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  • Cullakasetthi Jātaka (No.4)

Once the Bodhisatta was born as Cullakasetthi in Benares. One day, while on his way to the palace, he saw a dead mouse lying on the road, and, noticing the position of the stars, he said, "Any decent young fellow with his wits about him has only to pick up the mouse and he will be a made man." A young man of good family, called Cullantevāsika, hearing this, picked up the mouse and sold it for a farthing to a tavern for their cat to eat. With the farthing he bought molasses and drinking water for flower-gatherers. Later, he gathered branches and leaves blown down by the wind in the king's garden and sold them to a potter for a large sum of money. He entered into friendship with a land-trader and a sea-trader and, by using the information he obtained from them, he was able to make two hundred thousand pieces by means of skilful and far-sighted business dealings. He then visited Cullasetthi to express to him his gratitude, and the setthi, on hearing of his skill, was so impressed that he gave him his daughter in marriage.

The young man is identified with Cullapanthaka, in reference to whom the story was related. J. i.114-23. Cf. the story of Visākhila in Kathāsaritsāgara (i.33).


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