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  • Culla-Dhanuggaha Jātaka (No.374)

A young brahmin of Benares came to Takkasilā and became very proficient in archery. His teacher gave him his daughter in marriage and he became known as Culla-Dhanuggaha. When on his way with his wife to Benares, he killed a fierce elephant, and then meeting fifty bandits, slew all except the leader. He seized the leader and hurling him to the ground asked his wife for his sword. But his wife, conceiving a passion for the bandit, placed the sword's hilt in the bandit's hand, and he straightway slew Culla-Dhanuggaha. While walking away with the woman, the bandit, reflecting on her treacherousness, decided to leave her. When they came to a river he left her on the bank, and taking her ornaments across the river on the pretence of keeping them safe he deserted her. The Bodhisatta, born as Sakka, observing this and wishing to shame the woman, appeared before her as a jackal, with Mātali as a fish and Pañcasikha as a bird. The jackal had a piece of flesh in his mouth, but when the fish leapt up he abandoned it to catch the fish, only to find the bird flying away with it. The woman saw and understood. The story was told in reference to a monk who wished to leave the Order because of his former wife. The monk is identified with Culla-Dhanuggaha and his wife with the woman of the story (J.iii.219-24).

According to the Dhammapada Commentary (DhA.iv.65ff), the story was told in reference to a young monk who, going to a house to fetch water, saw a young woman and fell in love with her. She encouraged his attentions, and the monk, desiring her, wished to leave the Order.


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