Akalaravi Jataka (#119)

temple painting of Akalaravi Jataka

The Bodhisatta was once a teacher. His students rose before dawn, summoned by a rooster’s crow. When their rooster died, they took a new one from the cemetery, but it had no knowledge of time and crowed randomly throughout the day and night. Sometimes it roused the students at midnight, and by dawn they were too tired to focus on their studies. And it crowed during the day so they could not hear their lessons. It wasn’t long before the exasperated students wrung the rooster’s neck and told the Bodhisatta they had killed it. He explained to his students that its behavior was a result of a bad upbringing; no parents or teachers had trained it.

In the Lifetime of the Buddha

One of the Buddha’s disciples was disobedient and inconsiderate. He neglected his duties and made loud noises throughout the night, keeping other disciples awake.

The noisy rooster was an earlier birth of this disciple and the students were earlier births of some of the Buddha’s other disciples. The Buddha told this story so they knew that their companion had also been inappropriately noisy around them in the past.

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