The Bodhisatta was once a parrot. A king adopted three birds, including the Bodhisatta, as his children and people mocked him for this. But after the birds demonstrated great wisdom they earned respect and the king made them part of his court.
The Bodhisatta was once an ascetic. Before this, he was the greatest archer in all of India, but he rejected the power and wealth this brought. Many people joined him in the ascetic life, and one of his best students was so disrespected by a king that the gods destroyed the entire kingdom.
The Bodhisatta was once an ascetic. His son was so virtuous that Indra, king of the gods, worried he would take his job in heaven when he died. So Indra sent a celestial nymph to seduce him. After falling into her trap, the son eventually recovered his senses and his virtue.
The Bodhisatta was once a human king and then a naga king in back-to-back lives. As the human king, he met some nagas and wanted rebirth in their magnificent realm for his next life. He got his wish, but he was not happy there, and to ensure his next rebirth was back in the human realm, he went there on the holy days. He was captured by hunters and then rescued by a landowner who got to live in the splendor of the naga realm for a year.
The Bodhisatta was once a king. When he found his first grey hair, he renounced his throne and went off to live as an ascetic. People tried to stop him, but couldn’t. In the end, almost the whole city joined him.
The Bodhisatta was once an ascetic. His son was so virtuous that Indra, king of the gods, worried he would take his job in heaven when he died. So Indra caused a drought and then convinced the king to send his daughter to seduce the Bodhisatta’s son, which would restore the rain. He did fall into her trap, so Indra sent rain again, but then the Bodhisatta set him back on the right path.
The Bodhisatta was once a king. He fell so madly in love with his commander-in-chief’s wife that he grew ill. To save him, the commander-in-chief offered to let the Bodhisatta be with her until his infatuation ceased. But the Bodhisatta, ashamed of his desires, refused; and after the two discussed righteousness and heaven, his passion vanished.
The Bodhisatta was once an ascetic. The king’s advisors were corrupt, and when the Bodhisatta was appointed judge in their place, their bribery income dried up. They lied and convinced the king to execute the Bodhisatta, though he escaped. After the advisors got the king to kill his queen, the Bodhisatta returned to the kingdom to stop the princes from killing the king in revenge and to put the king on the path to righteousness.
The Bodhisatta was once a king. After the Bodhisatta took the throne, his close friend went off to be an ascetic. After fifty years they met again, with the help of a song, and the friend convinced the Bodhisatta to become an ascetic.
The Bodhisatta was once an ascetic. He left his home in the palace because he disapproved of his friend, the crown prince, murdering his father and taking the throne. Fifty years later, the Bodhisatta went back and discussed heaven and hell with the king, convincing him to live righteously.
The Bodhisatta was once a king. He was so ugly, his mother had to trick a princess into marrying him without seeing him first. When she did see his face, she returned to her father’s kingdom, and the Bodhisatta worked humble jobs there trying to win her love. He finally did so by defeating seven armies and saving her life.
The Bodhisatta was once an ascetic. So were his parents and brother. His brother got lazy and started to give their parents unripe fruit, so the Bodhisatta banished him. Feeling remorse, the brother used his supernatural powers to help a king conquer all of India in exchange for the king helping him ask the Bodhisatta for forgiveness, which he got.
The Bodhisatta was once a golden goose. When he got caught in a hunter’s snare, his commander-in-chief wouldn’t leave his side and convinced the hunter to set the Bodhisatta free. In thanks, they convinced the king to give the hunter a great reward.
The Bodhisatta was once a golden goose. A queen dreamed that she heard a sermon from golden geese, and the king hired a hunter to catch some. When the Bodhisatta got caught in the hunter’s snare, his commander-in-chief wouldn’t leave his side and convinced the hunter to set the Bodhisatta free. To thank the hunter, they went to the palace to preach.
The Bodhisatta was once Indra, king of the gods. In his earthly life before this, he was a royal treasurer and was wealthy and generous, as were his descendants. But when he divined that his descendant presently on earth had stopped giving charity, the Bodhisatta went down to put him back on the righteous path.
The Bodhisatta was once a cuckoo. He was extremely rude to females and even other male birds who spoke politely with females. One day he shared a long stern tirade about the wickedness of women (which included relating eight of his past life stories) to a large, receptive audience of gods, humans, and animals.
The Bodhisatta was once a king. A king who had been a goblin in his previous birth started murdering and eating his subjects. When found out, he was banished from the kingdom to a forest where he continued his cannibalism. He captured one hundred kings and was about to murder them in sacrifice to a tree fairy when the Bodhisatta converted him back to righteousness and convinced people to forgive him.
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