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Academic Sutta Name Notes PSA Plae Vagga Nikaya PTS Keywords
J.455 Maatuposaka Jaataka The bodhisatva was once born as an elephant in the Himalayas and looked after his blind mother. One day he met a forester who had lost his way and feeling sorry for him, the elephant set him on the right path, carrying him on his back. However, the forester was wicked and on his return to Benares, told the king about the elephant. The king asked him to fetch the elephant, who, seeing the forester approaching, meekly followed him lest his virtue be impaired. The elephant was received in the city with great pomp and placed in the royal stables as the state elephant, but would touch no morsel of food. The king asked about this and learned of the elephantís blind mother. Thereupon the elephant was set free and returned to the Himalayas amid the applause of the people. The king built a town near the elephantís dwelling, where he showed him great honour and later, when at his motherís death, the elephant went away to the Karandaka monastery to wait on the ascetics there, the king did the same for them. The story was told in reference to a monk who tended his mother. For details see the Sama Jataka. Ananda is identified with the king whose name is given as Vedeha, and Mahamaya was the mother elephant. At DhA.iv.13 the elephant is called Dhanapala. It was related to four sons of a brahmin who waited on their aged father. The audience shed floods of tears, so greatly were they moved, and the brahmin and his sons became sotapannas. 60/001 Jaataka Khuddhaka J.iv.090ff. filial piety

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Last modified on: Sunday, 2 January 2000.