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Academic Sutta Name Notes PSA Plae Vagga Nikaya PTS Keywords
J.509 Hatthipaala Jaataka Esukaarii, king of Benares had no sons. His chaplain, hearing that the deity of a certain banyan tree had the power of giving sons, went to that tree and threatened to cut it down unless Esukaarii had a son. The tree deity consulted Sakka who persuaded four devas to be born as sons, not of Esukaarii but of the chaplain. On the day when the chaplain came to cut down the tree, the deity told him of Sakka’s decision and also warned him that the sons would not live the household life. In due course the sons were born, the oldest being Hatthipaala. The four brothers resisted all attempts to prevent them from becoming ascetics. Eventually the parents, the king and queen and all the citizens of Benares became ascetics too, leaving the city empty. Hattipaala’s company covered an area of thirty leagues -- they moved to live in the Himalayas in a hermitage covering 36 leagues. Other kings coming to capture Benares, realized their folly and also became ascetics under Hatthipala. The Jataka was related in reference to the Buddha’s great renunciation. Suddhodana was Esukaarii, Mahamaya his queen, Kassapa the chaplain, Bhadda Kapilani his wife, the Buddha was Hatthipala and Anuruddha, Moggallana and Sariputta his brothers. 61/239 Jaataka Khuddhaka J.iv.473ff. renunciation

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Last modified on: Sunday, 2 January 2000.