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Academic Sutta Name Notes PSA Plae Vagga Nikaya PTS Keywords
J.483 Sarabhamiga Jaataka | Sarabha Jaataka The bodhisatva was once born as a stag. The king of Benares went out hunting with his courtiers who contrived to drive the stag near the king. He shot and the stag rolled over as if hit, but soon got up and ran away. The courtiers laughed and the king set off in pursuit of the stag. During the chase, he fell into a pit, and the stag, feeling pity for him, drew him out and taught him the Dhamma. On the king’s return to the palace, he decreed that all his subjects should observe the five precepts. The king told no-one what had happened, but the chaplain, hearing him repeat six stanzas, divined what had happened. He questioned the king who told him the story. Many men and women, following the king’s instructions, were reborn in heaven, and Sakka, realizing the reason for this, appeared before the king, who was practising shooting, and contrived that he should proclaim the bodhisatva’s nobility. The story was told in reference to Sariputta’s wisdom. It is said that when the Buddha descended from Tavatimsa after preaching the Abhidhamma, wishing to demonstrate the unique wisdom of Sariputta, he propounded certain questions before the multitude at Sankassa which none but Sariputta could answer. When the Buddha asked in brief, Sariputta answered in detail. Ananda is identified with the king and Sariputta with the chaplain. The story is also found in Jatakamala No.25. 60/327 Jaataka Khuddhaka J.iv.263ff. wisdom, royal virtue

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Last modified on: Sunday, 2 January 2000.