Maluta Jataka (#17)

painting of Maluta Jataka

The Bodhisatta was once an ascetic. He lived in the wilderness at the foot of a mountain and two friends, a lion and a tiger, lived in a nearby cave. One day the pair had an argument about cold. The tiger thought the dark half of the month (the half of the lunar cycle when the moon is less than half illuminated) was the coldest period, while the lion believed it was the light half. Unable to convince each other, they asked the Bodhisatta who was right. Both, he answered, because cold is caused by wind, not light or dark. Thus the two friends made peace with each other.

In the Lifetime of the Buddha

The lion and the tiger were earlier births of two forest dwelling disciples, Elder Junha (“Light”) and Elder Kala (“Dark”), who had the same disagreement about when cold appeared during the lunar cycle. When they asked the Buddha about it, he told them he had answered this same question for them once in the past, and then told them this story.

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