Kharadiya Jataka (#15)

painting of Kharadiya Jataka

The Bodhisatta was once a leader of a herd of deer. One day his sister arranged for him to teach her son tricks to avoid and escape hunters. They made an appointment, but his nephew did not come for his lesson, nor did he come on any later day. Soon after, as he roamed the forest, the young deer got caught in a snare and was killed by a hunter who took his flesh home to eat. His sister asked the Bodhisatta why her son had not learned how to stay safe in the forest. The Bodhisatta had no pity on her disobedient son and told her not to mourn because he got what he deserved.

In the Lifetime of the Buddha

The young deer was an earlier birth of an unruly disciple who did not heed the advice of his seniors. The Buddha told him this story to let him know that in the past this behavior had led to his death.

The young deer’s mother was an earlier birth of Uppalavanna, one of the Buddha’s top female disciples.

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