1. Susīma Jātaka (No. 163). Susīma was king of
Benares, and the Bodhisatta was his chaplain's son. The chaplain had been master
of ceremonies in the king's elephant festival, and, as a result, had amassed
great wealth. He died when his son was sixteen. Soon after, another elephant
festival came round, and other brahmins obtained the king's consent to be in
charge of the ceremonies on the plea that the chaplain's son was too young. When
but four days remained before the festival, the Bodhisatta found his mother
weeping. She explained that for seven successive generations their family had
managed the elephant festival and that she felt the change deeply. The
Bodhisatta discovered that a teacher expert in elephant lore lived in
two thousand yojanas away. He comforted his mother and proceeded to Takkasilā,
reaching it in a single day. There he paid his fee of one thousand pieces to the
teacher and explained the urgency of his mission. In one night the teacher
taught him the three Vedas and the elephant lore, and the pupil could even excel
his teacher in knowledge. The next morning he left early for Benares and reached
it in one day.
On the day of the festival the Bodhisatta went in all his
array before the king, and protested against the alienation of his rights. He
challenged anyone to show his superiority over him in elephant lore, and nobody
could be found to do so. The king then appointed him to conduct the ceremonies.
The story was related in reference to an attempt on the
part of the heretics to prevent the people of Sāvatthi from giving alms to the
Buddha. All the people of the city made a collection to hold an almsgiving, but
they were divided in their allegiance, some wishing to entertain the Buddha,
others favouring heretical teachers. A vote was passed, and the majority were
found to be in favour of the Buddha. For a whole week alms were given on a
lavish scale, and, at the end of the week, the Buddha pronounced a benediction.
Ananda is identified with Susīma,
Sāriputta with the
teacher, Mahāmāyā with the Bodhisatta's mother, and Suddhodana with his father.
2. Susīma Jātaka (No. 411). The Bodhisatta was born
as son of the chaplain of the king of Benares and was called
Susīma. The king's
son, born on the same day, was called Brahmadatta. Together they grew up, and
then studied under the same teacher in Takkasilā. Later Brahmadatta became king
and Susīma his chaplain. One day, when Susīma was taking part in a procession
with the king, the queen mother saw him and fell desperately in love with him.
The king, discovering this, made Susīma king in his place and the queen mother
Susīma's queen. But Susīma soon tired of royalty, and after establishing
Brahmadatta once more on the throne, returned to the Himālaya in spite of his
wife's protests. There he became an ascetic.
The story was told in reference to the Buddha's
Renunciation. Ananda is identified with Brahmadatta and the queen mother with
Rāhulamātā. J. iii.391-7.