The Bodhisatta was once an ascetic. He and his followers were so virtuous they made Indra, king of the gods, jealous. To make himself feel better he got the Bodhisatta ejected from his home by making the queen desire a “middle mango” and saying the Bodhisatta had eaten them all. Then the king sent his parrot far away to find a real “middle mango.”
The Bodhisatta was once a king. A former advisor who he had expelled convinced a rival king to conquer the Bodhisatta because, in order to avoid any deaths, he would not resist. While imprisoned, the Bodhisatta felt pity for his captor, which magically caused him pain and this made him realize it was a mistake to conquer a man as virtuous as the Bodhisatta, so he returned to his own kingdom.
The Bodhisatta was once a tree fairy. A clever boar met some others who were attacked by a tiger every morning. The clever boar managed to kill the tiger and his friend, a wicked false ascetic who also ate their meat, and the other boars made him their king. The Bodhisatta praised the boars for working together in unity.
The Bodhisatta was once an ascetic. A mahout who supported the Bodhisatta found a magical chicken floating on a river – anyone who ate its best flesh would become a king. The Bodhisatta knew of this magic and ensured that the mahout ate the right piece. Three days later, when the city was under siege, the king died and the mahout led the troops to victory, so the advisors made the mahout the next king. He made the Bodhisatta his chaplain.
The Bodhisatta was once an ascetic. Some boars lived in a crystal cave and seeing lions through the wall made them stressed and unhealthy. They wanted to discolor the crystal, but the Bodhisatta told them it was impossible and they should move to a new home.
(Duplicate of Jataka #30) The Bodhisatta was once an ox. When his owner’s daughter got engaged, he began to fatten up a pig to serve at the wedding. The Bodhisatta’s younger brother was envious of the pig for eating rice, but the Bodhisatta told to be thankful for his grass and straw because the fancy food meant the pig was going to be killed soon.
The Bodhisatta was once a teacher. One of his students asked how people become prosperous and he answered: acting arrogant and angry, slandering people, being deceptive, and being unkind.
The Bodhisatta was once a wealthy merchant. His wicked brother, as part of a con, mistakenly threw money in the Ganges River and the river spirit saved it by having a fish eat the parcel. When that fish was caught, the Bodhisatta bought it and got his money back.
The Bodhisatta was once a king. One evening while he walked around town in disguise, he was robbed. A retired chaplain saw the Bodhisatta’s misfortune in the stars that night while his own astrologers did not. So the Bodhisatta gave him a reward and hired him.
(Duplicate of Jataka #86) The Bodhisatta was once a king’s chaplain. He wanted to know if the king gave him more honor than anyone else because of his virtue or his lineage, so he stole some coins. The king sentenced him to death and from this the Bodhisatta knew he was judged on virtue. He was forgiven and became an ascetic.
The Bodhisatta was once Indra, king of the gods. Before this, he was a wealthy merchant and his good-for-nothing drunkard son squandered his inheritance. The Bodhisatta give him a “wishing cup” that provided unlimited money, but the son broke it and died a beggar.
The Bodhisatta was once a king of crows. His queen wanted to eat some of the human king’s food and the crow commander-in-chief stole some from the palace. He was captured, but freed after he explained that he was willing to risk his life to please his king.
The Bodhisatta was once an ascetic. He got very sick and vowed to live a religious life if he was cured. When he recovered, he became an ascetic and was very happy.
The Bodhisatta was once a tree fairy. He heard a jackal praise a crow so it would throw him some fruit, and the pleased crow returned the flattery. The Bodhisatta chased the lying animals away.
The Bodhisatta was once a tree fairy. He heard a crow praise a jackal hoping it would let him eat from an ox carcass, and the pleased jackal returned the flattery. The Bodhisatta disliked both lying animals.
The Bodhisatta was once a spirit of the sea. He heard a greedy “water crow” tell fish and birds not to drink too much water in the ocean so it would not dry up.
The Bodhisatta was once a spirit of the air. A poor woman wanted to wear special clothes to a festival and she convinced her husband to break into the royal park to steal some safflower for dyeing them. He was caught and impaled, and as he died he muttered that his greatest pain was not being able to see his wife in beautiful new clothes. He told a crow to send her a final message. The Bodhisatta saw all of this happen.
The Bodhisatta was once a tree fairy. A small monkey lived in a cave and a large monkey wanted it for himself. He lied to the small monkey that there were figs nearby, and when the small monkey went to find them the large one took the cave. The Bodhisatta saw this happen.
The Bodhisatta was once an ascetic. Some carefree, frivolous ascetics who lived near him had a pet monkey that was as vulgar as they were. The Bodhisatta talked to the monkey and made him behave.
The Bodhisatta was once Indra, king of the gods. A wolf decided to follow the holy-day precepts, but the Bodhisatta proved that the wolf was weak-willed by taking the form of a goat, which the wolf tried to kill and eat.
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