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Academic Sutta Name Notes PSA Plae Vagga Nikaya PTS Keywords
J.469 Mahaaka.nhaa Jaataka In the past, when the teachings of Kassapa Buddha were already forgotten, there ruled a king named Usinara. Monks and nuns lived in wickedness and men followed evil paths, being born after death in hell. Sakka noticed that there were no new rivals in the deva-world from amongst the men, decided to scare the men back to righteousness. Assuming the guise of a forester and leading Matali disguised as a black, fierce-looking dog called Mahakanha, Sakka came to the city gates and cried aloud that the world was doomed to destruction. The people fled in terror hiding inside the city and the gates were shut. The forester leapt over the city wall, however, and his dog terrified everyone he saw. The king shut himself up inside the palace, but the dog put its forepaws on the palace window and gave a roar which was heard from the deepest hells to the highest heavens. The forester said the dog was hungry and the king ordered that food be given to him. However, the dog ate all the food in a single bite and roared for more. Usinara asked what sort of dog it was, and the forester replied that the animal ate up all those who were unrighteous, mentioning what unrighteousness meant. Having terrified everyone, Sakka revealed himself and returned to his heaven. The king and his subjects became virtuous and Kassapa’s religion lasted a further 1,000 years. The story was told in reference to a conversation among the monks to the effect that the Buddha was always working for the good of others, never resting and never tiring, his compassion extended to all living beings. Matali is identified with Ananda. 60/168 Jaataka Khuddhaka J.iv.180ff. social degradation

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Last modified on: Sunday, 2 January 2000.