Kukkuta Jataka (#383)

temple painting of Kukkuta Jataka

The Bodhisatta was once a wild chicken. A female cat frequently deceived members of his flock and ate them. The cat knew that the Bodhisatta was very wise, but she was determined to eat him too; so she flattered him about his beauty and asked him to marry her. The Bodhisatta knew she had eaten many of his relatives, and to get rid of her said that beasts and birds should never marry. But she didn’t give up and promised him youth and beauty if he married her, or even just took her as a slave. The Bodhisatta got more direct and said he knew that she was wicked and had killed his family, so the cat went away.

In the Lifetime of the Buddha

One of the Buddha’s disciples considered quitting the sangha after he saw a beautifully dressed woman. The Buddha told him that women are like cats: they deceive and lure men into ruin. He then told him this story as an example, and the disciple decided to stay.

The Buddha did not identify any earlier births other than his own.

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