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  • Kurudhamma Jātaka (No.276)

The Bodhisatta was once born as the son of Dhanañjaya, king of the Kurūs, and, after his father's death, reigned in Indapatta. He observed the Kurudhamma - that is to say, the pañcasīla - as did the queen-mother, his queen-consort, the viceroy, the chaplain, the king's driver, his charioteer, the treasurer, the keeper of the royal granaries, the palace porter and the courtesan of the city. The country thus became very prosperous and its people happy. In the kingdom of Kalinga there was a drought and consequent scarcity of food. The king, acting on the advice of his ministers, sent brahmins to beg from the Bodhisatta the loan of his state elephant, Añjanavasabha, who was reported to bring rain. The elephant was lent willingly but no rain fell. It was thereupon decided that the prosperity of the Kurus was due to the Kurudhamma observed by the king and the others, and messengers were despatched to find out which these Kurudhammas were. From the king down to the courtesan, all had rigorously kept them, but each had unwittingly done something which he or she considered a violation of the dhamma. The messengers, therefore, had to visit each one and take down a list of the dhamma. The incidents related by each to the messengers, explaining wherein they had transgressed the dhammas, only served to emphasise how scrupulously they had conducted themselves.

The Kalinga king practised the Kurudhamma and rain fell in his country.

The story was told in reference to a monk who had killed a wild goose. Two monks bathed in Aciravatī, and while standing on the bank, drying, they saw two geese appear. The monks took a bet as to which should hit the goose in the eye, and one of them threw a stone which pierced one eye and came out of the other. The monk was reported to the Buddha. J.ii.365ff; DhA.iv.86ff; cp. Cariyāpitaka i.3.

With the introductory story compare that of the Sālittaka Jātaka (J.i.418).


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