allowed for the length which went around his waist, but grasping a branch firmly with both hands, he made a bridge out of his own body so that the 80,000 could escape. Devadatta, coming last, saw the chance to injure the bodhisatva and taking a spring in the air, fell on the Bodhisatvaís back, breaking it. The bodhisatva could but hang dying in agony, and the king who had witnessed the whole event caused the bodhisatva to be brought down and ministered to -- but in vain: the bodhisatva died after having admonished the king. The bodhisatva was honoured with funeral tributes fit for a king. The Jataka is told in reference to good works towards oneís relations as narrated in the introduction to the Bhaddasaala Jataka (J.465). Ananda is identified with the king. see also Jatakamala 27 59/332 Jaataka Khuddhaka J.iii.369ff. ingratitude, leadership

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Last modified on: Sunday, 2 January 2000.