The Bodhisatta was once a teacher. One of his student’s parents wanted their son to live as an ascetic, so they had the Bodhisatta teach him the inherent wickedness of women. To do so, he ordered the student to care for his elderly mother. She fell in love with the student and tried to kill the Bodhisatta so they could be together. Her evil act convinced the student to become an ascetic.
The Bodhisatta was once a king. He had an infallible good luck mantra and always won at gambling. The mantra ended with the line, “all women are wicked,” so to counter it, his chaplain raised a girl at his palace, never letting her see a man other than himself. This extinguished the mantra, so the Bodhisatta hired a young man to defile her and restore its power.
The Bodhisatta was once an ascetic. A wicked woman was thrown into a river to die. He rescued her, and they fell in love. Later, a thief kidnapped her, and she fell in love with him. Fearing the Bodhisatta would come take her back, she schemed to kill him. When the thief learned this plan, he killed her and befriended the Bodhisatta.
The Bodhisatta was once a teacher. One of his students was married to a wicked woman, and he sometimes missed his lessons on account of stress. The Bodhisatta explained to him that women are inherently wicked and he should stop caring what she liked and disliked.
The Bodhisatta was once a teacher. One of his students discovered that his wife had been unfaithful, and he was so upset about it that he missed class. The Bodhisatta explained to him that this was the nature of all women and wise men do not care about their wives’ adultery.
The Bodhisatta was once an ascetic. While staying in the royal park one time, he saw the queen naked and, overcome with lust, lost his insight. As a plan to help the Bodhisatta, the king gave him his queen and had her be very difficult while they restored a house to live in. The Bodhisatta realized his folly and regained his insight.
The Bodhisatta was once a king. Three men were mistaken for thieves and taken to prison. They were the husband, son, and brother of a woman who pleaded for their release. The Bodhisatta agreed to set one free, and when she chose her brother—because she could replace the others, but could never have another brother—he was impressed and set all three free.
The Bodhisatta was once a son, nephew, and grandson of the same man in one thousand five hundred successive lives, and then again in another one thousand five hundred successive lives to one woman.
The Bodhisatta was once a snakebite doctor. He once ordered a snake to suck its venom out from a bite victim. Even when told he would be thrown in a fire if he refused, the snake would not do it. So the Bodhisatta cured the patient with medicine and charms.
The Bodhisatta was once a farmer. Six times he tried to take up an ascetic’s life, but his love of his spade drew him back. Finally, the seventh time that he threw his spade into the river and succeeded. The king and many other people heard his shout of triumph and were inspired to become ascetics too.
The Bodhisatta was once a teacher. One of his lazy students gathered green branches for firewood. This caused the cook to be late making their breakfast the next morning, so they had to cancel a planned trip.
The Bodhisatta was once an elephant. One day he rescued a forester who got lost in the mountains. The man was greedy and later returned to the Bodhisatta’s home, feigning poverty and asking to cut off his tusks to sell. The Bodhisatta agreed, but the earth split open and the flames of hell dragged the forester down.
The Bodhisatta was once an ascetic. He had saved an evil king’s life, but the king ordered him killed because he didn’t show sufficient respect. This enraged people so much that they killed their king and put the Bodhisatta on the throne.
The Bodhisatta was once a tree fairy. He said families should stick together, but some fairies chose to go live in big trees near towns because they got more offerings there. One day a storm blew down all the big, lone trees, while those in the forest suffered no damage.
The Bodhisatta was once a fish. During a drought, all the fish and turtles buried themselves in mud to stay alive. When birds started eating them, the Bodhisatta begged the rain god for rain, and the pond filled with water.
The Bodhisatta was once an ascetic. One time he traveled with a merchant’s caravan and did walking meditation all night. Since he was awake and could sound the alarm, thieves who planned to plunder the wagons called off their raid.
The Bodhisatta was once an ascetic. One night the king had sixteen vivid dreams, and his chaplains, looking to profit, said he must sacrifice many animals to avoid grave misfortune. One young chaplain opposed the scheme and he had the king talk with the Bodhisatta, who explained the real meanings behind the dreams and got the king to cancel the sacrifices.
The Bodhisatta was once a barber. The royal treasurer in those days was exceptionally rich and extremely miserly. His dead father, who had been reborn as Indra, king of the gods, returned to earth looking just like his son. By giving away much of the treasurer’s money, Indra convinced him to be generous.
The Bodhisatta was once a merchant. The headman of his village schemed with some thieves, in exchange for half the loot, to march the village men into the forest so the thieves could easily plunder the village. After it happened, the Bodhisatta told people the headman was guilty, and the king punished him.
The Bodhisatta was once a dwarf archer. To get a job with the king, he found a large man to front for him while he did all the actual work. When the city was besieged, this man got so scared in battle that the Bodhisatta had to capture the rival king alone and was then lavished with the honor he deserved.
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