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  • Hamsa Jātaka (No. 502)

Once Khemā, wife of King Bahuputtaka of Benares, dreamed of a golden goose preaching the Law and craved for her dream to come true. The king had a lake, called Khemā, dug outside the city, and put into it various kinds of food in order to entice the golden geese which lived in Cittakūta. They came, led by Dhatarattha the Bodhisatta, who was caught in the snare laid by the king's hunter. The Bodhisatta gave the alarm, and all the geese fled except Sumukha, his captain, who refused to leave him even though told to do so. When the hunter came, Sumukha persuaded him to let Dhatarattha free and to take him instead. The hunter agreed, but when the Bodhisatta heard of the reason for his capture, he, too, insisted on going before the king. Both geese were, therefore, led before the king, who was overjoyed. Dhatarattha preached the Law and the queen's craving was appeased; the geese were then allowed to fly away.

The story was related in reference to Ananda's readiness to give his life for the Buddha. Channa is identified with the huntsman, Sāriputta with the king, Khemā Therī with the queen, and Ananda with Sumukha. J. iv.423-30; cf. the Mahāhamsa Jātaka.


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