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
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).