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J 395
{Sutta: J iii 315|J 395|J 395} {Vaṇṇanā: atta. J 395|atta. J 395}
Kaka-Jataka (Pārāvatajātakaṃ)
translated form Pali into English by
H.T. Francis and R.A. Neil
edited by
E. B. Cowell
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395. KĀKA-JĀTAKA. [119]

"Our old friend," etc.

The Master told this tale while dwelling in Jetavana, concerning a greedy Brother. The occasion is as above.

Once upon a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was a pigeon and lived in a nest-basket in the kitchen of a °° Benares merchant. A crow became intimate with him and lived there also. Here the story is to be expanded. The cook pulled out the crow's feathers and sprinkled him with flour, then piercing a cowrie he hung it on the crow's neck and threw him into a basket. The Bodhisatta came from the wood, and seeing him made a jest and spoke the first stanza: —

[§_] Our old friend! look at him! A jewel bright he wears; His beard in gallant trim, How gay our friend appears!

[315] The crow hearing him spoke the second stanza: —

[§_] My nails and hair had grown so fast, They hampered me in all I did: A barber came along at last, And of superfluous hair I'm rid.

Then the Bodhisatta spoke the third stanza: —

[§_] Granted you got a barber then, Who has cropped your hair so well: Round your neck, will you explain, What's that tinkling like a bell?

Then the crow uttered two stanzas: —

[§_] Men of fashion wear a gem Round the neck: it's often done: I am imitating them: Don't suppose it's just for fun. [§_] If you're really envious Of my beard that's trimmed so true: I can get you barbered thus; You may have the jewel too.

The Bodhisatta hearing him spoke the sixth stanza: —

[§_] Nay, ’tis you they best become, Gem and beard that's trimmed so true. I find your presence troublesome: I go with a good-day to you.

[316] With these words he flew up and went elsewhere; and the crow died then and there.

After the lesson, the Master declared the Truths and identified the Birth: —After the Truths, the greedy Brother was established in the fruition of the Third Path: "At that time the crow was the greedy Brother, the pigeon was myself."


Cf. no. 42, vol. i.; no. 274, vol. ii.
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