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Academic Sutta Name Notes PSA Plae Vagga Nikaya PTS Keywords
J.546 Mahaaummagga | Mahosadha Jaataka The bodhisatva was born in Mithila holding a medicinal plant in his hand and was named Mahosadha. He talked immediately at birth, and the King Videha had a premonition in a dream that a sage was born. Mahosadha was appointed as the fifth of five counsellors to the king from an early age. He had many occasions to match his wit against the other councellors and emerged ever triumphant. He earned the friendship of Queen udumbara for his wisdom. He married Amaradevi who helped to quell conspiracies against her husband. Eventually, fearing his life, Mahosadha escaped from the palace and hid in a potter’s hut. Seeing the injustice deity in the king’s parasol put several questions to the king, knowing that none but Mahosadha could answer them. Eventually Mahosadha was summoned back to the palace and answered the questions to the king’s satisfaction. Meanwhile he had discovered the secret crimes of the other counsellors and publicized these in the city. He then intervened to reduce the punishments meted out on the ex-counsellors by the king. under the new guidance of Mahosadha, the king took various measures to increase his power and glory. Spies were sent to every court and Mahosadha even used a pet parrot as a spy. On its travels, the parrot overheard the plot of Brahmadatta, king of Kampilla, to invade Mithila. At first Brahmadatta laid seige to Mithila, but could not win in this way. Later he tried to lure Videha by publicizing the beauty of his own daughter, Pa~ncalacandi. Videha decided agains Mahosadha’s advice to marry Pa~ncalacandi. Mahosadha went to uttarapa~ncala to make preparations for the wedding and built a palace between the city and the Ganges. Mahosadha built two escape tunnels, one leading from Brahmadatta’s palace to the Ganges and the other, a smaller one, leading from the new palace to the other tunnel. When Videha arrived for the marriage, Mahosadha sent word to Brahmadatta’s queen, mother-in-law and Pa~ncalacandi to come to the king’s palace to celebrate that Mahosadha and Videha had been killed according to plan. Meanwhile Brahmadatta had ordered that the whole city be surrounded. Videha was overcome with fright to see what had happened and put himself in Mahosadha’s hands. Videha was led into the large tunnel, where he was brought face-to-face with members of Brahmadatta’s family. Pa~ncalacandi was put on a heap of treasure and married to Videha. Then, on emerging from the other end of the tunnel, they escaped by ship with an escort. Mahosadha stayed behind. Only too late, Brahmadatta arrived with his army to capture Videha, but on finding his blunder, was told the whole story by Mahosadha. From then on Brahmadatta and Mahosadha became good friends and the two kings became allies. Later, on the death of Videha, Mahosadha spent the last years of his life in service to Brahmadatta. The Jataka was related to illustrate the Buddha’s great wisdom. 63/303 Jaataka Khuddhaka J.vi.329ff wisdom


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Last modified on: Sunday, 2 January 2000.