Dipi Jataka (#426)

temple painting of Dipi Jataka

The Bodhisatta was once an ascetic who lived in the Himalayas. One time he went down to a city to get salt and vinegar and he built a leaf hut in a small mountain valley nearby. Some goatherders brought their goats there to graze, and in the evening when they returned home a female goat got left behind. When she started to walk out she found a hungry panther blocking her path. She knew she could not outrun it, so she tried to sweet talk it into sparing her life: “How are you, my friend. My mother sends her regards.” But the panther was not swayed, so she tried instead to talk tough, “My parents and brothers warned me about your wickedness,” and then turned to begging. But nothing worked and the panther ate her. The Bodhisatta saw all of this happen.

In the Lifetime of the Buddha

Moggallana, one of the Buddha’s top disciples, once lived in a leaf hut in a small mountain valley near a town. Some goatherders brought their goats there to graze, and in the evening when they returned home a female goat got left behind. A hungry panther came by and blocked her path. The goat knew she could not outrun it, so she lowered her horns and charged right at it. The goat managed to avoid the panther’s attack and rejoined her herd.

The next day when Moggallana saw the Buddha he shared what he had seen and the Buddha told him this story so he knew the she-goat and panther had met once before in earlier births with a different outcome.

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