| Minor Stories Index
The Story of Koka the Huntsman
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (125) of this
with reference to Koka the huntsman.
One morning, as Koka was going out to hunt with his pack of hounds, he met a
entering the city for alms-food. He took that as a bad omen and grumbled to
I have seen this wretched one, I don't think I would get anything today," and he
went on his
way. As expected by him he did not get anything. On his way home also he again
saw the same
Bhikkhu returning to the monastery after having had his alms-food in the city,
hunter became very angry. So he set his hounds on the Bhikkhu. Swiftly, the
up a tree to a level just out of reach of the hounds. Then the hunter went to
the foot of the
tree and pricked the heels of the Bhikkhu with the tip of his arrow. The Bhikkhu
was in great
pain and was not able to hold his robes on; so the robes slipped off his body on
to the hunter,
who was at the foot of the tree.
The dogs seeing the yellow robe thought that the Bhikkhu had fallen off the tree
pounced on the body, biting and pulling at it furiously. The Bhikkhu, from his
shelter in the
tree, broke a dry branch and threw it at the dogs. Then the dogs discovered that
been attacking their own master instead of the Bhikkhu, and ran away into the
Bhikkhu came down from the tree and found that the hunter had died and felt
sorry for him.
He also wondered whether he could be held responsible for the death, since the
died for having been covered up by his yellow robes.
So, he went to the Buddha to clear up his doubt. The Buddha said, "My son, rest
have no doubt; you are not responsible for the death of the hunter; your
morality (sila) is
also not soiled on account of that death. Indeed, that huntsman did a great
wrong to one
whom he should do no wrong and so had come to this grievous end."
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
Verse 125. If one wrongs a person who should not be wronged, one who is pure and
moral defilements, viz., an Arahat, the evil falls back upon that fool, like
against the wind.
At the end of the discourse the Bhikkhu attained Arahatship.
Translated by Daw Mya Tin, M.A.,
Burma Pitaka Association, Rangoon, Burma 1986.
24 December 2016