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Academic Sutta Name Notes PSA Plae Vagga Nikaya PTS Keywords
J.514 Chaddanta Jaataka The Bodhisatva was born as Chaddanta, king of a herd of 8,000 elephants. His body was pure white with red face and feet. Seven parts of his body touched the ground. His chief consorts were Culasubhadda and Mahasubhadda. Owing to the preference shown to Mahasubhadda by Chaddanta, Culasubhadda bore a grudge against him, and once when the bodhisatva was entertaining 500 paccekabuddhas, she offered them wild fruits and made a certain wish. As a result she was reborn in the Madda king’s family and was named Subhadda. Later she became chief consort of the king of Benares. Remembering her ancient grudge, she schemed to have Chaddanta’s tusks cut off. All the hunters were summoned by the king and Sonuttara was chosen for the task. It took him seven years, seven months and seven days to reach Chaddanta’s dwelling place. He dug a pit and covered it and as the elephant passed over it, shot a poison arrow. When Chaddanta realized what had happened, he charged Sonuttara but seeing that he was clad in a yellow robe he restrained himself. Having learned Sonuttara’s story, he showed him how his tusks could be cut off, but Sonuttara’s strength was not sufficient to saw them through. Chaddanta thereupon took the saw with his own trunk and, wounded as he was, and suffering excruciating pain from the incisions already made in his jaws, he sawed through the tusks, handed them over to the hunter and died. In seven days, through the magic power of the tusks, Sonuttara returned to Benares -- but when Subhadda heard that her conspiracy had led to the death of her former lover and huband, she died of a broken heart.

It was related in reference to a nun of Savatthi who, while listening one day to a sermon by the Buddha, admired his extreme beauty of form and wondered if she had ever been his wife. Immediately the memory of her life as Cullasubhadda, Chaddanta’s consort came to her mind and she laughed for joy -- but on further recollecting that she had been the instrument of his death, she wept aloud. The Buddha related this story in explanation of her conduct.
61/370 Jaataka Khuddhaka J.v.036ff. grudge, jealousy, women


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Last modified on: Sunday, 2 January 2000.