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Academic Sutta Name Notes PSA Plae Vagga Nikaya PTS Keywords
J.450 Bi.laarikosiya Jaataka The bodhisatva was once a rich merchant of Benares who built an almonry and distributed much alms. On his deathbed, he asked his son to continue with the alms and after death was reborn as Sakka. His son followed his example and became the god Canda. His son Suriya, Suriyaís son Matali and Mataliís son Pa~ncasikha all followed in the same path. The sixth of the line, Bilarikosiya, however, became a miser and burned the almonry. Sakka and the others then came separately, in the guise of brahmins, to visit him and to ask for alms. Kosiya refused thier requests until each one uttered a little verse, upon which he was asked to enter and receive a small gift. Kosiya asked the servant to give each a little unhusked rice. This was refused and in the end he was obliged to give the brahmins cooked rice, meant for cows. Each swallowed a mouthful, but let it stick in his throat and lay down as if dead. Kosiya, very frightened, had a meal prepared which he put in their bowls, and then, calling passers-by, asked them to note how the brahmins in their greed had eaten too much and died. The brahmins however, arose, spat out the rice, and publicly shamed Kosiya by showing up his miserliness and the manner which he had disgraced his ancestors. Then each revealed his identity and departed. Bilarikosiya mended his ways and became most generous. The Jataka was related to a monk reputed for his great generosity. He would not even drink a cup of water without sharing it. The monk is identified with Bilarikosiya and the Buddha related the story in order to show how he had changed his ways. Sariputta was Canda, Moggallana was Suriya, Kassapa was Matali and Ananda Pa~ncasikha. 59/913 Jaataka Khuddhaka J.iv.062ff. stinginess


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Last modified on: Sunday, 2 January 2000.