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Academic Sutta Name Notes PSA Plae Vagga Nikaya PTS Keywords
J.470 Sudhaabhojana Jaataka | Kosiya Jaataka Once in Benares, there lived a wealthy householder worth eighty crores. He offered his wealth to the king, but as the king had no need of it, he gave much away in gifts and was born as Sakka. Equally generous were his descendants Canda, Suriya, Maatali and Pa~ncasikha. However, the final generation, Pa~ncasikha’s son Maccharikosiya became a miser. He stopped all giving and lived in abject poverty. One day, seeing his sub-treasurer eating rice-porridge, he wished for some himself, but owing to his miserliness, he went in disguise to the river with a little rice and there started to cook it with the help of a slave. Sakka saw this, and accompanied by Canda and the others, appeared before him disguised as a brahmin. Advancing towards him, Sakka asked the way to Benares, and pretending to be deaf, approached the place where the porridge was being cooked and asked for some. Maccharikosiya refused to give any, but Sakka insisted on reciting to him some stanzas on the value of giving and then Kosiya agreed to give him a little porridge. One by one, the others, disguised as brahmins approached, and in spite of all efforts, Kosiya was forced to invite them to share his meal. He asked them to fetch small leaves, but in their hands the leaves became large. After the porridge had been served, Pa~ncasikha assumed the form of a dog, then of a horse of changing colours, and started chasing Kosiya, while the others stood motionless in the air. Kosiya asked how beings could gain such powers, and Sakka explained to him and revealed their identity. Maccharikosiya went back to Benares and gave away his wealth in charity. Later he became a hermit and lived in a hut. At that time, four daughters of Sakka went to Anotatta to play in the water. There they saw Narada shading under a paaricchattaka flower. Narada said he would give it to the best of them and referred them to Sakka. Sakka sent a cup of ambrosia (sudhaabhojana) to Kosiya and said that whichever of his daughters succeeded in persuading Kosiya to share his drink with her would be adjudged the best. He listened to all their claims and decided in favour of Hirii. Sakka, wishing to know why he decided thus, sent Maatali in his chariot to ask him. While Maatali was still speaking to him, Kosiya died and was reborn in Tavatimsa. Sakka gave him Hirii as wife and also a share of the kingdom of Tavatimsa. The Jataka was told in reference to a monk of Savatthi who was so generous that he would give away his own food and drink and so starve. He is identified with Maccharikosiya, Uppalavanna with Hirii, Anuruddha with Pa~ncasikha, Ananda with Maatali, Kassapa with Suriya, Moggallana with Canda, Sariputta with Narada and Sakka with the Buddha himself. 60/179 Jaataka Khuddhaka J.iv.186ff. stinginess


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Last modified on: Sunday, 2 January 2000.