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Academic Sutta Name Notes PSA Plae Vagga Nikaya PTS Keywords
J.491 Mahaamora Jaataka Long ago when Brahmadatta ruled Benares, the bodhisatva was born as a golden peacock who was abandoned by his mother before hatching -- and was nominated king by the other peacocks.Noticing his own beauty in the reflection of a pond, he realized the risk of continuing to live near the haunts of men so he fled at night to the Himavanta forest, finding safe cave as a home. Each morning the peacock would rise before dawn and chant the Mora Paritta as the sun rose. One day the peacock was seen by a hunter's son who reported his find to his father. Meanwhile Queen Khema of Benares, in her morning sickness, drempt that she heard the preaching of a golden peacock and the king, hearing the news, offered a reward for any golden peacock caught alive. Both the queen and the hunter passed away before any golden peacock could be caught. Out of vengeance, the king inscribed a golden plaque that anyone eating the flesh of a golden peacock would gain immortality. Six generations of successive kings also failed to hunt down the peacock. At the seventh generation, a hunter trained a peahen to cry at the snap of his fingers and used her to bait a snare. The bodhisatva forgot his spell and was caught in the trap losing the mindfulness which he had maintained unbroken for the last 700 years. The hunter which had caught him had the potential for paccekabuddhahood and on hearing the preaching of the peacock attained. Having broken free of the fetters of the defilements, the paccekabuddha released the peacock and simultaneously all the bonds that tied captive birds and animals everywhere were miraculously broken. The hunter was spontaneously transformed in appearance to a monk of eighty years in the monkhood. Holding his hands in respect to the peacock he floated in the air and disappeared to Nandamuula.The story was told to a backsliding monk who was upset by the sight of a woman magnificently attired. Ananda is identified with the king of Benares. See similar Mora Jaataka (J.159). 60/453 Jaataka Khuddhaka J.iv.332ff. immortality, sensual restraint, fetters

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Last modified on: Sunday, 2 January 2000.